HOMEBREW Digest #2767 Tue 14 July 1998

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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

  REPORT: Colorado Brewers Festival (BrewsTraveler)
  broken carboys (Randy Ricchi)
  chiller pre-chillers (Randy Ricchi)
  American Tettnanger Lineage (Alan Edwards)
  Soda Kegs (David Monday)
  Culturing over open flame (David Monday)
  Carboy lime deposits ("Kevin R. Martin")
  Taste of starters; Cooper's Real Ale Malt Kit; One-step sanitizing (Allen Senear)
  RIMS Pumps Magnetic or mechanical drive (Jon Bovard)
  Post fermentation oxidation sources (Dave Williams)
  Wyeast 3068 and beer stability / oxidation / beer and infection ("George De Piro")
  Alcohol 4 sterilization (John Baxter Biggins)
  Dry-hopped Bohemian Pilseners ("Gregory A. Lorton")
  Re: "Jethro Gump Report" (Jack Schmidling)
  re: beginner seeks advice (Tom Lombardo)
  Europe boondoggle (Scott Murman)
  pumpkin brew (Scott Murman)
  CO2 in solution (Michael Rose)
  Going to UK, any don't miss places or unique brews I must (Dan Cole)
  Short Lag Times ("Marc Battreall")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 13:26:58 -0600 (MDT) From: BrewsTraveler at adamsco-inc.com Subject: REPORT: Colorado Brewers Festival 1998 Colorado Brewers Festival The 1998 Colorado Brewers Festival was held in Fort Collins Colorado on Saturday and Sunday, June 27/28. This is 9th edition of this festival and is truly the best one in the state for local brewers. The weather was on the warm side but Olde Town Fort Collins is the perfect setting for such an event. The historic buildings, the friendly mall with bands playing, and the food vendors make the entire experience enjoyable (and yes, beer). I attended the festival with members of Broomfield's Keg Ran Out Club. A multi-club get together was discussed with the Weiss Guys (Loveland homebrew club). I chatted with Palmer Lake's brewer concerning Belgian beers, and bumped into old friends Glenn Colon-Bonet (past GABF PPBT manager) and Jason Goldman (Spassmacher Brewery). This year I found the beers to be better than average and no beer was found to have an problems. Maybe the brewers bring out their best for this festival. My personal Best of Show goes to Phantom Canyon's June Bock. This beer, even in 90 degree weather, was outstanding and very enjoyable. In any case I whole-heartedly recommend any of the beers that I sampled and suggest you try them for yourself. John "The Brews Traveler" Adams http://www.adamsco-inc.com/BrewsTraveler ----- Aleopelli Red Ale (3/4) Back Alley Brewing Company A dry and malty taste and no discernable flaws. This beer finishes clean and somewhat dry. A nice and drinkable beer. Rodeo Stout (3/4) Crested Butte Brewery Very semi-sweet stout, somewhat dry with a milk-stout like sweetness. Nice roasted/chocolate taste. Clean and refreshing. Angry Monk Ale (3/4) Redfish New Orleans Brewhouse A Belgian Ale with IPA-like qualities. This beer has the Belgian-like phenolic yeast character with an almost ESB-like hop profile (similar to my Belgian/IPA). A unique and interesting and enjoyable sud! 10Karat Gold Ale (3/4) Tommyknocker Brewery At the LoDo festival two weeks prior I tried their Foolr's Gold Ale so I thought I needed to sample the next step up, the 10K. Hoppy, clean and malty that is light in color and somewhat sweet. A very pleasant and refreshing beer. June Bock (3.5/4--Best of Show) Phantom Canyon Brewing Company A very nice and clean bock. Slightly hoppier than for style but very clean and highly drinkable, even in this hot weather. An excellent beer! Annapurna Amber (2.5/4) Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery Very dark amber in color, this beer is more than an amber but not quite a porter. Hoppy and very malty. Chocolate malt is evident, clean and interesting. SP Belgian Ale (3/4) Palmer Lake A nice Belgian-style Single. Very clean and original but not as malty as a Dubbel or Trippel, A very enjoyable beer. - --- Brews Traveler(tm) Copyright 1998 by John Adams Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 15:33:20 -0400 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at ccisd.k12.mi.us> Subject: broken carboys My condolences to Thomas Kramer (could you say hello to Cosmo for me?) for dropping and breaking his carboy full of freshly pitched wort. What a nightmare. At least you got your wife to clean up the mess - good plan, cutting your feet just to get out of the cleanup! :^) When I go the "shake, rattle & roll" method rather than aerating with my pump/filter/stone, I place the carboy on a thick throw rug (softer than my cement basement floor), insert a solid stopper, tilt the carboy until it's resting on edge, than rock back and forth. You can probably get a more aggressive shaking going this way rather than holding the whole carboy in the air, since it requires only one millionth the effort of actually holding the carboy. And.. you can't drop a carboy that's already on the floor. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 15:34:01 -0400 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at ccisd.k12.mi.us> Subject: chiller pre-chillers Randy Miner asked about chilling beer with 82 degree tapwater. I use an immersion chiller, and when I want to get the beer down cooler than the tapwater, I use another chiller as a pre chiller, just as you proposed. I set the first (pre) chiller in a plastic bucket, the second chiller in the wort. Once the wort is down to around 100 degrees, I dump the ice, along with some water for convection purposes, into the plastic bucket holding the pre-chiller. Works great. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 14:46:56 -0700 (PDT) From: Alan Edwards <ale at cisco.com> Subject: American Tettnanger Lineage Has anyone heard anything more about the debate over if American Tettnangers are really from the German noble Tettnanager? I was ordering some from Freshops yesterday, when the (very nice) guy on the phone let me know that there was some debate about it. There is a write-up in a recent Brewing Techniques (second to the latest issue?) about it; but I cannot find my copy and didn't read that article. Apparantly, it's lineage was questioned; someone did some analasys of the oils and found it to be much closer to Fuggle in its chemistry. But the US has been brewing with this breed for years now! This is very interesting. Can anyone share the info from the BT article? Does anyone have even more information than that? Finally, does anyone know of a mail-order place where I can buy some imported German Tettnanger cones to do comparisons with? Thanks! -Alan in Fremont, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 14:51:40 -0700 From: David Monday <dmonday at thegrid.net> Subject: Soda Kegs Dear Digest Readers, I just got a line on some used soda kegs (5 gal, 7-Up types) at $20 each. If anyone else is interested, e-mail me. Dave in N. Cal. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 15:24:18 -0700 From: David Monday <dmonday at thegrid.net> Subject: Culturing over open flame Another humble experience and opinion: In hospital microbiology labs I have worked, the practice of flaming the culture tube mouth before and after inoculation or subculture has not been the standard protocol. While this was standard procedure in college, I have to admit that I have seen no measurable increase in culture contamination by not "flaming" the culture tube mouth. Further, I believe some concern exist with the "open-flame" actually increasing the turbulence of unsterile air around the culture medium, resulting in increased risk of introducing a contaminant to the culture medium My advice is to stick with what works. If your incidence of culture contamination is rare, you are probably doing things as well as needed. If you are seeing an increase in your contamination rate, then look at things such as : Minimize air drafts, disinfect you work bench well with 10% bleach (1part to 9 parts H2O made fresh) for 10 - 15 min., flame your transfer loop before and after inoculation with organisms, avoid breathing on your open petri plates or tubes, do isolation plates before a final subculture onto your growth media used for inoculation of your starters, etc. You can also incubate your home-made plates and slants for a sterility check before using for your culture work. Hope this helps answer some questions. Dave in N. Cal. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 18:06:54 -0500 From: "Kevin R. Martin" <kmartin at creston.heartland.net> Subject: Carboy lime deposits Hello fellow brewers, It is good to see interest in "other than mainstream" beers increasing. The more people that get involved, the more we will all benefit. I recently went to Brewfest in Des Moines, Iowa. There were 50+ brews to sample. I found a Stout that was excellent. It was Black Dragon Stout, by a brewery in Des Moines (I can't remember which one right now, but if you know, please chime in, because they deserve the credit). It prompted me to get a "second sample." I recently left water in one of my carboys for several weeks. When I emptied it, I found that there were little lime deposits all over the inside, especially toward the bottom. I thought for a while about what to do. I remembered, from my days as an Engineer for Bunn-O-Matic coffee brewers, that they used to clean lime deposits from tanks & etc using white vinegar. I shared an office with an Engineer that had worked for Bunn-O-Matic for 30+ years. He told me that he put a pot full of white vinegar through his coffee brewer about every 6-months to get rid of lime deposits. Afterwards, he would flush the coffee pot with 15-20 pots of water. I heated about a quart of white vinegar in a saucepan until it was hot to touch, and dumped it into my carboy. I then sloshed it around for a while and waited. In about 5 minutes, the lime deposites were gone. I just thought that I would pass this along for anyone who didn't have the opportunity to work with someone who could advise them of white vinegar's ability to remove lime deposits. Best of brewing to all, Kevin R. Martin kmartin at creston.heartland.net Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 21:52:09 -0700 (PDT) From: Allen Senear <senear at yahoo.com> Subject: Taste of starters; Cooper's Real Ale Malt Kit; One-step sanitizing Kyle Druey in HBD 2764 asked: I am interested in everyone's opinion on the issue of how a yeast starter may possibly affect the taste of the finished beer. We are admonished to make large starters, up to 1 gallon at times, then pitch this into the wort. Maybe your starter's are different, but my starters taste like Corona without the lime (puke!). When I think about it, it has to alter the taste of the beer in some way. What do y'all think? I too had wondered about this question, having read about how awful starters taste (I never actually had tried tasting one). However, I recently did an (inadvertent) experiment that alleviated my concerns. I built up a starter of Wyeast 1056 (American Ale), but was unable to brew when planned, so the starter spent an extra six days in my basement doing whatever. When I finally was able to brew, something looked a little funny about the culture, and I was concerned about an infection. Since I was going to pour off most of the "beer" and replace it with new food (DME in water), I decided I would taste a sip to see if I could detect anything grossly wrong with it. To my surprise it was actually tasted pretty good. This was hardly a great beer (unhooked, of course), certainly not something I would serve to company . But it was reasonably refreshing, so I ended up drinking over a pint, rather than a sip, as I slaved over a hot stove brewing the beer this starter was intended for. (By the way the re-fed starter culture worked just fine.) After thinking about this experience I think I have an explanation. To make a started we dump some yeast in perhaps a pint or two of pretty basic wort (DME in H2O, no hops), let the yeast grow and ferment for perhaps 12 to 30 hours; then maybe repeat the cycle. At this point what do we have? A very "green" beer (made from a very dull wort). Of course it tastes lousy. We ferment, bottle and age our beers for periods of weeks to months each, before we think they are really good, and I suspect that most of know from sampling at various times that the beer really does improve with age. I certainly have been disappointed at bottling time with a couple of beers that turned out to be pretty damned good a month later. I suspect that if any of you were to have sampled your prize winning whatever after only a day in the fermentor you would not have liked the results. Maybe in the future I'll always start my starters early, with a pinch of hops, and enjoy my starter beer while I brew the big batch.... *** Now for a question: Does anyone know exactly what the recipe for the malt extract in Cooper's Real Ale Malt Kit is? One of my early (and very successful, at least with me) extract brews was an "ESB" using the liquid malt extract in Cooper's Real Ale Malt Kit, along with some DME, Crystal malt, additional hops and Wyeast 1968 (Special London ESB). Turned out great, a rich and complex brew, at least to my uneducated palate. I am now moving towards all-grain brewing, starting out with a 3-gallon Gott cooler I found in a Thrift store for $3, and a slotted copper tubing manifold (Thanks to Ken Schwartz for plans from your web page!) that would allow me to do at least a partial mash. I had this together about the time I realized the ESB was getting low, so I decided I would try doing this as a partial mash brew, replacing the Cooper's extract (expensive!) with grain, mostly US 2-row pale malt with additional Crystal and a touch of chocolate malt (this was a fairly dark beer - probably outside AHA standards, but I don't really care), and additional (especially bittering) hops (I had found a web page that had IBU's for a lot of hopped extracts, not Cooper's, but all in the ballpark. I put together a recipe that came pretty damned close - same color, OG, bittering - but some element was missing. My "clone" was perhaps 90% as good for 60% of the cost - not bad but I'd like to do better next time. I know I could experiment, but I'm not really sure what to try, and random walks can take a long time to get to unknown goals.... *** Steven Owens asked in HBD 2761 asked about sanitizing dishes with One-Step while camping. In the river rafting community this is a critical issue. Although we may carry or filter drinking water, doing so for dish-washing water just isn't feasible. And if you are several river days away from the nearest road and the only person with the knowledge and skills to get your boat there, getting sick just isn't an option. So the standard trick with the people I have boated with (both on private trips and commercially) is do the final rinse (after washing with detergent) with bleach - a couple of ounces in a bucket of cold water, then let the dishes air dry; any traces of bleach will have evaporated long before the next meal time. Using this method, I never tasted any residues of bleach, and I've never seen anyone suffer from water-born illness, although I've seen plenty of sunburns, insect bites, infected cuts (presumably from exposure to the same water), dehydration, and hangovers... *** As a relative newbie and first time poster (no need to greet me, Sam), I would like to thank all who contribute to HBD, especially the recently maligned techno-mavens. A lot of the stuff was over my head at the beginning, and I still page down thru a lot (I have the scientific background that would allow me to understand the gory details of water chemistry, but right now I just don't care to be bothered; I just want my water to be big, fast and challenging white-water). But I have learned a tremendous amount from HBD - far more than from the 3 or 4 books I have read. When I started brewing a few months ago, I thought that I might possibly be trying all-grain brewing in few years, but couldn't have imagined I would be ready actually be successfully mashing grain at this point. I was never intimidated from posting by any aspect of the tone of the discussions on HBD. It simply is basically my style to listen quietly when I first encounter a new activity or community (I guess I could say I'm shy), and that as a rank beginner I had lots of basic questions about everything but I very rapidly learned that the basic questions were being asked and answered frequently enough on HBD by others that there was no need for me to ask. Thank you all... Allen Senear Big Water Brewing Brewing in Seattle and Rafting in the Northwest (and waiting for the next Grand Canyon permit) _________________________________________________________ DO YOU YAHOO!? Get your free at yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 16:53:49 +1000 From: Jon Bovard <jonbovard at geocities.com> Subject: RIMS Pumps Magnetic or mechanical drive Greetings to the collective! Here in Australia people with RIMS systems are as rare as rocking horse dung. So in my pursuit of a decent RIMS pump I seek the wisdom of the HBD. >From my research it seems that the factor which makes this baby so expensive (300 bucks Aussie) is the magnetic drive. A friend swho is also a potential RIMS'er tells me that I "dont need a magnetic drive", "dont waste your money", "you can get away with it cheaper" "use an internal mechanics pump" etc etc..(unfortunately I disagree) MY QUESTION IS: What are the necessities of a magnetic drive in a RIMS system, besides H.S.Aeration (which can be debated of course!) Ive found a pump with the following specifications Totton Brand nc/10: *head 2.2m *throughput 10.2Litres/minute (non-variable speed) *Magnetic drive *temp -20C to 85C *food grade plastic I know a guy who uses one and he's happy with it. Unfortunately Im not excited about paying 300 bucks for one...damn Aussie dollar. Many thanks Cheers Jon Bovard Brisbane australia Home of the remaining DUFF beer cans Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 06:48:57 -0400 From: rdavis at gator.net (Dave Williams) Subject: Post fermentation oxidation sources George De Piro responded to my question about sherry flavors in my beer stored at room temperature (Thanks George). George thinks that the problem is post fermentation oxidation and suggests some potential problems. Jeremy Bergsman (in a private reply, thanks Jeremy) suggested that the problem was oxidation caused by air left in the bottle during CP filling. I'd like to address these likely sources and ask about some other possibilities. < Some likely places to look: > > 1. The connection between a solid tube and a soft tube (i.e., where > your tubing meets a bottle filler or racking cane). No, That's not it. All connections are tight. > 2. Splashing of the beer into a carboy or bottle. I'm pretty careful to avoid splashing. I start the siphon slowly and don't let it go full blast until the end of the hose is well covered in beer. > 3. Stirring in the priming solution. None of the affected beers were primed. All were force carbonated. > 4. Excessive headspace in the bottle. The headspace has been about 1" or so. Just the amount that is left after removing the C.P.filler. Some bottles gushed between extraction of the filler and capping, so this may not be an issue either. > 5. Suck-back through the airlock when cooling a carboy. Possible. I crash cool all of my ales either in the primary after fermentation is complete or immediately after racking to secondary (when the headspace is all air anyway). So, how much air does it take to cause a problem? Not much apparently. I thought that I was taking sufficient care to avoid O2 in the beer. There are a couple of other possible sources of aeration that I'm wondering about. First, after racking the beer (in the kitchen) I carry the secondary downstairs to the garage where my fermentation fridges are. Though I try to be careful, some sloshing does occur. In future batches I'll bubble CO2 through the beer after racking to purge the headspace. Second, to start my siphon, I have been filling the racking cane and hose with tap water and then allowing the water to run into the secondary. My water comes from a well which uses an air space in the storage tank to maintain pressure. A lot of gas goes into solution. My hot water is kinda effervescent. It only recently occured to me that the dissolved O2 in the 4 oz. or so of water in the racking cane and hose may be contributing to the problem. I've started siphoning the water into a glass and then putting only beer into the carboy or keg. Does this sound like I've now got all of the bases covered? How A.R. do I have to be? I'd like to hear from some award winning brewers on whether they go to such extremes to prevent oxidation. After all, the sherry flavor defect doesn't occur in my beer when it is kept refrigerated. The only reason that I'm agonizing over it now is that I want to enter some competitions and I'm concerned over stability during travel. Thanks. Cheers, Dave Williams Newberry, Florida Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 98 09:53:47 PDT From: "George De Piro" <gdepiro at fcc.net> Subject: Wyeast 3068 and beer stability / oxidation / beer and infection Hi all, "Lord Peter" writes in about a few topics. One is the stability of beer brewed with Wyeast 3068 (Weihenstephen Wheat). He, like others amongst us, has noticed that beers brewed with this yeast lose their heading ability and body over time. Peter has been lucky; my Weizens never last 3 months without me noticing the effects of 3068's autolysis. Back in Feb. of this year Hubert Hangofer posted an excellent explanantion of this phenomenon, which he found in a Weihenstephen technical lecture paper. In short, Weizen yeasts tend to autolyze readily. While you may not taste this autolysis as the classic Vegemite manner, it does effect the beer. The proteolytic enzymes released by the ruptured yeast cells break down proteins, reducing head and mouthfeel and clarifying the beer. I am surprised that Peter didn't find this happaning in both halfs of his batch. He does not mention filtering out the 3068, just cold conditioning. After 3 months of contact with 3068 every Weizen I have made suffers from autolysis damage, regardless of storage temperature. He is a lucky guy! Peter postulates that Dave Humes' problem is not wild yeast, but the above mentioned "3068 syndrome." The problem with this theory is that Dave said that his beers are degrading in a really short time (1-2 weeks, if I remember correctly). Even I have better luck with 3068 than that! - ---------------------------------------- Lord Pete also talks a bit about sherry-like oxidation, saying, " Tannins are responsible for the formation of these oxidation reactions. Use PVPP." While oxidized tannins do contribute to haze, they aren't responsible for the formation of most staling compounds. Oxidation of alcohols, fatty acids, and isohumulones to aldehydes are perhaps the most commonly noticed of the staling reactions. Trans-2-nonenal has a very low flavor threshold, and can range in flavor from papery to leathery, depending on its concentration. There are other aldhydes present in stale beer, too. See Scott Bickham's excellent article in _Brewing Techniques_ Vol. 6, #2 for more details. These reactions are typically fueled by molecular oxygen or by oxidized melanoidins. In fact, I have this memory that the tannins may actually serve to protect the beer's flavor stability by being oxidized, thus preventing the oxidation of other compounds. If you then remove the tannins (by using PVPP or somesuch), the beer will have good colloidal stability (low haze) and good flavor stability (assuming you don't get more O2 into the beer after removing the oxidized tannins). This memory is a bit vague, though. Somebody else feel free to chime in, with corrections, if need be. - -------------------------------------- Steve Alexander says: "Only after the sugars and several critical amino acids are depleted and the alcohol level is fairly high does beer become nearly uninfectable by bacteria, yeasts and molds." Statements like this always frighten me, because it may make some believe that they can be lax in their sanitation around fermented beer. This is not true. Yes, the fermented beer is much less hospitable to many bugs than unfermented wort, but it is far from invulnerable. Wild yeast will gladly take up resisdence inside your keg of bright beer, and they'll invite their friends the Pediococci over for a party. Things will get ugly at such an event, with some guest making popcorn, forgetting about it, and burning up some plastic cookware in the process (get it? butter and phenols, sorry, sorry). Have fun! George De Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 12:04:05 -0700 From: John Baxter Biggins <jbbiggin at mail.med.cornell.edu> Subject: Alcohol 4 sterilization >JGORMAN at steelcase.com > >Has anyone ever used rubbing alcohol to sterilize their brewing >equipment? I'm pretty sure this is a thread that you can stick a fork in 'cuz it's done, but in my research (tissue culture),sterility is paramount (comes in handy when I want to work w/ & culture my yeast!) To sterilize, we spray and wipe down everything w/ 70% Ethanol (EtOH). This is roughly the combo found in household disinfectants like Lysol. The high EtOH concentration is disinfecting, but more inportantly, ethanol, an organic solvent, dissolves organic residues which can contaminate. Also as important, the 30% water dissolves most inorganic salts which can also contaminate, so especially for sterilizing the brewing equipment, 70% EtOH + flame (70% EtOH is still *very* flammable) is the best way. 70% Rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) will also do the trick, but EtOH is a neutral odor/flavor (and is what your yeasties are making anyway!) Denatured EtOH (spiked w/ methanol and other poisons to prevent ingestion and alcohol levies) is available at most drug stores or hardware stores...or if you know a chemist or biologist who works w/ it on a daily basis. Just restarted brewing again & luvin' every minute of it. Goin' to Portland, Ore in a week. Hope to see some of you there. John Biggins Cornell University Grad School of Medical Sciences Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center NYC Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 10:02:12 -0700 From: "Gregory A. Lorton" <glorton at cts.com> Subject: Dry-hopped Bohemian Pilseners OK, we all now know that Dave MILLER said to dry hop his pilseners in "Continental Pilsener". But it just so happens that Dave LINE also said to dry hop his version of Pilsner Urquell in his book "Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy". But Dave Line only uses a little bit (1/4 ounce of Saaz in 4 gallons) added to his primary fermenter (and ferment for 21 days!), while Dave Miller calls for 1 1/2 ounces of Saaz in 5 gallons. Several years ago, I brewed a "Bohemian Pilsener", following Dave Miller's recipe to the letter. In a side-by-side comparison with a pretty good bottle of Pilsner Urquell, there was not much similarity at all. The dry hops in my beer gave a pronounced grassy character to the beer. (At the same time, this was before I realized that Dave Miller's recipes seem to be based on an extraction efficiency that is unattainable by my system. His recipe for a 1.049-1.050 OG left me with a 1.041 beer.) Since then, I've never used dry hops, and I've been more satisfied with the results. Greg Lorton Carlsbad, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 21:51:22 -0700 From: Jack Schmidling <arf at mc.net> Subject: Re: "Jethro Gump Report" Who or what is Jethro Gump and why does someone name Rob Moline post it? js - -- Visit our WEB pages: Beer Stuff......... http://ays.net/jsp Astronomy....... http://user.mc.net/arf ASTROPHOTO OF THE WEEK..... New Every Monday Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 13:29:24 -0500 From: TomL at ednet.rvc.cc.il.us (Tom Lombardo) Subject: re: beginner seeks advice >From: IAN FORBES <IFORBES at BCBSCT.COM> >Subject: A beginner seeks advice > >I am very interested in becoming a home brewer. In the hope of starting >off on the right foot, I was wondering if I could get some advice >regarding the purchasing of a starter kit and the associated required >equipment. I have taken a look at quite a few homebrew supply houses >on the web, but it is hard to tell if the advice they are giving is good >advice or if it is advice that is only meant to sell the products they are >carrying. Any and all advice is much appreciated. One other question - >I do have the opportunity to purchase a "True Brew Maestro Series kit" >(includint the folowing equipmemt; 1) The True Brew Handbook 2) >Primary Fermenting Bucket & Lid, 6.5 gal. 3) Bottling Bucket with Bottling >Spigot-6.5 gal 4) Rack & Siphon Set including: a) True Brew Spring >Bottle Filler b) 4 feet of Flex Tubing c) 24 inch Curved Cane & Racking >Tip d) Tubing Clamp e) Tube Holder 5) Hydrometer 6) Double Lever >Capper 7) Bottle Brush 8) 3 piece Airlock 9) C-Brite Sanitizing Cleanser >10) Fermometer) for around $10.00 - $15.00. Would this be a wise >choice? $10 - $15 for ALL that? Is it new? If there are no scratches in the plastic, then go for it. Now with a fraction of the money you saved on the regular price of all that stuff, go buy yourself a copy of "Homebrewing, Volume 1" by Al Korzonas. (Read the HBD for a while and you'll begin to recognize that name.) Great beginners section, and enough advanced material to keep you happy when you've got some more experience. No affiliation, just a happy reader. Tom Lombardo in Rockford, IL TomL at EdNet.rvc.cc.il.us Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 11:36:28 -0700 (PDT) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Europe boondoggle Hello all, I'm back from my whirlwind tour of Europe and other points right of North America. Had a blast, even though the U.S. World Cup team played like crap. Buy me a pint, and I'll tell you all about it. Did do a fair amount of beer sampling, and thought I'd relate some impressions. I didn't drag along my hydrometer, and the last thing I thought of asking the fair maiden pumping my beer was, "so... is that dry-hopped with EKG?", so don't expect any hard data like O.G.'s, IBU's, etc. We just drank and partied, OK? London (and I suppose the rest of the UK) has the most amazing pubs I've seen. There's literally one on every street corner, and they all have a ton of character and local appeal. The only back-asswards thing is that they close at 11PM, which for a boy from Cali. who doesn't even go out until 11PM, was somewhat of a disappointment ("Let me get this straight. You've got really cool pubs, with great beer, but as soon as everyone is loosened up and having a good time, you close them?") The hand-pumped, cask-conditioned, served at cellar temperatures "bitters" were also something totally unique, and equally amazing. There's nothing we have in the States that comes even close to preparing you for these brews. They are all low-moderate strength brews, and it took at least 3 until you could feel much effect. There was little hop bitterness at all, despite the usual monicker "bitter", which took some explaining to my traveling companions who were expecting Sierra Nevada (like I said we have no comparison here). Despite the fact that they're barely carbonated, they still exhibit a good head. I think much of it is due to the method of pouring. Many exhibited a strong taste, which I can only attribute to the yeast. It is a similar flavor to what we get in Boddington's here in the States, only not as pronounced. Not every beer had this flavor, but a decent percentage did. We did encounter one infected cask. I sampled Greenalls, Worthington Red Shield, Tetleys, Theakstons, Smyths, Fullers Pride, Directors (Courage), Adneys, and Newcastle. My favorites were the Fullers, and the Directors, but really I enjoyed them all immensely. The Newcastle you get over there is absolutely nothing like what we get here, unless we got some bad bottles and kegs. It's distinctly sour, somewhat like an Oud Bruin. France really has some crappy beer, but that was actually a blessing in disguise. Being so close to Belgium, every bar had Belgian beers on tap. Switzerland was similar, except they at least have a good lager brewer (Feldschloshan?). Being a lover of Belgian ales, and being able to sample them fresh from a tap, I was in hog-heaven. My mates however, weren't so happy. I tried to get them to taste what I was drinking, but their usual response was "that tastes like clove" or "it's cloudy", and then they'd just shake their heads as I grinned in response "yeah, ain't it great?". I drank a lot of Abbaye du Leffe, which is a blond strong Belgian ale, with the typical phenolics. After a couple of liters of this, even Flemish starts to make sense. Eventually, I had to switch to mainly the wit biers (pour soul, eh?) in order to be coherent the rest of the afternoon. In one bar, I was served a 1/2 liter of Hoegaarden in a glass that was at least as big as a kitchen sink. It took two hands to raise it. I sampled Blanche de Maastricht, Blanche de Namur, and Erdinger Weisbier, as well as many others whose names I didn't catch. It got terribly confusing. None of us spoke French, so I would just ask for the Blanche, or Blanc, or "white", and hope they would understand me. They always had one variety on tap, but as we moved through Switzerland, they were more often German wheat beers rather than Belgian wit biers. I could only assume that they refer to both as "whites", even though we pedants separate them into distinct styles. Austria seems to be solely lager drinking land. For the most part, we drank light lagers, although I don't think I would call them either pilseners, or pils style. Closer to pilsener though. It was hot and mid-summer, so I would imagine in the dog days of winter more stronger, darker brews are consumed. I remember trying Gosser from the bottle, and Zwiekl and Stiebl on tap. Wien also had some new brewpubs, but they were calling them traditional biergartens. I ventured into Wieden Brau off Wiedner Hauptstrasse, and Salm Brau, next to the Palace Belvedre. It was amazing how similar they were to American brewpubs, with the exception that they served lagers instead of the common ales here. Instead of a bitter or pale, stout, porter, and seasonal brew, they had Helles, Maerzen, Dunkles, and seasonal brew. I tried the Helles, Maerzen, and the light summer lager, and found all to be good. Our friends in Wien mentioned that recently the drunk-driving blood-alcohol limit had been lowered to 0.05%, and that many brewers were lowering the strength of their beers because people were drinking less. Europe in general, is oblivious to the American microbrewery revolution, as you'd expect. Almost everybody still associates American beer with Bud and Millers (one ad referred to MGD as "the taste of urban America"). It was strange to see people paying $6/bottle for Bud in London, while we were going crazy for the the draft bitter. Many wanted to brag about the strength of their beers, and wondered how us wimpy Americans were handling them. They were fairly disappointed when I told them that we don't drink Bud, and in fact have beers in America of equal strength to theirs, and of more varieties than you can shake a stick at ("where did you learn to pronounce Maerzen and Dunkles? You know what a Blanche is?"). Every country has their own version of Budmilloors though. In England it was Carling. In France it was Kronenburg (well, anything really). In Austria it was Schwechtbier, or something like that. In Spain it was Cruzcampo. Granted, these weren't as bad as Bud, but they were still cheap, watered down, light lagers that the majority of people drank all the time. Bad beer taste and economies of scale aren't the sole province of America, so don't feel so bad about our legacy of Budmilloors. One thing I really hope will catch on here in the States, is every glass over there has a line to mark the volume you are buying, whether it was 25dl, 33dl, 50dl, or 1l. I did see people return beers that weren't filled to above this line. Here in America, people are paying a premium for "pints" that are actually only 13 oz. (steal a pint glass from your local pub and try it for yourself). I don't know how we can get this practice started, but I wouldn't be adverse to even seeing a law enacted. I would also like to see the smaller 25dl (about 8 oz.) size catch on here. It's nice to have a small beer with lunch, or in the afternoon, or whenever really, without getting too hammered. I doubt it would be popular with the macho, American power-drinking crowd though. Anyway, it really sucks to be back, but it's good to see that the HBD hasn't changed a bit. I'd also like to thank Jeff Kenton's wife for not allowing her husband to keep that ugly, old stir-plate. I can only hope that Jeff brings home a beat-up cylindroconical fermenter next. SM Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 20:06:07 -0700 (PDT) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: pumpkin brew Someone wrote (sorry, I've been catching up on back digests on the web, so I don't have my usual email stuff) that pumpkin will add basically no fermentables and no flavor to a pumpkin brew. I don't think this is accurate. Pumpkin should add between 10 and 20 points/lb/gallon, depending on the source. It will also add a very nice color and flavor contribution. I think there could be two reasons for the variable results with pumpkins. First, many folks use actual pumpkins, which will vary quite a bit in terms of flavor, starch content, etc. Second, most don't use nearly enough pumpkin; a few lbs. of pumpkin in 5 gal. of beer ain't going to do diddly, except give you a little orange tinge. Like many, last year I said I wouldn't do a pumpkin brew again, but now I'm once again considering it. What I do is use the canned pumpkin (actually it's acorn squash I believe) they sell for pumpkin pies. I use about 2-1/2 to 3 lbs. of pumpkin for each gallon of beer, and your basic 6-row, although I think 2-row would be fine. Yes, this will not sparge worth a damn, so you better have rice hulls and some way to cut your pumpkin bed. I also let the mash sit at the sacc. temperature for about 90 min. in order to convert all the pumpkin starch (it's basically a big potato). I'm always amazed how well it does taste before I spice it. In fact, if I do make it again this year I may not spice it at all. SM Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 00:30:19 -0700 From: Michael Rose <mrose at ucr.campus.mci.net> Subject: CO2 in solution There has been several posts recently about CO2 not staying in solution in beer. I don't have an answer. But on a related subject; I recently tried a sports drink called *All Sports.* Its like Gatorade. The texture of the bubbles (CO2) is different than any other carbonated product that I've drank. Does anybody else sense this texture difference? Michael Rose Riverside, CA mrose at ucr.campus.mci.net Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 07:57:30 -0400 From: Dan Cole <dcole at roanoke.infi.net> Subject: Going to UK, any don't miss places or unique brews I must I am heading off to England for a week, and am wondering if there are any don't miss pubs, breweries, etc. that I should spend an afternoon at. I am planning on spending 3 days in the Lake District (Lancaster), 2 days in Edinburgh (within walking distance of Prince street) and 2 days in London (off Belgravia road in the Victoria section of London), so any suggestions for great places in any of those areas would be appreciated. I'm also looking for suggestions for beers that I should bring back home with me. Does any UK brewery still make a "true" IPA, or is the style only an American one now? TIA, Dan Cole dcole at roanoke.infi.net Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 10:21:38 -0400 From: "Marc Battreall" <batman at terranova.net> Subject: Short Lag Times Hello All, Just wanted to report some data points on my recent experiences with a number of different yeast strains. I have alot of information I have gathered on different properties of yeast strains (from the same lab)that display the same characteristics and similar taste profiles, but that will be the subject of a future post once I have more info. For now, I want to report a recent discovery regarding lag times. In the past, my lag times would be what most would consider normal, usually in the 8-12 hour range. The routine I use for propagating yeast starters is pretty much always the same regardless of whether I begin with a new package from the lab or from one of my farm slants (of which I am proud to say has grown to over 30 individual strains!). I almost always step up my starters in 250/500/1000/2000 ml increments. Most of the time I will match the SG of the starter wort to close to the SG of the beer I intend to brew. I use extra light DME with a few whole hops thrown in for good measure. The only thing I do that deviates from what I consider the norm is that I do not use an airlock that restricts the flow of air to the starter. What I do is either place aluminum foil over the top with a rubber band, or use a triple ripple airlock with a piece of alcohol soaked cotton jammed in the top. Well, on to my point........ I made up a starter the other day using Wyeast #1272 American Ale II from a new package using the above procedure as normal. Built it up to 1500 ml over a three day period. At pitching time I would normally aerate the wort for at least a half hour, but this time I did not because I broke my last aerating stone. So instead I poured the starter into the carboy and splashed the 80F wort into it pouring it through a sanitized nylon screen. Got a pretty good amount of foam of course and had to stop pouring a few times to let it settle. Well, after that was done, I left it sit and came back 2 hours later and the foam was gone but guess what was there, a nice 1-2 inch bubbling, rising ever so slowly head of krausen. (Yes, krausen, I know the difference between it and foam). I never have experienced such a short lag time since I started brewing, even in my early days with rehydrated dry yeast! Especially considering that I did not aerate the wort or starter. Hmmmm..... I can't explain this at all but wonder maybe if certain strains of yeast have less inherent lag times than others? Or maybe this was just a fluke and I finally hit it just right regardless of my "other than normal for me" procedures. Anyway, the beer is happily fermenting along in the primary and I am looking forward to the finished product to see what Wyeast #1272 is all about. This particular recipe is an IPA using exactly the same recipe as my "Matecumbe India Pale Ale" that I posted a few months back boasting it as a Liberty Ale clone. The difference of course being the yeast strain. It is supposed to be similar in characteristics to Yeastlab A07 & Brewtek CL260. The Brewtek strains will be the subject of my next post trying to find out why three of their strains all display this particular flavor profile that resembles some type of wood (not oak). My friend dubbed a recent California Common that I made as "Redwood Common". More to come on that one. Regards, Marc ======================= Captain Marc Battreall Backcountry Brewhouse Islamorada, Florida batman at terranova.net captainbrew at hotmail.com Return to table of contents
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