HOMEBREW Digest #201 Fri 14 July 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  beer anecdote (Steve Conklin)
  Wort Chillers (Mike Fertsch)
  RE: 1. Slow yeast  2. White scum (Roger Rose)
  RE:194,198,199 (JOHN L. ISENHOUR)
  RE: Sake Recipe ("MR. DAVID HABERMAN")
  My beer tastes like wine! (Paul Close)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 12 Jul 89 9:35:16 CDT From: Steve Conklin <hpfcla!hplabs!amdahl!uunet!tesla!steve> Subject: beer anecdote Here is an interesting "beer anecdote". As part of the twentieth anniversary of man's landing on the moon, the local TV stations in Huntsville (AL - The Rocket city) have been producing bits about various aspects of the Apollo program, etc. A number of the members of the "Von Braun team" still live in Huntsville, and have been interviewed for these stories. Last night, they interviewed George Von Tiesenhausen, introducing him as the man who developed the hold-down/release system for the Saturn rockets. Then the interviewer stated that Mr. VT had invented the system while drinking beer. Well, that got my attention, as I had just poured a homebrew. Mr. VT held up a Grolsch bottle, and popping open the swing top, said (I'm paraphraseing) "You see how a little force from your thumbs can release the large force holding down the cap. When you look at a beer bottle like this, you are seeing almost exactly how the release system for the Saturn rocket worked." Steve Conklin uunet!ingr!tesla!steve Intergraph Corp. tesla!steve at ingr.com Huntsville, AL 35807 (205) 772-4013 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 89 09:02 EDT From: Mike Fertsch <FERTSCH at adc1.RAY.COM> Subject: Wort Chillers man at granjon.att.com asks: > In reference to stainless kettles and mashing, what is the minimum size > needed. I would think 7 gallons is the minimum (for a 5 gallon batch). > What is the consensus ? Another item I plan on buying is a wort chiller. > Which of the two main styles is best ? Is the internal-coil type worth $30 > more than the immersion type ? Thanks. The big problem with counter-flow chillers is that the chiller is hard to sanitize. Sanitizing solution must be passed through the tubing, and then the tubing must be rinsed. I can't think of an easy way to do this. Another problem is removal of hops. The hops must be removed before running the wort through the chiller. After cooling the wort, it is advisable to strain out the cold break trub. Personally, I'd rather not strain the wort twice. I use an immersion-type wort chiller. { I made mine by coiling 1/4 inch copper tubing and added a garden hose attachment on its end. } The best thing about an immersion coil is that is is easy to sanitize. I just put the coil in my boiling wort for the last 5 minutes of the boil. When the boil is finished, just run cold water through the tube. Fifteen minutes is enough to cool five gallons of hot wort. {Your mileage may differ ;-) } When the wort is cool, I filter out the hops and trub with a straining bag. I believe that the hops act as a mini filter bed and make the trub easier to remove. Immersion-type chillers require larger kettles because they displace wort when then are immersed. I find that my chiller displaces around 1.5 gallons. Five gallons of wort requires at least a 7 gallon kettle. I use a 8 gallon kettle and have no problems. Mike Fertsch Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 89 10:52:14 MDT From: stcvax!rlr at hplabs.HP.COM (Roger Rose) Subject: RE: 1. Slow yeast 2. White scum Chuck Ferguson writes: > I had a some slow start on a batch of homebrew but I attributed it to > the inability of the dry yeast to penetrate the foam barrier on the > top of the wort. I could see the powdered yeast just sitting there. > I was tempted to rouse or stir the wort in the fermenter but decided > not to. It eventually took off and turned out OK. > > Nowadays I re-hydrate dried yeast with a cup or so of tap water prior > to pitching. ... Not stirring the wort is a potential cause of slow starts itself. The boiling drives out the dissolved oxygen which is used by the yeast in early fermentation. Stirring adds some oxygen back in. Of course the faster the yeast takes over, the less chance of bacterial contamination, but the more undesirable fusel's are produced. (Hopefully, the fusels get broken down later.) Anymore, I generally start my yeast in dextrose or malt ahead of time to give it an opportunity to multiply. Malt is preferred, but a 1/4 cup of dextrose in the yeast starter isn't enough to affect the flavor on heavier beers. Cheryl Feinstein writes: > This is my first time including fruit in a wort. The recipe calls for one to > boil up one's wort, cooking for 45 min, and then to pour 10lbs of cherries > into the hot wort. This brings the temp down (hopefully) to 160-170 deg. F., > which one maintains for 15min. This pasteurizes the cherries. One is > supposed to try not to let the temp get too high during this 15 min period, as > there is the potential for bringing out the cherries' natural pectin, > resulting in chill haze in the finished brew. > ... > This is where things started to get interesting. After racking into the > secondary fermenting vessel (a glass jug) and putting the air lock on, I went > out of town for the holiday weekend. When I returned, I discovered a white > scum on the surface of the brew. The brew itself clarified nicely; the > whatever-it-is is *only* on the surface. It seems to cling to the side of the > jug; when I tipped the jug slightly it did so. Fruit is always a trick since you can't boil it. You could of course use sulfites in the same manner as wine makers. As far as the "white scum", I'll venture a totally off-the-wall guess. It is common practice to spray wax or some similar substance on apples to make them nice and shiny for the store. Does anyone know for sure if this is done to cherries?? (Just from looking at them, I'd suspect so.) Roger Rose UUCP: {ncar nbires}!stcvax!rlr USnail: Storage Technology Corp. - MS1169 / Louisville, Co. 80028-1169 phone: (303) 673-6873 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 89 16:49 EDT From: <LLUG_JI%DENISON.BITNET at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> (JOHN L. ISENHOUR) Subject: RE:194,198,199 Richard was asking in #198 about freeze sheild. I have not used this product but a person at Alternative Beverages told me that it was glycerine, which is what I use for freezing cultures. I get pint bottles at the pharmacy, which is much cheaper than the little bottles, ask for it behind the counter. The special issue of Zymurgy (out next) will have a bunch of stuff on yeast in it. Cher, in #199 was wondering about 'scum' in the "Cherries in the Snow" brew. Being perverse, I would call it "cherries in the scum" :-) to see if my friends would drink it! I have used various fruits but have not had a persistant foam/scum residue. I would suggest tasting it. If it clears up as you stated it was doing, and has a good palate, then its ok. Contamination is usually visible or detectable via odor or taste. No pathogens can live in beer, it may taste so bad you cannot drink it but it won't be fatal. I judged barley wines at the second round AHA conference, and one of the bottles actually had mold growing on the surface of it! (blech), we decided to judge it anyway. It sounds like your pasteurization process was ok, I generally smash my fruit (macerate) before adding it to maximize liberation of the sugars. If you get pectin haze you can try adding a little pectic enzyme. Paul, in issue #194 comments on how a brewery in England uses hop pellets, for ease of manipulation. I am sure they produce an excellent product. I adhere to my view that for homebrewers, hop flowers are the best. I have no problem examining the flowers, and will not hesitate to return them if they are not in peak condition. I have had pellets that seemed ok, but upon boiling, a LOT of woody/stalky pulp showed up, it was too late at that point, and bitterness was not what it should have been. I feel its very evident when flowers are fresh, but not so much when in pellet form. Pardon my bitterness :-), but would an American business person tend to take the most beautiful hop flowers and smash them into pellets? Home brewers don't have the clout that a brewery has, in terms of demanding a consistant fresh product. I purchase pellets when I have to, but I get consistantly better results with hop flowers. John Isenhour LUG_JI at DENISON.BITNET Return to table of contents
Date: 13 Jul 89 08:12:00 PDT From: "MR. DAVID HABERMAN" <habermand at afal-edwards.af.mil> Subject: RE: Sake Recipe In digest 199, Gregg TeHennepe asks about a recipe for Sake. I will relate the information that I received in November when I asked the same question. Fred Eckhardt has a very good description of how to brew Sake in the "Best of Beer and Brewing Volumes 1-5" which is available from the AHA for $18.95. The address and phone number is: American Homebrewers Association PO Box 287 Boulder, Colorado 80306-0287 USA (303) 447-0816 I haven't tried making it yet, but maybe next year. A friend of mine will be traveling through Northern California and Oregon and would like to know where the good brewpubs and breweries are to visit. Thanks, David Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 89 12:49:13 PDT From: cacilj!paul at uunet.UU.NET (Paul Close) Subject: My beer tastes like wine! HELP! After several years of not brewing (with a few botched attempts at brewing before that), I decided to try again. It's now been three weeks since bottling, and I was eager to taste my new beer. It has a nice head, good carbonation, and is a nice dark amber color (I guess from carmelization, since it is a light extract). The problem is, apart from a "raw" taste I assume is due to (lack of) age, the beer tastes like wine! My wife commented that it smelled like a good, hearty red wine! :-( (My sense of smell is not as keen; it smelled kind of like beer to me) At all stages, I took care to sanitize everything with a weak bleach solution, which I did *not* rinse off. I used one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water. Here's some background: For simplicity, I decided to use a pre-hopped extract kit (an ale). I added the water and corn sugar, boiled the whole 5 gallons, chilled it in the sink until it was cooled (an hour or so), and added the yeast, which I had started earlier. The coolest place in my house is around 70 degrees (this is San Diego in the summer :-( ), so I put the wort there. After a few days, I siphoned it into a secondary. The secondary fermented for about three weeks, while the temerature varied between around 65 and 75 degrees (I have a max/min thermometer). So far, so good. My hydrometer indicated it was ready, so I bulk-primed with 3/4 cup of corn sugar and bottled. Unfortunately, at this time we had a heat wave, and the temperature went up to, and stayed at, 85-95 degrees (in the coolest area :-( ). It "cooled" off to about 75 at night. It stayed that way for the first week while the beer sat in bottles, then tapered off to more reasonable levels again (65-75). The bottles are still there, at room temperature. I chill them before tasting. It is rather difficult to describe a taste, but I will try. Disclaimer: I don't have any "beer taste" guidelines, or anything, just years of experience drinking beer :-). The first taste is pleasant enough, and reminds me of beer (coincidence? :-). As the beer passes the tounge, I notice a woody or "corkish" taste that reminds me of wine. There isn't much of an aftertaste, but there is the impression of sourness. There also seems to be a noticeable alcohol taste, as if there was a high alcohol content, like there is in wine (my hydrometer indicated it should be 5%). After a few swallows, my mouth has an unpleasant "dry" feel to it, and the sour impression strengthens. After a quarter-glass or so, I throw out the rest. Yuck! Please help me! I'm loosing confidence in brewing beer, and hearing about everyone else happily (and successfully) brewing out of old garbage pails has me down. My first few batches years ago were ruined thanks to Metabisulfate. Then I had problems with contamination and "gushers". This time, I was very careful, and used bleach, and things worked a LOT better. This is my third batch, and not one has been drinkable (not counting this one--I still have some hope). I would "relax, have a homebrew" if I could make some that was drinkable! P.S. My beer is still sitting at room temperature. Should I refrigerate it now? Once the beer is in bottles, what is a good procedure? Immediately chill, or sit for a while, or ??? P.P.S. Sorry about the length.... And thanks for any help! -- Paul Close paul at cacilj.CTS.COM ...!{uunet, ucsd, crash}!cacilj!paul The Obi-wan Kenobi method: "Use the Source, Luke" -Jim Fulton Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #201, 07/14/89
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