HOMEBREW Digest #175 Tue 13 June 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Growing Hops and Propagating Vines (Dr. T. Andrews)
  Brewing in garbage pails (Michael Bergman)
  herbs and mead (BROWN)
  Getting Started (pri=8 Marc San Soucie ms 019-890 x76723)
  Re: Brewing in garbage pails (florianb)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 11 Jun 89 9:46:53 EDT From: Dr. T. Andrews <tanner at ki4pv> Subject: Growing Hops and Propagating Vines As a follow-up on messages of this spring, I had the ill fortune to have one of my vines severed practically at the ground. I do not know whether it was the cat, or the wind, or some insect that tood a bite and died. Given that it was one of two vines, I was not pleased. I cut the vine (while still green and healthy) into pieces of about a foot each, and buried an end of each piece. I was sure to have at least one set of leaves buried, and a set above ground. I watered daily; we have not been getting the rain we expect. This was over a month ago, and three pieces are still green and in fact appear to be growing. This suggests that they may have formed some roots, and next year I may have several new pieces of root which may be transplanted. 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: Mon, 12 Jun 89 10:33:18 edt From: bergman at m2c.org (Michael Bergman) Subject: Brewing in garbage pails I have no first hand knowledge, but am as willing to spread rumours and disinformation as the next net.poster...the subject of storing food in garbage pails recently came up on alt.sca, which not all of you read, and several people warned against using "non-food grade" plastic for food--apparently some of the plasticizers used to keep the plastic from cracking can be harmful, and can be leached into food. Sounds good to me. I suppose that if the FDA regulates plastic food containers (which they do--my contact lens case has an FDA approval for exactly that) there is probably a reasonably good reason... Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 89 10:00 EST From: <BROWN%MSUKBS.BITNET at CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu> Subject: herbs and mead Florian Bell asks about hops and other herbs in mead. I've made three meads up to this point (so I'm no expert), but here's my opinions: The first mead I made was straight out of Papazian's book. It was a variation of his barkshark ginger mead, with a quart of sour cherries added. It also contained about 10 grams (about 1/3 oz.) each of Cascade and Willamette hops, which were boiled for an hour. I used champagne yeast and clover/wildflower honey from a friend's bees. This mead was virtually undrinkable up to 1 year in the bottle. It's now two and 1/2 years old and much better -- very dry, a beautiful color and quite intoxicating in small amounts. It's not bad for a first try. But I wish now that I had started with the basics, so I know what the contributions of various ingredients are. Looking back, I threw in just about everything. My second batch was patterned after a recipe I took out of the contest recipes in Zymurgy. It was a grape/honey mixture (a Riesling pyment) and I think of it more as a wine than a mead. It seemed to mature more quickly and is very pleasing. No hops this time -- whether that is responsible for the early maturation, I don't know. My latest attempt is a peach/honey mixture which is still in the secondary. At this point it's obvious that I haven't got back to basics yet. Why not? I don't know. I have been enjoying the fruit beers I've made, and live in a part of the country overflowing with fresh fruits, so I guess I just couldn't resist. But I think my next mead attempt in the fall will be a strong, all honey recipe. This will allow me to really evaluate what makes a mead a MEAD, and not a wine. My biggest problem is not knowing anyone nearby who makes meads, so I can do the necessary research in less than 5 years. I hope that changes when I move in the fall. So in general my advice is to start with just honey and see if you like it. Don't put in hops if the idea of it doesn't appeal. Keep those wonderful Pacific Northwest hops for your beers and ales. Good luck! Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Jun 89 13:37:46 EDT (Mon) From: wang!mds at uunet.UU.NET (pri=8 Marc San Soucie ms 019-890 x76723) Subject: Getting Started Paul A. Ebersman asks about: 1) Instruction/Recipe books worth having 2) Are kits the way to start? Which kits work well? 3) Mail order companies that have pieces/parts/yeasts, etc. 1. There are scads of books available, most of them from any homebrew shop, and each will impart some measure of useful wisdom. The Complete Joy Of Homebrewing is quite efficient at providing knowledge and reason for enthusiasm, though I found it fell short of serving as a pure startup guide. Turns out nothing works really well as a startup guide, but most books, read with some interpretation, will get you going. Experienced brewers seem to like David Line's book, but it's easy to get lost in its more analytical aspects. Whatever you do, don't buy a kit and follow its directions word for word. Well, actually you can, but results will be better with more sophisticated techniques than most kit labels suggest. Recipes can be copied verbatim from any book, or, for more inventive fun, read a stack of recipes and interpolate. After reading 30 or 40 amber ale and pale ale recipes, it becomes pretty easy to figure out how to put together one's own recipe. I haven't followed a recipe word for word yet, and I'm quite satisfied with my results. 2. The difference between kit brewing and "from scratch" malt extract brewing is fairly slight, amounting chiefly to use of fresh leaf or pellet hops instead of hopped kit extracts. Brewing from scratch gives you your choice of yeast, though no corporate lawyers will whale on you for using a kit yeast with a different can or bag of extract, or kit malts with your own yeast and hops. Read a stack of recipes, read a passel of kit labels, and pick something that looks like it will be fun to do. Just about everything tastes good if you come close to doing it right. 3. My local supplier does a thriving mail-order business, as do many others around the country. Best bet is to look in the phone book for a place. Failing that, find a copy of Zymurgy magazine and scan the ads. Failing that, call Karin Baker at the number below. I haven't dealt with her by mail much, but she's great to deal with in person. Beer & Wine Hobby 22B Cranes Court Woburn, Ma. 01801 617-933-8818 or 800-523-5423 Good luck - good beer is worth a little effort. Marc San Soucie The John Smallbrewers Massachusetts Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Jun 89 08:30:27 PDT (Mon) From: florianb%tekred.cna.tek.com at RELAY.CS.NET Subject: Re: Brewing in garbage pails In Homebrew Digest # 173, Patrick T. Garvin asks: How safe/advisable is it to brew (primary fermentation) in a plastic garbage can? (Such as those made of hard plastic sold by Hefty.) Most books tell you not to brew in any plastic which isn't food grade. Some of the books tell you to use only white plastic which doesn't smell like a chemical. Others tell you not to use plastic which is easily scratched (scratches are a place for bacteria to hide and avoid being washed off). It is possible to buy or order food grade plastic fermenters of various sizes from your favorite brewing supply store or order house. Please mail me for an address. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #175, 06/13/89
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