HOMEBREW Digest #2922 Fri 08 January 1999

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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

  GFI Tripping (Richard Johnson)
  re:Prior Double Dark (ThomasM923)
  Electric Water Heater Element Rusting ("Dana H. Edgell")
  Style Guidelines, etc. (Andrew Smith)
  Pilsner Urquell = divine ("Braam Greyling")
  Home malting, help requested (Clifton Moore)
  Estimating color - problems (Lars Bjornstad)
  St. Pats (Raymond Kruse)
  stocking up on beer for the comingend(Bob Fesmire) (DGofus)
  Open Fermentation ("Eric Schoville")
  Re: Opinion Poll - Does St. Pats Care About It's Customers?  I Don't ("Brian Wurst")
  re: Opinion Poll - Does St. Pats Care About It's Customers? ("Brad McMahon")
  Re: lower alcohol style: ordinary bitter? (Paul Shick)
  RE:Local vs. Mail Order (Rod Schaffter)
  Re: Scottish Ale or Scotch Ale (Spencer W Thomas)
  Propane parts ("Gregory f. Hunter")
  Re: Classic American Pils (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Help with Lagers!!! (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Prior Double Dark (Jeff Renner)
  Scott's sub-par supply shop (Vachom)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 06 Jan 1999 12:52:58 -0500 From: Richard Johnson <ricjohnson at SURRY.NET> Subject: GFI Tripping Thanks to everyone ( incl FridgeGuy) who replied to my post about my GFI tripping. It is a pleasure to post a question to this group and log on the next day and see about 10 responses waiting in your mailbox. Turns out my problem was simply a long wiring run (approx 80 ft) and the surge of the compressor cutting in tripping the GFI. I replaced the GFI with a standard outlet and all is well. Richard Johnson Mount Airy, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 01:24:58 EST From: ThomasM923 at aol.com Subject: re:Prior Double Dark Hey...I remember Prior Double Dark. It was a fairly flavorful brew from the dark ages of American brewing mediocrity. I used to drink quite a bit of it after hours in a bar that I worked in. I remember it had a bit of a toasted or roasted flavor. The darker malt flavors were very subtle, however. You really had to look for it. Perhaps brewing with some Munich (2-3 lbs?) and/or some Victory (0.5 lb.) and a small amount of black patent and/or chocolate (1-1.5 ounces) would put you in the ballpark. Don't forget the corn---0.5 lb. won't hurt. Hop level was fairly low as I remember, but a bit more than the usual mega-brew stuff. It also had a slight bit of sweetness; the corn and some crystal might help with that. Mash at 152-155. Your yeast choice should work well. Let us know what you end up doing and what the results are, should you go ahead and clone. At the time, Prior deserved the high ratings it got in '78. Oh, by the way, one of the only other American dark brews that was available to me at that time and place (early 80's, central NY) was Genesee Bock. To compare it to a German bock is laughable, but again, compared to the other American beers available at the time, it was a delight. Tuborg dark was a nice brew, also. Thomas Murray Maplewood, NJ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 07 Nov 1998 04:52:01 -0600 From: "Dana H. Edgell" <edgell at cari.net> Subject: Electric Water Heater Element Rusting Dear HBD, I recently installed an electric water heater element into my converted keg kettle. It is a Chromalox low-power density SGW-2167L from Grainger (NOT the fancy water wizard stainless steel kind). After making sure it didn't leak and was producing a decent temp rise in 6 gals of water I unplugged it. I planned to come back and try boiling water later. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get to it before christmas so water sat in the kettle for about 2 weeks. I didn't think this would be a problem as water heater elements are meant to be immersed in water. However, when I came back there was a layer of rust particles covering the bottom of the keg. The rust appears to have come from the base of the water heater element, particularly from the recessed areas where the elements come out. I took the element off and cleaned off the rust. I then put them back on and made sure everything was water tight. This time I tested how long it took to boil water. The equation for estimating the temp rise from ken swartz's web page proved pretty accurate initially but the temp rise time got very small as it approached boiling. I believe this is because I haven't insulated the keg yet. After boiling for a bit I unplugged the heaters. This time I opened the valve and drained the water. unfortunately, I forgot to look for rust at this time. A few days later, I took the lid off the kettle and noticed another layer of rust on the kettle bottom (but much less than before) and the the face of the heater element was heavily rusted again. When I drain the water from my kettle a cup or so gets left behind but the level is far below the heater element. With the lid could this have made the air damp enough to cause the rust? Have any of you electric brewers or RIMS brewers ever had any experiences with rusting heater elements like this? Do you have any suggestions? This weekend, I will probably try again only check the elements immediately after boiling and make sure the kettle is totally dry. If it still rusts, I guess I will try some silicone sealant or epoxy or something. I simply don't understand how something that is meant to be immersed in water constantly as part of a household water supply could rust so quickly. Any help or experience you can pass on would be greatly appreciated, Dana Edgell - --------------------------------------------------------- Dana Edgell edgell at cari.net Edge Ale Brewery http://www.quantum-net.com/edge_ale San Diego home of the Water Treatment Workpage Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 23:53:23 -0800 From: asmith at apollo.org (Andrew Smith) Subject: Style Guidelines, etc. Beer style is to me a both fascinating an infuriating topic. I enjoy reading about styles in the American homebrewing magazines (I'm British) & have seen AHA style guidelines posted on the Internet. They make me want to taste the styles that I don't know (Belgian & various German beers, etc.) but seem rather artifical when I see them describing the styles I do know (British bitters, etc.) For instance, style guidelines seem to be convinced that there are three levels of bitter: bitter, best bitter and ESB (and the Brewing Techniques editor was also surprised by this), but ESB is a brand name used by Fullers and most English breweries traditionally have a two-tier system of bitter and best-bitter (even when the names become inflationary: Courage have Best as their bottom line bitter and Directors as their next-up.) I suppose this is because Fullers have made a name for themselves as a good English brewery that have a market in the US. I have to say also, that British beers at their best have to be tasted in pubs local to the particular brewery as cask-conditioned ales. Apart from Newcastle Brown, most bitters (ales, whatever you call them) aren't commonly available in bottles. Bass, Boddingtons, Courage, etc. are popularly available in cans! (and the advent of the 'nitrogen' cans with a widget in has only emphasised this. Bottled beers really are a revival: you're more likely to find to find a bottle of Corona in Britain than a bottle of Sam Smith's. In Europe, people grow up with the styles in their region. I come from Wales, near Cardiff, and I drank and loved Brains Dark (and drank and didn't love so much Worthington Dark when I was at college in swansea) before I knew that they could be classified as Milds. And Brains beers were only available within fifty miles or so of Cardiff. The problem in the US seems to be that prohibition and then huge beer-making companies cut the country off from its beer-making traditions. Now that good beers are made again in America, (in the last 20 years or so) the brewers are faced with consumers who really don't know a stout from a pale ale. Also, Americans in general (and this is not a criticism, merely a perception of American society) have a hazy notion of what is 'traditional.' For instance, the Scottish ales mentioned as being traditional but not matching the AHA guidelines for a Scottish ale, aren't really traditional: Traquir and Fraoch are revived styles, not traditional styles. Also, IPA & porter (both of which I enjoy in their modern incarnations) are basically revived styles, not an ongoing tradition. I suppose that the question is: for what purpose are the style definitions being used. Probably the most natural way to define styles, and the the method used in most books about beer, is to separate them by country and region. Thus, it makes sense to classify English bitters in a broad division between North and South as well as by their being bitter, best, or whatever else. If styles are being defined for homebrew competitions, it also makes sense for strict definitions in terms of original gravity and IBU ranges to be put on the styles, even if these may exclude some prime examples of the particular style: a competition has to be judged against a specific standard. But if you want to a betch of homebrew that really tastes like a British bitter, then you have to use British malt, hops and yeast: if you stay within the guidelines in all other ways, but use American ingredients, it may taste very nice, but it won't taste like a British bitter. Anyway, enough rambling, I'm going to bed. Andrew Smith Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 10:11:07 +200 From: "Braam Greyling" <braam.greyling at azona.com> Subject: Pilsner Urquell = divine Troy asked about the nectar of the gods: Firstly, I am not a bad brewer and have been brewing now for at least 5 years and I still cannot clone PU exactly. My Pils is good but it doesnt taste exactly like PU. > 1. In the PU article they say they use 100% Pils malt and do a > triple...... I believe they use an undermodified malt which then need a triple decoction to get sufficient extraction. I think this undermodified malt provides some of the key tastes in PU. I have been thinking to make my own undermodified malt to brew a PU clone. (Future project....). I would go for a single decoction if I were you but a double wont harm. > 2. I am a little befuddled about the appropriate yeast strain. Any > suggestions that have worked well for others? Dont use anything else than Wyeast Czech Pils yeast. This is an EXCELLENT yeast strain for Pils. Aerate very well and make a huge starter. This will help when fermenting at very low temps. > 3. I am equally perplexed by the fermentation temps and lengths - > of primary, secondary, and lagering. Yes, I know this is yeast > strain specific, but what has worked for you? > 5. My fridge fluctuates at its coldest between about 36F and 40F. > Will this be cold enough? I would try to ferment the primary at around 8degree C = 46F. I know this sounds low for the yeast strain but I have had best results at this temp. If your starter is good and you aerate well, it should ferment out in around 7-8 days. Then transfer it to secondary. Take it out of the fridge for one day to let it rise to room temp. This will help for diacetyl. Then lager it at your fridge coldest setting for at least 3 weeks. This is how I do it and it works for me. Others may differ or have better proposals. Make sure you use only Saaz hops and hop it well to at least 35 IBU. I have tried once making a hop tea and adding it to the kegs when I kegged it. This helps for aroma but you have to leave it for two weeks to let the green taste mellow out. Hope this helps. Whaddayathink ? Comments ? Braam Greyling Snr. Design Engineer Azona(Pty)Ltd tel +27 12 6641910 fax +27 12 6641393 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 00:08:27 -0800 From: Clifton Moore <cmoore at gi.alaska.edu> Subject: Home malting, help requested <fontfamily><param>Chicago</param><smaller>Fellow barley malters. I am in possession of a large quantity (by home brew standards) of Harrington malting barley that was grown here in interior Alaska this past summer. I can not for the life of me contrive a steeping schedule that will get these devils to sync up in their germination. Some seeds wish to bolt, while others are content to sit there for days prior to first chit. I have thus far attempted to steep in iodiphor for a brief time to see if microbial activity was suppressing onset of germination. I have toyed with allowing the temperature in an air rest to rise into the 80s (deg F) to stun the germination. And I have experimented with steeping / air rest cycles. All to no avail. I also suffer a total germination percentage problem too, but I believe that this is linked to the above problem in that most all the seeds look to be viable. (some tetrazolium testing, but mostly just good looking seed that will eventually sprout of given enough time. The big boys would just reject the lot and let the farmers sell it on the feed market. I, on the other hand, wish to figure it out. I have thus far made only one 10-gallon batch of ale from this malt to demonstrate that good brew can come from it. I am very happy with the results of this test batch, but all phases of the process were right on the edge. Have you ever taken over the kitchen oven for 48 hours for use as a malt kiln? I have, on several occasions, and I do not recommend it if you live within a family you are fond of. My current trial set up consists of about a pound of raw barley in a one-quart Mason jar. I have screens cut for the lids, and aerate with a fish tank air pump. I have in the past malted larger quantities using my converted keg mash drum fitted with fans and such, but have decided to draw back to small batches, and only take them into germination so as to speed up the trial cycle time. I have got to get this steep schedule worked out. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Clifton Moore Fairbanks Alaska cmoore at gi.alaska.edu </smaller></fontfamily> Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 10:44:26 +0100 From: Lars Bjornstad <S9510259 at mailstd.bi.no> Subject: Estimating color - problems I am trying to gather some information on estimating beer color (in recipe formulation), but have not really found much converging info, either on the net or in books. I have compiled the following table, but I am not satisfyed with it: HCU SRM EBC Approx color Example (SRM) - --------------------------------------------------------------------- 2 2,4 4,7 Yellow Budweiser (2) 5 4,5 8,9 Golden Pilsner Urquell (4,2) 8 6,2 12,2 Light amber 12 8,2 16,2 Deep amber 16 10 19,7 Light brown/copper Bass Pale Ale (10) 20-25 12-14 23-27 Brown >30 15,4 30,3 Dark brown -black Guinness (65) Columns 1 and 4 are from Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide, while column 2 is calculated from column 1 using the formula SRM = 1,4922 * HCU^0,6859 (Dan A. Morey, found in The Brewery Library), and column 3 is calculated from column 2 using the formula EBC = SRM * 1,97 Column 5 is taken from Papazian's TNCJOHB and M. Jackson's Beer Companion. What troubles me is that parts of this table do not correspond with my experiences, and do otherwise not quite add up. I'm fine with column 1 and 4, they seem to correspond very well with my brewing. The relationship between SRM and EBC is neither a problem, I suppose, as it is given. It is the relationship between HCU, SRM and approx color that I find a little strange. For example, when brewing a brown ale, I usually make it around 22 HCU, which turns out dark brown, darker than Newcastle BA. 22 HCU corresponds to around 13 SRM according to the table. So far so good, but according to AHA guidelines a brown ale should be between 15 and 22 SRM, and my beer definitely appears to be in the dark end of the brown ale spectrum. According to M. Jackson, Newcastle is 50 EBC, around 25 SRM, which is supposed to be darker than my beer! >From this, it seems to me as if HCUs are quite close to SRM, at least closer than by using the conversion formula. If we look at Guinness, it has a color of 130 EBC (=65 SRM) according to Jackson. He also states that it is made from around 10% roasted barley, the rest being pale malt and flaked barley. >From my calculations, 10% roasted barley with an approx color rating of 450 L/pound/gallon, should result in around 70 HCU. (Assuming 460 g roasted barley used in 25 liters of beer). According to the Morey formula, 70 HCU is around 28 SRM! Again, the linear HCU formula seems to be a reasonable approximation to SRM, whereas the conversion formula doesn't make sense. So, can anyone tell me what's wrong with my reasoning or the formulas I've been using? Because after having done these calculations I'm all confused and don't quite understand the fuss about diverging HCUs and SRMs. You can see everywhere statements such as "...beer color doesn't increase linearly with the addition of more colored malt, you can correct the linear HCUs using a formula or reading the number off a graph...", but I have not seen presented any coherent, straightforward way of doing this. Because it should really be an easy experiment; just brew up a number of differently colored beers, analyze the colors in a lab and run some sort of regression against the calculated HCUs. Has anybody actually done this?? Thanks in advance for any help on the topic. Lars Bjornstad Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 05:30:39 -0500 From: Raymond Kruse <kruse2 at flash.net> Subject: St. Pats > Lynne, I guess maybe we all could do business elsewhere if you want to > treat your customers this way. > > Marshall George > Glen Carbon, IL > Marshall, The reply from Lynne sounded like a business owner dealing with the normal problems of running a business. The explanations were clearly stated (material out of stock, UPS delays due to the holidays), and there was an apology for the delays and frustrations experienced by the customer (who although courageous enough to complain and name the vendor, was coward enough to want to hide his own identity). St. Pat's challenge was reasonable and fell into the normal free market, which we all pursue--the right to make our purchases where we find the best prices and the best service. They sound proud of their service, their products and their record. To the best of my knowledge, there is no law requiring anyone to buy from St. Pats. At least not yet there isn't. In any business there are times when circumstances are beyond the control of the vendor. It appears that this is the case. A reasonable customer and a vendor trying to stay in business will attempt to find an accommodating solution. But when the customer expects performance which is beyond the ability of the vendor, then the customer is free to take his business elsewhere. And rather than try to mollify a customer who is behaving irrationally (as in this case), I think the vendor's suggestion and the way that it was politely stated, is reasonable. I don't get the idea that St. Pats doesn't respect it's customers. Not at all. What I see is someone who thinks that ordering during the Christmas holiday shipping frenzy shouldn't have a bearing on the delivery of his order, and is unwilling to see or understand reason. St. Pats would do well to have him shop elsewhere. And although you may not like my response, I *will* include my name for your enlightened response. Ray Kruse Glen Burnie, PRMd rkruse at bigfoot.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 06:44:11 EST From: DGofus at aol.com Subject: stocking up on beer for the comingend(Bob Fesmire) The publication Ale Street News recently posed the question to a bunch of whos who in the beer and brewing world as to what beer 12 beers they would like to have in their survival kit with the y2k problem. Very interesting responses. I would like to hear from the collective as to what they would stockpile (other than homebrew). And on another note.....Congratulations to Victory Brewing for winning the praises of the beer world. The best kept secret for locals( read me) of this fine brewery will now have to share the spoils of Ron and Bills hard work. If you have not yet tried the Hopdevil...please give your taste buds a chance to taste ecstasy. I am in no way affiliated, attached, supported by, yada, yada, yada...just a more than happy customer. Bob Fesmire Madman Brewery Pottstown, PA Dgofus at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: 06 Jan 99 07:13:00 -0800 From: "Eric Schoville" <ESCHOVIL at US.ORACLE.COM> Subject: Open Fermentation One other point that I neglected to mention is that I open ferment for both bottom and top fermented beers. It seems to me that everyone thinks that open fermentation is only for top fermented beers. Is there a reason for this? Eric Schoville Flower Mound, TX http://home1.gte.net/rschovil/beer/3tier.html Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 05:59:07 -0600 From: "Brian Wurst" <brian at mail.netwave.net> Subject: Re: Opinion Poll - Does St. Pats Care About It's Customers? I Don't Marshall E. George writes in HBD#2921 that some unnamed patron of St. Pat's was dissed when his blue plastic drums didn't arrive fast enough. I ordered three of the same blue drums, which are bulk containers for malt extract, somewhere in the first week of December (received an order confirmation via e-mail 12/9/98) My shipment arrived last week. I do not feel this was too long of a wait, considering the item ordered. These drums are made available once St. Pats empties them, so I didn't get all bent outta shape when they didn't arrive in 5 days. Mid-December is credit card billing time, so I looked on the bill to see if St. Pats charged me for the drums I didn't yet receive....nope, no charge to St. Pats. I have no problem with St. Pats and the experience I have had with them on this order. The drums are quite nice and do wonderful in their job as fermenters. For $3 they are a steal...which is probably why the Big Wait....demand exceeded supply. I take issue with the anonymity of Marshall's complainer. I doubt there would be flaming bags of dogcrap on their lawn, or asswipe hanging from their trees if the person stood up to be noticed. Nameless accusers do no one any good, nor do they enhance their credibility by remaining so. Happy Trails! Brian Wurst brian at mail.netwave.net Lombard, Illinois "Nature has formed you, desire has trained you, fortune has preserved you for this insanity." -Cicero Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 00:19:23 +0930 From: "Brad McMahon" <brad at sa.apana.org.au> Subject: re: Opinion Poll - Does St. Pats Care About It's Customers? The original post to which I refer was published in HBD#2921 OK, I have nothing to do with St. Patricks whatsoever nor have I ever. Saying that, I have to side with Lynne O'Connor on this one. Now Marshall, you say that your friend was treated with a lack of respect. I can't see where Lynne's response was disrespectful at all. Your friend's mail was downright rude and disrespectful in the first place. Lynne in her response said: "We treat people with honesty and respect and expect it return.". Well, I don't know about you, but that's how I treat people and I'd hope that they would also treat me the same way. Your friend's order was delayed at St. Pats due to out of stock items. It happens. He(she?) checked up on the order. Great. Was told that it had been shipped and was given shipping date: Fine. Parcel now out of St. Pats control. 2 weeks later said parcel not arrived. Friend gets upset and complains. Says: if it wasn't shipped, cancel order. (Effectively calling St. Pats liars for saying it had been shipped). Says: if it WAS shipped that there would be a "guaruntee" (sic) that there would never be another order even though there has never been a problem in the past with his orders from St. Pats. Then calls them slack. (hmm, winning friends by insults...) Then says: "I wish there was a resonable explination for the service I have received." (sic) How about _asking_ for a reasonable explanation? (notice the spelling) Had your friend realised that, just maybe, UPS had lost or there just might be delays over Christmas? How about emailing St Pats and asking them to track the parcel down? Hmm, Lynne was kind enough to apologise for something out of her control (UPS). Then she went on a little bit of an advertising spree, probably not necessary, but hardly bad treatment. She then says: "I am hereby challenging you to find a mail order shop that you feel does a better job than us on all of the items I have listed. I'm sorry but I rather doubt you'll find one. ... Good luck to you in your homebrewing, I'm sure we will both be happier if you did business elsewhere" Is this where you have the beef with Lynne? It's a little cocky, maybe, but your friend has already decided that he will never order from there again, regardless of the facts of the case. Now, I realise that customer service is pretty much everything, in retail. At least it is to me. However, I can't see why St Pats should "Care" about your friend. Perhaps they "Care" about customers who are polite and respectful. I don't know, I have never dealt with them. Has your friend thought about complaining to UPS about the delay, now that he knows it was their fault and not St. Patricks? Maybe they would give him a shipping refund? BTW, did you get Lynne O'Connor's permission to reproduce a private communication in a public forum? In any case, all the best with you and your friend, and happy brewing. Brad. Brad McMahon brad at sa.apana.org.au Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 08:49:00 -0500 (EST) From: Paul Shick <SHICK at JCVAXA.jcu.edu> Subject: Re: lower alcohol style: ordinary bitter? Hello all, Victor Farren asks for ideas about a low alcohol "sport drink" style of beer. How about an ordinary bitter? It's generally light in body, low in alcohol (so you can quaff pints all night long,) quite hoppy and refreshing. And it's a nice change from the high gravity ales most homebrewers tend toward. I'm just finishing up a keg of ordinary that fits your needs nicely. It came in at 1.035 OG, but with more malt flavor than that figure might suggest. (The grist was mostly Briess Pale Ale malt, with additions of Hugh Baird 50L crystal, DWC Biscuit and Aromatic, and Weyermann Munich for some toasty notes; mashed at 151F for the light/medium body called for.) Some East Kent Goldings for FWH and aroma, Fuggles and Galena for bittering, and a bit more Fuggles for flavor/aroma. I used Wyeast 1028 London yeast (my favorite for British ales,) so it has enough fruitiness to be interesting, but without being overpowering (like Wyeast 1968, in my limited experience.) It makes a great pint right after work, without worrying about too much alcohol. Finally, I find that lower gravity brewing forces you to think more about brewing technique, because there's not as much to hide behind. I think Jeff Renner refers to this as "naked brewing," but the weather here is too cold to think about that! A few years back, Zymurgy had a very nice article by Tony Babinec (and a coauthor whom I can't remember, sorry) entitled something like "Confessions of two bitter men." It's a nicely done homage to ordinary bitter that prompted my forays into the style. I recommend the article and the style highly. On a side note: having a keg each of ordinary bitter and (really) robust porter on tap makes for a nice treat: homemade black and tans (sort of...) You can get a nice variety of flavors from only two kegs. Paul Shick Cleveland Hts, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 09:12:17 -0500 From: Rod Schaffter <schaffte at delanet.com> Subject: RE:Local vs. Mail Order Scott Observes: > Here in Columbia, SC there is one shop. It's very inconvenient to where I > live and work. The owners are nice folks but who have a very poor selection > of supplies for advanced brewers. The prices are iffy at best, and their > advice sucks (i.e., use 1 can of extract and add 3 lbs of sugar... you get > the idea). They don't seem to have any interest in changing, or updating > their 20-yr-old brewing advice. Just my $0.02 Perhaps they have been too busy running the shop to do much brewing lately. Have you invited them to any of your club meetings? Perhaps chewing the fat with advanced brewers and sampling the products of their techniques would revitalize their interest in the hobby, and enable them to better serve you and the hobby. Cheers! Rod Schaffter Hockessin, DE Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 10:10:44 -0500 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Scottish Ale or Scotch Ale The "Scottish" ales are the malt-accented "bitters" of Scotland. "Strong Scotch" ale is the heavy, sweet, alcoholic brew. It's grouped with "English Old Ale" in the guidelines. As typically made in Scotland, neither has peat-smoked malt. Any "smoky" character is likely to come from the yeast, not the malt. That's not to say that we homebrewers can't do whatever we want. =Spencer Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 10:23:32 -0500 From: "Gregory f. Hunter" <ghunter at anchorcapital.com> Subject: Propane parts Randy asks? "Am I just being dense, or have others had a problem finding parts for propane? Any suggestions where to look? Anybody live in a less progressive State that would be interested in smuggling? Thanks all, Randy in Modesto" Have you tried the local plumbing supply houses? They usually carry gas fittings. Additionally, most mobile homes in this area use propane, try a supplier of trailer and mobile home parts. As a last resort call the local propane supplier and ask them for a recommendation. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 09:33:49 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Classic American Pils "Chuck Mryglot" <cmryglot at Progress.com> wrote: >I've brewed the CAP with flaked maize 3 or 4 times and like it a lot. I've >read somewhere (here or in some of the BT articles) that using corn was an >east coast formulation and using rice was a west coast formulation. What >has been the experience with using rice? What form of rice have people >used. I seem to remember reading here a while back that Jeff 'CAP' Renner >was experimenting with rice. Jeff? I always love to to hear the praise of CAP. I get a bout 3-4 unsolicited fan emails per month on it. You are probably remembering George Fix's BT article "Explorations in Pre-Prohibition American Lagers" http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue2.3/fix.html *: "WESTERN LAGER "A milder version of American lager was very popular on the West Coast and historically was called Western lager. Possibly the most famous was that brewed by Henry Weinhard. The excellent book by Gary and Gloria Meier includes a survey of the history of this beer (9). From Wahl-Henius (4) and Zimmermann (10) we can surmise that the original extract of Western lager was in the 11.5-12 P range. Rice (a grain indigenous to the West Coast) was used instead of maize, and the hop rate was about one-third less than that of the pre-Prohibition pale lager discussed above. This is a serious beer that can do well in modern competitions. On the other hand, it appears that before Prohibition, brewers and beer consumers from the East Coast (at that time the most populous part of the country) held Western lager in low esteem. Ironically, this version later evolved into American lager as we know it today." I don't know if we can trace the lineage of American lagers directly to this west coast version or not. I suspect it may be more of what biologists call convergent evolution. After all, more breweries use corn than rice. Beers I know of that are made with rice are Bud, Coors, Rolling Rock and little ol' Dixie, which I again must say is a great beer, although too light for a CAP. I'm sure there are others. I think RR is made with corn and rice, and I think someone posted on JudgeNet Digest that Coors also uses some corn, although that surprises me. I understand that A/B went to great lengths to get the non-corn house flavor when they developed the cheaper Busch, which economic constraints dictated would be made with corn, which is cheaper than rice. I recently visited a friend who has a PhD in cereal chemistry (aren't academic specializations amazing? There's even an American Association of Cereal Chemists!) who is director of a rice quality lab in Beaumont, TX for the USDA/Texas A&M Extension. They test thousands of new varieties of rice each year including some that Anheuser Busch is developing. I think she said that medium grain rice is used for brewing as it is lower in protein. I will check again, especially since I am going to use rice in my next CAP, scheduled for next week. (I tried to score some of that A/B rice, but she said that they only get a few grams of each sample). Flaked rice is available, which could just be mashed along with the malt, but I will coarsely mill (Corona) the rice, then mash it at 153F with 1/3 malt, cook it for 30 minutes or so, then add it to the main mash, just as I do with corn. I like fussing (if I didn't, I'd just buy microbrews!), so I will probably do a step mash. Those interested in more historic details should read Spencer's online _American Handy Book_ by Wahl & Henius http://hubris.engin.umich.edu:8080/Wahl/ , especially the chapter entiled "Brewery Operations." This1902 classic practical handbook for brewers is a great resource. Jeff * This is one of the articles that got me started on this whole CAP thing, the other is "The Bushwick Pilsners: A Look at Hoppier Days" http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue2.1/jankowski.html . And while you're at the BT site, be sure to read my "Reviving the Classic American Pilsner - A Shamefully Neglected Style" http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue3.5/renner.html -=-=-=-=- 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: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 10:33:48 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Help with Lagers!!! Troy Hager <thager at bsd.k12.ca.us> needs some help with his first lager. Since traffic is a bit low, I figured I'd post this too. >1. In the PU article they say they use 100% Pils malt and do a triple >decoction... the 100% Pils malt is fine but the triple decoction sounds a >little extreme (especially with all the dialogue that has gone on here >about the necessity of multiple decoctions.) I would like to do a single >decoction (maybe a double?). Would anyone be willing to inform me of their >experiences with grain bills and rest temps for a PU style lager? 100% Pils is fine. You might add 10% Munich to get some of what you'd get in a decoction. 10% carapils is also a nice addition for foam stand and richness. You can also do a pseudo-decoction. Mash 25% of your grain separately at ~153F, then after 20-30 minutes, boil it (make sure you have enough water to avoid scorching), then mash in the rest of your grain at, say 130F, then add the cooked mash. This will raise the temperature to near saccarafication temps (you can do the math). You may need to make adjustments, so add it slowly. Then proceed as usual. Pilsner malt should have plenty of enzymes to convert any starches that didn't convert in the decoction. >2. I am a little befuddled about the appropriate yeast strain. Any >suggestions that have worked well for others? I'd choose any of the available European lager strains for your first brew. Weihenstephan/308 (Wyeast 2308, YeastLab L33 Munich) might not be a good choice since it is reputedly tempermental and does emphasize malt over hops. Weihenstephan/206 (Wyeast 2206, YeastLab L32 Bavarian would be a better choice. Weihenstephan 34/70 (YeastLab L31Pilsner, don't know which if any Wyeast) is a good, clean yeast used widely in Germany and here. I have been using newly available Ayinger yeast and really like it. It was best in a test of 6 yeasts on the same wort that a local brewpub did and that I participated in the tasting of). Yeast Culture Kit Co. (mailto:YCKCo at aol.com) has it on slant. Make a BIG starter! One gallon is not too much (of course, decant so you don't dilute your hard made wort). Or get some yeast from a brewery. > >3. I am equally perplexed by the fermentation temps and lengths - of >primary, secondary, and lagering. Yes, I know this is yeast strain >specific, but what has worked for you? Chill as close to 48F as you can before pitching, oxygenate (or aerate, I do); with a big starter, you can see signs of fermentation within 12-24 hours, depending on the condition of the yeast. With smaller starters, I've experienced 3-4 day lag times. Unnerving, but with good sanitation, things work out fine. maybe a little less attenuation than is desireable. After bubbling nearly stops (10-20 days, depending on yeast pitching rates and gravity), you can do a diacetyl rest, but I never have. I just start lowering the temp 2F/day to 32F. I sometimes rack, often don't, but just lager on the yest. But, then, I don't get trub in my fermenter because I recirculate through a hop bed during chilling, which filters out the break material. I lager about 1 week for every 10 degrees of original gravity. >4. Will I need to raise the temp. for a diacytal (sp?) rest? How does one >know whether or not to do this? You could taste a sample. Diacetyl is a buttery or butterscotch flavor, not sulfury. Don't worry about the sulfury smells. Many lager yeasts have quite a stench. >5. My fridge fluctuates at its coldest between about 36F and 40F. Will this >be cold enough? Not ideal, but it should work. Oh, and use Saaz hops. 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: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 10:55:41 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Prior Double Dark >kpeters at ptd.net (Kevin Peters) wrote: > >I am looking for a recipe to clone Prior Double Dark, a beer that >used to be brewed in Philadelphia. In 1978, the Great American >Beer Book rated this as America's best dark brew. Unless >someone can give some particulars on the beer (how about it, >all you Philadelphia brewers?), I am considering two options. >The first is to brew a CAP, with little finishing hops and then >add (gasp!!) caramel coloring. The second option is to use a >more traditional bock grain bill of munich malt, but brewed to >an OG in the low to mid 50s. I plan to use Wyeast 2272, >reportedly from the Christian Schmidt brewery in Philadelphia. >My intent here is not to brew a bock, but an American dark >lager, hence the untraditional grain bill. Any comments from the >collective, especially any hints on the original item? I only barely remember having this, but I'm willing to bet it used corn and/or sugar. I think it was darker than most American "Bock" beers. Kind of an American Schwartzbier. Of course, I may be way off on my recollection. A colored CAP would be too bitter. It seems to me that it had some black malt and some caramel, but not as much as Yuengling. How about 25% corn, 20% US Munich, 10% dark caramel, 1% black, balance 6-row (or 2-row). Target gravity low 50 to mid 50s, as you suggest. Cluster for bitterness at 20-25 IBU, Styrian Goldings or maybe Hallertauer for finishing, but go easy on it. Lager procedure. New Ulm yeast would be a good choice, although I think there is some old Christian Schmidt yeast knocking around. I just dug out my copy of the book you mention. Not very sophisticated by today's standards. It is interesting mostly as an obituary for a lot of old beers. It's amazing that there were still so many old breweries as recently as 20 years ago, although not nearly as many as 10 or 20 years earlier, and they were going fast. I think Prior DD stood out mostly in contrast to the paucity of interesting beer. 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: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 10:00:42 -0600 From: Vachom <MVachow at newman.k12.la.us> Subject: Scott's sub-par supply shop In HBD #2921 Scott qualifies recent encouragements of homebrewers to frequent their supply shops lest the shops be run out of business. I'm all for Scott's qualifications. In fact, his description of his supply shops meets all but one of the qualifications I mentioned in my endorsement of the support your local shop movement. Against all better judgment, I'll quote myself: "It's important for supply shops to exist within the Darwinian world of the market, and I wouldn't for a minute suggest homebrewers should frequent a shop where the owner sells inferior goods, dispenses bad advice, cops any number of crappy attitudes, or gouges brewers on prices." Scott's local meets all of the above marks except for the bad attitudes. The owners of his local advise, gouge and dispense anachronistic advice with a smile. I wouldn't frequent such a place either, Scott. All I'm suggesting is that if you do have a decent local supply shop, do your part to support it. Mail order operations are pretty slick, but when it comes to relative quality of ingredients, you're pretty much at the mercy of the guy who packs up your order ("let's get rid of the three month old Wyeast 2112 and the yellowing hops before we start packing the new stuff"), you can't make a quick stop for the priming sugar you need that afternoon, you can't bring in that bottle of Scotch ale with the strange off taste you can't identify, you can't share a beer on a lazy Saturday afternoon. . . You get the point. If you've got a good one nearby, support it. Mike New Orleans, LA Return to table of contents
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