HOMEBREW Digest #313 Thu 30 November 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  A basic mead recepie (Mike Sharp)
  Brewpubs in PA (Rick Ward)
  Barley Wine Yeast?  and Celebration Ale
    (Avoid the XMas rush - Get depressed now)
  Missing Issue #311 (November 28) -- could someone send it to me?
    (Chris Shenton)
  Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout (jamesb)
  Buckwheat Brew? (doug)
  Spiced Ale (Ed Falk)
  Re: List of brewpubs (kipps)
  Re: glass vs. plastic carboys (ferguson ct 71078)
  Lauter-Tun advice (crawford.WBST129)
  Too much priming sugar (richsa)
  Teaching a homebrewing class (Mike Meyer)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 29 Nov 89 08:12:10 est From: msharp at hawk.ulowell.edu (Mike Sharp) Subject: A basic mead recepie Well, someone asked for a "simple" mead recepie. This one was my first. Its every got beginner's directions. MEAD (for the first timer) 1 Notes This recipe is a composite of two recipes from the 16th century cookbook, "The Closet of Sir Kenelme Digbie, Opened". One recipe calls for oranges and orange peel; the other calls for lemons and rosemary. My particular variation uses the lemons and rose- mary, but this is mostly a matter or personal preference. Other variations use star anise or raisins instead of citrus fruit. You can get the ale yeast at New England Winemaking Supply in Framingham (on Route 9); they will do mail order if your purchase exceeds $25, but the yeast costs less than $1 a packet. As with baking yeast, don't try to stockpile the stuff. Keep it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. The winemaking store also carries spare bottle caps and bottle cappers. The best capper to get is the one that looks like a corkscrew; it costs about $9, but is MUCH easier to use than the cheaper kinds. Make sure your champagne bottles are AMERICAN bottles; European ones don't fit the bottle caps. Nearly every novice brewer finds this out that hard way. If you don't have 24 champagne bottles, Grolsch beer bottles (the ones with the ceramic tops) work just fine. You don't have to cap them, either. If you intend to transport your mead, make sure you keep it cold at all times. The stuff has a nasty habit of exploding if it gets too warm. 2 Equipment Needed o 5-gallon enamelware canning kettle with lid (DO *NOT* USE METAL) o measuring cup (preferably Pyrex) o funnel (plastic or glass; NOT METAL) o 12" square of loosely woven muslin o 3 small plates o 24 American champagne bottles o dishwasher detergent o paper towels o potato peeler or sharp knife 3 Ingredients o 9 pounds of honey (generic is okay) o 5 gallons of water (use bottled water if your tap water doesn't taste good) o 2 oranges or lemons (or 3) o 2 cinnamon sticks o 1 T whole allspice o 1 T whole cloves o 1 T ginger root, peeled and sliced (or 3) o 1 T rosemary (optional) o 1 packet of top fermenting beer or ale yeast 4 Step One - Brewing 1. Set the kettle on top of the stove and put four gallons of water in it. Turn the stove on high; it will take a while to come to a boil. Put in the honey, then add more water until the level is about an inch from the rim of the kettle. Let boil. 2. Once you have the liquid started, peel and slice the ginger. Wash the oranges or lemons and remove any blemishes from the skins. Use the potato peeler or knife to peel the fruit; get all the coloured part of the peel and none of the white part. Save the peel. 3. Once you have removed all the coloured part of the peel, section the fruit and remove the seeds and membranes and save the fruit pulp in a bowl. 4. As the water boils, a light brown foam will rise to the top. This is beeswax that was dissolved in the honey. Skim it off periodically. When the foam becomes thick and dark brown, skim it one last time and add the ginger root. Cook for 15 minutes. 5. Next, add the allspice, cloves, cinnamon and peel. Cook for 10 more minutes. 6. Turn off the heat. Add the fruit pulp (and rosemary, if you're using it), then cover the kettle. 5 Step Two - Primary Fermentation 1. Let the honey-water mixture (called the MUST) cool to about 85 degrees F (usually overnight). 2. In the morning, open the package of yeast and sprinkle it on top of the must. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. 3. Sterilize the slotted spoon by pouring boiling water over it. Use the spoon to stir the yeast into the must. 4. Put the cover back on the kettle and wait about three days. The must will be ready for bottling when it begins to smell like alcohol. This usually takes three days at 70-80 degrees F; it might take a little longer at lower temperatures (maybe about a week). 6 Step Three - Preparing the Bottles The bottles should be as close to sterile as possible when you use them; therefore, don't perform this step until you're ready to bottle the must. You might want to wear rubber globes for this step; the soap solution can be fairly caustic. Try not to splash yourself with it as you work. 1. Fill your bathtub with the hottest water possible. Add 1 cup of dishwasher detergent, then add the 24 champagne bottles. Let them soak 1-2 hours. 2. Remove the bottles from the bathtub. Place them all in the dishwasher. DO NOT ADD SOAP TO THE WASHER. Run the bottles through a complete wash cycle. 3. If you do not have a dishwasher, rinse each bottle out three times with very hot tap water and use as soon as possible. 4. Inspect each bottle before using to make sure that it is ab- solutely clean. The bottling process will use 16-20 bottles; it's always useful to have extras just in case. 7 Step Four - Filling the Bottles Give yourself a lot of room and about two hours for your first bottling operation. It's generally a good idea for you to cover your work area with a large Turkish towel or a few layers of paper towels. 1. Pour boiling water over the following; the slotted spoon, the measuring cup, the funnel, the muslin, the plates, the capper, and the bottle caps. 2. Wash your hands in the hottest water you can stand. 3. Place the muslin square in the funnel, and place the funnel in the measuring cup. These go on one of the plates. Place the plate near you on the work surface. 4. Place the bottle capper and the strainer with the bottle caps on another plate. 5. Use the slotted spoon to skim all the fruit pulp and spices off the top of the must. 6. Take your first bottle and inspect it for dirt. Place it next to the kettle in the bottling area. 7. Poke the muslin with your finger so the cloth forms a hollow inside the funnel. Place the funnel inside the bottle. 8. Use the measuring cup to dip into the must, then pour the must into the funnel. Let the liquid filter through. Keep adding must to the funnel until the liquid level in the bottle is about an inch from the top. 9. Remove the funnel and place it back onto the plate inside the measuring cup. Wipe the mouth of the bottle with a clean paper towel. 10.Handle the bottle caps by their edges only. Place one on top of the bottle, then clamp it down with the bottle capper. Turn the bottle about 90 degrees and clamp again. 11.Move the bottle to a clean, dry place out of the line of traffic. 12.Repeat this procedure until all of the bottles are filled. 8 Step Five - Secondary Fermentation 1. Allow the bottles to ferment another three days. When the yeast cap inside each bottle starts to break up and sink, the fermentation is complete. 2. Put the bottles into the refrigerator and age at least a week (preferably two). 3. Open the bottles VERY SLOWLY. - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My addition hints -- These things really can explode if you let them get warm. I had one blow up on July 30, 1989 at 4:30 AM & I'm still finding pieces of the bottle. The last piece was found a few days ago ~10/30/89. However, the kitechen does smell **WONDERFULL** when this happens so not to worry. (once there in your fridge you don't have to worry) Use bottles with paper labels. (For my first batch I used Labbats bottles w/those #$% at ^ foil labels) Open ******VERY****** slowly. This recepie makes some **HIGHLY** carbinated stuff. If you open it too quickly you'll get a spectacular mead volcano similar to what you'd get after shaking a champagne bottle for 5 mintues. (no sh*t!) Don't bother trying to pour it into a glass. All you'll get is 5-6" of head & 1/2 inch of liquid. You might want to let it ferment a little longer to avoid this problem -- I kind of like it this way. --Mike Sharp Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 89 09:24:04 EST From: eplrx7!ward at uunet.UU.NET (Rick Ward) Subject: Brewpubs in PA Great list Walt! Here are a couple more in PA: Samuel Adams Brewhouse - Philadelphia - 1516 Sampson St. This one opened sometime around 11/20 and I haven't had a chance to visit it yet. I think they have a restaurant and bar. Dock Street Brewpub - Philadelphia - 2 Logan Place Scheduled to open sometime in January. Pennsylvania did not allow brewpubs until this summer. There should be more coming. Stoudts, by the way, is a microbrewery. They make some great beer, but I still think their wheat beer(winner of wheat beer category at GABF) tastes like Anbesol. Too bad their golden lager got lost somewhere between PA and CO, THAT beer was a contender. Rick P.S. I feel sorry for you non-Pennsylvanians out there that can't get Yuengling's Chesterfield Porter($10/case). Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 89 09:13:07 CST From: jmellby at ngstl1.csc.ti.com (Avoid the XMas rush - Get depressed now) Subject: Barley Wine Yeast? and Celebration Ale Well, sad news from Texas, but first a request -- I plan to start some Barley Wine and I have been getting mixed signals about what yeast to use. Some say that ordinary yeasts cannot survive the high-alcohol content of a Barley Wine. What yeasts you people use? Ordinary ale yeast? Champagne yeast? Has anyone tried a mixture of ale and champagne yeast? The bad news is that the local distributors have decided not to order any Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale this winter. In fact, the only place in Texas it is available is in Houston, and they only have 140 cases. What a sad state of affairs. Surviving the American Dream John R. Mellby Texas Instruments jmellby%ngstl1.ti.com P.O.Box 660246, MS 3645 Dallas Texas, 75266 (214)517-5370 (214)343-7585 *************************************************** * "I carry my adornments on my soul. * * I do not dress up like a popinjay; * * But inwardly, I keep my daintiness. * * I do not bear with me, by any chance, * * An insult not yet washed away -- a conscience * * Yellow with unpurged bile -- an honor frayed * * To rags, a set of scruples badly worn. * * I go caparisoned in gems unseen, * * Trailing white plumes of freedom, garlanded * * With my good name -- no figure of a man, * * But a soul clothed in shining armor, hung * * With deeds for decorations, twirling -- thus -- * * A bristling wit, and swinging at my side * * Courage, and on the stones of this old town * * Making the sharp truth ring, like golden spurs! * * -- Cyrano de Bergerac (Rostand) * *************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 89 10:27:54 est From: Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Missing Issue #311 (November 28) -- could someone send it to me? Thanks much. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed Nov 29 07:59:42 1989 From: microsoft!jamesb at uunet.uu.net Subject: Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout Does anyone out there know of a recipe which will emulate with reasonable accuracy the Oatmeal Stout made by Samuel Smith?? Myself and the Mrs. were quite impressed with this sample and would like to try our own. Another item concerning Yeasts... With all the different varieties of yeast available, German, British, etc how do I know where to start and what will go best with whatever?? I was reading a Vegitarian Mag the other day, an article touting the wonderful benefits of Brewers yeast in your diet. The article mentioned a brewers yeast available at health food stores which is cultured without the characteristic malts and grains and thus tastes "Good". My question is..... Will this work to build a better brew? Having no so called characteristic to style, what flavor or style if you will, would this yeast impart to a beer? I think that I will have to track some of this down and do a side by side comparison brew. I will mail the results naturally. Jim Broglio Microsoft Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 89 11:37:54 EST From: hisata!doug at gatech.edu Subject: Buckwheat Brew? The other day, my wife brought home a bag of toasted buckwheat groats for me to gring for buckwheat pancakes (yum!). The aroma of the toasted groats has filled the kitchen and I'm wondering... maybe just a pound or so in a light- or medium-bodied ale...? Since there's been discussion in the Digest of weird addition to a brew, has anyone tried this? --------------------------------------------------------- | Doug Allison | Semper ubi | | UUCP:{...}!gatech!hisata!doug | Sub ubi | | | | --------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 89 08:46:54 PST From: falk at Sun.COM (Ed Falk) Subject: Spiced Ale > Example: > > Back in June I decided to experiment with a spiced ale. I made up my own > recipe in an attempt to approximate Anchor's wonderful offering last > Christmas. I figured that if it turned out well, I'd brew it again for > this Christmas. (I brew a special Christmas beer every year and give it > away as gifts to my beer drinking relatives. (BTW, homebrew makes a > wonderful gift!)) Wait! What was the recipe? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 89 09:08:10 -0800 From: kipps at etoile.ICS.UCI.EDU Subject: Re: List of brewpubs Brewpub Update: Sorry to report that The City of Angels (Santa Monica, CA) is no longer in business :-( If anyone's interested, I hear the new owners, Border Grill, are going to sell the brewing equipment ;-) -Jim Kipps Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 89 10:50:21 EST From: ferguson%X102C at HARRIS-ATD.COM (ferguson ct 71078) Subject: Re: glass vs. plastic carboys kipps at etoile.ICS.UCI.EDU writes... >I started brewing just this summer and went to the local brew shop to get >setup. At the time, they had lots of glass water bottles and food-grade >buckets. I asked about plastic water bottles and was told that the >plastic wasn't food-grade and would leave on off taste to the beer. I >ended up buying a 5 gallon glass carboy for $9. ... stuff about homebrew shop deleted... >Now, about glass vs. plastic: I'm a bit of a snob; I prefer glass. About >the expense: I've discovered a good spot for homebrew equipment at great >prices. Several of the local community colleges hold weekend swap meets. >I once found a guy selling 6-1/2 gallon glass carboys in foam cases for >$5, and another selling a case of 20 Grolsch (sp?) bottles for $5. >There's always several people selling 5 gallon carboys (also for $5). >Cappers, boiling pots, kegs, and grist mils show up sometimes, as well. I got my glass carboys from the office where I worked. The deposit for a glass carboy with a nice heavy cardboard carrying box was $6.00. I liberated four bottles and boxes and paid our secretary the deposit who then paid the water delivery person. This was in Minneapolis and the price is probably representative of other locations. I called the water company at the time and although they weren't willing to sell me bottles they would sell me a full bottle of spring water for about $8.00 or $10.00 (don't remember exactly but it was CHEAP!) deposit included. If you are having trouble finding inexpensive glass carboys, I urge you to call your local water supply company -- you may be surprised by the prices. Chuck Ferguson Harris Government Information Systems Division (407) 984-6010 MS: W1/7732 PO Box 98000 Melbourne, FL 32902 Internet: ferguson%cobra at trantor.harris-atd.com Usenet: uunet!x102a!x102c!ferguson Return to table of contents
Date: 29 Nov 89 10:39:18 PST (Wednesday) From: crawford.WBST129 at Xerox.COM Subject: Lauter-Tun advice I haven't had very good luck with my lauter-tun and would like to know if anyone has any ideas for a better lauter-tun than what I'm using, or maybe it's my technique and not the hardware that is the problem. In any case my degree of extract has been very bad (less than 70%). I am using two plastic buckets, one inside the other, with the bottom of the inside bucket full of holes and a spout added to the outside bucket. I fill the buckets with 170 degree water until the level is above the bottom of the inner bucket and then add my grain. As I start drawing off the liquid I recycle it to the top of the tun until it runs clear. I never let the level of the liquid fall below the level of the grain. When I've collected about 5 gallons or so (for a five gallon batch) I stop the flow. I don't let the tun run dry. Am I losing too much extract in the false bottom my not letting the tun run dry? Or is my spout too far up from the bottom of the outside bucket? Any advice for improving my hardware or technique would be appreciated. Greg Return to table of contents
Date: Wed Nov 29 00:23:31 1989 From: microsoft!richsa at beaver.cs.washington.edu Subject: Too much priming sugar Has anyone ever put a lot of priming sugar into their brew before bottling? Has anyone ever really put a lot of priming sugar into their brew before bottling?? Has anyone ever put twice as much priming sugar than the recipe calls for?? I did. I thought I was being so cool by making a half batch... all the other ingredients were added at 50%!! I know the outcome of this seems quite obvious but I thought I would through this to the alias so people could poke fun and maybe someone could toss some words of encouragement my way. Thanks, Rich Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 89 15:47:03 PST From: meyer at tcville.hac.com (Mike Meyer) Subject: Teaching a homebrewing class My roommate is getting an opportunity to teach a homebrewing class in a local school system's adult education program, possibly the January quarter, more likely the March one. We've sent out for the AHA materials regarding structuring classes, starting clubs, etc., but I figured I'd do some independent research on the subject. For those of you on the list who have either attended a beginner's class or taught one: How was the class structured? (number of weeks, length of classes, did everyone brew their own batch, did you split into small teams, did the instructor just let you watch them brew (presumably to repeat the process at home) What kind of classroom materials were used? (did everyone just use a standard book like Papazian, etc., or did the instructor have some sort of handouts/workbook) Was beer-tasting allowed at the class site (this can be a problem at say, a public school)? Was there an easy way to kill the time one must wait for conditioning and for bottled beer to mature? Assuming that people got to make their own beer, did everyone have to get their own supplies and equipment independently (instructor hands out a list of things to get and list of suppliers, says 'go to it',) or did the instructor make arrangements with a club or shop , or did the instructor make a buy of equipment and supplies for the class and include the cost in the course? How knowledgeable and experienced were the instructors? Were special pieces of equipment such as wort chillers, etc. used? Any special instructional materials such as videotapes? Any field trips to local brewpubs, etc? What beer styles were covered? What particular parts of the class did you like, and what would you have done differently? I guess this is a rather long list , and not a particularly easy bunch of questions. The ultimate test of any course is whether it provides an enjoyable enough introduction to the hobby that the students continue brewing. For those of you who have used the AHA guides to classes, etc, are there any parts of the material you absolutely disagree with? You may want to answer via E-mail, and I will summarize my findings here (provided people are interested -- I know there are those who are very experienced in this on the list, and I suspect there are a few like me who have been kicking around the idea of having classes...) I learned without the benefit of a class, and with a fairly outdated book (Reese's Better Beer and How to Brew It), and brewed in a vacuum for over a year before having access to other homebrewers (and their beer). This is not the best way to learn the hobby, and I would expect any decent class to get one past those hurdles. Mike Meyer Hughes Aircraft Co., EDSG El Segundo, CA meyer at tcville.HAC.COM Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #313, 11/30/89
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