HOMEBREW Digest #1631 Sat 14 January 1995

Digest #1630 Digest #1632

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Sassafras - a.k.a. file' (Mark Thompson)
  Hombrew Archives (Philip Gravel)
  Mexicali Rogue (John Dodson)
  NDN: Homebrew Digest #1630 (January 13, 1995) (Gateway)
  A caution about honey (David Draper)
  Low mash pH ("Lee Bussy")
  Re:Plastic permeability misconception ("Joseph E. Santos")
  Trash Can Water Jacket (Walt Davis)
  SRM<>EBC (Dirk Kissing)
  Ale ferm temp / Thomas Hardy's Ale (Spencer.W.Thomas)
  Looking For Unmalted Barley (dsanderson)
  Bottle cappers (TPuskar)
  extract prediction/dead starter? ("Charles S. Jackson")
  One problem with the spigot on the EasyMasher<tm> (Jack Baty)
  Thanks, honey.... (BOO! to that subject line) (Bob Paolino               Research Analyst)
  Re: infected beer (Spencer.W.Thomas)
  Re: oatmeal stout recipe ("Glen A. Wagnecz, X6616")
  Cheap solutions information ("David H. Thomas")
  kegging/dispensing/etc. (Ray Robert)
  Easymasher spigot (Wolfe)
  bottling lagers (James Manfull)
  Re: Culturing wild yeast (Jeff Benjamin)
  Water chemistry (Pierre Jelenc)
  Eisbock; Brewing With Honey (Ash Baker)
  Right/Wrong Topics ("Richard Scotty")
  Scaling up batch sizes/software (Alvin Little)
  40L Pyrex Carboy (Jeff Stampes)
  Oatmeal Stout ??? comments ("Lee A. Menegoni")
  Hallertauer/Poppets/Infection/Crimes/SA Lagers (npyle) <npyle at hp7013.ecae.StorTek.COM>
  Brewing Water - Beginner (MR PETER E MISIASZEK)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 22:03:38 -0600 From: mthompso at mail.utexas.edu (Mark Thompson) Subject: Sassafras - a.k.a. file' In HBD #1629 Mr. Robert Rybczynski wrote: >Sassafras grows wild in Maryland, so I've made simple teas from it all my >life. You use the bark from the root. Scrub the roots well, nip off any >rootlets, then shave the bark from the roots with a knife. These shavings >go into the pot near the end of the boil (about 5 minutes). You can discard >the rootlets and wood. I have also used sassafras in brewing. Not the roots, but rather the leaves. I grew up in Louisiana and a staple in the pantry was gumbo file' (pronounced fee-lay). File' is nothing more than ground sassafras leaves used as a thickening agent in gumbo. One brew day I was having a delicious bowl of smoked turkey and sausage gumbo while my wort was boiling. As I was preparing to add some file' to the gumbo, I noticed the aroma of the file'. It was amazingly similar to hops. So I added about 1/2 oz. of file to the wort for the last 5 minutes of the boil along with 1/2 oz. of cascade hops. I don't know if the file' contributed any to the aroma of the beer but it certainly didn't hurt. In fact it was a very delicious pale ale. Mark Thompson, Austin Texas mthompso at mail.utexas.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 00:04 CST From: pgravel at mcs.com (Philip Gravel) Subject: Hombrew Archives ===> GlynnB9776 at aol.com talks about the homebrew archives >Subject: listserv at sierra. stanford.edu > >i dont seem to be capable of understanding how to access archives >can you help me The homebrew archives have moved to ftp.stanford.edu - -- Phil _____________________________________________________________ Philip Gravel pgravel at mcs.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 11:10:00 -0700 From: john.dodson at cantina.com (John Dodson) Subject: Mexicali Rogue Mark Thompson Wrote: -> I want to attempt to brew something in the style of Rogue's Mexicali -> Rogue Ale. According to the blurb on the side of the bottle they use -> chipolte (smoked jalapeno) peppers to give it it's smokey character. I -> was planning on using a pale ale as the base but I'm not sure how to -> proceed with the chipolte. Hi Mark, I have brewed beer using poblano chiles and jalapeno peppers. I've never used chipolte peppers in beer. However, I've eaten plenty of them... they are a delicious pepper and do have a smokey character. (BTW, the chipolte is it's own pepper, no such thing as a 'chipolte jalapeno. ;) ) Chipolte's are tiny peppers with plenty of heat. I think I would try adding them to the end of a boil and let them steep for 10 - 15 minutes. I would start out with one or two tablespoons, crushed and placed in a hop bag. I think you want subtlety when using hot peppers. You could experiment with few bottles and place one (or two) peppers in a bottle at bottling time, you know, to give to hard-to-get-rid-of-company. <grin> I'd be interested in how your batch turns out. Rogue's Mexicali Rogue Ale sounds delicious. ... john.dodson at cantina.com ___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.12 Return to table of contents
Date: 13 Jan 1995 01:42:07 -0000 From: Gateway at foxmail.gfc.edu (Gateway) Subject: NDN: Homebrew Digest #1630 (January 13, 1995) Sorry. Your message could not be delivered to: Robert Hoover,George Fox College (The name was not found at the remote site. Check that the name has been entered correctly.) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 23:06:49 +1100 (EST) From: David Draper <David.Draper at mq.edu.au> Subject: A caution about honey Dear Friends, I definitely do not have as much experience brewing with honey as many others out there, but wish to recount something from what little I have. This involves using honey for priming rather than as a major source of fermentables. Many months ago I made a steam-ish beer with Wyeast 2112, and primed with honey. Although the beer suffered in many of its aspects, the honey aroma seemed to come through well as a contribution to the maltiness (at least according to fellow clubster and HBDer Andy Walsh, owner/proprietor, Legless Brewery). Eight batches ago, I made a US-style wheat beer (sort of based on Widmer Hefeweizen) that was absolutely scrumptious on bottling day--and I primed with honey again, thinking it would be a nice touch. Well, one week later and the stuff tasted absolutely disgusting--totally sour, almost lactic. No, my mouth has nothing to do with it--I have spigots in all my vessels and gravity does all the work for me. Needless to say I was heartbroken. The only thing I can figure is that the honey was not from an *unopened* bottle. That is, it was from a bottle that had been opened awhile-- something like a couple weeks at most (used by my wife in tea and on some hot cereals). Now, I boiled it up in water, as usual for a priming solution, and even tasted the stuff beforehand (and after this result, too) and it tastes fine. Neverhteless, I am convinced that something got into it that could survive the 2 minutes of boiling I gave it. I'm very careful about sanitation at the bottling stage, and if it were something to do with that then I would expect some bottle-to-bottle variation, and there was none. The moral: use only *unopened* containers of honey. Any meadmakers out there want to back me up or shoot me down? Let's hear it. PS Yes, let's blackball George Fox College. Cheers, Dave in Sydney - -- "Life is short; grain is cheap." ---Rich Lenihan ****************************************************************************** David S. Draper, School of Earth Sciences, Macquarie University, NSW 2109 Sydney, Australia. email: david.draper at mq.edu.au fax: +61-2-850-8428 ....I'm not from here, I just live here.... Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 06:32:14 +0000 From: "Lee Bussy" <leeb at southwind.net> Subject: Low mash pH Jon Petty asks about low mash pH: Jon, you are the only person I have ever heard of that has this problem. Calcium Carbonate is one of the more accepte means of raising pH but there are problems with dissolving it as you stated. I stayaway from salts when adjhusting my mash as all I want to do is get the pH correct. Mineral additions change the character of the water and I like the water here just as it is. I use lactic acid to lower the pH but as hard as I rack my brain I can't seem to think of anything that will not affect the water chemistry to use..... perhaps one of the chemists here might be able to help. Short of that.... plain old Baking Soda might be a choice. It seems to dissolve well. Perhaps you are owndering why you need to adjust your pH. A pH of around 5.3 is generaly considered optimum for enzymatic reactions. When the pH goes as low as yours, extraction will begin to suffer and excessive protiens will be dissolved in the wort leasing to haze problems. ================== Ed Hitchcock opines about 2 litre PET bottles: I have tasted beers side by side in a blind tasting and after as little as one month oxidation begins to rear it's ugly head. Now this is when I have my "Judges hat" on.... I'm looking for something. I would tend to agree with Ed in principle as long as the beer is consumed within a month or two. Now, this was an unscientific tasting and there was room for errors in bottling, sampling, etc but to sum it all up... I don't use PET with beer I am extremely proud of. I do keep some around just incase I didn't prepare enough bottles. =================== I keep seeing reference to the FermTap (if that's right) in the digest lately. The thingie that let's you ferment upside down. If the people that market the product would bounce me some e-mail I would appreciate it. =================== Mark Evans asks about using boiling water to raise his mash to mashout temps: Mark, the speed isn't the problem here. Getting the mash up to 168 or so in one shot isn't a problem and maybe even a benefit. Bells go off in my head about boiling water on the grains with them already heated... tannins may be extracted due to the greater ease with which the grain will be rased in temp. Make sure the water is treated the way you normally do your sparge water and it shouldnn't be a problem. ============== Chris Lovelace want's to know about keg fridges: Chris I can't think of any rason not to use that 10 cu ft. Will work fine. One thing... you want to put a tap on top of a smaller one... try to find a chest freezer and use a different t-stat for it. You should be able to find an old freezer somewhere. As far as a standard keg fitting in there my guess would be no. I have several 14 cu ft fridges and a keg will fit in only if I remove the bars on the door shelves. It would seem that a smaller fridge would be worse. ================ There has been alot of talk about the "keg crimes" and now "Bottle crimes". Bruce Beckwith wondered if they ever return to the bottlers. Well, in Mass annd other places wgere deposit is mandatory, no. The non-returnable bottles are re-cycled. Here I can attest to the fact that the Bud returnables are re-used. I got a lame comment on one of my judging sheets at the last competition that my bottle could have been cleaner. I soak my bottles in a caustic solution overnight to remove labels and "nasties". I give them a good scrubbing and rinsing before putting them in the dishwasher. They are clean I can assure you. The "uncleanliness" that the judge was referring to was the scratches on the bottles. They get quite beat up and show it but hold beer just fine thank you! :) Anyway... they do re-use the bottles and it would seem that it is cost-effective to do so. I would tend to think that a case of bottles in that heavy cardboard box would cost more than $1.75 if you bought it new. ================= That about does it for this issue. This time I wanted to make all my replies to the digest and see if it was too much volume..... any comments? - -- -Lee Bussy | The 4 Basic Foodgroups.... | leeb at southwind.net | Salt, Fat, Beer & Women! | Wichita, Kansas | http://www.southwind.net/~leeb | Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 08:26:03 -0500 (EST) From: "Joseph E. Santos" <jesantos at WPI.EDU> Subject: Re:Plastic permeability misconception Fellow homebrewers, As a happy receiver of vast amounts of brew knowledge I feel obligated to return some of the wisdom to all. I think the discussion of the permeability of 2L plastic bottles can be solved by a little common sense. When a brew is bottled in a closed container it builds up a positive pressure, hopefully :). I would think that the pressure in the container makes the permeability irrelevent because the lower atmospheric pressure could not possibly enter the container unless it is opened or cooled significantly below the saturation pressure of the liquid within the container. In conclusion: A brew can be stored in a container without concern as long as there remains a positive CO2 pressure in the container. The only worry I can see is the possibility of reducing the carbonation level in the beer, which would take an extremely long time as experienced by the 2L of soda that I have had in my house for over a year. I hope this clears up some of the discussion, if I have missed something most obvious please feel free to correct me. Dr. J Just another happy homebrewer! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 08:57:17 -0500 From: whd at bbt.com (Walt Davis) Subject: Trash Can Water Jacket djones at iex.com (Douglas R. Jones) writes: >I have a 32 gallon plastic trash can in my garage. It is wrapped in >an old sleeping bag. Inside is my carboy sitting on a couple of bricks. >The trash can is filled with enough water so that the beer is covered. >You don't want too much water as you can float the carboy. I use a >aquarium heater to keep the temp constant. It has been holding a steady >65F for 3 weeks now. Try it. It was cheap to setup, got the carboy off >the bathroom counter (which makes the other half VERY happy) and it works! I've been using a setup very similar to Douglas' and it has solved my problem regulating temps during primary *and* secondary ale fermentation. However, I do have a few of further suggestions. 1) In addition to the aquarium heater, use an aquarium air pump and an air stone to keep the water jacket churning enough to eliminate the formation of thermal layers. Before I added the air pump I noticed the water at the bottom of the trash can was 10 to 20 degrees colder than the water at the surface. 2) Not necessary, but I have a floating thermometer in the water jacket to help monitor and maintain proper temps. 3) Make sure the trash can water level is high enough to allow proper submersion of the aquarium heater. The glass cracked on my first heater and I suspect improper submersion. Walt Davis BroadBand Technologies Inc. whd at bbt.com (919) 405 4758 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 15:13:28 +0100 From: D.Kissing at inter.nl.net (Dirk Kissing) Subject: SRM<>EBC Hello, Can someone help me out on translating the colorcode from SRM<>EBC (Is SRM the same as Lovibond?) Dirk Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 10:07:27 EST From: Spencer.W.Thomas at med.umich.edu Subject: Ale ferm temp / Thomas Hardy's Ale In the most recent issue of The Malt Advocate (containing, by the way, articles relating a recent tasting of 25 years of Thomas Hardy's Ale: 8 vintages from 1993 to 1968), the Homebrew column recommends fermenting ales at 60-65F, in order to reduce undesirable aromatic components (specifically, diacetyl, fusels, and excess esters). My feeling is that this is asking for slow, stuck fermentations, particularly at the low end of the range. This is not the first time that I've disagreed with information and advice in this column. I guess I shouldn't be surprised -- the magazine really about tasting & drinking beer & whisk(e)y, not about making it. There's also an interesting article by the brewmaster at Eldridge Pope about the making of Thomas Hardy's ale. Except for the color, the parameters are quite close to my latest barleywine effort: OG 1.125, 50-70 IBUs, 12%alc. Can I expect mine to last as long?? :-) =Spencer in Ann Arbor, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 09:58:23 EST From: dsanderson at msgate.CV.COM Subject: Looking For Unmalted Barley Lately, frequent business travel to Europe and repeated exposure to the beers there has ruined my content slugging down of North American beers and rekindled my interest in Home Brewing. I've been reading THE HISTORICAL COMPANION TO HOUSE BREWING by Clive La Pensee which I think is excellent It's focus is on the evolution of brewing particularly in Europe which lead to commercial brewing as we know it today. So as far as the brewing process, the initial step which is covered in detail is the malting of the barley. I thought it would be a simple matter to find unmalted 2 row summer barley. Not so! Brewing supply stores don't carry it. Health food store carry pearled (husked) barley which can't be germinated Grain and feed stores sell seed stock that's been treated with fungicides so I can plant my own but have to wait till late summer to malt. I live on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Someone at Stout Billy's in Portsmouth NH, a brewing supply store suggested I try the Internet. So here I am. I'd like to hear from anyone who malts their own or knows where I can acquire food quality barley seed stock. Maybe after I try my hand at it I'll understand why it seems everyone skips this step. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 10:21:24 -0500 From: TPuskar at aol.com Subject: Bottle cappers Thanks to everyone who posted or Emailed info on capping champagne bottles. It is alwasy reasurring to learn that others have similar problems! I seem to be lucky enough to have one of the double lever cappers which cannot be adjusted or manipulated without damage. It is of Italian manufacture (modello brevettato by a company called O.M.A.C) It is a strudy metal model which does beer bottles just fine. Avoid it if you want felxibility. I'd like to compile a list of models which can be used for champagne bottles and reply to the several people who Emailed me who may not read the digest regularly. I'd appreciate receiving info on acceptable double lever models (their quite a bit cheaper than the bench cappers people have recommended) and possible sources of supply. I'll be glad to compile a list and spread it around as a TIP summary. Tom Puskar Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 9:15:58 CST From: "Charles S. Jackson" <sjackson at ftmcclln-amedd.army.mil> Subject: extract prediction/dead starter? Loving this water thread! If only I was not so chemically challenged it would be far more understandable. Off to the library later today to get some help. To brew beer with only a "poets & lover's" understanding of chemistry makes for an exceptional challenge. I have two questions for the vast experience here. First: How does one calculate the maximum (100% efficiency) gravity for a given grain bill. I have read, reread and re-reread the section in CP's THBC but just can't quite get it. I am doing a 5 sequential batches of pale ale changing just the yeast on each batch and would like to know what the efficiency of my new system is. Secondly: Last Thursday, in anticipation of a weekend brewing session I "smacked a pack" let it swell and pitched it to an 800 ml 1.030 starter. Then Uncle Sam informd me that I would be "going away" for a couple of weeks. This leaves a 1000ml flask with stopper and airlock on top of my frig. It will be two weeks total time before I get back to it. What is the prognosis for this starter. Give it to me straight doc, I can take it. The Outlaw Picobrewery(tm) will soon be relocating to S.C. Will brewing beer be less exciting? Steve - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Brewing beer is far more exciting when it is both a hobby AND a felony! The Alabama Outlaw Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 09:36:16 -0600 (CST) From: Jack Baty <jack at wubios.wustl.edu> Subject: One problem with the spigot on the EasyMasher<tm> > > One problem with the spigot on the EasyMasher<tm>: > > The taper on the nozzle makes it difficult to keep > > a hose from slipping off. > I've experienced a similar concern. > Even a hose clamp does not resolve this problem too well. > Has anyone come up with a solution for this problem? > (email or post if you have any solutions). > Thanks. After having a slipping hose on my first batch using the EasyMasher I used a small triangular file to make shallow horizontal grooves on the nozzle. I spaced the grooves about 1/8 inch apart and made as many as I could easily fit. It seems to have worked with no problem. - -- Jack Baty jack at wubios.wustl.edu Division of Biostatistics Washington University Medical School St. Louis If you don't think too good then don't think too much. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 10:43:22 EST From: Bob Paolino Research Analyst <uswlsrap at ibmmail.com> Subject: Thanks, honey.... (BOO! to that subject line) Just sharing the essence of the many private email replies with HBD-land: In my response to my question about the appropriate amount of honey to boost the gravity without getting a readily discernable effect on flavour in a big beer. Most people seemed to agree that two pounds wouldn't be too much. A couple people added that the "grocery store honey" I bought at the last minute (or what would have been the last minute if my yeast had been ready) is actually a pretty good choice if I want something fairly neutral. One set of data points offered in a reply suggested that two pounds was good but three proved to be bad--too alcoholic and winy. One person so far, however, raised the spectre of the dreaded SA<tm> Honey "Porter" and suggested that, at least in a typical beer, that two pounds might be too much, and that a longer secondary fermentation might be in order to avoid problems with the honey continuing to ferment in the bottle and yielding a fizzy brew. Finally, it seems that 2 pounds in a 4-5 gallon batch should give it a 16-20 point boost. It looks like it's a good thing that I bought a two pound jar rather than the five pound jug.... Now go have a beer, Bob Paolino / Disoriented in Badgerspace /uswlsrap at ibmmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 10:41:26 EST From: Spencer.W.Thomas at med.umich.edu Subject: Re: infected beer Chuck Cannon writes about an infected stout that ended up with a "nice," tart flavor. A friend (Mike) has had recurring problems with a pleasant, souring infection (he lives in Ypsilanti, MI, so we've taken to calling it "Ypsilanti Lambic"). Last summer, he made a yeast starter for a 15 gallon, group-brewed wheat beer (intended as a learning experience for brewclub members who hadn't done all-grain before). Unfortunately, the starter was infected. Or, was it unfortunate? Mike, when he recognized the problem, added raspberries, creating a wonderfully thirst-quenching raspberry-wheat beer. Steve, who had hosted the brewing event, was totally bummed. He brought a bottle of it to our November meeting, labeled "Useless Wheat". We convinced him to enter it in the tasting for the club-only Specialty Quest competition, which it handily won! Steve dutifully sent off his bottles to Colorado to be judged. The sheets came back with scores of 37, 34, and 24. Two of the judges liked the tart character, and one thought it was "infected." I wonder how they would have judged Boon or Cantillon geueze? :-) While there are totally nasty infections, there are also ones that are benign or even beneficial. As the saying goes, "When life hands you lemons... make lemonade!" =Spencer in Ann Arbor, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 11:00:59 EST From: "Glen A. Wagnecz, X6616" <wagnecz at PICA.ARMY.MIL> Subject: Re: oatmeal stout recipe Forgot this: Original gravity will be 1.060 to 1.065 Final gravity will be 1.010 to 1.008 Makes 15 gallons Glen Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 11:16:08 -0500 (EST) From: "David H. Thomas" <dhthomas at lis.pitt.edu> Subject: Cheap solutions information During December, one writer to the HBD mentioned that there was a "cheap alternatives" document (approximately 42k in size--I seem to remember the oddest details) for homebrew equipment. S/he stated that it was not posted to HBD due to its size, but that it _was_ posted to rec.crafts.brewing and rec.food.drink.beer on the 8th of every month. Upon checking both of those lists, however, I did not find anything that remotely resembled this document. If anyone has this document, or can tell me where it may be ftp'ed, I would appreciate it! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 95 11:13:00 PST From: Ray Robert <rayr at bah.com> Subject: kegging/dispensing/etc. Hello All! I am gathering some data on kegging, kegging set-ups, etc. and I have some questions for the brewing masses. 1) Do most people use their beer dispensor (fridge/freezer) as their beer fermenter. Any problems with varied temperatures (dispensing vs. fermenting/lagering). 2) Is there a preference for a fridge vs. freezer. I seem to remember that freezers have better (i.e. a wider) temperature controls. (When I speak of freezers, I am referring to chest freezers vs. uprights. Uprights, if i recall correctly have the coils in the shelves, rendering them useless for brew purposes). 3) Has anyone attempted to use a commercial slide-top freezer (the kind you see in convenience stores) for lagering/dispensing? 4) Does anyone know of a **cheap** alternative or set-up to dispense beer. I have everything short the means to cool the beer. A coldplate setup seems a little pricey. This would be temporary until I move into a house. I currently live in an apartment and the management would frown on a fridge of any type on the patio. 5) Is there a maximum length that I can make my beer dispensing line (from keg to tap)? I would be dispensing ales primarily. 6) I was thinking of making my own "coldplate" by coiling and overlapping my dispensing hose in a cooler and covering with ice. The tap would run through the side of the cooler, with keg and CO2 on the outside of the cooler at room temp. Any thoughts? Return to table of contents
Date: 13 Jan 95 10:32 CST From: Wolfe at act-12-po.act.org Subject: Easymasher spigot With respect to the problem of getting your hose to stay on the Easymasher spigot ... If you twist a small rubber band tightly around the hose (as you would a hair tie on a pony tail) and then slip the hose onto the spigot, it will reduce (but not cure) the problem. I've found that as the hose gets warm and moist (from draining the beer into the carboy) it tends to be more likely to slip. I haven't found anything that works better than a VERY TIGHTLY WOUND rubber band and pushing the hose up over the bend in the spigot. Ed Wolfe wolfe at act-12-po.act.org Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 12:11:36 -0500 From: jxm64 at psu.edu (James Manfull) Subject: bottling lagers Could anyone help me on a technicality? If I Lager a beer for three weeks at, say, 45 degrees, must I continue to store the beer at that temperature after bottling? Will storing it in my 65 degree basement have adverse affects? I know the major breweries don't do it but who wants to emulate them? James Manfull Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 10:27:16 MST From: Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> Subject: Re: Culturing wild yeast James Linscheid writes: > Has anyone ever tried to isolate wild strains of > yeast to determine its suitability in brewing? I realize that it would > mean wasting a lot of wort, but the prospect of discovering a new yeast > seems worth it. I actually did ask about this back in August. I was using 100% Colorado ingredients for a beer, with the exception of the yeast. In the past, I have had wort samples spontaneously ferment on me if left out, so I was curious. The general consensus was that it could be done, with some effort, but the chances of actually finding a yeast that made a good beer were pretty slim. Now, I suppose "good beer" is pretty subjective; if you like lambics, maybe you'll get something you'll want to use. A nice, clean, light-ester yeast will probably be more difficult to isolate. That said, here is a sketch of the procedure you might follow: 1. Collect microfauna on petri dishes with a yeast-favorable medium, preferrably malt-based to increase the incidence of malt-loving yeast. You might try collecting yeast from congenial sources like local fruit. Wait for colonies of stuff to grow. 2. Take small samples of likely-looking yeast colonies and streak out, with progressively greater dilution, on more plates to try and isolate some single-cell colonies. At this point, familiarity with lab procedures and some equipment, like a microscope, would be handy. Without access to a lab, it may be tough to get a completely pure culture. At a minimum, you'll need the petri dishes, flame source, innoculating loop, etc. 3. Prograssively grow the single-cell-based colonies into small starter cultures (loop->10ml->50ml), then pitch into a one or two-liter batch of sample wort and see what happens. If you're lucky, you may get something good. Of course, you could just leave a wort sample on the window sill for a few days, like I did :-). I did taste it before pouring out: a bit off-sour and kind of musty tasting, but not completely vile. I would also hazard a guess that the best time to collect yeast is in the fall, maybe after the first freeze. There would probably be a greater amount of yeast in the air from ripe fruit, and a slight freeze would help knock down the number of other nasties. - -- 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: Fri, 13 Jan 95 12:29:14 EST From: Pierre Jelenc <pcj1 at columbia.edu> Subject: Water chemistry >From Jon Petty <jpetty at PICA.ARMY.MIL>: > My typical pale ale mash has a PH of about 4.5. The books say to add > chalk (calcium carbonate) to adjust PH to 5.2. I have to add gobs of > this stuff to see any change because it doesn't readily dissolve in > water. Adding more of something that is insoluble only makes things go faster (larger surface area); it does not change the end result. It would be preferable to use highly pulverized chalk dust to get the same effect. > Also I don't want all the carbonate in a pale ale. Adding calcium carbonate does not increase the concentration of carbonate: remember that CaCO3 is insoluble. The reaction is something like the following ("A" = unknown acid in the mash) either CaCO3 + 2 HA => CaA2 + CO2 + H2O (at acid pH) or 2 CaCO3 + 2 HA => Ca(HCO3)2 + CaA2 (at neutral pH) Then in the boil, Ca(HCO3)2 => CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O and all the CO2 (from the first reaction above or from the conversion back to carbonate) is boiled away and the CaCO3 reprecipitates. The net result is an increase in *calcium* (the CaA2 above), not carbonate. I have used sodium > bicarbonate and a teaspoon is enough to get me to 5.2, but again I don't > want the carbonate or the sodium. Most pale ale recipes call for > additions of CaSO4 but this would lower my PH further. My choices seem > to be; run the mash at 4.5 or add the bicarbonate or ? One tsp of sodium bicarbonate is very little; the mash does not seem to be buffered. Any base will do, but no matter what, you will need a cation. It can be sodium or potassium, or an organic base, but you need something; one cannot add just the OH- anion. -------------------------------- >From dipalma at sky.com (Jim Dipalma): > I base that statement on what I've read about the production of pilsners > in Pilsen. The water there is extremely soft, it certainly is not high > in carbonates, but it also has a very low level of the calcium ion. To clarify things, by definition soft water must have a very low level of calcium (and magnesium), but it can be very high in carbonate. Pierre Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 12:24:12 EST From: Ash Baker <3AVHB at QUCDN.QUEENSU.CA> Subject: Eisbock; Brewing With Honey Richard Nantel asks about making his own Eisbock. Well, what Niagara does is make a beer from Canadian 2-row, carastan, "roasted malts," and one "secret malt," hopped with Hallertau, to 1060, fermented to 6% ABV. They put this beer into steel tanks with cooling jackets, and lower the temperature to -15 centigrade. The ice forms on the walls of the tanks, and I think they then siphon the beer out of the freezing tank, rather than removing the ice itself. So I suppose that Richard's method would work admirably, as long as the temperature remained suitably cold (here in Kingston we've gone from -20 C to 12 C in 48 hours...). Might it be better to fine in the secondary, and then siphon the fined beer into a glass carboy, and put that outside? If watched with a suitable hawklike eye, the beer would not freeze enough to shatter the carboy, and then, when there was, say, two inches of ice covering the sides of the carboy, rack to another carboy, lightly force- carbonate, and bottle. The beer out in the freezing carboy would have to be still, and it would have been racked off enough yeast to carbonate naturally, a) after the fining in the secondary, and b) after the freezing lagering out in the cold. Make any sense? Any ideas from people who actually know what they're talking about? (NFBC Eisbock info from Jamie MacKinnon, _The Ontario Beer Guide,_ Toronto: Riverwood, 1992) *-*-*-*-*-* Bob Paolino asks about boosting a mega-beer even farther with honey. Well, my local makes a honey lager from extract, using 13% pale honey, fermented with Mawri "Lager" Yeast. That much honey ferments down almost completely. The beer is dry, clean, and light-bodied -- there is no honeyed sweetness at all. However, what little bit of the honey that is not fermented gives a pleasing hint of honey at the finish. It's the flavour compounds, I suppose, without any of the sugar. Using honey in a big beer... Hmm. I would imagine that it would boost the alcohol some, without adding much body at all. If the honey comprises 5% of the fermentables I don't imagine the flavour would be very noticeable. At 13% (in the aforementioned honey lager at any rate) the honey flavour is present, but not overbearing. But, in a big beer, with lots of leftover malt sugars, the honey flavour might come through more strongly, even if all the honey sugars themselves were fermented. Does any of that make any sense? :) Ash Baker 3avhb at qucdn.queensu.ca -- Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario Return to table of contents
Date: 13 Jan 1995 10:28:39 U From: "Richard Scotty" <richard_scotty at msmgate.mrg.uswest.com> Subject: Right/Wrong Topics I really didn't want to waste the bandwidth (or time) this, but let's put this issue to bed once and hopefully for all. The HBD's mission is prominately displayed in upper case at the beginning of each digest. It reads: FORUM ON BEER, HOMEBREWING, AND RELATED ISSUES I grow tired of people trying to impose their views of appropriate or non-appropriate topics of discussion in the digest. The latest is the revival of the keg crimes thread. There are some who think that this topic should not be discussed in the digest. I submit that this is definately a brewing related issue and therefore can and should be discussed here. For those that feel otherwise, I have developed a methodology for dealing with these unwanted issues - Don't read them. Its easy! Its effortless! Its foolproof! I use it all the time both here on the digest and in office correspondance. If a subject doesn't interest me or apply to me, I simply blow by it. It's time tested and proven. Use it. To vent for a bit, I find it the appalling height of arrogance that anyone would attempt to determine for me or others what is appropriate to post in the digest. If you're not interested, fine (see above paragraph) but there are others that want to read these postings. So Mr. Demers, if you aren't interested in reading the keg crimes thread, don't, but stop attempting to control the content of the digest. It won't work and it makes you look the fool. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 13:47:54 -0500 From: little at charlotte.med.nyu.edu (Alvin Little) Subject: Scaling up batch sizes/software I've been thinking about moving up from 5 gallon batches and possibly going into production at brewpub level. I was wondering if there are formulas to convert 5 gallon recipes up to larger batches (10 barrels and up)? If so, is there software available that will do this? Is there a listing anywhere of used brewpub equipment? etc. etc. Any info or comments regarding these and related issues would be appreciated. God blessed beer, before he blessed wine! (It was ready to drink first) Slainte Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 09:47:19 MST From: jeff at neocad.com (Jeff Stampes) Subject: 40L Pyrex Carboy I have a 40L (that's 12 Gallon) *PYREX* carboy, complete with appropriate sized stopper with a hole for an airlock that I am looking to sell. I know the HBD is not a *for sale* place, but the only reason I got this was for fermenting 10 gallon batches, so the only person I can imagine wanting it would be a homebrewer. They run about $275 new (just for a reference point), but I'll consider just about any offer. E-mail me at jeff at neocad.com if you're interested. I will pack carefully and pay all shipping costs. Jeff Stampes Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 12:35:20 EST From: "Lee A. Menegoni" <lmenegoni at nectech.com> Subject: Oatmeal Stout ??? comments Should out meal be given a protein rest or do we want to retain its proteins in the brew? I recently brewed an Oatmeal stout, after boiling the steel cut oats for about 15 minutes and letting them sit for another 15 I added them to half my grain and did a protein rest at 122F . The other half of the grain I did a 40 60 70C mash to in parrallel and added the protein rested mash to the main mash after slowly heating to 158. The sparge was a total nightmare, it kept getting stuck, the oatmeal became a gelatinous blob and when mixed with the grain turned my mash into a nonporous mass. I did mash out and paid attention to sparge water temp but it kept sticking. This brew took longer than doing a double decotion. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 12:55:41 MST From: Norman Pyle (npyle) <npyle at hp7013.ecae.StorTek.COM> Subject: Hallertauer/Poppets/Infection/Crimes/SA Lagers Catching up on my reading... Jim Grady wrote, on 1/6: >Norm Pyle says he would be surprised to see any hop with more than 5% >alpha acid with "Hallertau" in the name. Well, I have some Hallertau >Northern Brewer at 7.6% alpha acid. This name means that the hops are >Northern Brewer type hops that were grown in the Hallertau region of >Germany. There is a Hallertau type of hop and that generally is less >than 5% alpha acid as Norm said. Yes, I stand corrected. Its my understanding that HallertauER means "from Hallertau" just as PilsenER means "from Pilsen". So your hops would probably correctly be named Hallertauer Northern Brewer, and of course there is no law in Hallertau that says hops must be below 5% AA (ReinLOWALPHAgebot?). I should have been more clear but the original poster said his hops were simply "Hallertau", which says little. I was guessing his hops were Hallertauer Mittlefrueh or Hallertauer Hersbruck or Hallertauer Tettnang, all low alphas. This is one of my pet peeves (hops with non-descript names) and I fell into it myself. ** Lee Bollard, I'd call Fox at 800-525-2484 for your poppets problem. Ask for their retail catalog and check out page 2. They are usually quite helpful as well. ** Chuck (chc2 at acpub.duke.edu) writes: >............................ When I first started brewing, I used a >diluted bleach solution and never had any infection problems but then I >changed to iodine which is generally fine but lately when I brew a heavier >brew, there has been a slight trace of infection which actually mellows >nicely if you leave it in cool storage for a long time but I wanted to make >sure this brew wouldn't get infected, so I decided to switch back to >bleach. Whew! Take a breath, Chuck, and try some decaf! A little off subject, but regarding the statement, "there has been a slight trace of infection which actually mellows nicely if you leave it in cool storage for a long time", I have to comment. I know of no infection that mellows with age. Any and all infections I've seen have grown worse with age. I suspect what you call a "trace of infection" is something else altogether. ** Regarding the keg crimes debate, I disagree with Mike Demers in that it should be snuffed. It applies to many homebrewers and if nothing else, it serves to make us think about what we are doing in acquiring equipment. ** Tony Meehan asks about the difference between SA Boston Lager and SA Winter Lager. The information I have is that the SAWL recipe varies yearly so what may be correct this year will be wrong next year. According to something I picked up, the SAWL uses the same hops as the SABL plus some EK Goldings. It's also clearly a bigger beer, but I have no numbers for you. It actually might have a hint of chocolate (malt) in it as well. Cheers, Norm P.S. I'll shut up about water chemistry, as it seems people who actually have a clue are debating these issues of late. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 14:33:53 EST From: WNXP21A at prodigy.com (MR PETER E MISIASZEK) Subject: Brewing Water - Beginner The thread on brewing water has been educational, and I've read both Miller and Noonan, but I'm still not quite sure whether I should be treating my water, and if so, how. I just changed water sources, and my water now reads, in ppm, as follows: Alk 35, Ca 24, Cl 25, Hardness 80, Mg 4.7, pH 6.7, K 1.4, Na 14, Sulfate 32, and TDS 139. Nothing else, it is bottled water. I am doing full-mash German lagers and IPAs. I am using the Fix step infusion method, in a 5 gal. batch. Recommendations? TIA Pete Misiaszek, brewing BayBeer in Newport RI. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1631, 01/14/95