HOMEBREW Digest #212 Thu 27 July 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  John Courage, mailing beer (gateh)
  Malting Barley (Mike Fertsch)
  Shippping beer (Mike Fertsch)
  yeast (Jason Goldman)
  Award winners - Extract vs. Grain (Mike Fertsch)
  First time brew (JDK)
  re: John Courage (Darryl Richman)
  re: dry v. liquid yeasts (was 200 gallons) (Darryl Richman)
  re: 200 gallon batches (Darryl Richman)
  re: Malting your own barley (Darryl Richman)
  Re: 200 gallon batches (dw)
  Re: Mailing homebrew (or taking it on a plane) (dw)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 26 Jul 89 09:22:30 edt From: gateh%CONNCOLL.BITNET at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU Subject: John Courage, mailing beer Dave Sheehy asks about John Courage bitter not being so bitter. While I don't know the answer to the question, I thought I might warn you to check the label carefully - here in CT I'm seeing less and less of their standard beer and a lot of John Courage Amber, which is much milder. Perhaps this is what you had. Alex Stein asks about shipping beer. I have successfully shipped a couple of cases through UPS, with not even one bottle lost. As you can imagine, proper packing is the key. Being an old bookstore shipper-receiver, I was familiar with the ravages of shipping. I put my beer in a standard beer case and packed paper around the bottles. Then I filled the bottom of a larger box (say, about an inch larger on all sides) with paper, put the case in, and filled in the space with more paper. The trick to packing any box so that it won't get trashed is to pack all open space in the box fairly tightly so that the box won't crush when something is placed on it. You should be able to lean pretty hard on the top and not have it cave in. Add use good tape - wide, clear packing tape if you can find it. Oh, I almost forgot - use a good box. Most boxes have a rating printed on the bottom. I wouldn't use one with bursting test rating of anything less than 175 lbs./sq inch, and 200 lbs is ideal. I tend to like UPS - for the money, they seemed to inflict less damage than the U.S. Post. Good luck! - Gregg *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=* Gregg TeHennepe | Academic Computing and User Services Minicomputer Specialist | Box 5482 BITNET: gateh at conncoll | Connecticut College Phone: (203) 447-7681 | New London, CT 06320 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 89 08:57 EDT From: Mike Fertsch <FERTSCH at adc1.RAY.COM> Subject: Malting Barley Dave Sheehy asks about - > Malting your own barley. A few years ago, Zymurgy ran an article on malting grains. I believe it was the special All-grain issue, circa 1986. I recall pictures and plans for a malting setup. It looks like it would take up half my basement. Basically, malting involves steeping the grain until it starts to sprout, and then carefully heating the grain to stop the growth. Of critical importance is temperature, humidity, and time. All affect statch content and enzyme levels significantly. I can't see any way that homebrewers can get satisfactory control with their malthouses. Anhauser-Busch does their own malting at one central location - the process is too tricky to allow each A-B brewery to do their own. Good luck! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 89 09:00 EDT From: Mike Fertsch <FERTSCH at adc1.RAY.COM> Subject: Shippping beer Alex Stein sez - > I'd like to mail some homebrew to a friend across the country. > Are there any legal issues I need to be aware of? Any practical > hints about packaging homebrew (e.g., types of packing material, > etc)? Technically, it is illegal to mail or otherwise ship beer (or any other alcoholic beverage) across state lines. Exceptions are for research purposes or organized competitions. Your friend IS a research lab, isn't he? Practically, I've had no problems sending beer to competitions via UPS. Just mark the box "Non-perishable food", and hope the clerk doesn't get too nosy. I pack the beer in wine cartons. I wrap each bottle in newspaper, and then put each 12 oz. bottle in the carton with styrofoam peanuts above, around, and on top of the bottle. I send beer second-day air. I shudder to think what happens to beer going cross country in a 130 degree truck. > What about taking homebrew on an airplane? Do I need to worry > about the increased pressure? Does carry-on vs. checked luggage > matter? I send beer second-day air. The reduced pressure in flight hasn't caused explosions. I've put beer in checked luggage with no problems. I would hesitate to take homebrew as carry-on. How can the security people be sure your unlabelled, hand-capped bottle doesn't contain gasoline or some other explosove fluid? Commercial beer is less of a problem. Even still, I always get to the airport early just in case I have to drink my carry-on luggage! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 89 08:52:04 mdt From: Jason Goldman <hp-lsd!jdg> Subject: yeast Full-Name: Jason Goldman Several people have asked what the difference between liquid and dry yeast. I was under the impression that the main difference is that the liquid yeast is a purer culture and that the dry yeast is more likely to have contam- inants, like bacteria, molds, etc. Most of my data on this comes from an article that was thoughtfully provided by William's (who may have had a vested interest since they sell liquid yeast cultures ;-), so I can't say that I have an unbiased source. I tend to use liquid yeast for beers that are going to be fairly light, so if there are off flavors associated with dry yeast, my beer won't suffer. Whether I use liquid yeast or dry, I prepare a starter in advance to insure that when I pitch, everything will start up quickly. It takes a little bit longer for liquid yeast to take off because the amount of yeast you start with is smaller. This is a little bit of a hassle, but hey, I'm not complaining. Jason Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 89 09:53 EDT From: Mike Fertsch <FERTSCH at adc1.RAY.COM> Subject: Award winners - Extract vs. Grain Al Hainer asks - > Of the winners from the AHA competition, are any/some/most from extract? Looking through past winning recipies in Zymurgy, I find that MOST (almost all) recipes are all-grain. Some people claim that this demonstrates that all grain beers are inherently better than extract beers. I disagree. I think award-winning all-grain brewers were previously award-winning extract brewers; they just wanted the additional challenges of all-grain brewing. Good equipment and good procedures make good beers, no matter if the maltose comes from a can or from a barleycorn. I've been doing all-grain batches for a few years now; I've been very happy with the results. Recently, I've been going back to extracts, but using all-grain techniques. For these extract beers, I do full-wort boils, use a wort chiller, and refrigerator ferment in glass. I think these extract beers are just as good (maybe better??) as my all-grain brews. Most winning recipies also use liquid yeasts. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 89 11:34 EST From: JDK%CSHLAB.BITNET at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU Subject: First time brew I am interested in a simple first time brew recipe. Any suggestions for recipes,supplies and books on the subject would be appreciated. Jim Kos Cold Spring Harbor Labs JDK at CSHLAB.BITNET Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 89 08:50:17 PDT From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: John Courage Have you been to Merrie Olde Englande? A pint of "Bitter" is not very, on average. (The neat thing about having a zillion little breweries is that a given style of beer varies all over the spectrum, especially when it is as old and entrenched as in Europe). The style got its name, historically, when Ale was not made with hops. In fact, hops were banned in England for a while as a trade protectionist measure. When the English found that they could grow quite nice hops, suddenly it appeared in everyone's beer. (In fact, "beer" is supposed to be a contraction from "bitter".) So, you could have ale or bitter. Like the lager revolution of the last century, bitter took England by storm. Eventually ales came to be bittered with hops as well. Now the word applies to all beers made from top fermenting yeast, including bitters. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 89 08:42:13 PDT From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: dry v. liquid yeasts (was 200 gallons) From: "Allen J. Hainer" <ajhainer at violet.waterloo.edu> " I also had an interesting conversation about yeasts with Kelly. According "to him, the major difference between dry and liquid yeasts is the way they "are started. Dry yeasts are usually pitched directly into the wort. Because "of the packaging, liquid yeast is usually started before being added to the "wort. If dry yeasts are started before being added in, they will perform "as well as liquid yeast (he still used liquid yeast). This is because "most of the unwanted flavours are produced by the yeast in the first hour "or so. This seems to agree with Papazian who says that the yeast produces "esters only at the beginning of fermentation. The major difference beween liquid and dry yeast is that liquid yeast is handled properly. Brewer's yeast does not sporulate. It does not take to drying and rehydrating. Furthermore, cheap dry yeast comes from yeast that breweries no longer consider clean enough to continue to pitch. The drying process kills a large amount of the yeast and thereby emphasizes any thermophilic wild yeast or bacteria that may be present. Those yeast that do survive are more likely to mutate. This is why dry yeast is such a gamble. You may have gotten a package of perfectly good yeast that the brewmaster threw out because he was conservative. Or you may not. " Kelly also told me that culturing yeast from one batch to another was very "important. From his experience, the yeast actually improve after three or four "batches. This is because the stronger yeasts are the ones that survive. He "has been able to keep some yeasts going for up to fifteen batches before "mutations start to detereorate the quality of the beer (producing sulphers). This theory is flawed, however, because any wild yeast that might be present will certainly have better vigor than the specialized brewer's yeast. Eventually they will overcome the brewer's yeast and produce thinness or off flavors/aromas. (This will happen anyway, because you cannot guarantee sterility and purity, but the difference is that you know that the first pitch is pure, and you are likely to be able to repitch several times safely without a tremendous amount of care. I have routinely pitched the same yeast into 5 batches. If I were brewing twice a week, with professional equipment in a real brewery, I would feel secure doing it much more often.) --Darryl Yeast Bigot Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 89 08:21:46 PDT From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: 200 gallon batches From: "Allen J. Hainer" <ajhainer at violet.waterloo.edu> "I was "also surprise at how simular the proceedure was to what I do at home (except "for the fact thYXt the beer was produced in 200 gallon batches). He was "even brewing mostly from extract! One other thing is that, because he is ordering his extract directly, he can specify how the extract is mashed, and thereby control (albeit indirectly) the level of fermentables in the extract. A positive movement in this arena is the Home Brewery's private label ("Yellow Dog", I believe) extract. "The extract he was using had grains "mixed in which were all thrown into the boil. From the size of the coarse "filters he was using, I would say that no more than a few pound of grains "could be used per batch without having to empty them several times when the "wort was transfered. He was able to remove all the tannins produced from "boiling the grains by finer filters. A few pounds of grain in a 200 gallon batch is practically nothing. Certainly any flavors introduced by extraction of tannins would be sub-threshold. Consider a 200 gallon batch of original gravity, say, 1.048 (a good best bitter). If the extract was made from 2 row malt that yeilded 1.036 per pound of grain per gallon of water, almost 270 lbs. of grain are needed. Some tannins are extracted out of even the best sparging system, but many of these combine with the hop resins during the boil and settle out as trub. If you made a 5 gallon batch (to scale, which it probably wouldn't do exactly), a few pounds of grain (say, 5) turn into 1/8 lb. I have purposely overstated yields, so adding grains unnoticably to the boil is probably limited even further. At such a level, color and some strong flavors can be added subtly. But, *in general*, boiling grains is a bad idea. " Do most small brewpubs brew mainly from extract like this? Most brewpubs do their own thing. The City of Angels, Crown City, Gorky's, Grapvine Brewing, and Alpine Villiage (local LA brewpubs) all mash from grain. On the other hand, I understand that the McMeniman's chain in Portland work from extract. " Is there a noticable difference in quality? My only experience with an extract-brewing pub is two of the McMeniman's (Cornelius Pass, Raleigh Hills) and their beers seemed acceptable to me, although they were all a bit sweet and overly hopped. (No, I didn't get to try Ruby Tuesday... I wasn't there on a Tuesday, I guess ;-). I have had the same experience at mashing pubs as well. " Of the winners from the AHA competition, are any/some/most from extract? The AHA used to keep track of this, I think. The Maltose Falcons also did, and until two years ago, the majority of winners in our contests were definitely mashing. I don't know of late. The emphasis on mashing v. extract is the wrong way (IMHO) to look at the issue. Anyone can mash poorly and make a much bigger mess than with extracts. But to brew a fine beer with extracts, you must know your extract source, and know how and when to use it. That is why the AHA's extract chart (from zymurgy a year or two ago) and Yellow Dog (which lists ingredients, as percentages I think) are *good things*. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 89 08:56:04 PDT From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: Malting your own barley There was an article in a zymurgy a few issues back about a fellow in Montana (is that right?), a native Belgian, who makes award winning Belgian beers completely from scratch (e.g., grows and malts his own barley, grows and dries his own hops). I wish I could tell you more, but the issue isn't here... --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: 26 Jul 89 13:16:09 EDT (Wednesday) From: dw <Wegeng.Henr at Xerox.COM> Subject: Re: 200 gallon batches >Do most small brewpubs brew mainly from extract like this? I don't know about "most", but it's a very common practice. >Is there a noticable difference in quality? Extract brewers have less control over the brewing process, which can lead to lower quality (though not "bad") beer. >Can anyone comment on the validity of this? (dry yeast being of the same quality as liquid yeast) Not knowing the source of the dry yeast in question, I can't say anything definite. In general, though, the process for drying yeast is by it's nature more prone to contamination. The next issue of Zymurgy is suppose to feature articles on yeast. I'm told that it's already available from homebrew stores, though my personal copy has not been delivered. >Who better to learn from that someone that makes and sells 200 gallon batches of "homebrew"? Well, it depends on whether you want to make beer that tastes like the beer at your local brewpub. Having watched the folks at the Rochester Brewpub at work (and drank their beer), I would hesitate to ask them for advice about anything relating to beer. Just because someone makes and sells beer doesn't mean that they know much about the process. Many brewpubs seem to brew using a cookbook method, and don't really understand the science. /Don Return to table of contents
Date: 26 Jul 89 15:53:08 EDT (Wednesday) From: dw <Wegeng.Henr at Xerox.COM> Subject: Re: Mailing homebrew (or taking it on a plane) >What about taking homebrew on an airplane? I've carried both homebrew and commercially bottled beer on airplanes many times. There are two potential problems, breaking the bottles and loosing pressure (if the bottle cap does not seal very well). There's nothing you can do about the latter problem (except be careful when you bottle the beer), and to prevent the former I usually stuff each bottle into an old sock, and then put them all in a plastic garbage bag. I then put the garbage bag into a suitcase, surrounded by other clothes. Some of my friends always pack their beer in carry-on luggage, but with the precautions I described I've had no problems (and I don't have to lug a very heavy bag on and off the plane). >I'd like to mail some homebrew to a friend across the country. >Are there any legal issues I need to be aware of? Any practical >hints about packaging homebrew (e.g., types of packing material, >etc)? I've never shipped homebrew, but one would think that the guidelines that the AHA publishes for shipping homebrew to their contests would probably be a reasonable starting point. Look in a back issue of Zymurgy for specifics. /Don Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #212, 07/27/89
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