HOMEBREW Digest #3015 Tue 27 April 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

  Wyeast Thames in a Scotch Ale? ("Brian Dixon")
  shameless plug (Biergiek)
  Koelsch: another AHA style problem? (Ted McIrvine)
  Sanitizing Beer Bottles (Richard S. Kuzara)
  CO2 Tanks ("Todd Goodman")
  California State Fair Competition (Robert Arguello)
  RE: Used Corny kegs (Robert Arguello)
  Boiling/BU/S.G. Samples/DO (AJ)
  Re: 55 gallon drum & Alan's post (Scott Abene)
  17th Annual Oregon Homebrew Festival 5/22/99 ("Mark Kowalski")
  Capping bottles and head problems (NOT from drinking homebrew!!) ("Bill Tobler")
  Sour Mash (Keith Busby)
  Re: Definition of a good lawnmower beer (Jeff Renner)
  This is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl. (bkhegemann)
  re:Sanitizers and bugs (and beer stone) ("Dr. Pivo")
  Re: hop-free beer (Jeff Renner)
  Alternative calcium salts (ThomasM923)
  Some questions from a neophyte (FridayMtn)
  Re: What is a good substance for making SG samples ("Brian Dixon")
  enzyme stability (sedam)
  sulfury lagers (sedam)
  Cooling Wort (Dan Listermann)
  more on astringency (Laurel Maney)

Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! 2000 MCAB Qualifiers: Spirit of Free Beer! Competition 5/22/99 (http://burp.org/SoFB99); Oregon Homebrew Festival 5/22/99 (http://www.mtsw.com/hotv/fest.html); Buzz-Off! Competition 6/26/99 (http://www.voicenet.com/~rpmattie/buzzoff) Send articles for __publication_only__ to post@hbd.org If your e-mail account is being deleted, please unsubscribe first!! To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE send an e-mail message with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to request@hbd.org. **SUBSCRIBE AND UNSUBSCRIBE REQUESTS MUST BE SENT FROM THE E-MAIL ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!!** IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, the autoresponder and the SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE commands will fail! Contact brewery at hbd.org for information regarding the "Cat's Meow" Back issues are available via: HTML from... http://hbd.org Anonymous ftp from... ftp://hbd.org/pub/hbd/digests ftp://ftp.stanford.edu/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer AFS users can find it under... /afs/ir.stanford.edu/ftp/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer COPYRIGHT for the Digest as a collection is currently held by hbd.org (Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen). Digests in their entirity CANNOT be reprinted/reproduced without this entire header section unless EXPRESS written permission has been obtained from hbd.org. Digests CANNOT be reprinted or reproduced in any format for redistribution unless said redistribution is at absolutely NO COST to the consumer. COPYRIGHT for individual posts within each Digest is held by the author. Articles cannot be extracted from the Digest and reprinted/reproduced without the EXPRESS written permission of the author. The author and HBD must be attributed as author and source in any such reprint/reproduction. (Note: QUOTING of items originally appearing in the Digest in a subsequent Digest is exempt from the above. Home brew clubs NOT associated with organizations having a commercial interest in beer or brewing may republish articles in their newsletters and/or websites provided that the author and HBD are attributed. ASKING first is still a great courtesy...) JANITORS on duty: Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen (janitor@hbd.org)
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 20:35:00 -0700 From: "Brian Dixon" <mutex at proaxis.com> Subject: Wyeast Thames in a Scotch Ale? Just brewed Noonan's 140-Schilling Scotch Ale (OG 1.125 ... gulp!) and I used Wyeast Thames Valley yeast. My actual OG came out at 1.110. My FG came out at 1.042, for an attenuation of 61.8% ... not too bad for a Scotch ale. A bit lower than I wanted, and lower than I usually get, but I blame that on the fact that I cheated on Noonan's recipe. Instead of doing the double mash (which I *will* do next time), I did a single mash and bumped the gravity with a blend of John Bull light and amber extracts, trying to match the ratio of 2-row to Amber malt that Greg recommended. I oxygenated with my Oxynator, and had treated the water appropriate for a Scotch ale, so I know that there were no health issues for the yeast. Mash was at 156 F rather than the 158 F that Noonan recommended. I suspect the short attenuation was due partially to this, but probably mostly due to the extract ... every time I use extract (alone or in a 'bumped up' mashed grain brew), it does NOT attenuate predictably ... sometimes I get good attenuation, and sometimes I don't. My all-grain brewing always works very predictable (another reason to avoid extract.) Anyway, how does this attenuation align with your experience, assuming you've brewed a high-gravity brew like this one? Could be that the yeast isn't alcohol tolerant enough ... but for the Scotch Ale style, this is fine. The ABV came out at 9% in spite of itself... How does the Thames turn out in other brews? Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 23:42:36 EDT From: Biergiek at aol.com Subject: shameless plug I have some homebrewing stuff that I am auctioning on ebay, go to the url if you are interested: 1) 10 Gallon Stainless Cornie Keg http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=95074585 2) 5 Gallon (21 qt) Stainless Kettle http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=95076710 3) Anheuser Busch Muenchner Commemorative Tap Handle http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=95082742 4) Beck's Brauerei, Bremen, Germany, Tap Handle http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=95087475 5) Electric Water Heater - 3000W 120V Under-Sink Type http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=95070202 I wasn't sure if mentioning this on the HBD was proper netiquette, so I decided to consult with Fred Garvin. Besides being a male prostitute, Fred's day job is Dean of the Bent Dick School of Business, Kentwood Campus. Here is what Fred had to say,"Ya, what the hell, if Schmidling and Listerman can shamelessly plug their wares on the HBD I don't see why you can't." Thanks for the advice Fred. Kyle Bakersfield, CA way west and left of the homebrewing epicenter of MI Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 01:07:19 -0700 From: Ted McIrvine <McIrvine at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Koelsch: another AHA style problem? Al, I've been grumbling about the AHA descriptions for some time. For example, I suspect that you would agree that chocolate malt and crystal does not belong in a Doppelbock, DMS is ok in many German lagers, and that Alt and Munich Dark should have Munich malt as the primary grain in the grain bill. And we know that the AHA descriptions of strong Belgian ales are incorrect. (I may not always spell Tripel correctly, but I know what should be in one!) Let us hope that the AHA gets their style description correctly. As I said, I've never had an authentic Koelsch from Cologne and all I have to base my knowlege of the style is what I taste at Goose Island and Broad Ripple. Nice beers, but the best specimen that those of us who haven't been to Koln have tasted. Cheers Ted I wrote: > >My favorite Koelsch is Goose Island Koelsch. I've never had an > >authentic Koelsch from Cologne, but the Goose Island is a very good > >match for the descriptions that I've read. It has a delicate malty > >flavor with a slight trace of noble hops. And the wise Al Korzonas responded: > > It might match the descriptions well, but I don't believe that the > descriptions have been accurate. None of them have mentioned DMS, > which I feel is present in all the best Koelsches I tasted in Koeln. > I like Goose Island's "Summertime" which is billed as a Koelsch, > but if I was given it blind and asked to pick what style it is, I don't > think that I would say Koelsch... I think I'd say "Blonde Ale." > > Koelsches are grainy, rather assertively bitter and crisp. Their balance > starts out slightly bitter and rises towards the finish. There were some > without the mild DMS aroma, but these were the blander ones. The > best, in my opinion (Gaffel, Peters, Reissdorf, Gilden, Muehlen and > Paeffgen) had an unmistakable DMS aroma, not unlike that of a mash > tun full of spent Pilsner malt. Really! > > Al. > > Al Korzonas, Lockport, IL > korz at brewinfo.com > http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 06:26:02 -0600 From: rkuzara at wyoming.com (Richard S. Kuzara) Subject: Sanitizing Beer Bottles For bottling my last two batches, I sanitized my RETURNABLE beer bottles (previously cleaned when originally emptied) by rinsing them in household water and then baking them in the oven for 30 minutes. For the first "bake" (first batch bottled) I used a temperature of 275 degrees and one or two of the 54 bottles broke. For the second bake (next batch), I used a lower temperature of 250 degrees and about 10 of the bottles broke - a serious depletion of my prized returnable bottles. Now I am about ready to again bottle and I guess I will have to go back to the bleach soak and the triple water rinse and not loose any more bottles to the oven. The oven procedure was easier and faster (if it worked). Question, has anyone been successful sanitizing in the oven and what is wrong with my procedure or what is the suggested oven procedure? Thanks. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 10:09:20 -0400 From: "Todd Goodman" <tsg1 at earthlink.net> Subject: CO2 Tanks In HBD #3013 Phil <poregan at ix.netcom.com> from Tampa, FL writes: > Any advice on acquiring a CO2 tank? and Karl Keyes <karl.keyes at gwl.com> wrote: > Any info on good > prices on CO2 tanks would also be appreciated. I would recommend talking to a local beverage company (Coca Cola or Pepsi, for example). They'll rent a tank (usually for a small deposit) and then just swap tanks when you need more CO2. No worrying about the high cost of purchasing or hydro testing your tanks. I tried local places for Coke and Pepsi and my least favorite of the two wouldn't do it unless I got a local restaurant to let me use their account and have it delivered to the restaurant. The other place set me up with an account and took a $40 deposit. I was told that they're not supposed to allow CO2 tanks in private vehicles (for obvious reasons I suppose, who wants a CO2 tank missle launched at them in the fast lane on the highway?) so that may be why the other place wanted to deliver to a local restaurant. Regards, Todd Goodman The Cave Brewery Westford, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 07:16:37 -0700 (PDT) From: Robert Arguello <robertac at calweb.com> Subject: California State Fair Competition PRESS RELEASE: The Gold Country Brewers Association, (GCBA), and the California State Fair are sponsoring the Seventeenth Annual California State Fair Home Brew Competition. The competition is open to all home brewers of at least 21 years of age and who are residents of the state of California. Beers must be made in the home for private, (non-commercial), use. Entries must be received between April 1, 1999 and May 15, 1999. All entries will be kept in cold storage until final judging on June 27, 1999. Judging will follow the official 1998 BJCP style guidelines. All BJCP beer and mead categories will be judged. The BJCP style guidelines can be seen at http://www.bjcp.org/style-guide.html . Competition information and entry forms are available on-line at: http://www.calweb.com/~robertac/comp.htm Rosettes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category. Rosette and Golden Bear Trophy will be awarded for the "Best of Show". Interested judges are invited to register. JUDGES CAN REGISTER ONLINE at: http://www.calweb.com/~robertac/form.html OR, E-mail Dave Sapsis at GCBA at ns.net if you would like to serve as a judge at the competition. Best of luck! Robert Arguello California State Fair Home Brew Competition Coordinator Gold Country Brewers Association robertac at calweb.com (530) 759-1006 Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 07:26:42 -0700 (PDT) From: Robert Arguello <robertac at calweb.com> Subject: RE: Used Corny kegs ON, Thu, 22 Apr 1999 08:51:18 -0600 "Keyes, Karl" <karl.keyes at gwl.com> asked: >I recall seeing a website that had used corny kegs (pin and ball type) for >$14. I'm interested in getting a keg system but funds are somewhat limited >now and less expensive alternatives would be appreciated. Any info on good >prices on CO2 tanks would also be appreciated. >Also, any comments as to the condition of St. Pats used corny kegs? The website you refer to may be: http://www.calweb.com/~robertac/keg.htm Full handled (moulded) corny kegs at $14.00 each AND Single handle (bakelite) corny kegs at $11.50 each or $44.00 for four. ******************************************************************** Robert Arguello <robertac at calweb.com> Corny kegs - ProMash Brewing Software http://www.calweb.com/~robertac ******************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 14:32:55 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Boiling/BU/S.G. Samples/DO Jeff Beinhaur posts the following about his water and asks for comments about boiling it: Alkalinity - 50-100 Hardness - 100-210 At the lower extreme (Alk 50, Hard 100 ) residual alkalinity is only 25 and there should be no need to decarbonate the water (except for Boh. Pils, etc.) nor is it likely that simple boiling would result in appreciable decarbonation (only half the hardness is temporary). At the upper extreme(100, 210) residual alkalinity is a little over 50 which is a bit higher than desired but not so high that a little extra dark malt shouldn't be able to take care of it. It's not a certainty that boiling would precipitate anything under these circumstances either. Does it? If not, why boil? If the water is chlorinated (not chloraminated) a quick boil will drive off the chlorine but so will letting it stand over night. If it is chloraminated, boiling for an hour or more will be required. You can dispose of either chlorine or chloramine with Campden tablets (see latest BT). If it is really decarbonation that is sought, you can use pickling lime (canning supplies part of super market) to drop much of the carbonate without heat but time is still required. Further details upon request. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * George De Piro asked about possible interferences in ASBC MOA Beer-23A (bitterness by UV absorbtion). The MOA itself documents possible interference by "...certain preservatives such as n-heptyl p-hydroxybenzoate and sorbates, and possibly some brewing adjuncts or coloring agents..." so yes, there are potential interferences in commercial brews. In homebrew it's less likely they'd be found. Recap of the method to make comments which follow meaningful: Beer is acidified with HCl and added to iso-octane with a drop of octyl alcohol (anti-foaming agent) in a 50 mL centrifuge tube. The tube is vigorously shaken for 15 minutes during which time the iso-humulone is extracted into the octane. The octane is separated from the beer by standing or centrifugation and the absorbance measured at 275 nm. Official ASBC bittering units are 50 times the absorbance in a 1 cm path. George wondered about yeast. If separation of the phases was complete then the yeast should be in the bottom with the beer and none should be in the gasoline. This will be especially true if phase separation was aided by centrifugation. Tip: Many beers (if not most) form an emusion-like substance during shaking with the iso-octane. Getting this stuff to go to the bottom requires a super-centrifuge. The wimpy little used clinical units homebrewers and microbreweries buy just won't do the job without a little help. Centrifuge for a couple of minutes. Stop the centrifuge and then disrupt the surface of the "emulsion" which will be seen to be like slush (ice-water slurry) with a pipet tip. The semisolid material breaks right up and it appears as if the liquid is being squeezed out of the slush as this is done i.e. it's like when you step in slush and see water in your footprint. Now return to the centrifuge for a couple more minutes. You should have a clear iso-octane layer or at least enough to pipet off a mL for the cuvet. I assume George checked things like the calibration and linearity of the instrument, that the 2,2,4 -Trimethyl pentane is spectrophotometric grade, that the octyl alcohol doesn't appreciably increase the absorbance of the octane and so on. One thing I did note in George's description of the procedure was that he mentioned 1 mL of 1 N HCl. It should actually be 3 N. If this wasn't a typo and 1 N was actually used I suppose that might make a difference. As for repeatability I'd say half a BU is good enough for the brewing industry. Was a mechanical shaker used? If not I'm not at all surprised at 0.7 BU variation. That correponds to 0.014 absorbtion units. Some people call the equivalent of 0.010 absorbtion units a rough measure of the sensitivity (though the MDL is smaller and is determined by measurement) of a method so 0.7 variation doesn't seem that wild. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Pete Calinski asked for a recommendation as to what is a good substance for making specific gravity samples. In brewing I can't immagine anything better than that which Dr Plato himself used: cane sugar. Tables of specific gravity of sucrose solutions of various compositions are found in lots of brewing books, the CRC handbook, etc. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I'm not quite clear on Al K's request for DO measurements. I think the intent is to see how much O2 enters a fermenting wort through the surface. If I put deaerated water in a container and expose it to the atmosphere after a very long time I will find the water saturated i.e. at a DO level commensurate with the barometric pressure on that day (the meter compensates for this) and temperature of the water (the meter also takes this into consideration). It will read 100%. With fermenting beer the situation is very different. The beer is not in equilibrium with atmospheric air because CO2 is evolving and blanketing the surface. The effectiveness of this blanket depends on how vigourous the fermentation is and on the nature of any draughts to which the fermenter is subject. If a top flocculating yeast is in use we'll also have the protection of the yeast cake. Any O2 which does enter the beer will be consumed by the yeast so that PaO2 in the beer will always be much lower than the air equilibrium value. We can probably consider the beer oxygen free - a DO meter would certainly read very low. The only experiment I can think of at this point would be to deaerate some water and place it in a container where it is exposed to some air circulation. The rate of flow of O2 from the air into the water as a function of Pa O2 difference can be determined from the DO time history and the value at 1 atmosphere difference calculated. This would approximate the flow into a beer with viable yeast were it not blanketed. Would this be useful information? I may already have some data of this sort. - -- A. J. deLange Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 07:36:55 -0700 (PDT) From: Scott Abene <skotrat at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: 55 gallon drum & Alan's post Hey all, Alan McKay has this neato habit of posting what seems to be private email so here is my response to his. Alan, If you want to risk a burner collapsing out from under 425 pounds of boiling liquid well... You can win this one. I ain't chancing it. I have this serious fear of 3rd degree burns. -Scott === ThE-HoMe-BrEw-RaT Scott Abene <skotrat at mediaone.net> http://skotrat.dynip.com/skotrat (the Homebrew "Beer Slut" page) "This Space Currently for Rent... Inquire within" _________________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Get your free at yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 09:07:15 -0500 From: "Mark Kowalski" <mkowalski at proaxis.com> Subject: 17th Annual Oregon Homebrew Festival 5/22/99 Heart of the Valley Homebrewers present the 17th Annual Oregon Homebrew Festival at the: Benton County Fairgrounds 110 SW 53rd Street Corvallis, Oregon Saturday, May 22, 1999 9:30 AM Special Guest Speakers Fred Eckhardt and Al Haunold - the inventor of Willamette Hops! Judging for the 28 Recognized AHA Beer, Mead and Cider Styles NEW: Additional judging and judge training session Friday, May 21 1999 7-10 PM All entries (including online entries) must be received and registered by the deadline of 5:00 pm, Monday, May 17, 1999. No exceptions! Entrants are strongly encouraged to send or bring their entries to: Oregon Homebrew Festival c/o Corvallis Brewing Supply 115 Jackson St. Corvallis, OR 97330 Other drop off sites can be found at http://www.mtsw.com/hotv/fest.html Introduction The Heart of the Valley Homebrewers invite you to participate in the seventeenth annual homebrew festival, the longest running event of its kind in Oregon. The focus of the event will be a judging of homebrewed beer sanctioned by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). In addition, the club will host a festival to promote awareness and knowledge of various beer styles, provide opportunities to share information about the homebrewing craft, and encourage interaction between homebrewers in a social atmosphere. This year's activities will include several displays, a raffle, and the opportunity to meet and talk with some of the best and most experienced homebrewers anywhere! Masters Championship of Amateur Brewing (MCAB) The 17th annual Oregon Homebrew Festival is a Qualifying Event for MCAB II. First place winners in 18 Qualifying Styles will be invited to submit entries into the MCAB II finals competition to be held in St. Louis in 2000. For more information please see the MCAB web site at http://www.hbd.org/mcab. Winners will be announced at approximately 5:00 PM the day of the competition. Ribbons will be awarded for first, second, and third place in each category. The winner of Best of Show will receive a gift certificate or other prize appropriate to the occasion. Judges reserve the right to not award all ribbons in any category if entries are judged to not be of sufficiently high quality. For any additional information, on-one entry, drop off points, forms, etc. or to volunteer some time for this competition see http://www.mtsw.com/hotv/fest.html or contact the competition organizers: Lys Buck Joel Rea Herky Gottfried Competition Organizer Director of Judges Registrar 1208 NE Lafayette 115 Jackson St. 3920 NW Jameson Dr. Albany OR 97321 Corvallis OR 97330 Corvallis OR 97330 (541) 928-3531 (541) 758-1674 (541) 757-8009 yoone at ucs.orst.edu cbsbrew at peak.org herkyg at cv.hp.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 13:06:14 -0500 From: "Bill Tobler" <WCTobler at brazoria.net> Subject: Capping bottles and head problems (NOT from drinking homebrew!!) Hi all, Well, I'm still at it after 4 months and 6 brews behind me. (And having fun doing it!!) I went to all grain and kegging after the 4th one. It didn't take long to figure that out. This may be old news to all or most of you, but I'm going to tell you anyway. I've been using mostly Beck's bottles to bottle with lately, and noticed that the caps weren't on very tight. I thought I had a problem with my capper, (a hand capper someone gave me, not the bench model) But when I put a cap on a 12 oz. Grolsch, It went on real tight. I looked a little closer at the bottles, and the glass ring that the cappper pushes against on the Becks bottle is almost a 1/4" higher than the Grolsch, therefore not capping very tight. Something to look out for. I'm throwing out all my Becks bottles. I only bottled 24 beers in the Becks, and the rest in 1 pint Grolsch bottles. Here comes my second problem. The carbonation was just beer-ly good enough for me, but there was no head. NONE. Ah, must be the bad capping job. So I cooled and opened a pint, which have the flip-up top, and the carbonation was about the same, and maybe a trace of a head, but nowhere near my kegged beer. This was my first all grain beer. The beer was an IPA. The mash temp was about 152F at the start, 90 min. later about 148F. Sparge temp was 170F. I'm using a 5 gal Rubbermaid cooler with a false bottom. Most everything else is normal. 60 min boil, 2L starter, in primary for 6-7 days, 14 days in secondary, 1 week in bottle. 3/4 cup priming sugar. I did not mash out. Maybe the low mash temp hurt the head? Well, I'm sure I'll get some good help here, I always do. Thanks in advance. I'm headed out to California, San Luis Obispo/Morro Bay area next week to play. There is lots of good wine, but how about some good Micro-brewerys? Private e-mail welcome. Thanks again To Better Brewing, Bill Tobler Lake Jackson, Tx. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 15:24:39 -0500 From: Keith Busby <kbusby at ou.edu> Subject: Sour Mash I have just brewed my first sourmash beer and got a few points extraction lower than usual (target was 1.056, actual 1.051). Does lactobacillus inhibit extraction or starch conversion? I kept getting what looked like positive reactions on the iodine test too, but gave up mashing after 2 1/2 hrs. (30 mins at 122, 2 hrs. at 155). Keith Busby Keith Busby George Lynn Cross Research Professor Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies University of Oklahoma 780 Van Vleet Oval, Room 202 Norman, OK 73019 Tel: (405) 325-5088. Fax: (405) 325-0103 Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 15:14:37 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Definition of a good lawnmower beer "Harry Ewasiuk" <shogun at ccinet.ab.ca> asks: >Being new to homebrewing, I have heard the expression "lawnmower beer". What >is it and what defines a good example of this? I am getting thirsty thinking >about this...;-) It means a light, usually pale, thirst quenching beer that hits the spot on a hot summer afternoon (I suppose summer is about a week long up where you are) when you've been mowing the lawn. Something that also wouln't endanger your safety operating machinery. A standard commercial North American lager would be an example of this, but we homebrewers can make beers (lagers or ales) that are just as refreshing but that have more flavor. My personal choice would be a light Classic American Pilsner (CAP). It's easier to brew a lawnmower beer with all grain, but there are some very pale extracts. I'd keep the gravity no higher than 1.042, bitterness 24 IBU maximum, if making an ale, use a fairly neutral yeast (such as Chico/American liquid or Nottingham dry). Mash at a low temp for good fermentability, or if using extract, avoid Dutch dry extract as this is not fully fermentable. A good choice for liquid extract would be Alexander's (also sold by William's under their label). Heresy here - using 10-20% corn sugar (or rice if mashing) can make it drier and more refreshing. Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 22:41:38 -0500 From: bkhegemann at computerland.net Subject: This is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl. AlK offers some useful suggestions on cloning a prize winner from a published recipe. I guess my own experience follows more closely the results of the Great HBD Palexperiment. There we see "experienced amateur brewers" using identical ingredients, following specific instructions as to process, and producing "...widely disparate results in things like bitterness, final gravity, pH, and CO2 levels..." I myself have brewed numerous stouts using a standard 7# pale, 1# roasted, 1# flaked, Wyeast 1084 recipe and might generously call them cousins. Twins? Clones? Well..... I will say the more recent are much better than the distant past due in large part to things I've picked up here. I feel like I even understand (woo-hoo!) some of the brewing science behind Al's suggestions. My point isn't that replication is impossible -- okay, it is for me. Doh! -- it's that it appears that one has to go to great lengths to be able to achieve it. If I had that kind of energy, I'd be using it to steal the boss' job. Thankfully, it's fairly easy to make good beer and with a little knowledge (Thanks, HBD collective!), it's possible for me to make great albeit-never-exactly-the-same-twice beer. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 14:05:44 +0200 From: "Dr. Pivo" <irv at wireworks.se> Subject: re:Sanitizers and bugs (and beer stone) Joe Rolfe wrote regarding a nice industrial schedule for sanitizing using first a caustic, and then an acid flush (plus further options). I thought it was very well stated (except some confusion about the word "pathenogenic"... this just means "harmful" and one has to state if you mean "pathenogenic to the beer" of which there are tons of things floating around which are, or "pathenogenic to people" of which there are likewise tons of things floating around, but they don't grow in beer). As an aside - before septic sytems, and when shallow wells were in use, the great spread of beer making and drinking may well have been that it was "a clean drink", where the local drinking water supply (-ies) could well be polluted by the run off of human and animal refuse. I thought it would be worthwhile to add that there is another rationalle for Joe's caustic/acid rinse cycles. This is also the industrial means of combating "beer stone". Beer stone is just the little hard dry deposits that are left behind from any aspect of the beer making. You might see them as a brown miscolouration in the bottom of your corny, walls of plastic fermenters, or siphoning hoses. Beer stone is divided into "inorganics" (principally carbonates... the same stuff as the white fuzz on your faucet if you have high carbonate water), and "organics" the brown coloured stuff from your beer which I imagine is a collection of all kinds of chemically neat stuff. Industries don't want that stuff accumulating in their systems, as when they build up, they can cause a porous seat for bacteria to grow (no good), and if allowed to accumulate enough, can even cause flow problems. The industrial solution for this is "acid for the inorganics, caustic soda for the organics"... the same as the sanitizing cycle. Since most industrial stuff is made of stainless, the acid of choice is often "Nitric acid" since it is what is called a "reducing acid" , and "pickles" the stainless, giving it a corrosion resistant surface. So the caustic/acid sanitizing cycle is sort of "two birds with one stone" - killing bugs, and removing beer stone. In industrial applications, where you might be turning three brews through your system in a day, and you've no control over your product once it leaves the gate, attention to these details can be very important. While I heartily reccomend these kind of stringent measures to commercial production, once I'm at home, I have long since stopped worrying about, or trying to remove beer stone. I kind of like that brown colour... lets me know they've been used to a good purpose. It hasn't punished me yet. My brewing vessel and cornies I might give a caustic "heating" once or twice a year (production circa 1500 litres), my plastic primary fermenting vessels and syphon hose, just keep getting browner. What I do, is invert the fermenters and squirt them off as soon as I'm finished with them, make sure there are no solids still hanging on, and leave them inverted to dry. I figure I've had a healthy yeast culture there to begin with, and using this technique the only thing that would be left there is residues of the same. I then give them a quick rinse with a dilute Hydrogen Peroxide solution immediately prior to use, swish it around and let it be "wet" a few minutes, invert again and squirt off, then right them and start filling with wort. In a real pinch, I've skipped the H2O2 rinse, and just squirted the stuff off while still inverted a last time before using. When you have the stuff at home, and can keep an eye on it right up to the time it is consumed, it really is amazing how tolerant beer is. If you rinse your stuff off right after using, and don't leave old beer or wort lying on surfaces, it is really surprising how much you can reduce your sanitizer consumtion. When I first started brewing I used to get the odd infected batch and it was EXTREMELY frustrating, and made me adopt the very rigorous and ritualistic methods often suggested here. This is probably not a bad way to start out to "guard yourself". With time, you might find as I, that attention to simple hygeinic procedures is the most important of all, and you can begin "rationalising away" certain ritualistic sanitizing procedures without punishment. Then again, some people might feel more comfortable with all that cleaning and sanitizing, and I guess they should just keep on doing it. I know I have broached a somewhat "holy subject" here: "Are you trying to tell newbies that they shouldn't sanitize?!"... but it works for me. Dr. Pivo Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 08:13:26 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: hop-free beer "George De Piro" <gdepiro at fcc.net> wrote: >Jeff Renners Domesday ale was brewed without >hops, relying on the astringency of the oat malt to >balance the sweetness. It was not noticeably >infected when I tasted it at the MCAB. Theres >one real-life data point for you. Well, actually, I don't think there is much astringency, planned or unplanned (I didn't plan on it), so right now it's pretty out of balance to the sweet side. OG 1096, FG(?) 1.036. Bottled in 7 oz. nips with very little air space and no priming sugar, so it has very little carbonation (just a faint "pfst" when opened). It's rather like a sweet sherry, or maybe alcoholic prune juice. ;-) It reminds me of Adam's Triple Bock. I'm hoping that with much age (like years), it will become interesting. There is no infection evident at this time, but a lacto sourness could actually be nice. I have that in my old ale "solera." Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 08:33:22 EDT From: ThomasM923 at aol.com Subject: Alternative calcium salts Al Korzonas wrote about using other calcium salts in hbd #3013: "Calcium phosphate is all but insoluble, so that cans that idea. Calcium lactate is slightly more soluble (three times, if memory serves) but is still not very soluble..." Now that the subject of alternative calcium salts has been brought up again, I'd like to resubmit an unanswered question I posted on 3/11/99: "[In searching for calcium lactate at a health food store], I found some other calcium supplements that I am curious about. I hope that some of the chemists among us can comment on them. One was calcium glucanate and the other was chelated calcium (amino acid chelate). Can anyone hazard a guess as to what these chemicals would do in a mash?" Thomas Murray Maplewood, NJ Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 09:57:36 EDT From: FridayMtn at aol.com Subject: Some questions from a neophyte Hello brewers, My first batch is brewing and it would appear that I'm already in trouble. Hopefully one or more of you will be able to help me out (if I'm actually in NEED of help!). 1. My Cooper's Lager Extract has finished its primary and I racked it to a 5 gallon carboy approximately twenty-four hours ago. Here's the first query: The primary was bubbling at a rate of about once every ten-fifteen seconds when I racked it after six days. Now, in the secondary fermenter, it's only bubbling about once every two minutes. What's up? Have I "killed" my yeast? Is it appropriate to have such a small amount of activity? My fermentation is taking place in an area that remains between 65 and 68 degrees. 2. I "built" my first batch using Cooper's extract and corn sugar. When I stopped at another brew supply place yesterday, the owner told me I was screwing up, that I should only be brewing this stuff with dried malt extract instead of corn sugar. Was he right? 3. The same guy mentioned above sold me two pounds of English Amber Dry Malt to use with a can of Dortmunder Style Lager extract with a "smack pack" of Wyeast #2308 Munich yeast. Are those a good combination? 4. When I got home from that shop (some seventy miles!), I looked at the bottom of the can and noted that the Dortmunder extract should have been used by June, '98! Should I be concerned? Will it be usable? I hope these questions aren't too fundamental for the mostly expert brewers I've been reading on the digest. My hope lies with the frequent mention that this digest is aimed at a wide range of brewing expertise, from chemists and scientists to people like me, who simply want to learn how to brew a decent beer. Thanks for the help any of you may wish to provide. -jt- (John Terrell) Boiceville, New York Way up in the Catskills where the water be fine! :-) Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 08:33:30 -0700 From: "Brian Dixon" <mutex at proaxis.com> Subject: Re: What is a good substance for making SG samples >I want to make samples of liquid with different specific gravities in the >range from 1.000 to 1.150 or so. I am looking for ideas for the substance >to mix with water. I don't want to use malt or corn sugar because it is to >sticky. Table salt is to corrosive. What would be a good "salt"? One >that rinsed off easily would also have advantages. > >Each sample would be about 250 ml. It would be nice if the substance was >such that I could accurately predict the resulting SG from the weight of >the added substance. I suppose that would leave out substances that absorb >water or are combined with water. The problem with making samples like this is that, as you say, you want to use something that you _know_ you can weigh and combine with water and get a predictable gravity (weigh the proper amt of your substance, then add water until the solution reaches the correct weight.) This basically constrains you to substances that you find listed in texts like the CRC Handbook of Chemistry, e.g. sugars and salts. If you want to avoid corrosiveness and stickiness, then you'll have to look through the tables and consider each compound individually ... I can't make any recommendation offhand. Maybe one of the chemists around here can make recommendation. If you do use the CRC Handbook, then look at in Section D for the subsection called "Concentrative Properties of Aqueous Solutions: Conversion Tables." The column labeled "A% by wt" is actually degrees Plato, while the column labeled "D" with both a superscripted '20' and a subscripted '20' is Specific Gravity. You'll have to interpolate to get the exact SGs that you want. Then use the Plato column to figure out your solution, e.g. 100 grams of a 10 degree Plato solution uses 10 grams of your selected compound plus enough pure, degassed water at 20 C to make 100 grams of solution. Personally, I use Sucrose (Table 88) if I'm making standards for calibrating brewing hydrometers. You can't use dry malt because the sugar mix is unknown. Salt solutions provide a surface tension/meniscus different than what wort (a sugar solution) provides. Sucrose is not malt sugar, but it's as close as you can get (as far as I know) using the CRC tables. Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 13:48:25 -0400 From: sedam at bellsouth.net Subject: enzyme stability Steve Alexander replies to my original post about sugars "trapping" water... <snip> I agree completely *BUT* starch and particularly amylopectin molecules trap water much more effectively than simpler sugars - so enzyme stability should decline due to this factor as the mash proceeds - not increase. There are other factors like substrate stabilization and product inhibition and stabilization at work here too. <snip> I'm not sure this is true. In a past life I did a lot of work with purified enzymes and their stability in industrial processes. The enzyme supplier (who shall remain nameless) stabilized their enzyme preps with sorbitol (a sugar) and some basic antioxidants. I was trying to get beta-amylase to digest some starch more rapidly, and took the enzyme prep and dialyzed it with distilled water. The sugarless enzyme prep was remarkably more active, but stability was seriously affected. Considering it was digesting a pure starch suspension the stability was not positively affected. No, this wasn't a mashing situation so take it with a grain of salt (or sugar). Another important aspect of enzyme stability is the existence of sufficient cofactors. Alpha-amylase is stabilized by the existence of calcium...yet another reason to make sure your water chemistry has sufficient calcium in it (>50ppm). -Marc Brouwerij Zuytdam Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 14:04:32 -0400 From: sedam at bellsouth.net Subject: sulfury lagers Need a little help here. I'm a relative newbie to lagers and recently brewed a Maibock and a German pilsener. They were both pitched with the Wyeast 2278 (Czech pils) yeast from a big starter (yeast cake from a 2.5 gallon previous ferment), were aerated using 1 min of pure oxygen with a SS stone, and fermented at 48F for two weeks. I then transfered them to the secondary fermenters and did a 2-day diacetyl rest at 62-65F. I realize this is very high for a d-rest, but NC isn't really cold right now and my wife is nice enough to permit a chest freezer in our spare bedroom. Anyhoo, they went into the lagering phase by reducing the temperature 10F per day until I got the temperature down to 34F, where they currently rest. After 5 days lagering under 5psi, I took a sample to see if it had hit terminal gravity...it had, but the beer was really sulfury. I mean REALLY sulfury. The question: Lagering is being done in a corny under 5psi and is, therefore, totally closed. If I vented the headspace every day or two, would it speed the removal of the sulfury notes? I have to serve this beer in two weeks and want to speed up the maturation process a bit to ensure it's clean tasting when it's served. Suggestions? Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 15:43:55 -0400 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Cooling Wort Al Korzonas ( korz at brewinfo.com) writes: <Well, actually, Clark asked whether or not it's okay to pour hot wort into cold water. While I agree with Dave that pouring hot wort through a strainer (or splashing hot wort in general...) will lead to problems, I have long recommended to beginners to *GENTLY* pour hot wort into cool water.> This reminded me of a very common problem found by extract brewers, especially those who follow directions published in most brew books. These directions tell the brewer to pour their boiling wort into a fermenter with cool water in it or to add cool water to the fermenter after the hot wort has been poured in. From a thermodynamic point of view this is very inefficient. They are starting out with a small thermal mass ( say 2.5 gallons) with a high temperature differential in a conductive vessel. By pouring it into cold water, they now have to cool a large thermal mass, with a low temperature differential ( about 110 F) in an less conductive vessel. This operation can take 5 hours. I feel that it is thermoldynamicaly backwards. It is far easier to remove BTUs from a small thermal mass with a large temperature differential in a conductive vessel and then mix it in with the rest of the water. This can be done in about 30 minutes. I can see no advantage to pouring the hot wort into cool water and attempting to cool this now very warm wort to pitching temperatures. I tell my customers to cool the pot to about 100 F and then pour it into the fermenter with the water. Usually this is safe pitching temperature. Not only is this proceedure faster and safer than the typical brew book directions, but it also does not provide much time for contamination problems to develope and eliminates hot side aeration issues. Dan Listermann dan at listermann.com or 72723.1707 at compuserve Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 23:56:02 -0500 From: Laurel Maney <maney at execpc.com> Subject: more on astringency Al is certainly right when he cites phenolics in beer as a source of astringency, and I didn't mean to give the impression that sulfates are the only source. But seriously, there are many references in the literature to other sources, including sulfate ion, melanoidins and the amino acid proline, very early oxidation and abnormal levels of higher alcohols. These observations were based on actual sensory evaluation, so I don't think we can just dismiss them. I like to use calcium sulfate as a reference for astringence because it's otherwise flavorless, easy to get, and easy to use. It gives me the drying sensation that I was trained to recognize as astringent in beer and water. Of course my favorite and most memorable training on astringence was eating too close to the skin of a persimmon, so Al's grape skin example would certainly do it for me too. I'll disagree with him on the subject of sulfates, though, with a respectful "de gustibus, non disputandum est" (hey, I'm open to corrections on the Latin - it's been way too many years). Laurel Maney Brewing Program Milwaukee Area Technical College Return to table of contents
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