HOMEBREW Digest #1623 Thu 05 January 1995

Digest #1622 Digest #1624

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  disheartened (James Manfull)
  U-Brews in the USA (Andrew Patrick)
  Silly Grain Information ("Robert W. Mech")
  Double Diamond Clone Request (solheim)
  Stopped Belgian Ale fermentation? (Dr. David C. Harsh)
  Lager yeast with Stout? (Steve Matkoski)
  water (dburns)
  4.01 pH buffer solutions (STROUD)
  RE: Water pH adjustments (Jim Dipalma)
  OOPS, Hunter, not Taylor ("MICHAEL L. TEED")
  whatney's cream stout (adam rich)
  Rocky Racoon (David Cutkosky)
  freezer temp control (BigBrad)
  U-Brew experience (Steve Armbrust)
  YACC - Yet Another Carboy Caution (Jeff Benjamin)
  U-Brews (Aaron Shaw)
  Yeast culturing (ELLIS)
  U-Brew (Steve Peters)
  Re: U-Brew Shops (Nic Herriges)
  ubrew / 10% Hallertau? (npyle)
  Brewsack (Doland Cheung   CO-O   x5620)
  brewing (GlynnB9776)
  Alcohol-tolerant yeasts added in secondary? (uswlsrap)
  U brew (Eamonn McKernan)
  First Lager / Use of Brown Malt ("Palmer.John")
  Wart Chiller (Marc Davis)
  yeast for spiced beers (uswlsrap)
  Mash formulas (Jeff Stampes)
  re: Lager Boiling/Cooling/Fermentation Technique (Larry Barras)
  accidental Ice beer (Eric Williams)
  Upcoming competition announcement (Dion Hollenbeck)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 17:03:40 -0500 From: jxm64 at psu.edu (James Manfull) Subject: disheartened Greetings All, I'm a relatively new brewer and still working from extracts. I have brewed about eight batches so far. The first six got progressively better and the last two have been progressively worse, the latest being one of the worst since the beginning. (Though in a completely different way!) This was the first time I tried to be careful about Hot Wort Aeration and this is the first cardboard like brew I've produced. I put the brewpot in a sink full of ice water and added a gallon of cold water directly to the pot. I then strained it into the carboy and more cold water, gave it a long shake, and pitched hydrated Whitbread Ale yeast. (This brew was based on C.P.'s Wise Ass Red Bitter). Visible fermentation began in sixteen hours -- long enough to get me worrying. Some have told me that I pitched too cool. Could that be the cause of such nastiness? That initial stage is the only time that I can think of where things could have gone wrong. The only other possibility is that the blow-by hose was not submerged in the water inside the slop jug but I don't think this was the case. By bottling it was already on its way to the taste it now has. I suppose in all creative endeavors there are some setbacks but this is getting disheartening. I have heard all the different discriptions of off flavors but can never be sure enough to discern, say, wet cardboard from overcooked veggies. I try to avoid eating both. It makes it tough to figure out where I went wrong. At times like these I wish for a wise brew-mentor to give these failures a diagnostic taste test and set me back on track. All advice greatly appreciated. Happy New Year. James Manfull Jxm64 at psu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 03:58:22 -0600 (CST) From: Andrew Patrick <andnator at mcs.com> Subject: U-Brews in the USA There have been rumors of a U-Brew [tm?] starting in the Chicago area for over 1 year now. I keep hearing a tidbit here, a hushed whisper there, but still have not seen anything really substantial. I would be very interested in any info on how the West Coast ones are doing... Andy Patrick (andnator at mcs.com) Certified Beer Judge; Brewing Instructor-College of DuPage County,IL Founder, HomeBrew U BBS Network: Chicago 708-705-7263, Houston 713-923-6418, Milwaukee 414-238-9074 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 04:19:29 -0600 (CST) From: "Robert W. Mech" <rwmech at eagle.ais.net> Subject: Silly Grain Information While brewing my last all grain batch, about lunch time I had a sandwich on rye bread and thought to myself... Hey, this might be a good flavor in beer! Now, my question is, has anyone used rye in beer before? I wouldnt even know where to get it. Ive never seen rye in a brewing catalog under the grain section at all. Even if I did find it, does anyone have a clue how I would use it? Or what the color would be? I woudlnt mind giving it a shot, but id like to hear if anyone else has tried it. Ive never seen it in any Recipie formulators either. BRF, Etc. Also, a wacky side note. Has anyone tried brewing with any amounts of unbleached flour? Isnt flour just the grains all crunched up? Would this stuff even extract? Email is fine, ill post a summary. Rob Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 1995 08:01:16 EST From: solheim at amigo.uicc.com Subject: Double Diamond Clone Request I am looking for a *extract* recipe for making a Double Diamond clone. I did see one in Cats Meow II for an all grain version but I'm not set up for that yet. If anyone has a recipe please forward me a copy through HBD or direct at solheim at uicc.com. Thanks in advance, Ken Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 08:32:57 -0500 From: dharsh at alpha.che.uc.edu (Dr. David C. Harsh) Subject: Stopped Belgian Ale fermentation? Hi all, Before Christmas, I brewed an Abbey-style Belgian Ale and used yeast cultured from Corsendonk's Monk's Brown Ale. All was going fine. Although I pitched before the yeast culture was really active, the fermentation was bubbling through the blow-off fairly rapidly (at least for a Belgian yeast) after about 36 hours. I left for vacation for a week and returned to find a calm fermenter looking ready for secondary. I racked into secondary and the sp. gr. had dropped by only 0.010 to 1.060! I'm trying to figure out what's happening - I've never had a problem with stuck ferments (yet). My culture medium was a weak wort as described in Miller. The beer smells fine and tastes fine too (although really sweet...). The yeast (I assume it is yeast) sediment was a very easily disturbed white layer on the bottom of the carboy. After transfer to the 2=B0, there was about one bubble per minute leaving the airlock, but this morning it seems to have tailed off. I'm assuming that my yeast have decided to stop too soon. Does this seem reasonable? How do I get them off their lazy butts to finish the job? Or do I need to re-pitch with some yeast with a better work ethic? Post here or private e-mail is fine. I'll post a summary if comments warran= t. Thanks Dave "The beer gods are from Belgium" Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 09:06:33 -0500 From: sematkos at mailbox.syr.edu (Steve Matkoski) Subject: Lager yeast with Stout? Hi, Has anyone tried doing this? It is very cold up here right now and I wanted to brew up a nice stout. I cant keep the temp in the house steady enough for ale yeast, I thought maybe I could try a Lager yeast. What do you think? -steve. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 09:19:51 -0500 From: dburns at msi.com Subject: water Water guru's, please help! I've been brewing for about 2 years, and always seem to get a distracting metallic-twangy taste in my brew. I'm an extract, partial-mash brewer. Most beginner's advice regarding water consists of: "if it tastes alright, it's ok. There's more important things to worry about. RDWHAHB." Well, I've been as meticulous about sanitation as I can be, I think, and have been following published recipes, so I naturally came around to water. I've read and understood the water sections in Pap, Miller, Burch and one other I don't remember (a real armchair brewer!). I have also read a book on drinking water and recently completed Chem I at the local university. I have concluded that I need another source of water, since the sodium content is so high, even though there is a slightly high chloride level. Other than that, the water looks pretty darn good for brewing to me. My conclusion is also based on the fact that I can't effectively fix this, since distillation, freezing or reverse osmosis will also remove beneficial amounts of minerals, and selective precipitation of Na+ is nearly impossible due to it's great solubility. Can any water guru's set me straight on my conclusions if they are incorrect? I'm about ready to quit this hobby (now there's a threat!). Here's the data: (units are ppm except as noted) Calcium 34.3 Copper <0.02 Iron 0.06 Magnesium 6.4 Manganese 0.54 Sodium 87.1 Potassium 5.2 Alkalinity 68.5 Ammonia 0.16 Chloride 155 Chlorine <0.02 Color 5 CPU Conductivity 710 umhos/cm Hardness 112 Nitrates <0.01 Nitrites <0.01 pH 7.6 SU Odor 1 TON Sulphates 14.1 Tubidity 0.26 NTU Sediment neg To his credit, Burch was the only one to say that overly high sodium (beyond the level that is ok when accompanied by a corrospondingly high chloride level) requires an alternative water supply. I tried a batch with bottled water, but I tried a new porter recipe instead of my standard IPA. I *think* the taste is gone. My next step is to try bottled water with the IPA for better comparison, which I should have done first. Sorry for the long post, but it may be my last anyway. dana dburns at msi.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 1995 09:33:11 -0400 (EDT) From: STROUD%GAIA at cliffy.polaroid.com Subject: 4.01 pH buffer solutions Chris Barnhart inquires: >I got a digital pH meter for Christmas and the instructions >talk about calibrating the meter with 4.01 pH reference solution. >Various homebrew shops sell this but it seems rather pricey to >me. Can this stuff be made with deionized water and a known >amount of x% acid? Or should I just bite the bullet and buy the >stuff? A standard 4.01 pH buffer (at 25 deg C) is simply a 0.5 M solution of potassium hydrogen phthalate. If you know a chemist friend, this compound should be readily available. Alternatively, you may be able to find a chemical supply house that will sell it to you - though to make the buffer up accurately you will need a good set of scales and a volumetric flask. Cole-Palmer sells buffer solutions for $6/500 ml. What does your local hb store get for them? Fisher Scientific sells potassium hydrogen phthalate for ~$100 for 500 g, which is enough to make up ~50 liters of buffer solution!!!! Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 10:01:33 EST From: dipalma at sky.com (Jim Dipalma) Subject: RE: Water pH adjustments Hi All, In HBD#1621, Lee Bollard asks about his water: >>My water is pH 7.3 so I am following Miller's advice on treating the >>sparge water with Lactic acid. I'm using Lactic instead of gypsum >>because my total alkalinity is high (168). Is this valid logic? >>I mixed 88% lactic at 1tsp/1.5 cups, then added this to my sparge >>water at 4tsp/gallon. The pH reading didn't change much at all! >>My water: >>- --------- >>Carbonate: ? >>Bicarbonate: ? >>Total Alkalinity: 168 >>Total Hardness: 173 >>Calcium: 45 >>Magnesium: 14 >>Sulfate: 14 Norm Pyle replies: >Your water pH of 7.3 doesn't mean much at all; the buffering effect >of the ions in solution controls the pH. "Alkalinity", at 168 ppm, I believe >indicates the total carbonates and bicarbonates, and it is pretty high. These >would pull the pH up. The hardness is equally high, at 173 ppm, so the pH >remains close to neutral. This solution is heavily buffered by all these >ions, which is why the acid addition didn't affect the pH much. My understanding is that the number for total hardness is comprised of the temporary hardness and permanent hardness. The former is that which is caused by the presence of carbonates and can be removed by boiling, whereas permanent hardness is due to the presence of sulfate and cannot be removed by boiling. While Lee didn't post the carbonate, the very low number for sulfate indicates that his water is high in temporary hardness, i.e., has a high carbonate content. I believe Norm's response that the carbonate is providing an alkalinity buffer is correct. I have very similar water to Lee's, it's high in temporary hardness. What I do is pre-boil both the mash and sparge water the night before brewing, and allow the bicarbonate to precipitate out overnight. With the alkalinity buffer removed, my mash pH hits 5.2 - 5.4 when I dough-in, no further treatment is required. >You said it yourself, you should be checking the pH of the runnings, not the >sparge water, so go do it. I add 1/2 tsp of acidblend to 10 gallons of pre-boiled sparge water, and the pH drops from ~8.0 to 5.7 - 5.8. Knowing that I'm adding acidified sparge water to a mash that's 5.2 - 5.4, I don't need to check the runnings to ensure the pH in the tun stays under 6.0, which seems to be the magic number for excess tannin extraction. I do check the *gravity* of the runnings to get a feel for when to stop sparging. There's more than one way to brew successfully. BTW, you cannot use gypsum to acidify *sparge* water. It works in the mash due to a reaction between the calcium and phosphorous that is naturally present in the grain (I'm a little fuzzy on the details of this reaction - somebody help me out here), but will not work when added to water. >This hard water, unadjusted, is probably fine for >pale ales, BTW. Here I must disagree. My first few attempts at pale ales using this type of water had a horribly harsh bitterness. I eventually traced the problem to high carbonate levels and hopping levels that were appropriately high for the style (30-35 IBUs). The hardness in the water at Burton-on-Trent, home of the pale ale style, is due to high *sulfate* content. The sulfate content of the water emphasizes hop bitterness and flavor in a clean, pleasant manner. What I do now, in addition to preboiling the water to remove the carbonate, is add 1/2 teaspoon of gypsum directly to the kettle at the start of the boil to boost the sulfate content. Lee, the good news is that high carbonate water is ideal for dark, malty brews that are more modestly hopped. Try a bock or Munich dunkel sometime. Cheers, Jim dipalma at sky.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 09:57:15 CST From: "MICHAEL L. TEED" <MS08653 at MSBG.med.ge.com> Subject: OOPS, Hunter, not Taylor .int homebrew at hpfcmi.fc.hp.com In Wednesdays HBD I described my mod to the mod on HUNTER airstats, but describ ed it as a Taylor. Sorry to anyone confused... It is indeed a Hunter. Mike Teed ( now looking for my asbestos suit ) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 09:59:01 -0600 (CST) From: adam rich <richa at Mayo.EDU> Subject: whatney's cream stout Hi, I recently had the opportunity to try a Whatney's Cream Stout. This beer is excellent and I would like to be able to make a reasonable copy, if that is possible. Does anyone have an extract-based recipe? A couple of questions: 1) what yeast sgold I use when trying to imitate a whatney's? 2) why is it called a 'cream stout' and not merely 'stout'? Finally, while visiting Rochester, NY I was able to go to a relatively new microbrewery, Rohrbach's. I really liked the place. Good beer (4-6 homebrews on tap, I really enjoyed thier stout), reasonable prices ($3 for a pint, $6.50 for a pitcher of porter), knowlegable and friendly bartender, pretty good food, and good atmosphere (not so GD yuppie). Thanks for any helpful information. arich at mayo.edu Adam Rich, Rochester, MN Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 1995 09:58:46 -0500 From: davidc at interaccess.com (David Cutkosky) Subject: Rocky Racoon >In the past, I have always brewed a slightly modified version of >Papazian's Rocky Racoon Honey Ginger Lager for the summertime < Snip > >my question is this: I want to make it as an all-grain as opposed >to the extract recipe I have been making, and need help making the >conversion. Any advice? I don't have it in fron of me, but I >recall the recipe to be along the lines of 6 lbs. of light extract >and 2 lbs. honey.....something along those lines. TIA! Jeff: I just looked at the recipie in Papazian. All you need is a conversion for amount of grain to use instead of extract. That is going to be dependant on your extraction efficiency. Here's a little chart that shows the amount of grain required to reach the gravity of 1 lb of malt extract disolved in 1 gal of water. Efficiency | Lbs of | Lbs of pts/lb/gal | grain (DME) | grain (LME) ____________|_____________|___________ 25 | 2.00 | 1.57 27 | 1.85 | 1.43 29 | 1.73 | 1.35 31 | 1.60 | 1.27 33 | 1.50 | 1.17 35 | 1.42 | 1.10 Therefore using Papazian's recipie in a 10 gal batch that uses 6 lbs of light dried malt extract (DME) you would need Just under 10 1/2 lbs of pale or 2-row malt if your extraction efficiency is 29 pts/lb/gal. Hope this helps. - -- David, St. Charles, IL Dammit Jim, I'm a homebrewer davidc at interaccess.com not a doctor! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 95 09:52:17 CST From: BigBrad <BPLUMMER at SYSUBMC.BMC.COM> Subject: freezer temp control Hi, all. I'm out of lurk mode for the first time due to the posts about converted freezers and 'fridges. I am using a 15 ft chest freezer that will fit 7 soda kegs plus my co2 bottle. I didn't want to cut into the sides or the top for my taps so I designed a collar that raises the lid by 6". The collar is made of 6" wide by 2" thick oak. It is fitted to the box with a lip on the sides and front and the rear is attached using the existing hinges moved 6" higher. The original lid is placed on the collar and due to some fine finish work by a friend, it seals great. I am using an external White-Rogers(?) temp controller that states it has a 4 deg delta. I have placed a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer in the freezer and it has a memory function that will show what the max and min temps are. It is showing a 10 deg delta. This reading is taken after sitting all day without opening the lid. Does the placement of the internal controller probe play a part in the accuracy of the unit? Is a 10 deg delta OK and I should just RDWHAHB? TIA - ------------------------------------------------------------------ Brad Plummer \ As I picked myself off the floor, I / BMC Software, Inc. \ realized I should have said, "Ma'am, / Houston, Texas \ that was some good foam on my beer." / bplummer at sysubmc.bmc.com \ / - ------------------------------------------------------------------ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 08:57:01 PST From: Steve Armbrust <Steve_Armbrust at ccm.jf.intel.com> Subject: U-Brew experience Text item: Text_1 jeffpolo at eskimo.com noted that U-Brew places were coming to Washington state and asked about others' experiences. Oregon has had U-Brew places for a while, and recently my project team at work decided to go to one (Glisan Street Brewhaus) and brew a batch together. Convenient is the best word to describe the experience. A row of gleaming brew kettles all piped to a heat exchanger. Water is already boiling when you get there. You pick a recipe from a catalog of hundreds, measure out the ingredients, and add them when the recipe says to add them. Glisan street uses extract syrup, hop pellets, and dry yeast. Some recipes also use specialty grains, which you grind in a Corona, add to a grain bag, and dangle into the boiling wort for a while. When the boil finishes, they pipe the wort through the heat exchanger (which instantly drops the temp to 60-70) and into a plastic carboy. You pitch the yeast, and they roll the carboy into a temp controlled room. Two weeks later you come back. The beer has been fermented, cooled, filtered, and carbonated. They hook the keg up to a tap and you fill bottles (or a kegs of your own). As I said, convenient. No worry, no cleanup, no thinking. And I'm not sure it's really much like brewing. It's more like assembling something that was prebuilt. The beer is OK -- very clean but a little thin and bland. The group experience was good -- we probably "sampled" as much as we bottled and everyone had a great time. And it would probably be a good experience for beginning brewers. But at $100 for 12 gallons (what a decent recipe costs), I wouldn't do it regularly. Homebrewing is cheaper and more interesting. Real microbrew is also cheaper by the keg and much better. Steve Armbrust in Portland, OR Steve_Armbrust at ccm.jf.intel.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 10:10:24 MST From: Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> Subject: YACC - Yet Another Carboy Caution Well, it hasn't yet happened to me, but a good friend just sliced up his hand after breaking a glass carboy. No permanent damage, fortunately, although it did partially cut one tendon. Just one of those things -- he was filling it from the bathtub faucet when it slipped and hit the bottom of the tub and shattered. So even though we covered this subject recently, I thought I'd reiterate: let's be careful out there! Of course, after the fact, I thought of a solution to his problem of having to use the tub, which involves bending over, having the carboy at odd angles, and other gotchas. He didn't have a sink which the carboy fit under, or a sprayer hose to use for filling. I suggested that he do one of two things: 1) Buy a cheap garden hose or washing machine hose, and cut off several feet at the end with the female connector. Put a screw adapter on the kitchen sink, and attach the hose to the faucet and use that to run the water to the stationary carboy. 2) If you must still use the tub, buy one of those hose/sprayer units that attaches to the tub faucet by means of a rubber boot. Cut off the sprayer if necessary. Then fill the stationary carboy using the hose. Also, when possible, try to *siphon off* about half the liquid in a full carboy before trying to move it. I feel a lot better when I only have to heft a glass carboy that weighs half as much. Talk about brewing danger always reminds me of one entry in my brew log: "Do not pour sparge water over your hand!" Again, no damage done, but there's always the potential when you're working with fragile, sharp, hot, or chemically nasty stuff. - -- 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: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 12:28:28 -0500 From: ar568 at freenet.carleton.ca (Aaron Shaw) Subject: U-Brews Jeff Wade previously mentioned his excitement about the arrival of U-Brew facilities coming to his state. I started brewing at one of these establishments 4 years ago when they started opening up around my province (Ontario). For the lazy brewer, the U-brews are ideal. You do not have to go out and buy all your ingredients and invest in large copper or stainless steel pots, and the best of all is NO CLEAN UP! What I didn't like was that it did not feel like I was truly making my own beer. I just dumped some malt extract and hops into a large brew pot (all of which were previously measured to match the recipe I had selected from a book). I was told to stir my wort occasionally during the next hour, and add more hops at the set intervals. Then one of the people that worked there came over turned off the burner and opened the valve at the bottom of the pot and away my wort went. I was told that it was being filtered and that it would be placed in a fermentation vessel. I came back 2 weeks later with 48 litres in bottles and filled them. After doing this 4 times I went out and bought my own equipment and started brewing at home. I was extremely excited at the prospects of being able to "go all-grain" and experiment with different ingredients (ie: fruit, coriander, coffee, belgian yeasts, etc...), which can not be found or permitted at most of the U-Brews. I don't want to put down brew-on-premises facilities because they are great for the lazy or busy brewer. I also recommend them to people who are interested in becoming a homebrewer, so they can get a starting knowledge of the brewing process and there is someone there to help out and answer questions along the way. But for the more creative and adventurous brewers, there is no substitute to that cherry stout or pumpkin ale made in a dusty corner of the basement that you made YOURSELF. - -- "Come my lad, and drink some beer!" Aaron Shaw Ottawa, Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 1995 13:28:55 -0500 (EST) From: ELLIS at DIRAC.PHYSICS.JMU.EDU Subject: Yeast culturing I recently purchased a yeast culturing kit from my supplier and the kit contains something called "Freeze Shield." Does anyone know what this stuff is composed of? Is it nothing more than just a glycerine solution? Also, what is the general opinion on the method of culturing yeast, is it better to grow yeast slants or to suspend the yeast in glycerol and freeze them? I have plenty of test tubes and freezer space so it seems to me that the latter method would be more advantageous since the yeast will supposedly remain viable for up to a year or more whereas the yeast slants will have to be reworked after about 6 months. Please correct me if my understanding of this is wrong. Thanks in advance for any advice on this matter! Darren Ellis Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 10:45:18 -0800 From: Steve Peters <stevep at pcx.ncd.com> Subject: U-Brew 12345678901234567892123456789312345678941234567895123456789612345678971234567898 > > Well we got our first one, and it looks as though it is now about > > months away before Seattle, WA will be enjoying its' first batch of U-Brew > >Seattle... ales, wines, and lagers! The Canadian trend moving into the > >states. Batches of 12.5 gallons at $80-100 dollars. Using beautiful Brass > >and all the other Micro-brewery equipment any homebrewer would *die* for! > >This sounds "ok" to me :-) I have two reservations about U-Brew (we have two here in Portland, OR) 1) the places here are extract-only 2) they charge significantly more than it costs me to brew myself I am thinking of paying them to make a batch of 1.020 gravity starter wort. I never have enough starter wort around, usually because if I have time to brew I want to make beer, not starter. Also, I dislike bottling more than a sixpack. It would be worth the money to have a large batch of starter ready made without the grunt work. Then I could concentrate my time on improving my beer. -steve - -- ...+ Steve Peters : stevep at pcx.ncd.com ....|.. Even Jesus wanted just ... ....+ Sustaining Engineering and Support ....|... a little more time ..... ...+ Network Computing Devices, Inc .......|...... : Tom Waits ....... Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 10:50:56 -0800 From: nic at analogy.com (Nic Herriges) Subject: Re: U-Brew Shops In HBD 1622 jeffpolo at mail.eskimo.com (Jeff Wade) writes about the new u-brew shop in Seattle. > My hope is for discussion by you'all on the typical pro's and *any* >con's that there might be with these alternatives to Homebrewing. My guess is that you'll get *lot's* of discussion on this topic. Hope you've got your asbestos u-trow on... >As far as I know... Canada and California are the only areas >fortunate enough to have experienced the U-Brew heaven?? Actually, not to belittle the progressive commercial environment of our neighbors to the north (not much anyway ;-)) little old Portland, OR has had two (count'em) of these establishments for going on a year now. Whether this is a *heavenly* occurrence is probably a matter for much debate. There certainly are pros and cons to this method of "homebrewing". While many will decry this method as not really brewing (this goes even farther than the all-grain vs. extract debate we perennially have here), my personal philosophy is that anything that improves the quality of beer generally is a good thing (not necessarily a great thing). This certainly will improve the quality of beer generally (not as much as more microbreweries would but a lot more than Red Dog can). I observed a buddy brew a batch using the u-brew method a few months ago and noted the following: Pros: - --clean-up time is virtually eliminated (your spouse may appreciate this more than you) - --better hop utilization than my high-gravity worts (gotta get that big brew kettle) - --simplicity (everything is laid out in easy-to-follow steps) - --flexibility (forced-carbonation or natural carbonation, filtered or non-, kegging or bottling) - --minimal capital investment (you have to buy or have bottles) - --temp control (they have a 60F fermenting room and a 35F lagering/pre-carbonation room) - --you don't have to know anything Cons: - --you don't have to know anything (yes, it's on both lists) - --cost (you can buy 1/4 bbls of microbrew for less; you can certainly brew at home for much less--especially all-grain) - --flexibility (you can't do all-grain--I've heard that may change; you make one large batch at a time, but they encourage trading to enhance variety) - --no gadgets to build or buy (some may consider this a pro) - --travel (you have to go to their shop during their hours) - --you have to figure out how to drink/store 5+ cases of beer in 2 months (not a problem for many) >For a busy person, such as myself... I must say this alternative >may put some serious dust on my carboys, if you catch my drift :-) For people with more money than time and less interest in the finer points of brewing this is indeed an interesting alternative. Purists will be shocked and appalled and those without a high tolerance for diversity should immediately add this thread to their kill files. Regards, Nic Herriges nic at analogy.com Portland, OR Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 11:54:56 MST From: npyle at hp7013.ecae.StorTek.COM Subject: ubrew / 10% Hallertau? Jeff Wade asks about any "cons" on U-Brewing, the process of brewing beer at a commercial establishment designed for it. Colorado has at least one of these places and I'll tell you the drawbacks I can think of. The biggest drawback is that they are usually designed around extract brewing only. They want you in and out, not taking 5-8 hours to do a full mash session. Secondly, they sell you all the ingredients, and the fermentables are not all barley based. They use pellets. They use dry yeast. Besides, you don't get to watch the little yeasties do their work, you come back when they are done! Finally, you don't get to clean up all the equipment at the end of the brew session! On the "pro" side, the beer isn't bad at all, and probably pretty consistent. ** Christopher Warren writes: > Boy did I goof! On Nov. 26 I brewed a Vienna style larger. The >recipe called for 1 oz. Hallertauer (10%) hops. Last night after First of all, throw the recipe away. If you see anything with the name Hallertau in it that has more than 5% alpha acids, I'd be very surprised. You can make a hop tea by boiling some hops in water and adding it but it is a wild guess what utilization you'll get, assuming you'll want to do a relatively small volume of water to keep from diluting the beer too much. It is worth doing, though, just don't expect to find 10% AA Hallertau hops. Cheers, Norm Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 11:40:26 PST From: <dcheung at smtp.spd.usace.army.mil> (Doland Cheung CO-O x5620) Subject: Brewsack I just received a Lager Brewsack for Christmas and before I brew up a batch, I would like to know if anybody has used one of these before. I am very new to this and any and all comments to the digest or my e-mail would be very helpful. Doland Cheung dcheung at smtp.spd.usace.army.mil Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 15:32:00 -0500 From: GlynnB9776 at aol.com Subject: brewing request info of any kind im a rookie Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 1995 15:13:42 EST From: uswlsrap at ibmmail.com Subject: Alcohol-tolerant yeasts added in secondary? - -------------------- Mail Item Text Follows ------------------ To: I1010141--IBMMAIL From: Bob Paolino Research Analyst Subject: Alcohol-tolerant yeasts added in secondary? In making higher gravity brews like Imperials or barley wines or whatever, I've had decent results using just plain old dry Pasteur Champagne yeast. To the extent that I've had high gravity brews not ferment out as much as I'd like, I'd bet that better aeration would have improved my results, but I wonder about the _specific_ how-tos of starting the batch with some other yeast, and then pitching Champagne yeast (after racking) after the 1056 or whatever poops out, as has been mentioned in this forum and elsewhere. Please excuse me if this sounds like a stupid question (because the _real_ stupid questions are the ones not asked), but how do you get that second yeast going--specifically, how much of a starter is advisable given that you don't want to aerate a fermenting _beer_ (as opposed to aerating _wort_)? A litre of starter is usally fine for five gallons when pitched in wort, because of the (aerobic) reproduction in the beer-to-be. But you sure don't want to aerate beer just racked to secondary, and that small amount of rehydrated dry yeast isn't likely to be enough. If you pitch that small amount into secondary, are the anaerobic conditions going to have undesirable results, and if you're gonna pitch more at that point, how much? Any yeastologists out there?? :-) Now go have a beer, Bob Paolino / Disoriented in Badgerspace /uswlsrap at ibmmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 15:51:39 EST From: Eamonn McKernan <eamonn at rainbow.physics.utoronto.ca> Subject: U brew Jeff was llooking for opinions on U Brew places. I have avoided them personally, though we have several here in Toronto. They cost more, they filter the yeast, which decreases the shelf life (I'm told only a couple of months at room temperature), though makes a cleared product without the usual transportation problems. They do almost all of the work for you. You need only pick a beer style, and toss the yeast, then come back for bottling. The rest is done for you. Though I understand that you can participate more in the process if you request it. Only one that I know of offers all grain capabilities. they want you to use extract. Advantages? cheaper, no mess to clean, no knowledge of brewing required, temperature control (?) . ^---- cheaper than buying beer I mean. Disadvantages? You don't do the brewing, no knowledge of brewing required... Using a U Brew place would encourage me to brew at home. A homebrewer wishing to switch to a U Brew place? This seems counter-intuitive to me. Now wherever did I put my asbestos underwear... Eamonn McKernan eamonn at rainbow.physics.utoronto.ca p.s. Remember that "late addition of fermentables" thread? I bottled my lager last night, and it tastes fine. Thanks again to all who offered advice. I mashed some Munich malt, Pale malt, and toasted malt, boiled with hops, and added the gallon of stufff to the beer. Can't wait for it to carbonate! Return to table of contents
Date: 4 Jan 1995 13:32:44 U From: "Palmer.John" <palmer at ssdgwy.mdc.com> Subject: First Lager / Use of Brown Malt Hi Group, Dave Rahn asked some first lager questions. As I have brewed exactly ONE lager, I felt uniquely qualified to toss in my chips. 1) Pros and Cons of removing Hot and Cold Break... IMO: I dont think cold break is a big issue unless you are trying to match Pilsener Urquell. I use an Immersion Chiller and a manifold for trub removal so I guess I remove both before pitching. I dont have any data to support conclusions in this matter. 2) How to cool to cold temperatures before pitching... My immersion chiller (45 ft of 1/2 inch tubing) uses a recirculation pump. Once I have chilled to below 100F, I start adding 10 lb blocks of ice to the chiller water. Took 2 blocks, but I got to 40F without trouble. One thing that should be considered in this is that the primary fermentation temp for Wyeast Bohemian is 46-48F. You should not need to chill any lower. As for secondary (lagering), I found my refrigerator performs nicely if I set the temp to 40-ish (without my Airstat) and place two 10lb blocks of ice in plastic bags next to the carboy. The ice melts very slowly. I have only had to replace the ice once (1/4 melted) in the month that I have been lagering at 34F. The temp has been very stable at 34F (as reported by the Airstat probe) due to the ice blocks. 3) Temp for Diacetyl Rest... I dunno. Haven't used one yet. When I tasted my "Cold But Not Baroque" Vienna at racking time, several tasters commented that it had very little diacetyl character. Lagering should take care of what little there was. I used Wyeast Bohemian too. PS. Watch out for it Freezing! (But its not a big deal as long as the carboy doesnt break) *** I recently bought 10lbs of Hugh Baird Brown Malt to use in some ESBs? and Porters. Does anyone have some idea of typical amounts to use for a five gallon batch, assuming 1.050 and the use of 2 Row as a base Malt? 1/2 lb? 1? 2? 5?? Thanks! John J. Palmer - Metallurgist for MDA-SSD M&P palmer at ssdgwy.mdc.com Huntington Beach, California *Brewing is Fun* Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 13:03:09 PST From: Marc Davis <Marc_Davis at ccm.jf.intel.com> Subject: Wart Chiller Text item: Text_1 Has anyone looked at making an immersion chillier from a refrigerator compressor? It seems to me that the cold side of an old refer compressor could be hooked to a copper coil with flexible pressure line. This would allow wart chilling without going through gallons of tap water. I don't know if this system could move enough BTU's to work. Marc Davis Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 1995 17:25:58 EST From: uswlsrap at ibmmail.com Subject: yeast for spiced beers - -------------------- Mail Item Text Follows ------------------ To: I1010141--IBMMAIL From: Bob Paolino Research Analyst Subject: yeast for spiced beers I haven't caught up on all the accumulated HBDs between Christmas and New Year's, but here's my thirty-two cents' worth on yeast selection for a holiday spice beer: Wyeast German Ale. I've had good results with it. But these things are a matter of personal preference. Listen to your yeast! Now go have a beer, Bob Paolino / Disoriented in Badgerspace /uswlsrap at ibmmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 13:49:10 MST From: jeff at neocad.com (Jeff Stampes) Subject: Mash formulas I really enjoyed the article in the Spring Zymurgy on using formulas to determine the correct amount of water to bring to a boil to raise your mash temp a desired amount. The example they used was if you wanted to mash 7 lbs. of grain at 150F, and wanted to achieve a final dilution of 1.25 qts/lb. you would add 3 qts. of room temp. water and 5.75 qts of boiling water to achieve the final strike temp. The formula the used takes into account variables such as boiling temp. of water (us in the mountains can boil as low as 195F) and the heat capacity of grain (which varies depending on the moisture content of it). I have taken this information and put it into an Excel 3.0 worksheet (I use 5.0, but I downgraded it to make sure everyone could use it). I think it's pretty useful, and thought others might make use of it. If you're interested, let me know and I will E-mail it to you. If someone could add it to the archives, I would appreciate it. Thanks to Kurt Froning, the author for his work! This simplifies my brewing a lot! Jeff Stampes jeff at neocad.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 17:43:55 -0600 From: larry at merakusa.com (Larry Barras) Subject: re: Lager Boiling/Cooling/Fermentation Technique I've made pilsners using the methods in Noonan's book. Although a good bit of work, they indeed made excellent beers. I've since switched to decoction mashing for all my lagers. I find I get full bodied beers, little haze or clarity problems, and easier sparging. 1: pro's and cons of hot break and cold break removal. I don't think it matters whether you do it at the same time or not. Removing as much break as possible makes for cleaner tasting more stable beer. 2: Fast cooling. I'd love to try it, but I just don't have the means to do so. I too use an immersion chiller in the kettle. It's the best I can do. 3: Diacetyl rest. I've heard 60F, but have never intentionally done this. Never had high diacetyl problems. I am running a batch with Wyeast Bohemian now. I don't think I like it. It had a long lag time and very slow ferment. It also seemed to produce a good bit of sulfur odors. I am told it will go away in lagering. I used the bavarian before. I think I liked it better. Comments on the Wyeast Bohemian anyone? I over-did the protein rest a bit on some of my decoction mashes. The head retention was fantastic, but the beer had a slightly "soapy" quality. Larry Barras Merak Projects, Inc. (713) 850-1633 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 19:30:56 -0500 (EST) From: ewillia1 at st6000.sct.edu (Eric Williams) Subject: accidental Ice beer A question (plea for help) from a lurker. We have had a Czech style pilsner lagering for about a month. Everything was going fine until the night of the New Year's Day party. The stout served at the party was a hit and so was our new beer fridge set-up. Sadly a party goer decided to see how the thermostat (FermTemp (c)) worked. So today we opened the beer fridge to gaze at the beer and much to our suprise found a glass carboy filled with ice. ( Bad party goer) The question how do we save the beer. Thaw slowly . remove from freezer? help. TIA Eric Williams (ewillia1 at st6000.sct.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 20:55:24 PST From: hollen at megatek.com (Dion Hollenbeck) Subject: Upcoming competition announcement This is a preliminary announcement of the America's Finest City Homebrew Competition, March 11, 1995. The competition will be held in San Diego, CA and sponsered by Quaff (Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity). This is an AHA sanctioned competition and entries will be accepted in all recognized categories including beer, mead, barleywine and saki. Entries will be accepted from Feb 27 through Mar 8. Further details of entry prices and shipping address for entries will be forthcoming shortly. This notice is to let you know to start brewing for this great event. - -- Dion Hollenbeck (619)675-4000x2814 Email: hollen at megatek.com Staff Software Engineer Megatek Corporation, San Diego, California Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1623, 01/05/95