HOMEBREW Digest #1401 Mon 18 April 1994

Digest #1400 Digest #1402

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  first batch / Late Hops / pH of Sparge Water (npyle)
  Cost of extract vs all-grain (Thomas_Fotovich-U2347)
  hops mellowing with age? (Mark Anthony Bayer)
  Guinness hops/Canuck Brewpubs/Watneys Cream (Aaron Shaw)
  hoptech ? (Al Gaspar)
  re:"topping up" carboy? (AYLSWRTH)
  Watneys Cream Stout recipe (David Draper)
  Summary of kegging woes replies. ("Mark E. Stull, no DTN  15-Apr-1994 2017")
  Patience / Inconsistent Carbonation (Paul Jeffrey)
  Re: using pet bottles (repiii)
  Torrefied Wheat (Pierre Jelenc)
  Berliner Weiss (shoej)
  San Francisco (shoej)
  Water's effect on yield and beer quality (Kinney Baughman)
  ORACLE SPEAKS (Jack Schmidling)
  Spiced Barleywine (Wayne_A_Sawdon)
  Mash-out Confusion... (Bob Bessette)
  re: bottling early & !strong Grolsch bottles (Jim Sims)
  Need help ("Antonio S. Reher")
  Budvar labels/sanitation (GHMILLER)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 15 Apr 94 10:12:39 MDT From: npyle at n33.ecae.stortek.com Subject: first batch / Late Hops / pH of Sparge Water Mark Perkins describes one of the best procedures I've ever seen for a new brewer. You obviously did some reading before proceeding with your first beer, Mark. I suggest you use only boiled and cooled water for your yeast starter when using a dry yeast, but you clearly had no problems getting the yeast going. On to your questions: > I have three questions: > 1) Can "reheating" overcooled wort by adding hot H2O cause problems? No. Disclaimer: I've never done it, but I can't see how this could cause you any real problems. > 2) What can I do to improve the flavor and head of the beer? I would use more malt to raise the gravity to the 1.040 - 1.045 range. This includes using more crystal malt, up to a pound of it. You brewed a fairly low gravity ale, which will tend to have less flavor than one would expect from a homebrew. The added malt extract and crystal should help your head retention as well. If you like the hopping as it is, you should also add a little more hops to compensate for the extra malt. I suggest changing your 15 minute addition to 1 oz. to balance the extra malt. > 3) Why did the carbonation go crazy? It seems your carbonation was pretty steady for several weeks and then went off the scale. To me this says infection, wild yeast or possibly bacterial. Not all infections cause noticeable off-flavors, especially so when the infection is mild. One possibility is that some other critter is in there converting unfermentables to fermentables and then the bottling yeast is making CO2 from it. I suggest you keep 'em cold, drink 'em up, and be wary of possible bottle bombs. Oh, take a little more care in your sanitation. ** Jeff, what makes the Hop Percolator drastically different from a hop back? The hop back is sealed and the (hot) wort flows through it. The hops are in contact with hot liquid for about 20 minutes with my hopback. I realize this isn't the same, but it is close, no? ** Jack's latest lesson involves water chemisty: >From: Robert Schultz <Robert.Schultz at usask.ca> >>I have recently read a few things about the importance of lowering >>the ph of the sparge water to that of the mash. Anyone out there >>have any specifics on the effects of doing/not doing this? >We are eagerly awaiting for KB to post the effects of such things from his >vast experience with wildly varying water supplies (or was it widely varying >extract yields) but until then, I would suggest that you ignore everything >you have read and make a batch using the water as is and then decide if you >need to do anything the NEXT time. The swipe at KB is noise. Ignoring everything you've read is foolish. Brewing, and then adjusting accordingly is good advice. >>What does one normally use to lower the ph -- gypsum, lactic acid? >Crushed malt works very well. It works well to a point. Depending on your water chemistry, it may not be enough, or it may be too much. Gypsum is commonly used to lower mash pH, but if you have lots of sulfates already in your water, it may cause some undesirable flavors. >>My tap water has a ph of about 8.5. >Mine too but by the time the mash gets through buffering it, the pH of the >wort is just fine. The pH of the tap water is a virtually meaningless number. The concentrations of certain ions, such as calcium, sulfate, carbonate, etc. are important. Because Jack's water takes no adjusting means little to most of the homebrewers out there. >It depends on what is causing the "high" pH but throwing a lot of gunk in to >get it down when it may not be necessary is not the way to go about it. True. >It's best to monitor the mash and wort pH before you do anything to the >water. It's good to monitor the mash and wort pH before you do anything to the water. It's even better to get a water report (usually takes one phone call), read the water chapter by Dave Miller (takes an hour), and then use your gray cells. It ain't particle physics. >Don't be surprised if you get a few other opinions on the subject but you >will learn more trying my way. You will learn more by being open-minded and putting forth a little effort. Starting with a couple of test brews (a pale and a dark) and taking some pH readings will get you a long way toward brewing better beer. Many people can get away with doing nothing to the water. Others, like myself, have to make some adjustments which weren't obvious without a water report and some pH readings. Cheers, Norm Return to table of contents
Date: 15 Apr 94 10:09:00 -0500 From: Thomas_Fotovich-U2347 at email.mot.com Subject: Cost of extract vs all-grain Jim West (west at bose.com) said: > ... > Anyhow, at roughly $30 a 5 gallon batch, $15 for a case of beer is a > bargain to me compared to anything in the store I'll consider > drinking. Is the $15-20 savings of going to all grain worth 2-3 > hours of my meager spare time? I don't think so, but your milage may > vary. > ... Well.... The cost of my time is what I want to charge (or accept). There is more to just the material cost savings in all grain brewing. I feel more intimate with the beer (Freud you listening) when I brew all-grain. This may just be the geek in me. I can fiddle with this ingredient or adjust that ingredient With extract brewing I feel I'm just putting together a snap-together plastic model. With all-grain, I feel I'm not only assembling the model, but making all of the pieces as well. #define FLAME_RETARDENT_SUIT (It's like the difference between programming in Pascal or C. Both are better then BASIC (no flames please). Both can be used to create wonderful programs. Pascal is more formal the C. C has the feel of high octane programming.) #undef FLAME_RETARDNET_SUIT Just my plug nickel Paddy Fotovich Motorola UDS u2347 at email.mot.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 1994 13:14:36 -0400 (EDT) From: gt6179d at prism.gatech.edu (Mark Anthony Bayer) Subject: hops mellowing with age? first of all, let me say that i am pretty new to this internet thing, and i'm not sure if this is going to get posted to the right place. i read homebrew news on the "rec." group, and last time i mailed one of these messages, i never saw it appear. however, i DID see a response to it about a week later in one of the HBD collection of messages/faq/things. if i don't see this one either, i'm obviously not completely up on how to do this. now, to the brewing: recently someone posted a message saying their beer was quite hoppy at first, and then the hop flavor/aroma/(bitterness?) "mellowed" as the beer matured in the bottle. i have had exactly the opposite experience with my beers, and let me see if my thoughts on this ring a bell with anyone. i have noticed others posting questions about terminal gravity, about how they're worried because they think it's not low enough. my t.g.'s are not often lower than about 1.018 or so, with s.g.'s of 1.044 to 1.050. these are always all grain lager beers using liquid yeast cultures/ no nutrient. my mash temperatures are generally on the low end of the range, which should mean a more fermentable wort/dry finished beer. i adjust water ph using gypsum, although i don't test it. i have a water summary from the city of atlanta ( where the water is, coincidentally, very soft and neutral). i generally ferment these beers for close to 3 weeks at around 50 degrees. it seems that my beers start off with less hop presence ( at around 3 weeks after bottling), and get drier and drier as they mature, which brings out more hop in the balance and also (slightly) more alcohol. in addition, the "mouth feel" gets thinner. now, is it a valid test to check the gravity of the beer after it's matured? because i'll bet my matured beers' gravities are quite a bit lower than the 1.018-1.020 they have when they're first put in the bottle. so finally, here is my hypothesis: i believe that the priming sugar not only causes the yeast to kick up again and ferment it (the priming sugar), but also helps the yeast to ferment the residual sugars left in the beer after secondary fermentation is over. (i'm implying that my yeast is "pooping out" during secondary fermentation, at least in terms of the "expected" t.g.'s given in recipes, books, etc.) i also think the slight "agitation" of the beer when it's bottled helps to "wake up" the yeast. my beers are always good, but the change in character from 3 weeks to 2 months is quite dramatic. as i said, i'll bet the final gravity of my matured beers is about right, but i wonder if all this bottle fermentation is changing the character of the beer to a great degree. miller says that you get all phases of fermentation in the bottle, including diacetyl production, ester production, etc. can someone comment on how this affects the taste of the beer as compared to getting a lower t.g. before bottling and just having the priming sugar ferment in the bottle? as i said, my beers are generally very good, although i don't know if i would recognize a homebrew ester if i tasted one. gt6179d at prism.gatech.edu (mark bayer) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 1994 13:48:09 -0400 From: ar568 at freenet.carleton.ca (Aaron Shaw) Subject: Guinness hops/Canuck Brewpubs/Watneys Cream In a previous article Thomas Aylesworth asked about Guinness hops. According to beer author Dave Line, Guinness uses Bullion hops and Northern Brewer hops. For a 5 gallon batch, he advises 1 oz. of Bullion hops and 3 oz. of Northern Brewer hops. Both should be added to wort for the final hour of boiling. ********* In a previous article Andy Ross inquired about brew pubs in Toronto and Montreal. In Montreal I would reccomend Le Cheval Blanc(809 rue Ontario E, near rue Berry) and Futenbulles(Bernard and Parc), the latter is a Belgian-accented beer cafe. In Toronto, you should definitely go to C'est What(67 Front St. E). They offer several Ontario micro-brews on tap and a few excellent Belgian ales. The Rotterdam brewpub(600 King St., Tel.:416-868-6882) offers some fine ales and is "Worth seeking out"-Michael Jackson(beer Guru, not the pop- star with questionable sexual tendencies). ********* And yet in another previous article Stuart Siegler asked about a recipe for Watneys Cream Stout, and once again I will rely on Dave Line for this one. WATNEYS CREAM STOUT 3 lb. Malt extract syrup 1/2 lb. Crushed crystal malt 1/2 lb. Crushed black malt 1 lb. Brown sugar 3 tsp. Caramel 1 1/2 oz. Fuggles hops 3 gallons Water for "sweet stout brewing" 1 oz. Home brew beer yeast Boil the malt, grain, and hops in water for 45 minutes Strain off the wort from the hops and grains and sparge. Dissolve the sugar and caramel in boiling water. Cool wort. 4-5 days in the primary. 7-10 in the secondary. Rack the beer off the sediment and prime with corn sugar(1/2 tsp./pint). Allow 7 days maturation. Cheers and Good Luck! - -- "Come my lad, and drink some beer!" Aaron Shaw Ottawa, Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 94 14:23:21 CDT From: Al Gaspar <gaspar at STL-17SIMA.ARMY.MIL> Subject: hoptech ? Is hoptech still around? I was talking to someone about them the other day and I noticed that I couldn't seem to reach hoptech.com. Thanks for the info. Cheers-- Al - -- Al Gaspar <gaspar at stl-17sima.army.mil> USAMC SIMA, ATTN: AMXSI-TTC, 1222 Spruce St., St. Louis, MO 63103-2834 COMMERCIAL: (314) 331-4354 AUTOVON: 555-4354 relay1.uu.net!stl-17sima.army.mil!gaspar Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 94 16:11:37 EDT From: AYLSWRTH at MANVM2.VNET.IBM.COM Subject: re:"topping up" carboy? Chuck Wettergreen wrote: >Thomas Aylesworth < AYLSWRTH at MANVM2.VNET.IBM.COM>> wrote in HBD >#1397: <deleted> >PN> So, I ended up having to top up with >PN> almost 2 gallons of water. > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ <deleted> >Recently in both the HBD and R.C.B. >I have seen a number of cases where (relatively) new brewers are "topping >up" their carboys when racking to a secondary, or in this case, >topping up to make up for hot/cold break losses. In this case, if >Thomas was not doing a full volume boil I can understand adding >water to reach the recipe volume, Yes, I didn't make this clear, but I only do a partial boil. I have a 20 quart stainless steel pot, which allows me to comfortably boil 4.5 gallons of wort. After 1 hour, I am left with between 3.5 and 4 gallons. And, as I said in the post, I seemed to have lost between .5 and 1 gallon due to sediment after chilling. So, I topped up with 2 gallons of boiled water to give me a 5 gallon batch. >but topping up a secondary to >reduce headspace? Am I nuts or has someone come to a miraculous >conclusion that the cause of HSA is headspace in a secondary carboy? Well, I have no idea whether or not you are nuts :-), but I have to admit that I used to top up the secondary myself. I have neither Papazian or Miller in front of me, but I am reasonably sure that Miller has a line in his beginner's section that is something to the effect of "after racking to the secondary, you can top it up to the 5 gallon mark if you want to". I am sure that if I have this completely wrong, or have attributed it to the wrong person, someone here will correct me! But, seriously, I do not believe that he gives any reason for either doing it or not doing it. For my first few batches, I was doing it basically out of a misguided desire to get as many bottles of beer as possible out of a batch. After that, I finally realized that all I was doing was watering down my beer and, in the process, throwing my final gravity reading off a little. So, I now try to put in a little more than 5 gallons in the primary to make up for the relatively small amount I lose to sediment when I rack from primary to secondary, and don't top up the secondary at all. And, above all, I no longer worry if I don't get 50 bottles out of 5 gallons of beer! Thomas Aylesworth Dept. PX8/Space Processor Software Engineering Loral Federal Systems, Manassas, VA - -------------------------------------------------------------------- Internet: aylswrth at manvm2.vnet.ibm.com | PROFS: AYLSWRTH at MANVM2 Phone: (703) 367-6171 | T/L: 725-6171 Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 1994 08:49:52 +1000 (EST) From: David Draper <ddraper at laurel.ocs.mq.edu.au> Subject: Watneys Cream Stout recipe Hi there, in the HBD I just read (sorry forgot the number), there were two requests for a recipe for Watneys Cream Label Stout. Here is Dave Line's version, an extract recipe, taken witout permission from Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy. Caveat brewor: Line's techniques differed from those now thought to be best, especially on the 'net. I.e., no finishing hops, boiled the specialty grains, using sugar, and check out the call for 10 saccharin tablets!! Watneys Cream Label - 5 imperial gallons 3 lb Malt extract syrup 0.5 lb crushed crystal malt (no Lovibond given) 0.5 lb crushed black patent malt 1 lb soft brown sugar (presumably dark brown) 3 teasp. caramel 1.5 oz Fuggles (no aa% given) 10 saccharin tablets yeast Line's method is to boil up the extract, grains, and all the hops in 3 gal water for 45 min., then put this in the fermenter along with the sugar and caramel that had een dissolved in a separate vessel of water (he says only "hot" water). Top up to 5 imp gallons, then pitch yeast and add the saccharin. Ferment 4-5 days then rack to secondary for a week, then bottle. Minimum 7 days bottle maturation. When I made this, I substituted a few ozs of roast barley for the caramel, and added a couple ozs of lactose instead of the saccharin. I had only Edme dried yeast available. I used sugar, and even boiled the grains (this was in my pre-net days). The result was delicious, according to my notes, but who knows, with more up-to-date procedures and good yeast, this will probably improve a lot. Hope this helps-- Cheers, Dave in Sydney - -- ****************************************************************************** David S. Draper School of Earth Sciences, Macquarie University ddraper at laurel.ocs.mq.edu.au NSW 2109 Sydney, Australia Fax: +61-2-805-8428 Voice: +61-2-805-8347 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 94 17:18:06 PDT From: "Mark E. Stull, no DTN 15-Apr-1994 2017" <stull at koal.enet.dec.com> Subject: Summary of kegging woes replies. When I asked my question about my kegging woes, I said I'd summarize and post the results. So here goes.... The strong consensus was that foam is to be expected for the first glass or two. My problem, therefore, seems to be largely self-inflicted: every time I drew a glass, I'd end up changing the pressure - down, because I got foam, then up, because the beer was flat, then up some more because it was still flat, all while letting off most of the pressure to actually dispense the beer. Thus, I must surmise that the beer was never reaching equilibrium with its ever-changing environment. This is supported by the fact that last night, I drew a glass without changing anything (the first time I've drawn two glasses without changing something) and got beer, not foam. There was also a strong consensus that if one is going to force-carbonate the beer, then you should do it right, by shaking the you-know-what out of the chilled beer under fairly high pressure (as high as 30 lbs. was recommended). Several people mentioned using "real" beer taps, instead of cobra taps. Are "real" beer taps hand-held too, or is this referring to the type where you need to do surgery on your fridge to mount them (on the outside)? Where can you get them mailorder? So thanks to everyone for taking the time to help me out. I hope this summary has done justice to your suggestions. Mark E. Stull Digital Equipment Corporation stull at koal.enet.dec.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 1994 13:15:49 +0300 (WET) From: Paul Jeffrey <mspaulj at olive.mscc.huji.ac.il> Subject: Patience / Inconsistent Carbonation Several recent threads on the HBD have emphasised the importance of letting a brew sit in secondary a while before drinking. My own recent experience bears out this advice. An English Ale I made from an extract kit had all sorts of off tastes after two weeks in the bottle. After four weeks both aroma and taste had improved somewhat but I was still very unhappy about the quality. Then, after 7 weeks in store, I opened one of the last bottles and, wonder of wonders, my beer tastes great. So, although there is an understandable eargerness to soak your taste buds and gullet with some home-made brew....Wait, patience is indeed a virtue !! On a more technical note, I have a problem with inconsistent carbonation that some of the more knowledgable HBDers may like to comment on ? I primed with corn syrup but only two in three bottles have carbonation. Any ideas ?? Paul J Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 94 08:15:49 EDT From: repiii at aol.com Subject: Re: using pet bottles To Andy A. I would imagine flavor would suffer after all of that time in plastic but I know someone who regularly fills pet bottles from his keg to take places, even our local home brew club for judging, and it works out well. One trick is to run a tube from the tap and fill from the bottom. I'm sure if you were determined you could do the same with a funnel and very careful pouring from bottles. Of course the beer would have to be drunken within a day or two but I'm sure that isn't a problem. I'ts better than paying $3.50 a cup for sub-par beer. Did you know that there is a micro brew stand at Camden Yards now? It's on Eutaw St., somebody from our club harrased ARA enough that they let him open one. Apparently they have DeGroens (Baltimore Brewing), Sissions, and I think Olivers (Wharf Rat) on tap and Blue Ridge in Bottles. My first game this year is on Wednesday, I will definatly quaff a few then. I might catch some of the ball game too. Hope to see you in the O'szone sometime. Roger P. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 1994 11:35:37 -0400 (EDT) From: EPETTUS at Gems.VCU.EDU Subject: REQUEST As a brewer and faithful follower of the word of Papizian, I was thrilled to discover this address in "Hands on Internet." Iam a new internet user as revealed by the book I found you in, but have several brew budies and brothers who will eagerly awaitnews from the research front of zygermology. Thank you, Ted Pettus Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 94 11:47:35 EDT From: Pierre Jelenc <pcj1 at columbia.edu> Subject: Torrefied Wheat Andrew S. McKenzie (asm at med.unc.edu) asks: >One clarifier: for what ever reason there is a terminology chasm >associiated with this word "torrified" that leads many to direct me to >cereal aisle at the local grocery. I don't want puffed wheat for >breakfast and I certainly don't want it in my beer. Crosby & Baker's use >of this word applies to a hard "pearled" grain. So any help or discussion >would be most helpful. To torrefy (note, "e", not "i") when applied to food products simply means to dry-roast with the purpose of flavor development or enhancement: thus, coffee beans are torrefied. To torrefy your own wheat, spread it on a cookie sheet in a medium-low oven (225-250F) and roast it with frequent stirring until done to the desired level. Pierre Pierre Jelenc pcj1 at columbia.edu Columbia University, New York Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 94 14:00:47 EDT From: shoej at aol.com Subject: Berliner Weiss I didnt use any "artificial" agent in my Berliner Weiss. I followed the directions on making a sour mash in TNCJOHB. I added a half pound of crushed malt to the completed mash, and let it sit overnight in the picnic cooler where the mash was done. It stunk like heck and the sparge was a monster, but the beer had a real nice lactic tan Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 94 14:02:41 EDT From: shoej at aol.com Subject: San Francisco Could anyone that knows the San Francisco area let me know what brewpubs/microbreweries I should visit while I am there the week of the 25th. Please send replies to shoej at aol.com Thanks Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 1994 15:24:43 -0400 (EDT) From: Kinney Baughman <BAUGHMANKR at conrad.appstate.edu> Subject: Water's effect on yield and beer quality The last issue of HBD contained the latest barb from JACK SCHMIDLING (tm): > We are eagerly awaiting for KB to post the effects of such things from his > vast experience with wildly varying water supplies (or was it widely varying > extract yields) but until then, I would suggest that you ignore everything > you have read ... My humble suggestion this time, as it has been in the past when you and I have argued the obvious, is to do your homework, Jack. For starters, I would suggest Chapter 11 of _The Big Book of Brewing_ by Dave Line and Chapters 7 and 9 in _Malting and Brewing Science_. Sorry I can't give you the details just now but I have more important things on my front burner these days. To whet your appetite, though, here are a couple of points/quotes: "During the mashing process, the conversion of the malt starch to sugar can only take place if the mixture of the crushed grain and water is slightly acidic in nature. So MINUTE IS THE AMOUNT OF ACID NEEDED that even the common salts found in ordinary water supplies are enough to upset the delicate reactions." (emphasis mine) _The Big Book of Brewing_, p. 84. It should come as no surprise that the pH of water is important during the mash. Consider that you aren't going to make beer from distilled water, for example. It's chemically neutral. Commercial brewers use sulphuric, lactic and sometimes hydrochloric and phosphoric acid to adjust the pH of mashing liquor. And as Line points out, "ordinary mineral salts in our water supplies can promote or decrease the effective acidity ... (and can be used) to make the SUBTLE CHANGES needed to create the OPTIMUM CONDITIONS for the (brewing) reactions (which depend on acidity)." _The Big Book of Brewing_, p. 88. (emphasis mine) "The first consideration in brewing must alway be to create the best environment for the enzymes to work in the mashing stage. Salts of temporary hardness cause alkalinity and those of permanent hardness promote acidity. Since brewing reactions need, and are critcally sensitive to, the amount of acidity in the mah liquor, then obviously the QUANTITY and the TYPE of hardness that is present is extremely important." (Emphasis is Line's) _The Big Book of Brewing_, p. 92. And from _Malting and Brewing Science_, p. 208. "Other chapters describe in detail the effects of salts on mashing, wort boiling, fermentation and finally beer quality. At this stage it is sufficient to note that in mashing, enzyme activity and enzyme stability is influenced and therefore THE YIELD OF EXTRACT. (emphasis mine) At the same time, the pH level and concentration of phosphates in the mash and derived wort are strongly affected by particular salts. Extraction of hop bitter substances and precipitation of tannins and proteins are influenced by both the pH level of the wort and the concentrations of salts. Fermentation, growth and flocculation of the yeast are similarly affected, and finally beer flavour stability, foaming and gushing are also influenced." Let's see, that means that salts in water affect pH, mashing, enzyme activity, enzyme stability, yield of extract, extraction of hop bitter substances, the precipitation of tannins and proteins, fermentation, growth and flocculation of yeast, beer flavour stability, foaming and gushing. Did I leave out anything important here? I hate to be flip but these things might affect the final quality of your beer, commercially brewed or otherwise, Jack. Please let me get back to work, OK? - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kinney Baughman | Beer is my business and baughmankr at conrad.appstate.edu | I'm late for work. - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 94 15:43 CDT From: arf at mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: ORACLE SPEAKS >From: ulick at ulix.cheg.nd.edu >1) How does the oracle store all the wort that comes off his laueter tun before he can remove the spent grain and start to boil? The oracle has a hole in the kitchen floor through which a tube carries the wort from the mash tun to the boiling kettle >2) How does the oracle start his boil at first running while his boiler is still being used as a laeuter tun? He doesn't and it isn't. He starts his boil after 5 or more gallons have been transfered to the kettle. >3) How does the Oracle heat his sparge water if his big pot was used as the mash tun and lauter tun? (I know the answer to this, but drilling a hole in the kitchen floor to run a pipeline from the kitchen to the brew is not an option for me). The pipeline is for the sweet wort. The Oracle, of course, uses an EASYSPARGER (tm) to heat sparge water as it is used. >4) How does the oracle do decoction mashes with one big pot? (I know he does. He does the decoction heating in a 2 gal kettle. >He made a damned good PU clone). Mortals have come to expect that from the Oracle. In fact, most folks consider PU a good immitation of Oracle beer. However, I believe there was some other message in the questions from the mortal and perhaps there is some confusion in his mind. But that is what mortals are all about isn't it? The EM installed in a kettle, even the 32 qt canner, is touted as a single kettle, all grain system. It is or can be, but need not be. When used that way, it is the least expensive and simplest to use all-grain system. All that is required is a plastic bucket or carboy to hold the wort between operations. It is assumed that when one's knowledge of the art and/or budget allows, a second kettle will be added so that lautering and boiling can be carried on at the same time. The smaller kettle can be used for ever as the mash tun for up to 10 gal batches and the new kettle might be a larger ss one for boiling. >By the way, the Easymasher (TM) again failed miserably for filtering my chilled wort - it may have been because of all the break, but I think that advirtising the product as a hop filter is ah, ... It has worked for exactly one out of the 10 or so batches I've tried it for, and even that one I had to leave draining overnight. The Oracle, of course, has no such problems and has used an EM in the boiler for several years to filter out the hops. It appears that we need to have some feedback from more mortals to determine whether or not false advertising is at issue or just that there are more oracles then we think. I am not opposed to exposing myself to a public survey but to go more than half way in being unbiased, I propose that all participants send their inputs to YOU (ulick at ulix.cheg.nd.edu) and YOU report back to the group. The only stipulation I insist on is that only commercial versions, i.e., EASYMASHER (tm) be considered in the report. That is, they must be made by ORACLE, Inc. aka JACK SCHMIDLING PRODUCTIONS. >From: birkelan at adtaz.sps.mot.com (Joel Birkeland) >If Jack Schmidling did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.... Also, I doubt if I would have tried all-grain brewing without an Easymasher. It is by far the simplest approach I have seen. If people like Joel did not exist, I would have to invent them and then where would the ORACLE be? Perhaps you could break the ice by sharing your views on hop filtering with Ulick. If you don't hop filter with the EM just lie to him, don't spoil our fun. >From: Jim Busch <busch at daacdev1.stx.com> >Ulick, do you use whole hops? I would think that even the EM would work if you are using whole hops. Interestingly, the only time I ever had a problem with the EM clogging was the very first time I used home grown hops. The flower sepals seem to have wrapped themselves around the strainer and effectively sealed it off. It was a simple matter to blow gently into the outflow tube to clear the strainer but I had to do it several times before it went away. It was also the first time I every used fresh (dry) whole hops and concluded that there might be a problem here but it has never happened since and I always use some fresh or plug hops in all my beer. Many of them are totally fresh hops so I have now concluded that it was a fluke. Not sure why Ulick is having a consistant problem but it might have something to do with the method of chilling, and settling prior to transferring. I rarely transfer my wort to the fermenter in less than several hours from end of boil. This can be two or as much as 8 hours later. I let it settle naturally and move nothing from the time I drop in the chiller till I am done transferring the wort. I can imagine that whirlpooling, stirring or otherwise upsetting the sediment could create totally different conditions. js Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 94 16:34:37 EST From: JEBURNS at ucs.indiana.edu Subject: SUGAR/CHEAP EQUIPMENT/Party Pigs First let me say that I enjoyed reading Jeff Frane's recent article in Zymurgy. It was well written and interesting. I enjoy trying different things in beer, and have no qualms about making a beer that is not all malt. I'm sure that an entire book could be written on the subject of adjuncts in beer. The fact that he is a regular on HBD is great, it allows readers to ask questions and maybe have them answered by the author himself. One of the questions I had was regarding the corn sugar tradition amoung homebrewers (How did it begin? Why does it continue?) For those that didn't read the article here is the passage that piqued my interest. "Homebrewing conventions insist on using corn sugar for priming, but there is little logic behind this. In England and Belgium, commercial brewers order custom blends...for priming, based on years of experience. The use of corn sugar appears to be limited to homebrewers, or commercial brewers (like those at Sierra Nevada) who began as homebrewers. It's time I believe, to set aside the conventional wisdom and find out what really works. So if you're interested, grit your teeth and substitute cane sugar or brown sugar for corn sugar when bottling your next ale." The question that I posted previously was since this is usually less than a cup would there be a taste difference. Tim posted a taste test that revealed no difference between brown and corn sugar. The idea of using brown sugar or Turbinado in a beer sounds like fun and I was hoping for some input from people about what kind of flavors some of these adjuncts would give beer if used in the boil. Re: cheap equipment. I agree with the guy in the cheapskate club, it is certainly possible to brew all-grain with a minimum of equipment. If you do there is a significant price difference between all-grain and extract. It's true that if you spend a $1000 Stoelting setup or something like that you are going to have to brew for a *long* time to break even, BUT the economical side of all-grain is there if that is a concern for you ( I know it is for me ). Party Pigs. I thought they looked like a great invention after reading a short blurb in a mag. Then I got a catalog and checked it out further. It seems you have to buy a disposable "air bag" type thing that has to be replaced each time you fill it. They cost $3.50. So for a 5 gallon batch it would cost $7 to "pig it" If someone is using one of these and I am mistaken in how they work let me know. Like I said they *looked* like a good thing at first. Sorry about such a long post, but sometimes in an effort to conserve bandwidth brevity can be misconstrued as being offensive. And yes I know I spelled among wrong. Once I hit return I can no longer edit text on my machine. Coyote, Bloomington looks NOTHING like Gary, Indiana. It actually has lots of trees and a few rolling hills. No offense to anyone in Gary, but the section we rode through on the train was probably the ugliest place I have ever seen that hadn't been bombed recently. Dave Burns jeburns at ucs.indiana.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 94 18:29:48 -0400 From: Wayne_A_Sawdon at MENDOCINO.MACH.CS.CMU.EDU Subject: Spiced Barleywine While we are on the subject of barleywine, I was wondering if anyone has experience making a spiced barleywine, perhaps like a John Barleycorn. Given that I plan to age it for a year and I expect a final gravity in the mid 20's, should I double or perhaps triple the amount of spice from a standard spiced ale recipe? Does anyone have a favorite recipe they would be willing to share? -Wayne Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 1994 07:43:03 EDT From: Bob Bessette <bessette at uicc.com> Subject: Mash-out Confusion... Those of you who are regulars know that I have been making a lot of inquiries about going to all-grain and I'm just trying to do it right. I don't want to go out and buy a lot of equipment and found out later I should've done it some other way. Well, I'm confused... I recently posted a question about which type of cooler to buy. The concensus was that Gott (made by Rubbermaid now?) cooler was the best to buy for mashing. It could either be circular or rectangular. Some say rectangular is fine, others say circular was better. I had mentioned that I was going to mash within the cooler and transfer to a Phil's Lautertun for sparging. Most of you told me not to bother moving the mash liquid to another vessel. Just rig up the cooler to do sparging as well. Well OK, I thought well that might be the most frugal and less cumbersome way to handle it. Now I read about this step called mash-out in TCHOHB by Miller. He says on page 130, "I consider the mash-out step mandatory. In fact, one of the greatest disadvantages of the picnic cooler mash-lauter is that there is no simple way to heat the goods in it before sparging." He also says, "I have tried omitting the mash-out and encountered very difficult sparging as a consequence." OK, you picnic-cooler mash-spargers must be leaving out a somewhat essential step (at least according to Miller) unless I'm missing something. When I viewed an all-grain session the mash-out step was stressed to me as being very important. Please give me some guidance here. I don't want to go out and buy a cooler, rig it up for sparging, and then be unable to perform an essential step in the sparging process... Bob Bessette (future all-grainer...) bessette at uicc.com Systems Analyst Unitrode Integrated Circuits Merrimack, NH 03087 Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 94 12:02:09 EDT From: sims at scra.org (Jim Sims) Subject: re: bottling early & !strong Grolsch bottles **Date: Thu, 14 Apr 94 9:57:58 MDT **From: npyle at n33.ecae.stortek.com **Subject: Early bottling / Jeff did it **Michael Ell writes that he bottled his ale early (1.028). I agree that this **is early, but you have less to worry about than you might think. If the **bottles are truly "similar to Grolsch" then I would venture to say you will **not have bottle bombs. The Grolsch bottles are especially thick and the **rubber seal at the top will give up before the glass. My limited experience goes counter to this. THe only bottle bomb i have ever had was a Grolsch bottle... Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 94 18:15:00 UTC From: r.call at genie.geis.com Subject: Its hard for me to believe that after hundreds of years of brewing and thousands of test being taken by the sharpest people in brewing that the idea of not recirculating your wort would not be in vogue as we write! Why would the big breweries and some of the most educated and most decorated brewers continue to take the extra time and effort to recirculate if it were not needed or didn't have any possitive effects. Why would every major publication of brewing cover this procedure in detail and discuss its positive aspects? Why would the publications not tell us "But you really dont need this procedure in your brewing process, so dont worry about it." I know things do change. Look at how the Germans used to do a triple decoction mash and now they might use only a single. I know things do change but I have to believe Millers reasons for recirculating. I must admit, I cut down the time I used to recirculate after discussing this area with Micah. Instead of doing it until the wort is clear I now only do it until the chunks are gone. I do believe in the oxygen uptake theory at high temps so I believe shortening your recycle time helps in this area but for stability in competition brews look into filtering your beers! I believe if a test were done we could prove that filtering has a greater effect on beer that has to undergo the rigers of UPS and the temp fluctuations that occur to our beers in transit to the competition. >>My Two Cents Worth<<>>Keep on Recircin<< Ray Call r.call at genie.geis.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 94 20:37:21 HOE From: "Antonio S. Reher" <CUANTICA at vm1.sdi.uam.es> Subject: Need help Hi, This is a novice speaking, so please take heart :) I am desperately seeking a homebrew's supplies outlet anywhere near Spain that deli- vers by mail. My best bet would be in the U.K. or something, but I really don't know. Anybody have any ideas?? I need help in a hurry... I have a batch of Belgian Ale from a set I bought in the U.S. that needs a-bottling :) Please send your mail to CUANTICA at vm1.sdi.uam.es Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 94 16:26:17 CDT From: GHMILLER <GHMILLER at MUSIC.LOYNO.EDU> Subject: Budvar labels/sanitation Greetings fellow brewers, two items from me today... 1. Would the gentleman who posted last Monday re: Budweiser Budvar labels kindly email me his address? The message I sent bounced "host unknown". 2. I have lost my first five batches in a row to contamination, and I just don't know what else to do. I've tried marathon bleach solution soaks, kitchen scrubdowns, antibacterial washes on anything remotely near the wort, etc. Anyone have a miracle cure that worked for them? Thanks, Eric Miller ghmiller at music.loyno.edu Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1401, 04/18/94