HOMEBREW Digest #2692 Mon 20 April 1998

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  Cal Common Questions ("Ray Estrella")
  malt pH ("Ray Estrella")
  converting oxygen tank for co2 (JPullum127)
  Carm's Harshness and Jeff's hops (Dave Williams)
  Re: Finings (Robert Arguello)
  One last Iodophor question. ("Hans E. Hansen")
  Redhook ESB (michael rose)
  Cat Vomit Steam Beer Recipe (Jim Bentson)
  Thin *tasting* beer - Why, oh why? ("Hans E. Hansen")
  Sunbeam Timer Thermometer (Ralph Link)
  First Raspberry Wheat attempt ("Eric Bonney")
  Standard reference on brewing. (Andrew J Marsh)
  Liberty Ale Clone ("Capt. Marc Battreall")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 22:58:45 -0500 From: "Ray Estrella" <ray-estrella at email.msn.com> Subject: Cal Common Questions Hello to all, Harold has some questions, >1) I've had a Calif.. Common in my fridge in a corny (naturally carbonated) for 5 months now. STILL CLOUDY!! But the weird thing is that the 2 ft. length of hose between the corny and the picnic tap (also in the fridge) does clear with time. I know, you'll say it only looks clear because I'm looking through only 3/8 inch of beer, but not so. Fill a glass with beer and the "new" beer now in the hose is cloudy. Does this sound like good old protein haze? Could the pelleted dry-hopping cause cloudiness in the beer? >Why does the line clear, but not the keg? Being the product of two, third generation Californians, I think that means that I am 120 years old, I can answer this question, what was it? Oh yeah, you have to much air(head) in it, you should have made a Kansas Common. Of course, then you would have way to much DMS. Seriously, a couple of things to look at. Being that you naturally (cool, I like that) carbonated this brew means that you have plenty of yeast sitting in your keg. If you kegged with a lot of residual sugars present you may be the victim of over carbonation. Even if it is not overly carbonated, you could have a lot of junk in the bottom of your keg. It could clear faster in the tap-line, because it cools down much faster than the keg will. As soon as you pull another pint, it gets stirred up. >2) Could inadequate oxygenation of wort lead to a nasty flavor in your beer that fades with lagering? All of my beers (including the batch mentioned above) have a distinct harsh taste to them (some more than others) that fades with time in the fridge. My beers always seem to improve with lots of time. Even after a year in the fridge, they are still improving. I can't describe the taste, other than by saying it's harsh. I extract brew, and have done partial batch boils, full batch boils, liquid yeast, dry yeast, no starter, three stage (half gallon) starters. The only consistent "fault" I see in my method is that I do not aerate my beer after pitching nearly as much as most preach (and practice). I just shake the carboy for a while until it's good and foamy. I generally get active fermentation within hours and am near final gravity in a few days. Believe me, this is not a one batch thing, so I cannot blame it on a specific set of ingredients or conditions. It does however, have me >stumped. I am probably the biggest aeration preacher in our club, but what you describe, I do not think is an aeration problem. It sounds as though you are making high gravity, high alcohol brews, with the possibility of a lot of balancing hops. You do not say what you are brewing. If it is a 1.120 Barleywine with 95 IBU, give it a year or so, and that harshness may go away. I had a Strong Scotch Ale that I almost threw away at 7 months because I thought it was crappy. At 18 months it was a silver medal winner. Ray Estrella Cottage Grove MN ray-estrella at msn.com ****** Never Relax, Constantly Worry....have a better Homebrew ****** Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 23:29:42 -0500 From: "Ray Estrella" <ray-estrella at email.msn.com> Subject: malt pH Hello to all, Steve answers Paul, >>1) Just how stupid was it to steep some black patent to acidify my >> sparge? Was there enough grain to really make a PH difference? >4 oz BP in 6# total grain bill is a pretty good percentage, you likely >affected the color and the PH by a good margin. I estimate the color >addition of the BP to be around 10 deg Lovibond - taking it from about >3 to 13, very pale to above amberish. I'm no expert on PH though (not >that I'm an expert on _any_ of this!), so I'll let someone else chime >in here . . . Well I am not an expert on pH, or PE, or PHDs, or any other P's, but... 4 oz. of black patent will definitely acidify the mash. My water pH fluctuates about 3 points during the year, but I would expect at least a 1.5 - 2. pH drop from that grain bill. Where is A.J.? Help us Mr.. Wizard. >>3) Not that it matters at this stage in my learning curve, but how >> would I figure extraction rates from the given date (6 lbs.. assorted >> grains yielding 12 quarts at 1.042 S.G.)? >Everything matters at every stage of the learning curve - that's how >you keep learning! Steve, you should use that as a sig line. Maybe you will catch as much sh#* as I do. Keep thinking, Ray Estrella Cottage Grove MN ray-estrella at msn.com ****** Never Relax, Constantly Worry....have a better Homebrew ****** Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 10:13:20 EDT From: JPullum127 <JPullum127 at aol.com> Subject: converting oxygen tank for co2 I have a oxygen tank approx 18 inches high by 4 inch wide. which i would like to use for c02 for kegging. will co2 regulators fit. what would i have to do to make it practical and legal other than repainting. I'm sure there is a color code for safety with medical gasses and the tank is engraved oxygen. I have never kegged before but was recently given a number of cornelius kegs and this seems too good to pass up. thanks Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 09:53:20 -0400 From: rdavis at gator.net (Dave Williams) Subject: Carm's Harshness and Jeff's hops Hi HBD, There were several posts in response to Carm Salvatore's question on harshness. Most thought that astringency was the source, but Jeff Renner says it's hops: >From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> >Carm <salvator at future.dreamscape.com> has a problem with harshness except >in his lower hopped wheat beers. <snip> >But here is a big clue: >> 1 oz Chinook (12.5%) 60 min >assuming 23% utilization, = 69 IBU >> 1/4 oz Tettenang 20min >assuming 5% alpha acid and 13% utilization, = 5 IBU >> 1/4 oz Fuggles 10 min >assuming 5% aa, 9% utilization = 2 IBU >> 1/2 oz Cascade knock out > >So ignoring any contribution from the Cascades at knockout, you have 76 IBU >bitterness! No wonder it's harsh! <snip> I have to agree with Jeff for a couple of reasons. First, Carm is using about the same amount of bittering hops as I use in some *10* gallon batches. While my IBU calcs for Carm's additions aren't as high as Jeff's (I get about 60 IBU's), they are still high enough to be perceived as harsh. Second, the fact that Carm is not getting *any* break in the boil would seem to indicate that he has *over* acidified his sparge water if anything. This would reduce the likelyhood that harshness is from extracted tannins. When I moved to all-grain, and full wort boils, my first few batches were bitter to the point of harshness. I was using about the same amount of bittering hops as I'd been using for 3 gallon concentrated extract boils. When I reduced the hops to reflect the increased utilization in a full wort boil, the harsh bitterness went away. I also agree with Jeff that Chinook can have a harsh bitterness. I would recommend switching to a lower alpha hop for bittering. I generally use a finish hop variety like Cascade for bittering. At 5%-6% it doesn't take an excessive amount to get a reasonable level of bitterness. Cheers, Dave Williams Newberry, Florida Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 08:14:29 -0700 (PDT) From: Robert Arguello <robertac at calweb.com> Subject: Re: Finings Bob Gould writes about fining a stout: >I'm in the process of making a Papazian's Cuslomachree Stout (more or less) > - grain + extract clone of Murphy's Irish Stout. Its in the primary now. >I stupidly forgot to add irish moss during the boil and am wondering what >to use in the secondary if anything. I wouldn't worry overmuch about fining a stout. The dark color and near opacity of the brew pretty much precludes the need for "clarity". I do use kettle finings, (irish moss), for all of my beers, but primarily because I find that the moss, (added at the beginning of the boil), helps the formation of hot break. I too have occaisionally forgotten to use the IM, but the beer came out fine in spite of that. Bob goes on to ask...... >From what I've read PolyClar and/or >Gelatin could be added when racking to the secondary. Is this correct, and >is it really needed considering the darkness of the stuff. I haven't >really seen a good discussion of effects of haze other than aesthetics. Is >there an impact on flavor if I don't use any finings? Thanks in advance. When I fine a light colored brew, I use Poly-Clar. I primary and secondary as normal, then rack to tertiary on top of two teaspoons of Poly-Clar. I leave the brew in tertiary for 5 days before racking to keg or bottling. If, (please stress the IF), there is any flavor impact as a result of fining, it would probably be a slight reduction in body. I have noticed no impact in terms of flavor or aroma, your mileage may vary. Robert Arguello "Life Begins At 35 IBU's" Davis, CA http://www.calweb.com/~robertac robertac at calweb.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 10:25:53 -0700 From: "Hans E. Hansen" <hansh at teleport.com> Subject: One last Iodophor question. First of all many thanks to all that contacted me about their Iodophor experiences. I heard from both academics and the "I've been doing it for 20 years" folks. Nothing beats the combination of book learning and school-of-hard-knocks experience. The concensus seems to be to not worry about rinsing if the Iodophor concentration is reasonable. Some suggested rinsing fermenters, however. Which brings up another question: Should I choose to rinse something, what concentration of Iodophor will sanitize water? I don't mean to make a sanitizing solution for sanitizing objects, I just want to sanitize the water itself. I have seen iodine (I know not what compound was actually involved) tablets in survival kits, and they seem to work at a fairly low concentration. Perhaps Iodophor in the 2 - 5 ppm range? Thanks again. Hans E. Hansen hansh at teleport.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 10:44:24 -0700 From: michael rose <mrose at ucr.campus.mci.net> Subject: Redhook ESB Geoff Peake wrote, >Not too long ago on the WWW bulletin board we had a fair amount of >traffic regarding this brew. I emailed the redhook not long after that >and >received this reply which spells it out pretty plainly: SNIP I have heard that Redhook crash chills the fermentation early. This prevents the yeast from absorbing the diacetyl. - -- Michael Rose Riverside, CA mrose at ucr.campus.mci.net Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 17:13:58 -0400 From: Jim Bentson <jbentson at htp.net> Subject: Cat Vomit Steam Beer Recipe Hi All Here is one for the collective. I have recently started a new company and as such have very little time for brewing. Thus I must stick to a tight schedule when I do. My calendar was open this weekend so I decided, this is it! I decided on an all-grain California Common recipe, got a Wyeast 2112 smack pack and all the hops and grains I needed. Went home, started the smack pack and the next day started a one pint starter solution using extra pale dry malt extract, chilled it, oxygenated it and pitched the yeast. At around 9 PM the starter was at full krausen so I went to start the next two pints of starter to get to the 3 pints I pitch on brew-day. I brought two pints of water to a boil and then after searching everywhere for a bag of DME I was sure I had, realized that I only had 2/3 cup of extract left and nowhere to get more at that time. Since this will give around a 1020 starter I felt all was OK and mixed the DME into the two pints of water, boiled for ten minutes, covered and allowed to cool. Around 11PM I went to oxygenate this batch and pitch into the yeast starter. I uncovered the pot and as I started to bubble the oxygen through the wort, Sylvester, my large male cat hopped up on the counter to see what was going. He sat there for a while watching with a VERY strange look on his face and kept sniffing the starter and swallowing. And then, before I could react, HE VOMITED INTO THE STARTER. Well boys and girls, at this point I have two choices, The obvious ( and sane ) choice is to dump the two pints of starter and pitch the one pint that was ready. BUT I am out of extract. If I pitch the starter that I have I will be past the peak krausen point where I like to be and also will be pitching too small an amount for my liking. Since I am out of extract I can't start more and I won't use corn sugar for a starter. So I said to myself, "Self, I bet this is the same way that the mega-breweries develop new recipes, so why not continue?." After all stomach juices are mostly HCl in H20 and yeasties like acidity don't they?. So I filtered the mess through a coffee filter and checked the residue for mice feet ( there were none but there was a large hair ball). I took the liquid, added more water and reboiled for twenty minutes. After it was chilled I took a deep breath and tasted a spoonful. Hmm- it tastes the same as usual. As I write this, the starter is happily fermenting towards full krausen and will be pitched later today. I will keep all informed. My main question is; what style of beer is this now??? Is it a candidate for the Longshot Contest? If I enter it in a contest do I really have to list all the ingredients? (For those interested in replicating the recipe, use one tablespoon of Little Friskies Liver & Chicken + one inch hair ball warmed to intestinal temperatures for about 2 hours. Allow to steep in the sweet wort starter for about 2 minutes ) PS I challenge the AHA to use this recipe for Cat Vomit Steam Beer UNALTERED in next year's MegaBrew Contest!!!! Brian, are you up to the challenge? Jim Bentson Centerport NY Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 15:49:03 -0700 From: "Hans E. Hansen" <hansh at teleport.com> Subject: Thin *tasting* beer - Why, oh why? For some reason, nearly everything that I make has little flavor. About the only flavor that comes thru are the hops, which is OK, because I am quite a hop head. Here are the details: Because of practical considerations, I don't mash, making everything with extract (usually dry) and specialty grains. I have tried several different brands of extract (including Laaglanders), and many different yeasts. I made a Bitter using 3 lbs crystal malt/5 gals - no taste! Good color, but no flavor. The only beer that tasted as it should was an Oktoberfest made with Bierkeller Amber extract. What is puzzling is that I am not getting excessive attenuation. Most yeasts are giving me 70%-73%, with finishing gravities ranging from 1.012 to 1.020. I use a very large coarse bag for steeping the grains. I usually have the brewshop crush the grains, but sometimes I do it with a marble rolling pin. The water is first heated up to 170 deg. and then the bag is added. I soak for 1/2 hour (although lately I have been pushing this to 40 min.), and occasionally knead the bag with a wooden spoon to circulate the liquid thru the grains. After the soak, the bag is removed (and lately sparged with a quart or so of hot water - HSA be damned!), the extracts added, and the pot topped up for a full volume boil. My various brews have had OG's of anywhere from 1.035 to 1.060 depending upon style (is there an AHA style for "Tastes like Water"?). My water is quite soft (Hardness of 20, TDS: 40). I always add salts as recommened by Brewer's Workshop. This usually includes gypsum, some Epsom salts, some table salt. Perhaps another clue is that the beers have virtually no head. I get a normal amount of carbonation (in keg), but it pours out flat- looking. This does not bother me, but it may give you that last nugget of info that will help you solve the problem. I use a lot of hops, and have been experimenting with FWH. On the theory that my hop additions were overwhelming the malt, I made a batch with greatly reduced hopping rate. Colored water. (Actually it was a Bitter, so perhaps that should be 'coloured water'.) If I can't solve this, at least I will be able to save a lot of money by just making hop tea. It tastes the same as my beer. TIA, Hans Hansen hansh at teleport.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 12:04:04 -0500 From: Ralph Link <rlink at wsd1.winnipeg.mb.ca> Subject: Sunbeam Timer Thermometer I recently received a Cabela's master spring catalogue. On page 300 of that catalogue there is a Sumbeam Timer Thermometer. Has anyone in the collective used this model and if you have what are your opinions? Is it something that could be used in a three tier system? Is it accurate enough? I appreciate any and all responses, private e-mail is fine or if anyone else is interested postings in the HBD are great. Thanks Ralph Link "Warm beer and bread They say it will raise the dead" Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 13:32:30 -0400 From: "Eric Bonney" <ebonney at fuse.net> Subject: First Raspberry Wheat attempt Well I did my first raspberry wheat last night. I hope it turns out ok. I have a few questions about the recipe and the procedures I used and wanted to see if anyone could help. Ingredients: 6.6 lbs Muntons Wheat Extract 3 lbs Muntons Dry Malt Extract - Light 8 oz Malto-Dextrin 2 oz Hallertau Hops (bittering) 3.9% Alpha Acid 1 oz Saaz Haps (finishing) 3.6% Alpha Acid 1 tsp. Irish Moss 8 oz of Raspberry extract (LD Carlson) Wyeast #3068 - Weihenstephan Wheat ** The hops were pellet hops I brought 3 1/2 gallons of water to a boil, then added the wheat extract, DME, and Malto-Dextrin. Brought this back to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes. Added bittering hops and boiled for 30 minutes. Added Irish Moss and boiled for the last 15 minutes. Added the finishing hops and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Used a submersion chiller to cool the wort to around 75 F and dumped the whole lot into my 6.5 gallon plastic fermenter. Added the raspberry extract and pitched the yeast. Original gravity was about 1.083. Now for the questions and comments: 1. I made huge mistake in the amount of water I boiled. I only have a 4 gallon kettle and well to say the least, I experienced my first boil over. ::sigh:: What a mess! but alas, we kept going. Just kept a closer look on the kettle. 2. I think the 8 oz of raspberry extract might have been a bit much, but we will have to see. 3. After I was done cooling the wort, it had a tremendous amount of trub, all I did was dump this into the fermenter. Is there a way I could have removed this so as not to put it into the fermenter? Will this cause any problems in my beer? After about 7 days I plan on racking it into a 5 gal. carboy for about 14 days or so. 4. When using the pellet hops, is it ok to just put the pellets into the wort as I did in this batch, or should I have used a hop sock? I used the sock for the finishing hops. 5. Just an observation, but the o.g. seems a bit high, is it? With all the pellet particles floating about didn't this skew the reading? 6. When I used the yeast, all I did was open the foil package and dumped it into the wort, and mixed in. Somewhere I recall reading something about preping the yeast in some way, or was that only if I was using dry yeast? Thanks to any who wish to help with these, and if anyone has any suggestions for the next batch I would love to hear them. -Eric Bonney ebonney at fuse.net Check out my home page at: http://home.fuse.net/ebonney/ Prejudice is a learned trait, SO WHAT are YOU teaching YOUR children?! Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 12:43:11 -0700 From: jethro at inetex.com (Andrew J Marsh) Subject: Standard reference on brewing. I have recently started brewing all grain recipes and would like to buy a good reference book to learn more about the process and different styles. Any suggestions? Private e-mail is fine. Thanks Andrew Marsh Victoria, B.C. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 21:00:11 -0400 From: "Capt. Marc Battreall" <batman at terranova.net> Subject: Liberty Ale Clone Hello All, Got an enormous response for requests of my Liberty Ale clone that I am so proud of. But a few things first: A few e-mail requests that I got mentioned the yeast I spoke of. Please bear in mind, I never said that this is in fact the yeast that Anchor Brewing Co. uses for their Liberty Ale. I am not privy to that information. What I merely said was that this is reportedly the same style or strain of yeast. That is no secret. It is a Canadian Ale strain as reported by George Fix in his recent book, An Analysis of Brewing Techniques. Read it for yourself. Anyway, on to the recipe.......................... Recipe for Matecumbe India Pale Ale 6.0 US Gallons All Grain WATER: Treated 10 Gal (6 tap + 4 Pure) SALTS ADDED: Epsom - 10.3 gm, Gypsum - 12.9 gm, Calcium Chloride - .2 gm, Salt - 1.5 gm Ions Desired: Ca 125, Na 25, Mg 31, Cl 40, SO4 360, CO3 33, Hardness 374, TDS 652 (Use whatever salts you need to achieve these numbers or close) GRAINBILL: 11 lb Great Western 2 Row Malt 1 lb Briess 6 Row Malt 1 lb Briess Carapils Malt 1 lb Gambrinus Honey Malt (Bruhmalt) 1 lb Crystal Malt 40L HOP SCHEDULE: 1 oz Cascade Hop Pellets (5.2% AA - boil 75 min) 1 oz Cascade Whole Hops (6.3% AA - boil 60 min) 1 oz Cascade Whole Hops (6.3% AA - boil 15 min) .5 oz Cascade Whole Hops (dry hop in secondary) Boil time should be 75 minutes or more adding 1 tsp of Irish Moss Flakes for last 15 minutes. YEAST: 750+ ml Yeastlab #A07 Canadian Ale Yeast Starter FERMENTATION: At least 7-10 days at 66-68F and then 4-5 days in the secondary after you have added the dry hops and the fining agent of your choice. You can elect to skip the finings if you don't mind a cloudy beer, which is imilar to Liberty Ale afterall! PRIMING: I use krausened beer with an added amount of yeast from the original culture and add it to the keg and condition it for a few weeks. You can choose any method. PACKAGING: I prefer to keg my beer but with this batch I did both kegging and bottling. in my opinion the kegged version is better. I prime the bottles with Primetabs (tm). NOTES: You can alter most of the ingredients slightly but NOT THE YEAST!! This is reportedly the same type that Anchor uses according to George Fix et al. Not neccessarily from Yeastlab per se, but that particular strain. I agree especially after trying this recipe with assorted grains and hopping schedules. The info on the hops was acquired from personal experiences (I drink alot of Liberty Ale!) and a recent article in All About Beer magazine.This was the sixth attempt to clone this beer which I love so much and I firmly believe that I can get no closer. If you experiment with this anymore, please let me know how it worked out for you. GOOD LUCK AND CHEERS!! - -- Captain Marc Battreall Islamorada, Florida Future site of "The BackCountry Brewhouse" Return to table of contents
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