HOMEBREW Digest #160 Fri 26 May 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  another cheap shot at Sham Adams (Dick Dunn)
  Re: [Aluminum Boiling Vessels] (Dr. T. Andrews)
  Batch #17, and Excessive Bitterness (Dr. T. Andrews)
  HB DIG #'s 155 and 158 Reinheitsgebeer, etc. (florianb)
  Re: Homebrew Digest #157 (May 23, 1989) (Crawford.WBST129)
  Stronger Beer, Better Yeast, Real Music, Boston, Rodenbach (pri=9 Marc San Soucie ms 019-890 x76723)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 24 May 89 22:34:27 MDT (Wed) From: hplabs!utah-cs!cs.utexas.edu!raven!rcd (Dick Dunn) Subject: another cheap shot at Sham Adams To try to be slightly fair, I *do* think Samuel Adams makes a decent beer. It's not outstanding--it is by no stretch of the imagination the best beer in America--but at least it's competently made, decently hopped, and has some body. Now, about their marketing... I worked the early Great American Beer Festivals for a while--that's the summer fling the AHA sponsors with various American brewers, mostly small, bringing in beer to taste. It was a fun thing to do. People were coming out in droves and getting interested in beer. They were paying some attention to what they were tasting. Sure, some people got drunk, but overall it was a very positive thing, because something about the setup made people pay attention to the beer. Naturally, as soon as the beer festivals started gaining some attention, there was some value attached to winning the voting, even though it was just a straw poll of a random group of people. And although the beer was mostly being served by people recruited by AHA, some of the breweries were sending their people to stand around and talk about the beer. At this stage it was good, because it gave the brewers a chance to educate people to what they were trying to do. They also got a chance to hear what people thought about their beers in direct comparison to other beers, mostly micros. The beers that won in the early GABFs were, IMHO, some of the truly outstanding beers I've had. The top three in various years included this and that Anchor beer, Sierra Nevada stuff, Grant's...man, that's significant! Grant's is *not* mainstream beer. You get people appreciating that sort of beer; you're making some progress in teaching people what beer is all about. The Palo Alto Brewing Company (which made wonderful beer while they existed) actually brought in a beer engine and set it up. It was a pain to use, having it attached to a folding table, but it gave a chance for people to find out what it was, and how you pump beer instead of letting the carbonation do it, and how that makes a differ- ence for an English-style ale. Then, over the space of a couple of years, things quickly turned very com- mercial. Suddenly it was a Big Thing to win the competition. Trinkets started to show up--try our beer and get a hat, or opener, or... The brewers started getting more actively involved, and not just talking about their beers but promoting them in the voting. Perhaps the biggest factor in the change was that the brewers started doing the pouring. And, where the AHA volunteers were carefully coached to pour light--it's a tasting, after all--and to be very careful about people starting to get tipsy, the brewers were not all careful about this. Some of them recognized that if they poured a nice full glass, they somehow earned a vote...and yes, if you're getting impatient for the punch line, Samuel Adams was one of the leaders in this trend to turn a tasting into a hard sell. They also figured out another line to reach the crowd, namely that significantly more than half the crowd, especially the ones who were "tasting" heavily and would cast or influence the vote, were male. So all of a sudden they've got an attractive female "brewer's assistant" dressed to draw attention! Hey, they know how to sell beer, just like on TV! The year I saw that, I was only attending, but it was my last year at GABF. I enjoyed talking to the folks from River City (good beer...RIP), Sierra Nevada (won't forget Budpeople tasting their first Bigfoot!), Grants (Bert Grant is the Gordon Bell of brewing, I think), Newman, Hale's, and others...but I can't stomach what the folks from Samuel Adams did to try to pervert the GABF to their uses. Now, it wouldn't have happened if AHA had recognized the problem and nipped it in the bud (sic), but that doesn't excuse the brewers. Nor was Samuel Adams the only brewer doing it, although IMHO they certainly led the pack. Things went further down from there...a year or two after the last one I attended, I heard some reason- ably serious reports of influence-peddling in the pro judging of the beers. It doesn't matter whether they were true or not; they indicate how far the competitions had sunk. And I see Samuel Adams as one of the pivotal influences in converting the significance of the GABF from sub- stance to style. It's their choice, but I don't have to like it. (One thing I ought to be clear about: When there were allegations of influence games behind the pro judging of commercial beers, there were people in AHA trying to get it out in the open and get it straightened out. But I don't think they succeeded.) --- Dick Dunn {ncar;ico;stcvax}!raven!rcd (303)494-0965 or rcd at raven.uucp Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 May 89 6:41:54 EDT From: Dr. T. Andrews <tanner at ki4pv> Subject: Re: [Aluminum Boiling Vessels] THere is another reason to avoid the aluminum boiling vessel besides the obvious health risk. Aluminum imparts a nasty flavour to most anything cooked in it. Avoid it, and you have eliminate one source of off-flavours in your beer. Dr. T. Andrews, Systems CompuData, Inc. DeLand -- ...!bikini.cis.ufl.edu!ki4pv!tanner ...!bpa!cdin-1!cdis-1!ki4pv!tanner or... {allegra killer gatech!uflorida decvax!ucf-cs}!ki4pv!tanner Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 May 89 20:43:22 EDT From: Dr. T. Andrews <tanner at ki4pv> Subject: Batch #17, and Excessive Bitterness Well, it wasn't that long ago that someone wrote about fear that his beer would be too bitter, and with hope that it might age. I am writing this from home, and near at hand is the balance of a mug-full of batch #17. Extra-strong heavily hopped wheat beer, made in the middle of winter. It was very bitter. After a month in the bottles, it was too bitter to enjoy. Not green, but too strong and too bitter. After two months, the same. But, after four months, I have some very fine beer. No samples available via e-mail, of course (I did carry some up to share with family on a recent trip), but I will offer the advice that a strong, hoppy beer sometimes requires that you wait. Relax, don't worry, {be happy,have a homebrew}. Let that bitter stuff sit in the bottles for a few months. Be prepared to share. Dr. T. Andrews, Systems CompuData, Inc. DeLand -- ...!bikini.cis.ufl.edu!ki4pv!tanner ...!bpa!cdin-1!cdis-1!ki4pv!tanner or... {allegra killer gatech!uflorida decvax!ucf-cs}!ki4pv!tanner Return to table of contents
Date: 25 May 89 10:39:20 PDT (Thu) From: florianb%tekred.cna.tek.com at RELAY.CS.NET Subject: HB DIG #'s 155 and 158 Reinheitsgebeer, etc. Wouldn't you know my Mac would break down just as I needed it to defend myself... Now look, HB readers, let's once more check my wording again: >I believe more important than the ingredients are the contents of >the brewing water and the brewing process. I hold that one reason >why American beers are so awful is that strict attention is not >paid to the proper temperature processes during the brewing. >This leads to nasties developed in the fermentation that come back >to haunt you after drinking. I also believe that the poor brews >I had in Germany were a result of sorry water or inexpensive >brewing practices by certain Brauereis. Al writes: >majors). As a matter of fact, the majors use all kinds of >computer control to make sure their beer comes out very consistent. >Sloppy brewing practices generally will cause bacterial infections Darryl Richman writes: >I believe that you are mistaken on this point. If there is one thing >that the major American brands have, it is process quality control. >You can debate all you like about whether you like the product they >make, but they are world renowned for their consistent ability to make >it. Now look once more at my statements. I didn't say anything about consistency, quality control, or bacteria. I said they don't pay attention to *proper* temperature process. Please refer to Miller's discussion in The Complete Handbook of Homebrewing on the temperature process in German brewing vs. the temperature process in US brewing. He provides a good explanation for the appearance of various chemicals during different stages of the brewing process as a function of temperature. The presence of these chemicals is what I attribute hangovers to, in part. It is possible to buy really cheap beer in Germany which is so bad, it makes some of our lagers taste like nectar of the gods. I attributed this poor quality to shortcuts in the brewing practice, similar to those mentioned by Miller in his book. Apparently, those German beers were made in the Reinheitsgebot tradition of ingredients. Darryl continues: >Save for man made contaminants in the brewing water, it seems very >unlikely that the water brings on hangovers. I think you were much >closer to the mark in discussing fermenting practices; many have >attributed hangovers to the content of higher alcohols and fusel oils, >which often result from runaway fermenting temperatures. Maybe, and maybe not. The citizens of Stuttgart regarded their beer with greater favoritism than the more southern Bavarian brews (naturally), and they firmly believed that their beer was made with the finest ingredients and with the greatest care. None of this explains why I got such terrible hangovers from drinking relatively little of their local brews. However, even the residents of Stuttgart don't drink their water. I can see why--it tasted like &*#$. I proposed the water quality as a possible reason for the beer sickness. Sorry. I didn't know speculation was so dangerous. holos then writes: >American breweries do, in general, ferment at higher temperatures than >the Germans--54 degrees instead of 48, say. They also use different >yeasts and far different ingredients. This adds up to radically different >beer. But to claim that A-B doesn't pay attention to *any* aspect of >brewing is laughable. ...and a lot of other comments about Budweiser. I didn't say anything about Budweiser. If I made you laugh, OK. Look, I am a relative novice to brewing. There are a lot of things I don't know. But this I know. I brew excellent home beers. I drink a lot of them. I have never had even the slightest hint of a hangover from them. Some commercial beers make me feel awful the next day after relatively few consumed. My position on this is that it's either the water or the process. What else could it be? Sure, the US breweries can make consistent grog. I don't disagree with that. Who cares about consistency when you are brewing swill? I am going to stick to my guns on the question of bad beer in the US. I challenge anyone on this net or anywhere else to come up with a better explanation for the ill-health effects of US beer, which is outside of the hypothesis of poor water and/or temperature process which I have proposed. I've also thought of additives, preservatives, vitamin B in homebrew, etc., but I can find holes in all those hypotheses. Hey! This has been fun! Good work, readers. But please, don't wait until my Mac breaks next time you want to flame. Now I have a question... I brewed up a batch of home bitters and got it into the carboy just before ripping up our kitchen for a remodeling. It's been in the carboy for about 6 weeks now, at room temp. Should I take it to a friend's house for bottling, or go ahead and wait another month to bottle it after the kitchen is finished? What are the hazards? Cheers! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 May 89 15:33:38 CDT From: rds at vogon.cray.com (Bob Swanson) CAMRA I am interested in joining CAMRA. Does anyone out there have their address and the membership fee for a U. S. resident? My home brew is getting better every time, thanks to the great information and advice in this group. Regards. Bob Swanson Cray Research rds at hall.cray.com Return to table of contents
Date: 25 May 89 11:00:08 PDT (Thursday) From: Crawford.WBST129 at Xerox.COM Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #157 (May 23, 1989) "From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> "I used an 8 gallon aluminum pot for a couple years, until I graduated to a 15 "gallon brewery last fall. I have been interested in setting up my own brewery (preferably building it myself). Could you tell me more about it? I am currenly using a Bruheat boiler with little success. Greg Crawford Return to table of contents
Date: 25 May 89 14:53:43 EDT (Thu) From: hplabs!decvax!wang!mds (pri=9 Marc San Soucie ms 019-890 x76723) Subject: Stronger Beer, Better Yeast, Real Music, Boston, Rodenbach Opinions From The Ether: In Digest #154 Gary Benson writes about a "weak" porter and other things that stir up my opiniona reflexes. Some comments: - If you want more kick in your porter, leave the recipe as is, except raise the malt level from 5 pounds to 6 (or 7 or 8). I have been making stouts for personal consumption, and once for an experiment I made a real crankcase job - 12 pounds of fermentable malt and an additional 3 pounds of flavorings and stuff. Yow! I don't recommend it, but there's no denying the alcoholic content. Messy brewing, though, and a seven-gallon primary fermenter can't take it. Boom! - Cooler fermentations and early transfers to the secondary seem to smooth things out even more. - I tried a brew with 6 pounds of light malt, a touch of roasted, hops, and Red Star. In fact my first seven beers were Red Star beers. I have become convinced that Red Star is a Bulgarian product designed to decrease the quality of Western beers. I can taste Red Star in every beer that used it. Edme, Doric (very smooth), Leigh&Williams, Wyeast (tricky but worth it), Whitbread, etc. Anything but Red Star! Be suspicious of anyone who sells you Red Star without offering alternatives. - The rising lumps of stuff are your yeast's way of thanking you for giving them all that great stuff to eat and shit into. Happy yeasts, even if they are Red Star. - George Winston is to music as Coors Light is to homebrew. How about something with a little more body to it? Liz Story? Ry Cooder? Scriabin? Tuxedomoon? Even Miles Davis? More notes about the Boston brewing scene. Give a welcome to the Cambridge Brewing Company, in Kendall Square Cambridge. So far I'd say his beer still needs some adjusting, but he's got a nice setup, the prices are good, the food is fine (anything but Commonwealth's!). Commonwealth still has the best stout around (though Manhattan's porter is better), and Harpoon is by far my preference from a bottle, but Cambridge has a nice comfortable atmosphere and a friendly brewmaster. Finally, does anyone out there know how to make something like Rodenbach? This Belgian delight is one of the loveliest beers I have ever set mouth to, and I would like to be able to make flavors in that ballpark. Recipe suggestions? Marc San Soucie The John Smallbrewers Massachusetts Return to table of contents
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