HOMEBREW Digest #1527 Thu 15 September 1994

Digest #1526 Digest #1528

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Cider experience (Jeff Benjamin)
  re: High ambient temperatures (R. Keith Frank, DCR&D, 409-238-9880)
  Auto Sparger... (Jack Schmidling)
  White Scum in Secondary (Aaron Shaw)
  chokes (RONALD DWELLE)
  More Hop Chatter / Cider (COYOTE)
  Temperature control for refrigerator (Joe McCarthy)
  hot liquor tank/hops and light/hop storage (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  Water Analysis and CO3 levels (EDGELL)
  Sierra filename for Rich Webb's  all-grain guide (Darren Tyson)
  Celis article (KWH)
  Experienced Brewers (Dave Scroggins)
  NW extracts (uswlsrap)
  Questions about "Cranbeery Ale" (Dan Sherman)
  A real crack up (Bart Thielges)
  How to not spew fruit ("Steven W. Smith")
  Pumpkin Ale recipe (Mark A. Stevens)
  Upper west side pre-war s ("RYAN.WNETS385")
  Temperature/ESP/ Silly Posts? (Pronto Connections)
  Rick Gontarek's barrels question/UK Kit ("LOWE, Stuart")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 10:44:56 MDT From: Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> Subject: Cider experience There have been a number of requests for info about cider lately, so I thought I'd share my limited but successful cider-making experience. I have a golden delicious apple tree in my back yard. Last year it put off copious amounts of fruit, so I picked a couple of large boxes full (maybe 50 lbs), added a few store-bought granny smiths, and decided to try my hand at cider making. Most folks out there don't pick and press their own apples, and I don't think I will any more either unless I get access to proper equipment. I had no mill to pulverize the apples, so I used a rubber mallet and a cutting board. What a pain! I also had to cover the apples with a cloth before I whacked them to avoid getting apple spooge all over the kitchen. Then the mush went into a small (2 gal or so) hand press. Tighten down the press, smoosh a few more apples, crank down the press some more.... Anyway, after all that work and several hours I ended up with only two gallons of juice. But very tasty juice, mind you. The original gravity was about 1.050. I decided to boost the sugar content with a couple of pounds of brown sugar, which brought the gravity up to 1.070. I was a little leery about taking a chance on wild yeast in my precious must, so I used campden tablets to sterilize it. I added a couple of crushed tablets, then waited 24 hrs. Then I pitched a package of Wyeast champagne yeast, popped on an airlock, and let it go. The gravity came down quickly, and in a couple of weeks it was below 1.000. After a month, I racked the cider to a secondary. The flavor was clean and wonderfully apple-y, but a little "green" tasting still. After two months, the flavors had mellowed and blended nicely. Yum! I racked again and let it age for another month or so before bottling, some still, some with added priming sugar for sparkle. The final product was very dry and clean, but retained the wonderful apple aroma. It was about 9% alcohol (whew!), and tasted more like a very fruity white wine than traditional hard cider. I preferred the sparkling bottles; the fine carbonation helped to cut the alcoholic-ness a little bit. My second batch of cider was from store-bought, preservative-free apple juice. This batch was much easier: just dump the juice into a sanitized carboy, pitch some yeast (I used Wyeast sweet mead yeast), and off it goes. I decided not to boost the gravity to keep the alcohol content down, though it will still be 5-6%. Just rack a few times to clear it, and give it plenty of time to age. Easy and delicious. This year I may try inoculating some store-bought juice with a small amount of fresh-pressed juice, to get naturally fermented cider without all the work. In summary, cider is even easier to make than beer, although it takes longer to age IMHO. Campden tablets are fine to use if you're worried about unpasteurized juice, and almost any type of beer or wine yeast can make good cider. Give it a try. - -- Jeff Benjamin benji at fc.hp.com Hewlett Packard Co. Fort Collins, Colorado "Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium." - T.S. Eliot Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 1994 12:44:32 -0500 From: keithfrank at dow.com (R. Keith Frank, DCR&D, 409-238-9880) Subject: re: High ambient temperatures I'm posting this as a response to Lenny Garfinkel's message with a related question to the HBD. I deal with the same issue of higher than optimum room temperatures. BOTTLES Regarding high ambient temperatures for bottled homebrew my experience says this is not "critical", although it certainly isn't desirable. In 1993 I bottled a Texas Brown Ale (ferment temp. 74-82) on April 6 and an IPA (ferment temp 68-75) on June 19. They were stored at house ambient temperature, which is 78-85 during the summer months (we don't run the A/C when not at home). I thought the beers tasted very good for months. Each one took third place in the Dixie Cup in October, which is only mentioned to illustrate some outside confirmation of my taste opinions. I usually find that my beers will hold their peak flavor for about 2-3 months when stored at ambient. First to go is hop aroma, followed by a gradual deterioration in taste quality. (Not a judge, can't be more detailed.) FERMENTATION I use a fairly cheap system that works reasonably well. Fill a plastic bucket, or better yet a 48 quart or larger Igloo ice chest, with enough water to cover the liquid level on a glass carboy. Or just fill it as full as you can. Put a large Blue Ice block (or just ice) in the water to get it to the temperature you want. I keep an extra ice block in the freezer and alternate them in the morning and late afternoon. I've found the Igloo works better than the uninsulated plastic bucket. It easily holds a water temperature 10-14 deg F cooler than ambient, and has less temperature swings than the bucket. A 48 qt. Igloo cooler will hold two 5 gal glass carboys. I have to use the bucket for my 6.7 gal carboy. Keep a thermometer in the water to monitor temperature and take notes for future reference. The problem with a towel and fan is you don't know what the temperature around the carboy is. Here in Humidistan I don't count on much evaporative cooling, even in an air conditioned house. The July/August issue of Brewing Techniques covers ways to handle high ambient fermentations, but doesn't mention the bucket method. Thanks to those at a '93 Austin homebrew club meeting who suggested it to me. Miller's book, Complete Joy of Homebrewing, discusses temperature effects in the Fermentation chapter. He mentions that it is most critical at the beginning/early stages of fermentation. Which brings me to my question. When I have multiple batches going and don't have enough bucket/Igloo capacity I've been letting the secondary fermenters sit at room temperature, saving my cooling set-up for the primary fermenters. This worked very well for two recent pale ale batches. Am I just asking for trouble? Typical yeasts are Wyeast 1056 and 1333 with a starter. I'll soon have some results from 4 batches done this way over the last few weeks - pale ale, IPA, brown ale, cream ale. My recommendations to Lenny, based solely on experience (no detailed bibliography): - You can make good beer now, don't wait until the cooler weather - Be especially careful about sanitation in warmer weather - Use a liquid yeast and starter to maximize clean flavor - Control temperature at least during the primary fermentation, throughout if possible - Don't worry about the bottles if consumed quickly - Darker beers will mask problems more than lighter ones Bruce DeBolt c/o keithfrank at dow.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 13:35 CDT From: arf at genesis.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Auto Sparger... >As an update to that discussion, I now feel that my "whirly gig" is pretty essential for the following reasons... I use, what seems to be, the British method of completely draining the grain bed before sparging. I say this is a British method as it would appear that this is frowned upon by many US brewers but... Frowned on or not, if you choose to use a method that requires such a device it is a bit like saying that you must have unleaded gas because your choice of car won't run on leaded gas. It seems sort of a self-inflicted pain. I am not sure why you use the "British" method but if it is for efficiency, you a barking up the wrong tree. It is much more efficient to sparge in the more "traditional" manner. > Using this method, I achieve a run-off/sparge time of 45-60 minutes and a mash efficiency of between 88%-92% (31 - 33 pts). If these numbers are correct than there is not much room for improvement but neither is there any reason to do it that way if efficiency is you aim. > Doesn't seem to be much of a problem to me - I use a 5.5 Imp. gallon Electrim bin which has an electric element and a thermostat which keeps the temp. within 1 deg. C either way of what I set it to. No problem other than that I don't want a 5 gallon pot of hot water around if I can avoid it and furthermore, I need almost 10 gals of sparge water and the problem gets worse as a function of batch size. js Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 1994 15:22:47 -0400 From: ar568 at freenet.carleton.ca (Aaron Shaw) Subject: White Scum in Secondary I am presently brewing a Belgian style brown ale made from all grain. The thing is that this beer produced a thick white skin after a week in the secondary fermentor (carboy). What I want to know is: What the hell is this scum? Is my beer (pray to God) still going to be any good? Here is some background information. -The malts were both Belgian and Canadian. -O.G. of 1050. -The hops were fresh Northern Brewer and Hallertau. -The yeast was made from the bottom third of a bottle of Chimay mixed with a 1/2 litre of 1020s.g. wort. -Primary and secondary ferments were both done in glass carboys with air-lock. Any help or information will be greatly appreciated. P.S. I consider myself to be quite anal when it comes to sanitation of my equipment. - -- "Come my lad, and drink some beer!" Aaron Shaw Ottawa, Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 15:31:30 EST From: dweller at GVSU.EDU (RONALD DWELLE) Subject: chokes I have access to some sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes)--they are a sunflower with underground tubers that taste sort of like a cross between a cabbage and a potato. There seems to be plenty of starch in them. Has anyone used them in a mash? Quantity relative to grains? Results? Receipes? TIA. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 1994 13:42:32 -0600 (MDT) From: COYOTE <SLK6P at cc.usu.edu> Subject: More Hop Chatter / Cider Alan of Austin (lazy but not worthless) states: >Now, I'll admit right up front that I've never dried a hop in my life (even though I am lookin' forward to it about a year from now), but why is everyone worried about oxygen, heat, & light exposure to the hops during drying when the little fellas have been sitting outside in the full sun all summer long? The difference (IMHO) is that on the plant the hop cones are supplied by essential juices and nutrients from the plant. When the cone is severed from the main stem these juice sources are eliminated. Now the cone and lupulin glands begin to experience senesence. Plants respond to wounds by a number of changes in their internal chemistry. Cutting a plants leaf will result in rapid internal chemical changes and signals which can be identified all the way down to the roots. Removing a cone, or a fruit speeds up the ripening or aging process of the harvested portion of plant. If you pluck a leaf from a plant the leaf will wither and die. It becomes brown and dry in the process. During fall this same process occurs naturally on the plant (often including some GLORIOUS color changes! ). Fruit picking also does the same thing. I'd be MOST inclined to think that hop cones fall under the same experience overall. I've even observed the stems of the plant to weep and drip juices after picking a cone. I'd guess the ants are after this joyous juice! Bastards! Anywho: There IS a difference between sun and air hitting a cone ON a vine vs. sun and air hitting a harvested cone. That is- as long as the cone is still green! If it becomes overripe- and dry ON the vine it will be subject to degradation. Determining the ideal "ripeness" of cones is a fine art I am endeavoring to master. I choose to err on the "not yet ripe enough" side, than the "oops too far. Crispy!" side. (editorial note: a Change from a green/waxy/springy feel to a papery, darker, possible browning on edges kind of look. Check inside the "petals" for yellow-sticky lupulin glands/xtals) I'd be curious to know if anyone else has opinions on Mr. Tinseth's theory about oxidation as a necessary part of the curing process. I'm still not fully convinced. But I can see the thoughts to have some merit. But that is the first I've heard of oxidation being required during drying. Could you tell me (us) of where/how you heard this? References? What if one were to dry under a nitrogen, or CO2 atmosphere? Would the hops be deficient in bittering and aromatic ability? Convince me! *** Mark Witherspoon's Hops were chewed....but by what? (Wither-ed hops! Get it! :) At 35' tall I'd expect you have a pretty potent mass of plant! What could devestate it so completely? Or is it just lower growth? Did you ever have burs form? I've heard one person say he had heard it suggested to remove the lower leaves so as to discourage chewers and disease which are more likely to begin at the lower parts of the plant. I've had spider mites attack from the bottom up. Ants chewed/sucked on lower portions of stem, while and and earwigs and grasshoppers climbing all up and down my precious vines. BUT: They are still green and happy, plenty of mature cones already harvested and dried, and more still on their way. Many of these were first year cuttings rooted from vines at my old place. They all seem strong enough to overwinter. (with a little help from my mulch) SO: What's been buggin' ya? *** JEFF M. MICHALSKI want some CIDER: 1) Does anyone boil or pasteurize the fresh cider? If so, what temps or how long? 2) Any chemical methods of pasteurizing the cider? Campden tablets or similar? * Don't boil. Pasteurize at 160 d F, 30-60 min- is ok. I've used campden (at 1/2 recommended dosage) with success. Just rack and splash after 24 hrs. Pectic enzyme can help too. 3) Choice of yeasts? Ale (which varieties), champagne,wild? * I prefer wine yeasts myself. But that's cuz I add honey/B.sugar. For straight cider, ale yeasts would be fine. Champagne for dry, epernay or montrachet for a sweeter product. 4) Flavor adjuncts? (brown sugar, honey, spices) * Adding honey makes a Cyser. I've done 4 gallons cider with 5# honey. Heat the honey with water to dissolve and add to treated cider. 4# of brown sugar made a very wine-like product. Adds color too. The quality of your cider will affect the product. Go for fresh pressed, something on the sweeter side, rather than too much tart. I've also tried the straight- do nothing to it, just let it go- approach. THIS I've found requires a full year of aging to balance. But then it was quite nice. It can get a rather rancid- vomit like smell early on, but it does age out! I prefer to at least pitch some additional yeasts in. These days you can't be sure the apples were clean enough, and no-one wants E.coli in their cider! Spices? Yeah- you betcha. Cinnamon, a classic. Clove and nutmeg in smaller doses. Might I suggest- ferment it out, then make a tea of spice(s) at bottling time. You can even spice different bottles differently. \-\-/ John (The Coyote) Wyllie SLK6P at cc.usu.edu \-\-/ *PS: I'm tired of all the wasted crap myself! There is more battling over what is worth posting, than worthwhile posts! I vowed to stay out of this one but I just want to say- DROP IT ALREADY! So Bruce is an asshole! So some people ARE tired of answering beginners question. Then DON'T! Al will! Once in a while- even I will. Yes there are other sources. Use them. Personally I HATE dredging through past archives (read- I DON'T!), especially when you can COUNT on the same old topics coming up again and again. And who the hell keeps giving out the digest number as the request line! Blah blah, gripe, moan, groan, bitch, moan some more. I've wasted LOTS of valuable bandwidth in my time and I don't give a damn! I feel like- on occasion (not this one) I've also made useful contributions. So break a carboy over my head! Singe me with inoculating loops. I love it! Just don't spend lots of time complaining about the complainers who have complained that they don't like all the complaining going on! Ever see Sat Night Live's- "The Whiners"? - and NO- that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with brewing! so THERE!- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 1994 16:12:06 -0400 From: Joe McCarthy <jmccarth at stimpy.cs.umass.edu> Subject: Temperature control for refrigerator I just picked up a second [used] refrigerator to use for storing my bottled beer and/or for brewing lagers. I used Spencer Thomas' beer page to scan the HBD archives for postings regarding "airstat" and "controller", and found several discussions of controllers made by Hunter (discontinued), Johnson Controls, Honeywell and others. What I'm wondering, though, is whether I even _need_ a controller. I take it that the purpose of installing a special controller is to more precisely (and reliably?) regulate the temperature in the refrigerator. I assume that this is because wide temperature fluctuations are bad for the yeast. One question I have, though, is how much temperature fluctuation is _too_ much? Once I finish installing a new outlet and turn the refrigerator on, I plan to monitor it for a while, to see what setting gets closest to 50 degrees, and then check the temperature as soon as the refrigerator compressor turns on (the warmest temperature at that setting?) and as soon as it turns off (the coldest temperature at that setting?), with the hope that this will tell me how widely the temperature will fluctuate. Another question I have is whether I can use this refrigerator both to brew beer and to store bottled beer, since the latter use will entail opening and closing the refrigerator much more often than the former use (and may add to the temperature fluctuations). Another, related question has to do with changing the temperature settings. If I run the refrigerator at 50 degrees during primary fermentation, and then turn it down to ~35 degrees for lagering, will the 15 degree change in temperature have any adverse effects on the bottled beer already in the refrigerator? Thanks, in advance, for any help. Joe. Return to table of contents
Date: 13 Sep 94 20:40:00 GMT From: korz at iepubj.att.com (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: hot liquor tank/hops and light/hop storage Jack writes: > First of all, the ring with holes in it is totally unnecessary. Well, > let's say it is about as unnecessary as whirly gig sparger made by that > other supplier. I believe that it is important to keep the lauter tun covered when using one of those rotating sparging arms. Here's my theory- if you keep the lid on, more O2 will be purged out of the vessel's headspace by the steam and thus the falling water will not pick up significant O2, thus minimizing Hot Side Aeration of the mash. No? > Secondly, I have little inclination to heat up vast quantities of sparge > water only to use it at the rate of a controlled leak. Yes, but Jack, this is because you are (as you put it) blessed with Lake Michigan water and have to do very little if anything to the water to maintain a decent pH. If one was to have to add Gypsum or Lactic Acid to their sparge water, a continuous-sparge-water-maker like the EasySparger would not be feasable or at least not be easy to use. Perhaps some kind of time-release gypsum cake (1000 sparges?)? ********** Regarding light damage to hops, I had a conversation with Dr. Alfred Haunold (who is in charge of Hop Breeding and Genetics for the USDA) about hops and light and, to summarize, he said that light really only affects the appearance of the hops and does virtually nothing to their bittering or aromatic qualities. ********* Mark writes: >I'm already drying them, putting them in zip-lock bags, and trying to >squeeze as much air out as possible (by setting an anvil on the filled >bag) before sealing, then dropping them in the freezer. Is there some >type of more effective packaging that I can do to create a better barrier?? Regular, grocery-store-variety, Zip-lock bags are made of HDPE and are NOT oxygen barrier. Even at cold temperatures the hops will lose quite a bit of bittering potential and aromatic qualities. What you can use is glass jars with gasketted seals or talk to your homebrew supply store about getting you some real oxygen-barrier bags. They are available from their wholesalers. If you use glass, don't use the anvil technique (pick that one up from Wyllie Coyote?) -- purge with CO2 or N2 if you have access. For the barrier bags, you can get heat sealers for under $30, I believe, from Service Merchandise or any number of mailorder houses. The large, approx 8"x12", ziplock, O2-barrier bags are rather expensive -- I would imagine they would retail at about $0.50 each and would hold about 4 to 6 ounces of whole hops. You can get smaller oxygen-barrier heat-sealable bags without the ziplock for quite a bit less money (like $0.10 - $0.20). If your local supplier is unable or unwilling to sell you barrier bags, send me email and I'll see if I can help. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 1994 15:54:26 -0500 (CDT) From: EDGELL at uwmfe.neep.wisc.edu Subject: Water Analysis and CO3 levels Hi, I recently received a water analysis from my local water utility (Madison, WI). I am not sure about a few things on it and talking to the utility spokesman did not clear everything up. I have gone through my old brewing magazines and texts but still not sure of my methods. Could someone please tell me if I am on the right track. The highlights of the analysis, in ppm(mg/l) are: Alkalinity Total(CaCO3) 315 Calcium Total 81.4 Cloride 33 Hardness Total(CaCO3) 390 Iron .15 Magnesium Total 44.6 Sodium Total 13.6 Sulfate Total 53 pH Lab 7.69 The Alkalinity and Hardness total both mention CaCO3 but actually neither are a measure of CaCO3. The numbers represent the equivalent amount of CaCO3 required for the measured alkalinity/hardness. Most of the alkalinity will come from CaCO3 or MgCO3 and both of those are about 60% CO3 by weight. The actual amount of CO3 can be estimated as 60% of the alkalinity or 189ppm. This is backed up by the fact that the sum of the Ca and Mg exactly equals the other 40%. Unfortunately this may be simply a co-incidence as other wells in the survey don't follow this very closely. The difference between the alkalinity and hardness numbers I have attributed to permanent hardness. Next I tried to determine the effect boiling would have on my water. Boiling removes all but about 30-40ppm CO2 (Dave Miller in Brewing Techniques I think) which is a reduction to 18.5% of the original value. CaCO3 is less soluable than MgCO3 so most of the Ca would be removed by boiling before the Mg started to be removed. The result after boiling: CO3 35ppm Ca ~0 Mg 23ppm My Questions are: 1) Is my estimate of the CO3 level at 189ppm reasonable. 2) Is my estimate of the permanent hardness of 75ppm(CaCO3 equivalent) reasonable. 3) Have I determined the effect of boiling on my water correctly. 4) Is there a handy formula for determining the pH of my water after boiling. How did I do? Dana Edgell Madison homebrewers and Tasters Guild edgell at uwmfe.neep.wisc.edu PS: If you live in Madison don't assume you water is the same as mine. Madison has 27 different wells situated in different places around the city. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 1994 16:46:37 -0600 (CST) From: Darren Tyson <TYSONDR at SLUVCA.SLU.EDU> Subject: Sierra filename for Rich Webb's all-grain guide Fellow homebrewers, Richard Webb's "The Beginners' Guide to Advanced and All-Grain Brewing" can now be found in the sierra archives. The filename is <pub/homebrew/docs/all_grain_guide> (Tip--Leave off the <.Z> to decompress the file automatically when you <get> it.) Sorry I didn't have the exact file name last time I posted. May all your beer be homebrewed, Darren tysondr at sluvca.slu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 17:44 From: KWH at roadnet.ups.com (KWH) Subject: Celis article If anyone is interested, there was an interesting 1/2 page article about the Celis brewery in the Monday (September 12) edition of USA Today. Pretty interesting reading. Kirk Harralson kwh at roadnet.ups.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 15:42:08 PDT From: Dave Scroggins <daves at mushie.cdc.hp.com> Subject: Experienced Brewers > I think that the digest is an >excellent forum to discuss information that can't be found elsewhere. It is also a very good pointer to information that can be found elsewhere. The pointers can be to FAQs or books, or whatever. >However, I don't understand why so many beginners expect the more >experienced brewers to donate the time and bandwidth to answer basic >questions, just to save them the 10 bucks or so it would cost to buy a copy >of TNCJOHB or Miller. I think the HBD is a valuable resource because there are the more experienced brewers. I, for one, appreciate the more experienced brewers taking the time to answer questions, be they from newbies or other experienced brewers. In fact, the HBD is where I first learned about the merits of TNCJOHB or Miller. (yes I did end up spending the money.) As far as bandwidth is concerned, I have found that E-mail works quite well. That is the mode I usualy communicate with other HBD folks. The public flame wars take up much more bandwidth than beginner questions. (IMHO) So -- to all the experienced brewer that donated the time to answer questions a big fat THANKS!! Dave S. Disclaimer: These opinions are mine alone, and worth everything you paid for them. ;-) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 19:38:40 EDT From: uswlsrap at ibmmail.com Subject: NW extracts - ----------------------- Mail item text follows --------------- To: I1010141--IBMMAIL From: Bob Paolino Research Analyst Subject: NW extracts Wow, that turned out to be a popular topic. I still don't know who originally requested it, but I've routed my private email response to enough people that it makes sense to rewrite it in a slightly more concise form for the digest. The original question involved having had bad luck with a generic extract of unknown composition. S/he wondered whether he could do better than paying $7.50 for M&F 3.3 pound cans. The Northwestern extracts are Briess (Chilton, WI) and are readily available at least in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Northern Illinois. I don't know how widely they are distributed. They are packaged in Brookfield (a Milwaukee suburb)--not Chilton--so don't bother Briess with inquiries. It is of very good quality and the boxes are dated--something you can't say for a possibly old imported can. It comes in gold, amber, dark, and weizen (60-40, if I remember correctly). They had been experimenting with an extra light, but couldn't get consistent quality (according to Brian North, who had been enlisted to brew some test batches with it. He said the first samples were really good, but subsequent ones weren't). For now, at least, they've abandoned it. The gold is certainly light enough for a pale ale if you use reasonably light crystal malts, but it's probably a touch dark for a pilsener. (Of course, using it when it's fresh improves your chances of getting a lighter colour.) They also have a DME in gold and weizen, maybe other varieties by now. Where to find it. Again, I've seen it advertised by a number of shops. I can name two right now. (Standard disclaimer: no financial interest, just a satisfied customer--SD:NFIJASC) Brian North (North Brewery Supplies, Franklin, WI--800.483.7238, evenings) sells it for $50 for a mix or match case of ten- 3.3 pound bag-in-box. He also sells it by cases of six-pound bags. The saving with the six-pounders isn't significant, though, and having the smaller size means I can combine varieties if I wish. I typically use two (or three, for high gravity brews) 3.3 pound bags plus DME and grains, as appropriate. The DME sells for $7.50 for a three pound bag and $9 or $9.50 for four pounds. I believe he may also sell it by the bucket, but given the way DME absorbs moisture, I wouldn't recommend it unless you were going to brew a LOT in a relatively short time span. The Malt Shop (Cascade, WI) also sells it for $49 or $50 per case of ten, but I don't know whether you can mix varieties. I also don't know if they charge actual UPS (North charges only for actual shipping cost, BTW) or add "handling" to the shipping. I've done business with The Malt Shop once before and had no complaint, and I understand they're quite reputable. I do business more often with North because it's convenient for me to get supplies from him when I'm in Milwaukee; I would have the expense of shipping charges with The Malt Shop because I have little reason to be in the Sheboygan area. If you're doing mail order anyway, it may not make much difference to you. I've seen it sold by the single box at Brew & Grow in Wisconsin and Minnesota for about $6.50-$7 per box. That's a lot more than $5/box by the case. I don't have any trouble using a case (ten boxes is five batches or less), but you might want to try it first. (I believe that NBS and TMS also sell it by the box or by three-box lots for something more than the case price, but you'd have to check.)It's still less than the price of the imports. I've also seen at least the six pound bags right here in Madison at the Wine and Hop Shop. I took a vacation from brewing over the warm summer months (and still haven't gotten rolling again), so I don't know if he now sells it by the case or in other sizes. Before the bag-in-box became widely available, he sold Briess extract in bulk for quite some time. Ask around. It's quite possible that you may be able to find a source closer to you, and the shipping charges will be lower over the shorter distance. Maybe you can even get your local shop to carry it. Okay, so it didn't end up being quite as short as I thought. Hope the information makes you a happy and economical brewer, Bob Paolino Disoriented in Badgerspace Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 1994 17:02:43 -0700 (PDT) From: dsherman at sdcc3.UCSD.EDU (Dan Sherman) Subject: Questions about "Cranbeery Ale" I was just thinking about brewing a cranberry ale for Thanksgiving & was very happy to see Mark Stevens' post of an extract recipe for such a beer in HBD #1525. I have a few questions about this recipe that I think might be better answered by summing up various opinions. Therefore, I have decided to post my questions & will follow up with a summary, if there is interest. Here is the recipe, as posted by Mark Stevens (beer was brewed by Carlo Fusco): Cranbeery Ale ============= 3.75 pounds Coopers light malt extract 3.3 pounds Munton & Fison amber malt extract 4 pounds split cranberries 1-1/2 ounces Fuggles (4.2% alpha, in boil 60 minutes) 1/2 ounce Fuggles in boil 10 minutes 2 teaspoons yeast nutrient 1 teaspoon pectin enzyme Munton & Fison dry yeast 3/4 cup corn sugar for priming My questions: 1) The 1/2 oz of Fuggles hops, added to the last 10 min. of boil. If I have my facts straight, this addition should contribute more to the flavor of the beer than the bittering or aroma. What kind of flavor characteristics will this give the beer? 2) Does this beer need aroma hops? If so, what variety of hops would give an aroma which would complement the cranberry flavor? 3) Is the yeast nutrient really necessary? 4) Mark quotes Carlo's tasting notes as "mildly sour and closer to a pseudo-lambic than a fruit beer." How could this recipe be changed to make it more of a fruit ALE? 1/2 lbs. of crystal malt, maybe? This recipe, generally, was close to what I was thinking. I am planning on using Wyeast 1056 (600ml starter). TIA for any responses. Again, I will post a summary. It feels good to post for the first time, after "lurking" for months. :-) Dan Sherman dsherman at ucsd.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 17:11:54 PDT From: bart at nexgen.com (Bart Thielges) Subject: A real crack up So, I'm merrily working on getting my yeast culture medium (1.040 wort) up to a boil in my Erlenmeyer flask when I hear a nice CRACK. Sure enough, a huge crack has developed across the bottom of the flask. Fortunately, the wort is only slowly leaking out and didn't make a complete mess of the stovetop. Assuming that I have a defective flask, I tried to return it to "The Science Shop" in San Jose, CA. The employee there informed me that the flask I bought (a one liter Kimax flask) was not designed to be heated on a stove top burner. That's contrary to what I understood. I thought that stardard homebrew yeast rancher procedure was to heat the flask on a standard range top, not a labratory grade ($$$) hot plate. Regarding the Kimax, the shop employee informed me that Kimax and Pyrex have the same properties and quality. So I'm out of luck. Has anyone else had this problem before ? I'd like to make sure that I'm doing the right thing before I break another expensive piece of glassware. I never dropped, scratched, or bumped the flask which cracked. I really like the Erlenmeyer flask design because it is ideal for swirling and is really easy to grip. Thanks, Bart bart at nexgen.com Brewing equipment broken since last message : 1 flask, 1 airlock Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 1994 18:05:55 -0700 (MST) From: "Steven W. Smith" <SYSSWS at gc.maricopa.edu> Subject: How to not spew fruit Just a Worthless Anecdote (TM) about adding fruit to wort and the "inevitable" blowoff problems. I added 5 1/2 pounds of pulverized peaches to a 5 gallon carboy 3 days ago and managed to AVERT BLOWOFF by periodically stirring with a SS barbeque skewer. As fermentation kicks off again due to the fructose and other fermentables, the bubbles tend to make all of the fruit particles rise to the surface and clump together ("Duh!", you say). Eventually, the fruit will compact into a stopper of sorts, rising to the top of the carboy and beyond. I found that stirring performed 2 functions: 1st, it broke up the "fruit stopper" allowing the foam to come to the surface. Secondly, additional stirring coerced a lot of the CO2 that was in solution to fizz out, giving me some breathing room until the next stirring was required - you know it's time to stir if you can see airspace between the fruit and the wort... After 2 days, the fermentation has calmed enough that some of the fruit has sank (sunk?), and the rest is behaving nicely. Another week or so and I'll be givin' it the old pantyhose treatment followed by some lactic acid... but that's another story. _,_/| \o.O; Steven W. Smith - Systems Programmer, but not a Licensed Therapist =(___)= Glendale Community College, Glendale Az. USA U syssws at gc.maricopa.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 21:29:01 EDT From: Mark A. Stevens <stevens at stsci.edu> Subject: Pumpkin Ale recipe Since I got several messages from people asking me to post Bill Owens' pumpkin ale recipe, here it is. I did make one mistake in my earlier post---I mentioned that it was a 15-barrel recipe---the recipe is for *SEVEN* barrels. >From "American Brewer", Fall 1990 issue, page 60: "To brew seven barrels of pumpkin ale, you will need the following ingredients: 300 pounds barley malt 50 pounds pumpkin 30 pounds crystal malt 3 pounds Cascade hops 9 ounces nutmeg 9 ounces cinnamon 4 ounces cloves Quarter, seed, and bake for one hour at 400 degrees F a 50 pound pumpkin. (Also, for a snack you can clean, oil, salt, and bake the pumpkin seeds.) After baking, allowing the pumpkin to cool enough so that it can be cut into large chunks Throw the chunks of pumpkin into the barley grains during mashing. I suggest a high mash temprature, 157 to 160 degrees F. The hot water will further break down the pumpkin so that the enzymes from the grain will work their way into the pulp. The enzymes convert the starches into fermentable sugars. Baking the pumpkin also releases natural sugars. The sugars are run off into the kettle during the sparging process. Sparge at 170 degrees F to insure a good rinsing of the pumpkin. When sparging is complete, remove the spent grains and arrange to have them picked up by your local pig farmer---the ultimate in recyling. The pigs wait eagerly for the pumpkin mash; they consider it a delicacy. It's like yuppies having pumpkin soup at a Thai restaurant. Wonderful flavor and aroma. The rest of the brewing process is standard, except for adding spices at the end of the boil. At 70 degrees, fermentation is finished in four days. Lager the brew, if you can, for 14 days and bottle or keg your seasonal brew." Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 17:20 EST From: "RYAN.WNETS385" <6790753%356_WEST_58TH_5TH_FL%NEW_YORK_NY%WNET_6790753 at mcimail.com> Subject: Upper west side pre-war s Date: 13-Sep-94 Time: 06:20 PM Msg: EXT05157 Upper west side pre-war studio apartment available to sublet Nov. - M arch (flexible) $1000. per month (includes utilities) call D oug 751-7325 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 1994 23:02:54 -0500 (CDT) From: Pronto Connections <tmmpci at Mcs.Net> Subject: Temperature/ESP/ Silly Posts? News Flash--- Thanks to those of you willing to surf through the drivel to help assure my worriedness!!! I racked my E.S.B. to my 2ndary on Sat. and with a taste was Jumping for joy, yes the first good E.S.B. I have made, I am using Fullers and several Micros on the West Coast as referance pints:). Despite the minor problem with my Fermentation lock. *** I also did not give readings my temperature accurately, yes I pitched at approximately 80, but within 1-2 hrs the temp was down to 68 and that temperature has been maintained all throughout the process. I would love a Second Refrigerator, but me living in a small, sort of, apartment in the City it's kind of hard. However, Lenny Garfinkel asks about Temperature, I will say only one thing. Brewers of Homebrew that I know, are famous for brewing in the cold months. Meaning- A.) They don't like to hang out over a boiling kettle in 70-90 F heat. B.) They are probably out doing other fun types of things in summer, **---------** insert your fav. hobby other than Brewing. C.) They have no means of maintaining the temperature on the vast amounts of beer they make without having a natural temp change. Temperature is very important, but don't let it stop you, I have not however brewed any great beer that fermented over 72 degrees, drinkable beer, but not good beer. I will also state that I am not by any means a master brewer. Guenther Trageser stated in his post that he did not care for Mr. Turner's story, you all remember the well written one on the Glass Carboy episode. That story made me laugh. I enjoyed it, I cannot think of another post that I have laughed at more, thank you! This was silly, yes, continue the sillyness I want no part of this parade for censorship and seriousness and order.... Any one for LEMON CURRY!!! TMM Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 21:54:00 BST From: "LOWE, Stuart" <lowes at lishirl2.li.co.uk> Subject: Rick Gontarek's barrels question/UK Kit In respose to Ricks questions regarding plastic pressure barrels in his local store. Am I correct in thinking that the very common plastic beer pressure barrels in the UK do not find much favour in the US. they seem to be a very good half way between bottles and a full kegging system. cheap too. I have a couple equiped with releif / pressure valves which I have had much success with.(L15-L20 each) Answers/comments please. I have also been reading with great interest the recent debates regarding Hop drying and storage. I am having difficulty in finding a homebrew store in the UK which sells its hops in what the HBD would consider adequate packets.UK brewers any tips? I am currently drinking a bitter from a UK extract kit which is sold with the required amount of extract and a bag of grains and hops that are packaged in clear polythene. The instuctions with the kit are to boil the hops and grains on their own in a pan then add this liquid to the extract in the fermanting bin( plus cane sugar), make up to volume and ferment. The beer from this kit has a very strange aroma and tastes watery with little bitterness. I would appreciate any comments on the technique ( of which I have my doubts) and any UK brewers who have used these kits and obtained good or bad results. The trade name of the kit is Yeo's. Cheers from the UK Stu Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1527, 09/15/94