HOMEBREW Digest #2562 Thu 20 November 1997

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		Digest Janitor: janitor@hbd.org
		Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of 
		Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.
				URL: http://www.oeonline.com

  Justify it? You're kidding, right? (Some Guy)
  To hop or not to hop... ("Kostelac, John")
  Vienna Malt (jwaller)
  cabbage/lager yst/oxygen/grapefruity/oxygenation/cherries/starters (Al Korzonas)
  more pumps ("Ted Hull")
  re: Barleywine Conditioning ("Riedel, Dave")
  Re:Justifying Beer Making (Brian S Kuhl)
  Re: Justifying Beer Making ("Mark S. Johnston")
  Roller Mill ? ("Joe Sullivan")
  RE: Justifying Beer Making ("Michael E. Dingas")
  Re: Three weeks ofbubbles! ("Michael E. Dingas")
  Re: Parti-gyle (Spencer W Thomas)
  Want to leave bottles in the dust (Steven Verdekel)
  Justifiying home brewing ("Andrew J. Londo")
  Calif. Lager yeast (Wyeast 2112) (Ritter, Sharon/Dan )
  Malt Vinegar (Bob and Susie Stovall)
  siphon diameter (Eugene Sonn)
  Solera Beer (Jeff Renner)
  Cleaning Blowoff hoses... ("Tkach, Christopher")
  Beer Engines ("Gabrielle Palmer")
  re: Justifying Beer Making / simple sparging tip (Martin A. Gulaian)
  Re: simple sparging tip (Martin A. Gulaian)
  Justifying expense ("Rock Lucas")
  Re: CO2 (Oliver Weatherbee)
  boiled grains and corn sugar (Mike York)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 15:17:11 -0500 (EST) From: Some Guy <pbabcock at oeonline.com> Subject: Justify it? You're kidding, right? Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your unjustifiable lager.... Back when I just brewed, I caught grief about the time involved. But they liked the brews, and recognized the expense if I had bought beer intead of ingredients. Then I started inventing and creating new toys. I caught grief about the expense of failed designs, good designs, and the time to brew. But they liked the brews, and recognized the expense if I had bought beer intead of ingredients. Then I developed my homepage. Any guesses? Well, they still liked the beer, anyway. How the web page improved or contributed to that was beyond their comprehension. The Home Brew Flea Market started gobbling ticks, and I was asked to be a beer "maven" on AOL. Brewing stopped nibbling at my free time and started taking bites out of it. They still liked the beer - when I got a chance to actually brew any... Computer components and software became financial burdens of my hobby. Then I took on the Digest... Now, my hobby slurps time from the clock wholesale and Kim's pretty much a beer-widow. When I'm not online, she just leans my rotting corpse up in a corner next to the rarely-used Pico system and goes about her business. And the dogs don't bother with me anymore. The children? They smile at me and nod knowingly. You see, they understand the concept of toys. Brief clouds of confusion cross their brow when asked what their daddy does for a living. "Oh! He's a peripheral!" At least they still like the beer... See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at oeonline.com Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org HBD Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brewing Page http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock/brew.html Harvest THESE: president at whitehouse.gov vice.president at whitehouse.gov consumerline at ftc.gov Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 14:31:53 -0600 From: "Kostelac, John" <John.Kostelac at COMPAQ.com> Subject: To hop or not to hop... I am seeking recipes without hops or with very mild hops qualities. I personally am not excited by hops and my wife is allergic to them so we would like to brew without. I understand that hops provide some preservative qualities and flavor, but do they do anything else? What am I losing by not using them? What can be used in there place? If you have any recipes, I'd love to hear them. Thanks. John I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate vegetables. John.Kostelac at compaq.com JKostalot at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 13:04:39 -0600 From: jwaller at reveregroup.com Subject: Vienna Malt I'm planning to brew a Vienna style. Reading thru the 'Vienna, Martez, Octoberfest' book from the classic beer styles series, it recommends not using Vienna malt because it is of low quality. Has this changed since the printing of the book? Has anyone used Vienna malt successfully? Any good all grain recipes? BTW I am new to HBD, hope this is not a repeat. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 15:17:36 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: cabbage/lager yst/oxygen/grapefruity/oxygenation/cherries/starters Paul writes (somehow I missed it until John quoted him): >>Now I've heard of beers having a vegetative presence, but doesn't >>that usually refer to the cooked corn or cabbage aromas of >>insufficient diacetyl reduction? Cooked corn is usually dimethyl sulfide (DMS) whereas diacetyl is buttery or butterscotch. In response John wrote: >In my experience, some hops can also produce a definate vegetative >prescence, especially when lots of whole hops are used. My most I tend to agree, but I think that if the hops are not too green (in which case I think you get a "grassy" character) or too stale (which is where I think some of the cabbage-like aromas can come) they should give pleasant aromas... *eventually*. I noticed a few times that with some hops (once with EKG and another time with Willamette, in recent memory) the beer smelled vegetive at first, but the aroma became more as expected after two weeks. *** Dave writes: >It looks like my cellar temperature will drop to about 56-58F over the >winter. Wyeast lists the following fermentation ranges: > >2124 Bohemian 46-54 F >2206 Bavarian 48-58 F >2278 Czech Pils 48-68 F >2308 Munich 48-56 F >Secondly, I'll probably make a Czech Pils, a Vienna or Marzen >and a Dunkel (maybe a Helles Bock instead). Which of the above >yeasts would be recommended for this list of brews? Any hope of In my experience, the 2278 and 2308 are more sulphury and these aromas take longer to lager-out. I made one of my best lagers with 2308 but it smelled like home perm solution for four months (at 40F) after which the smell went away and the beer won several ribbons. I think that all four are great yeasts, but the latter two take more lagering. I've read where the 2124 is the most popular strain used in Bavarian commercial breweries. *** Ray writes regarding big oxygen tanks: >tank filled for $25, I get my 20 lb tank filled for $12. Quite a price I'd like to point out that oxygen can be dangerous. I don't know if 1 cubic foot is less dangerous than 50 cubic feet, but I would suspect it is. The risk (as I understand it) is that if the oxygen leaks near something that is highly flammable... Could someone that knows more give us the relative risks of storing a large bottle of oxygen in the house? Do a web search for "liquid oxygen AND grill" -- hilarious, but dangerous. *** Charles writes that he feels Cascades are "piney" whereas Chinook "grapefruity." I get grapefruity from both when they are fresh, although the Cascade are more grapefruity (to my nose) than the Chinook. Furthermore, I've aged a number of varieties of hops for pLambic brewing and the aged/ oxidized Cascades were very "piney." *** John writes: >>Bottom line, my fermentation took 24 HOURS to get going! That's much >In a recent BT article on aeration from various sources, the author >made the point that worts with higher disolved oxygen levels actually >have longer lag times. This is because the yeast respire longer. Firstly, I thought we had convinced everyone that brewer's yeast don't respire (for all intents and purposes) in wort (Crabtree effect). Secondly, as a datapoint, I've cut my lag times in half since I started using oxygen. I suspect weak or somehow abused yeast. For example, pitching the yeast starter into wort that's more than 10F colder will shock the yeast and can result in long lag times (24 hours is a long lag time). I've lost the original post, but 1 liter really should be about the minimum starter size you should use in a 5 gallon batch of ale (2 liters for a lager). That article, while written by the respected and prize-winning brewer Dennis Davison, had incredible formatting problems in the tables. This resulted in a lot of what appeared to be contradictory data. Dennis has an updated table on his website, but frankly, I read it and *still* thought the data didn't make sense... maybe it's me. I urge you to not try to draw any conclusions from the data in the table that was in Brewing Techniques. >I don't think stirring has anything to do with it. I think you added >more O2 than perhaps you should have. AJ pretty much proved that you can't overoxygenate wort. He posted this about a year and a half ago. >Less O2. :) One 30 second blast is probably quite sufficient. In >Ray Daniels' book Designing Great Beers he points out that despite >yeasts known requirement for O2, many homebrews make fabulous beer >with minimal aeration....Based on my own experience it is possible to >over oxygenate the wort, perhaps not technically, but from a >practical point of view. If your lag time is 24 hours and your yeast >were in good shape, cut back on the O2 until you get what you >consider to be acceptable lag times. I have to disagree. While good beer can be made with underoxygenated wort, it's not recommended by anyone (except one reference to intentional underoxygenation but this is with overpitching -- Noonan's Scotch Ale book) I suggest you re-evaluate the size and health of your starter and the temperature differential between the starter and wort. Also, you can't make the starter weeks in advance, let the yeast settle and sit there starving and expect them to restart on a dime... *** John writes: > fermentation (the beer is already in primary). The cherries I am > getting are already frozen. After I thaw them, do I have to > pasturize the cherries or since the beer will be finished with > primary fermentation can I add them directly to the secondary > fermenters without contamination problems? Freezing is not likely to kill much of the microbiota on the cherries. You can skip the pasteurization and take your chances, but the odds of sourness from at least a little bacterial activity are pretty high. > I was going to put the cherries (zip lock bag included) into near > boiling water to pasturize them, but the individual I am getting > them from said I would not need to do this since they have been > frozen? I suggest taking them out of the bag, mushing them up and then heating this mush to between 140 and 150F for 10 minutes. There is no guarantee that the interior cherries will be at 140F or that the exterior cherries' pectins are not set (actually, I've recently read that the issue is that the fruit has pectinase and when this is denatured, the pectins cloud the wort -- anyone know for sure?). *** Dave writes: >> I hate dumping off the liquid before >> I pitch because there >>are so many yeast cells suspended in it. > >If it is an Ale yeast and most lager yeasts, >just put the starter in the refrigerator overnight >and you can pour off most of the liquid >before you pitch. Especially if your last sugar >addition is 24 hours before you pitch I think this is very bad advice. Putting the starter into the fridge can (and is very likely to) temperature shock the yeast out of suspension, yes, and then they take a rather long time to recover. A sudden drop in temperature can even kill a significant percentage of the yeast. Here's how I do it if I have the time: make a starter three weeks in advance, let it settle, pour off the spent wort, add more wort, let it settle, pour off the spent wort, add more wort... use this just past high kraeusen. You end up pitching something like 3 liters *worth* of starter, but only add 1 liter of partially-spent wort into the beer. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 97 10:40:21 EST From: "Ted Hull" <THull at brwncald.com> Subject: more pumps Dave Burley's question: >>>Doesn't the high temperature of the water on the boiler side cause cavitation more so than the cooler side due to the much higher vapor pressure of the hot water? Also wouldn't the materials of construction of the pump be happier at the cooler temperatures?<<< Was addressed well by Bob Sutton (tongue wagging and not in cheek): >>Probably - it depends...<< However, a couple of other points: 1) THE BIGGIE: You can painstakingly calculate the losses through your piping, chiller, etc for the various flows and static heads (not to mention using a variable speed setup). You can figure available NPSH if you know water vapor pressure and atmospheric pressure too. But you won't be able to find out the required NPSH for these little pumps from the manufacturer/vendor. They're just too little, and the curve might not be real pleasing if you saw it (up, down, and all over the place). 2) It may not be a problem. If you're pump is cavitating, it'll sound like you're pumping marbles. You turn it off and know that you need to change something. It doesn't instantly destroy the pump and hopefully you'll try it out with water (esp. the hot kind) before pumping wort. 3) As for materials, I'd go with 200 F or higher rated, anyway, for flexibility. You could pump sparge water (170 F) or infusion water for step mashing (non RIMS types) with no problem. And the additional cost (from glancing at U.S. Plastics and Moving Brews) is $40 max for a 220+ F rated pump. A 200 F pump might even work fine for near-boiling water; or you could always throw an immersion chiller (even a tiny one) in for about a minute to drop the wort to 200 F. 4) With a magnetic drive pump, you don't have to worry about seals, they're aren't any. That's why it's good for food/sanitary applications. Bottom line: I'd spend a little bit more on a pump that's rated for the higher temp and put it between my kettle and chiller. It might still work fine after the chiller, but I'd rather have the extra flexibility of a higher temp rated pump at slightly higher expense. That's all, Ted Hull Atlanta, GA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 15:43:48 -0800 From: "Riedel, Dave" <RiedelD at dfo-mpo.gc.ca> Subject: re: Barleywine Conditioning There has been talk of late regarding barleywines. Here's my recent experience: Made 3 gallons of 1.099 Barleywine using the first runnings of a 20 pound mash (HB Pale Ale and 80L Crystal). Pitched 1/2 of the primary dregs of a 5 gallon batch of IPA: Wyeast 1056. Aerated by shaking the carboy VIGOROUSLY. (Note: 3 gals in 5 gal carboy) Fermented at 65-66F for 11 days in primary, swirled to re-suspend yeast daily over last 7 days (once yeast started to shows signs of dropping out). Keep in mind, my lag time was on the order of 1-2 hrs - a typical 5 gal batch would likely take longer to begin to settle out. Racked into secondary onto unfined dregs of 1056 from a batch parallel to the barleywine (the second runnings). This step may not have been necessary (the SG had dropped to 1.020 in the primary). One month later, bottled into 7 oz bottles with a fresh yeast culture of 1056 (built up to approx. 5-6 cups of 1.063; added slurry to bottling bucket with BW and priming sugar). Final gravity of 1.019. Allowed to bottle ferment for 1 month at 64F, before tasting. Carbonation seems about right. Flavour is intensely malty! Quite an experience. Obviously this was more work than your basic PA, but so far it's worth it. I hope this info helps somebody with plans to do a barleywine. cheers, Dave Riedel, Victoria, BC, Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 97 16:34:00 PST From: Brian S Kuhl <Brian_S_Kuhl at ccm.fm.intel.com> Subject: Re:Justifying Beer Making Ken Lee wrote about justifying his brewing expenses to his wife. This sound like a big problem for you. I wish you well in your struggles. As for me, I justify the expense not as a way to get beer cheaper. Contrarily, for me, it is a hobby, a personal quest to make something better and better. The expense is secondary. Don't get me wrong either; I survive month to month like most people. Try to justify your passion this way... Does your wife have hobbies that she spends money on? If she is like many people, shopping could be hers. You should be free enough to pursue something in life that gives you enjoyment. Brewing in comparison to many hobbies is extremely inexpensive! May good brews be yours, Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 20:26:34 -0500 From: "Mark S. Johnston" <msjohnst at talon.net> Subject: Re: Justifying Beer Making >I wanted to know how others that read this digest, can justify the >expense to their spouses? Ken, Not to gloat, but I don't really have this problem. Homebrewing for me is a hobby. I never got into it with the intention of making cheap beer. I enjoy brewing flavorful beers, while trying to perfect the craft and produce a paragon of a classic style. It serves as a creative outlet, the fruits of which just happen to be consumable. My wife is quite undrstanding about the whole thing. I have never proposed any goal to her regarding the brewing beyond my enjoyment of it. (An enjoyment she questions every time I curse a boilover.) With no expectations beyond enjoying a hearty ale with dinner, she can't fault me with failing at it or misleading her in any way, intentionally or not. As to the expense, the time, the failures, etc., like any hobby, there is an investment in time and materials. Be it fly fishing, trap shooting, stamp collecting, golf, woodworking, gardening, music, or any other hobby you can think of, it most likely won't be free. As with any hobby, it will also become somewhat addictive. As you get good, you want to be better. This takes more/better equipment and materials, more advanced publications and references, and perhaps even a bit more time now and again to do it right. Obviously, like any addiction, some control must be exercised. You can't blow the rent on a RIMS system -- after all, where will you put it? And if this is one of a dozen different "hobbies" that keep you apart six nights a week, then you may wish to prioritize your life a bit. But if your discretionary income is spent on something you do once or twice a month, what's the problem? I would therefore suggest that you approach homebrewing as the hobby it is and not for some budgetary advantage, and talk with your wife about your hobby and the enjoyment you get from it. If she enjoys the fruits of your labor for what they are, she shouldn't begrudge you a few hours a month to create them. Good luck. - -- "If a man is not a liberal at eighteen, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is thirty, he has no mind." - Winston Churchill Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 97 23:00:12 PST From: "Joe Sullivan" <jpsully at erols.com> Subject: Roller Mill ? Hi all, I've been thinking about building a rolller mill, but it seems that getti= ng inexpensive rollers is one hurdle. Has anyone tried using two retired= CO2 bottles? I know they drill a hole in them if they fail a pressure = test, the 10 lb bottle is roughly 6" in diameter, and one end is alread= y threaded. I'm sure these old bottles are availiable in scrap yards, = or where they fill the bottles. It just seems to me that the other end could be drilled out and a shaft = pushed through the center, and crush up that grain! ! ! There are probab= ly a hundred reasons not to do this, but I think I'll try it anyway. If anyone has tried this, or any other cheap alternative please let me = know! On another note, just a shameless plug for Bill Stewart at Moving Brews = (no affiliation, blah blah) - great prices, great advice, from a guy who= knows his products, knows about brewing, and is really helpful. If you = need a pump, fittings etc. check em out at: http://www.ays.net/movingbrews/ A day without the HBD is like a day without a homebrew. Joe Sullivan jpsully at erols.com Boston, Mass Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 20:58:46 -0500 From: "Michael E. Dingas" <dingasm at worldnet.att.net> Subject: RE: Justifying Beer Making Ken Lee ponders the question of Justifying Beer Making. I'm really new = to the brewing scene, having only made my 5th batch recently. At first I = started with the idea of saving money. At this point, I'm reasonably = sure that I am, in fact, saving. I even go so far as to total up my = consumable expenses to see what that bottle of beer cost me. I don't try = to figure in equipment, labor or fuel (gas or electic). I'm content = knowing I made a good beer for about 50 cents each. Pretty reasonable = for the end product! BUT...my equipment expenses have been limited to = that needed for extract brewing.=20 I'm beginning, however, to view this more as a hobby. To do otherwise = makes it seem too much like work. Everyone should have a pasttime they = enjoy. It relieves stress and provides a source a satisfaction not found = in daily routines like work or household maintenance, etc. You brew = because you want to, not because it provides a paycheck or is a = necessary chore of home (or auto) ownership. Would your spouse take the same stance if you decided to make pasta = from scratch, or a pie or any other commodity readily available in a = supermarket? Likely not. Viewed as a hobby, you are not only making your life more pleasant but = you end up with something that allows you to knock off one item from the = grocery list! And if you bought good microbrew...well you know how much = that costs! The only complaint I've gotten so far is that my brewing seems to leave = a slight residue all over. I use the stove exhaust fan but until I can = brew outdoors, that's the best I can do (no basement), The spouse needs = to lighten up (unless you are taking budgeted money needed for bills) = and be as happy as you are that you have such a fruitful hobby. mike aka "don't tell your spouse where I live" Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 21:12:59 -0500 From: "Michael E. Dingas" <dingasm at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Re: Three weeks ofbubbles! Matthew Stierheim questioned the length of fermentation on his first = ever batch. Well, Matt, my first batch was a honey wheat and = fermentation was complete in less than three days. Fermentation periods = can vary but three weeks sounds really excessive. Not only that but, = unless you racked to a secondary container, your beer has been sitting = on sedimented yeast way too long. You might end up with off flavors as a = result. I'm sure you'll receive other replies more knowledgable than = this which will explain everything in the proper context. If you haven't yet invested in some brew literature, I'd recommend you = do so. You're local brew shop will have some good sources. Don't be so negative about starting out extract brewing. That's what = I'm doing and it's letting me get the basics down pat (process and = sanitization) before I try something more sofisticated. Good luch and = don't get discouraged. You'll do just fine. mike Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 03:49:50 -0500 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Parti-gyle Parti-gyle brewing is the practice of taking several worts of decreasing strengths from a single mash. The first wort is taken by draining the mash without adding any "sparge" water. New water is then added to the mash and thoroughly mixed. The mash is drained again for the second wort. This process can be repeated for a 3rd wort. The first wort yields a strong beer, the second a "normal strength" beer, and the third a "small beer". Randy Mosher wrote about this practice in Brewing Techniques a couple of years ago. I use parti-gyle brewing to make BIG beers (1.100 and above). I then take a second wort so as not to "waste" the remaining sugars in the malt. =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 01:03:39 -0800 (PST) From: Steven Verdekel <verde001 at coyote.csusm.edu> Subject: Want to leave bottles in the dust Having just bottled a wonderful Cherry Stout a few weeks back and figuring out how to get more beer on the floor than in the bottles in the process, I decided that there must be a better way. I love brewing beer, but lately I have determined that the bottling aspect of the hobby is, well, a drag. Having graduated from the Papazian School of Brewing back in about '90, I was kind of led into the hobby with bottling as the easiest way to go for the beginner, so I went that route and never deviated. I have only brewed about 15 batches in that interim, all extract. but only now have I realized that kegging my beer is probably the best way to go. So my question is this: What is the most economical way for a brewer take this step? I understand that the expense is great because not only do you need a whole keg setup, but a 'fridge to keep it in. Heck, I'm a single guy, so I'm thinking that I can just knock a few racks out of the existing fridge to keep the keg cold in. But what kind of starter keg should a guy who brews infrequent 5 to 10 gallon batches get? Any suggestions would be appreciated. "Please God, save me from your followers!" Steven Verdekel Verde001 at mailhost1.csusm.edu San Marcos, Calif. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 06:35:41 -0500 From: "Andrew J. Londo" <ajlondo at mtu.edu> Subject: Justifiying home brewing I guess I should consider myself lucky in that my wife likes to make home brew with me. We alternate between recipies she likes, and those I like. In fact, the home brew starter kit was her xmass gift to me a couple of years ago. As far as advice, I guess I would say that maybe you should make some beers that she likes or have her get involoved in brewing with you. It certainly works for me. Andy Londo *************************************************************************** Andrew J. Londo Ph.D. Candidate in Forest Soils and Silviculture School of Forestry and Wood Products Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI 49931 U.S.A Phone: (906) 487-2454 Fax: (906) 487-2915 E-mail: ajlondo at mtu.edu If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes!! *************************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 05:41:46 -0700 From: ritter at bitterroot.net (Ritter, Sharon/Dan ) Subject: Calif. Lager yeast (Wyeast 2112) I recently brewed a California Common style beer using Wyeast 2112 (Calif. Lager) for the first time. I pitched slurry from a 1600ml starter, had a short lag time (6 hours), kept the primary fermentation temp. at 60F, and lagered the beer for three weeks at 38F. It still has a yeasty bite that I find distracting. I would also describe it as a beer that tastes "green" - my instincts tell me to keep it in the lagering fridge for another month or so. I paged through some back issues of Zymurgy and noticed a couple of judges comments about beers brewed with 2112 referring to "yeasty" tastes. Is a yeasty aroma and taste characteristic of the strain? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 07:42:06 -0600 From: Bob and Susie Stovall <urbanart at netropolis.net> Subject: Malt Vinegar Beerlings... if the relationship of Homebrew to factory-brew is what we all believe it to be, then is there a similar relationship between home-made malt vinegar and factory vinegar? The basic question evolves from the fact that we really like good balsemic vinegar- thus can we make it better than we buy it? How does one make malt vinegar? Is there a homebrew digest for vinegar? thanks Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 09:11:22 -0500 (EST) From: Eugene Sonn <eugene at dreamscape.com> Subject: siphon diameter HBDers, I was transfering beer from the primary to a carboy and got very impatient waiting for the siphon to move all the beer. I relaxed, had a homebrew and wondered why all the racking canes I've seen have a small diameter. Has anyone out there seen racking canes which are wider and therefore would move more beer per second? I've consulted homebrew catalogs and some shop, but to no avail. Thanks in advance, Eugene eugene at nova.dreamscape.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 09:13:14 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Solera Beer Brewers In the Jerez region of Spain, sherry is made by a blending process called a solera, in which a portion of the sherry in small casks is transferred to larger ones and is replaced with new sherry, these larger casks having themselves having been partly emptied into still larger casks, and this pattern repeated until one very large vessel contains a blend of "married" sherries, a small portion of which is very old. In the solera process, old sherry is said to "educate" the new, resulting is quicker maturing and a very uniform product year to year. Soleras are dated to their foundation, and if you buy a bottle of sherry from a solera established in 1802, then a very tiny amount of your wine is actually that old. Maybe a few molecules, but the effect overall is a very mature wine, more than its actual average age. I have a simplified version of this for strong ales. It was established in 1994, when I made an OG 1.086 all pale ale malt English-style barley wine. It was disappointingly flabby from having no dark grains at all. It needed that bite that they give, so when I made a porter (1.051) (or was it a brown ale? - the porter judges said it was, but the brown ale judges said it was a porter), I blended the last gallon with 3-1/2 gallons of the pale barley wine in a 5 gallon Cornelius tank. This really balanced the flabby sweetness of the BW. I think it became an "old ale" at this point. I've subsequently blended in the last of several other ales, two bitters and maybe a little stout, as I recall, and it justs keeps getting better. I've left this alone for the most part in a 50-60F cellar, drawing off a glass every month or two. It continues to produce C02, so I've left it off the tank, and have even had to vent it occasionally. This blend has gone through some stages which were better than others. A year or two ago it developed an old rubber smell from yeast autolysis, but this has disappeared, presumably as some microflora utilized the spilled yeast innards. (Fine old French Champagne has autolysed yeast in the bottle, after all). It seems to have had a very light lactic tang months ago that never got stronger, and has actually submerged into the complexity now. I drew a glass last evening for the first time since last winter and was blown away. Wow! No autolysis at all, but a rich, malty, complex, strangely very fresh (the acids?) tasting winey ale, with orangey Cointreau notes (I used lots of sticky EK Goldings as late additions on the original BW). I have about a gallon of this left, and it's great. I could just enjoy it this winter, but instead I think I'll brew another strong ale and let the old one "educate" the new one. Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 08:59:45 -0500 From: "Tkach, Christopher" <tkach at ctron.com> Subject: Cleaning Blowoff hoses... Ok, I've seen a lot of discussion recently (both in HBD and rcb) about how to go about cleaning out a blowoff hose. I just want to share a bit of knowledge that I came across a few years ago (I actually think it was from rcb). I clean my blowoff hose(s) by wading up a piece of bathroom tissue or kleenex (but make sure it doesn't have anything in it like creams), wetting it so its a soggy mess, stuff it into the blowoff hose, making sure that it fits in there real snug-like. I then attach the hose to my water hose (but I suppose a bottle washer would work as well, maybe even the facet itself) and blast the soggy tissue through the hose. Repeat as necessary until all the gunk has been cleaned out. It may help to soak the hose in some b-brite (or something similar) to soften things up. I'm not sure how good it works for the larger diameter hoses (I use a 3/8" hose for blowoff, I know, I know, I'm asking for trouble...but that's not what this post is about). Anyway, hope this helps at least one person.... - Chris Newmarket, NH Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 09:48:33 -0500 From: "Gabrielle Palmer" <gpalmer6 at ford.com> Subject: Beer Engines I posted this query to r.c.b. but didn't get any responses, so I'm hoping that ya'll can help... I have been considering the idea of making my own beer engine. I found an article in the May 1996 issue of Brew Your Own that describes a way to build your own beer engine for under $50. Has anyone here ever tried this? How did it turn out? Can you recommend any other articles or web sites that would have any additional information? Thanks for your help. - -- Cheers! Gabrielle Palmer Ford Vehicle Operations - Die Design Standards Department Cube: GB-M71 Building: Product Development Center Phone: (313)594-2107 PROFS ID: GPALMER6 Fax: (313)322-4359 internet: gpalmer6 at be0962.pd3.ford.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 09:48:55 -0500 (EST) From: mag6 at po.CWRU.Edu (Martin A. Gulaian) Subject: re: Justifying Beer Making / simple sparging tip Doug Moyer writes: >Ken Lee asks: >"I wanted to know how others that read this digest, can justify the >expense to their spouses?" > >My wife and I justify equipment costs as follows: the cost of the >ingredients vs. the cost of the micros that I would otherwise purchase >is the _savings_ in our "food" budget. The cost of the equipment and the >time I spend are part of my _hobby_. As has been discussed quite often >recently, this hobby allows all levels of participation. I'm probably in a tiny minority on this list, but... I'm a lazy non-hobbyist all-grain brewer. Brewing from grain probably adds a couple of hours to the brew day, but it's mostly just elapsed time, not effort. I let it rest, let it sparge, let it come to a boil - while doing other things. And there doesn't have to be a lot of cost to justify - I do split boils in cheap 5 gallon stainless pots (I just saw some for $16.99 at Marc's if you are in the Cleveland area), I mash in the brew kettle in a styrofoam lined box, I lauter in a plastic pail with a false bottom (no cost at all there). I grind my grain in my burr-type coffee grinder; I'm sure it's suboptimal but it works and I don't have to pay for a malt mill. And so on. If it becomes a hobby it gets expensive, but if your goal is just to make good beer you can keep your tastebuds and bank account happy together. >of her hobbies. I have a cheap ($400) mountain bike. It's a good thing >that I don't get into that hobby to the same extent as I do brewing--I >have friends spending thousands on their bikes! Yep! Mountain biking IS my hobby. I spend $1000/year on it easy, not counting the big expenses like going racing for the weekend... - -- Marty Gulaian - mag6 at po.cwru.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 09:57:25 -0500 (EST) From: mag6 at po.CWRU.Edu (Martin A. Gulaian) Subject: Re: simple sparging tip Alan Edwards <ale at cisco.com> wrote: > >I wrote: >> Last time I brewed, an interested friend was helping out, and >> suggested just floating a tupperware lid on the grain! I just poured >> the water onto the lid and it kept the grain from being disturbed. >> It worked like a champ, and freed up a hand! > [...] > >The idea that I didn't explain properly (sorry) is that, if you keep the >sparge water level above the level of the grain, that the plastic lid >will float on top of the layer of water, keeping you from disturbing the >grain. This would not encourage channeling. > >Cross section of later tun: > > || || > || .________. || <-- plastic lid floating on top > ||~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|| <-- sparge water > ||oooooooooooooooooo|| <-- top of grain > ||oooooooooooooooooo|| > ||oooooooooooooooooo|| I punched a bunch of small holes into a styrofoam plate that I float on the water. I just pour the water onto it, and it breaks up the downpour into little bitty streams. I don't think it channels anything (I picture it channeling the spirit of the goddess Ninkasi (was that her name) from ancient Sumeria to my grain bed...) - -- Marty Gulaian - mag6 at po.cwru.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 09:19:18 -0600 From: "Rock Lucas" <lucaer at iols.com> Subject: Justifying expense Ken Lee asks about justifying the expense of home brewing... I told my wife the same thing...it would be cheaper, better beer. I got = the same reaction, i.e., how much money have you spent on this damned = hobby so far? My initial instict was to respond with some witty comeback, like ... = Gee, I don't know, how much have you spent on panty hose this year? She goes through a lot of panty hose. However, I have now ceased all attempts to justify the cost because of = something that happened on Halloween weekend. We were at a party, and = someone handed her a Miller Lite, which used to be her beer of choice. = She took a sip, turned to me and said, "You know, this stuff sucks. = You've ruined me."=20 The bitching is now about the smell and mess, but now I don't have to = justify the expense of the propane burner and keg conversion necessary = to move the brewing activity to the garage.=20 Rock Lucas Bigger Hammer Brewing Co., V. Ltd. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 10:18:37 -0500 From: oliver at triton.cms.udel.edu (Oliver Weatherbee) Subject: Re: CO2 Tom Clark asked about using the primary fermentation to purge the secondary vessel with CO2 (HBD #2561). I often do this. What I do is use two carboys and two of those orange "universal" caps. I run tubing from the cap thats on the primary (the second hole is capped) to one of the holes on the cap secured to the empty sanitized secondary. An airlock is placed on the secondary. I find this arrangement provides the ability to rack to the secondary without risk of oxydation. I should also point out that I use 6.8 gallon carboys for which I believe St. Patricks homebrew supply is the only place to get the orange caps that fit. The ones at most homebrew shops only fit the 5 gallon carboys. If you do a primary in your bucket, you can still purge your secondary by making a simple CO2 generator. Just take a 2-liter soda bottle, and drill a small hole in the cap. Use some DAP silicon sealant (or something similar) to secure a small diameter tubing of maybe 3 or 4 feet through the cap. You can use cheap aquarium tubing for this. Just add a sugar solution (table sugar is fine) and yeast (bread yeast is fine) and run the tubing to your sanitized carboy. There are lots of ways to do this if you don't have a CO2 tank, how about using your starter to purge the carboy. I have a soda bottle "generator" because that's what I used to use for my aquarium when I was growing live plants. I also used to connect my fermenting carboys up to the aquarium as well. CO2 is great, use it! ________________________________________________________ Oliver Weatherbee First State Brewers http://triton.cms.udel.edu/~oliver/firststate/ ________________________________________________________ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 09:20:18 From: Mike York <myork at asheboro.com> Subject: boiled grains and corn sugar Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 07:25:22 -0800 From: Charley Burns <cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us> Subject: re: boiled grains and corn sugar, no chilling required Mike York writes in hbd #2560 that he agrees that rapid chilling of wort is not necessary to make great beer. Then he goes on to describe his recipe for a great beer including: "...boiled specialty grains and corn sugar...". Well, I agree with Mike, no amount of chilling will improve a beer with this process and ingredients. Mike - try using DME instead of corn sugar and try steeping the grains in 160-170F water in a grain bag instead of boiling them. Then try some pure liquid yeast cultures if you're at all interested in improving the beer you make. My $.02 worth. Charley in N. Cal. Charley, Thanks for all of the suggestions. I still don't get it. Please be more specific. What is so terrible about corn sugar and bringing my "roller pin cracked" specialty grains to a boil before sparging--then using the liquid to mix with a can of malt extract and extra hops? Are you saying that I should steep the specialty grain at the end of the malt extract and extra hops boil--before sparging and dumping the carboy? Always learning something new. Mike Return to table of contents
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