HOMEBREW Digest #323 Thu 14 December 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Fermenting apple cider? (Chris Shenton)
  Old Faithful, revisited (Tom Hotchkiss)
  a caveat for spiced hard cider (Andrew Hudson)
  Stainless Steel ? (Andy Wilcox)
  Winter Brews (Chris Yerga)
  re: digest 322 ("2645 RUTH, GUY R.")
  S.G. and other novice questions (Bryan Hilterbrand)
  German beers on duty (Norm Hardy)
  Re:  Homebrew Digest #322 (December 13, 1989) (Ed Falk)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 13 Dec 89 10:34:06 est From: Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Fermenting apple cider? Michael Berry writes: > I am seeing lots of apple cider on the store shelves and was wondering if > it is possible to make some of the "hard" variety from what I see. I have good luck just letting it hang out in the fridge for a couple weeks. The plastic gallon jug puffs up, and I know it's time -- carbonated and alcoholic, like thick champagne. I'd imagine using a glass jug (without a fermentation lock) would be a bad idea. > My thought would be to add some pre-started yeast to the gallon jug and > "let her rip." The brand I had my eyes on had "no sugar added" but seems > to taste quite sweet. The natural beasties in the cider I get do the work -- I get it from a farmers' market, and assume they don't pasturize or chemicalize it. `Professional strength' yeast would probably be more reliable... Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 89 9:28:33 MST From: Tom Hotchkiss <trh at hpestrh> Subject: Old Faithful, revisited John Simpson writes: > Also, these beers have the 'old faithful' feature if opened > anywhere near room temperature (I discovered this while > wearing a white dress shirt :-( ) but when served ice cold > they don't have enough carbonation. This could be due to > variation between bottles and/or their age (~1 week). The The 'old faithful' effect that I witnessed in one of my batches is quite a bit different from the one you describe. At this point, I am thouroughly convinced that my problem was due to an infection of some sort. Anyway, the beer started out just like any other batch, it was mildly carbonated (the way I like it), and tasted good except for a slight "off flavor." The 'old faithful' effect didn't begin to show at all for over a month, at which time I noticed that I was getting more head than before. This slowly got worse, and after something like 4 to 6 months it was nearly impossible to pour a beer due to all the foam. This occured in chilled bottles. Once I accepted the fact that the beer was bad, I opened the remaining warm bottles (the ones that hadn't blown up), and this was like diffusing tiny time bombs! Beer shot up more than 8 feet from the bottles when I opened them! Even at this point, the off flavor wasn't all that strong. I also don't know how to describe it accurately but I'll try. It tasted kind of "antisepticy," or "plasticy." At first I thought it was too much hop bite, but then realized the flavor was slightly different than a strong hop bite. So, I guess the best way to sum it up is "like a strong hop bite with a hint of plastic." I don't know if this flavor is due to the infection, but I do know that it isn't due to my equipment. I have used the same equipment for many batches, and I haven't tasted this flavor in any other batch. Now that I've finished, I realize that I haven't addressed your problem. I guess if you have an infection, it's acted much faster than the one I experienced. T. Hotchkiss trh at hpestrh.hplabs.hp.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 89 09:04:14 EST From: Andrew Hudson <abh0 at gte.com> Subject: a caveat for spiced hard cider I tried to brew a batch of spiced hard cider recently and ran up against a difficulty. I asked my local homebrew supplier for a recipe and recieved one that looked interesting. The essence of it was to add a substantial amount of sugar and spices to the cider. Sharp acidic cider is prefered for brewing. If clear cider is desired you add some anti-oxydation agents really early in the game. Then you add spices: sliced ginger, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, orange peels. The recipe did not suggest sterilizing any of the ingredients but I boiled the sugar well and threw in the spices for the last 2 minutes. You then add the spice mixture to the cider and let sit for a day before pitching with champagne yeast. Here is where my problem began. I pitched once and got a few bubbles. I pitched again two days later after no further activity. I then started the yeast in a cup of sterilyzed corn sugar solution before pitching. No activity! I can only surmise that something in the spices has inhibited yeast growth leaving me with three gallons of sickly sweet spiced cider. It is possible that boiling the spices which was not in the recipe was a nono. Any suggestions? - Andrew Hudson Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 89 12:56:45 EST From: Andy Wilcox <andy at mosquito.cis.ufl.edu> Subject: Stainless Steel ? Every year I try to buy *myself* a nice christmas present. This way, I get exactly what I want without worrying (-: So, I've been thinking about two thing I'd like to change with my brewing processes. 1) Try some all or part grain beers. 2) Get a stainless steel boiling vessel, and pitch (uh, recycle) my cheapo aluminum one. It occurs to me that one needs a large pot to mash in. How big? 5 Gallon pots (if this is what I need) are quite expensive at "the mall". Any pointers on where I could mail-order one, or find one cheap? Thanks! Andy Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 89 10:55:47 PST From: yerga at cory.Berkeley.EDU (Chris Yerga) Subject: Winter Brews There's nothing like the excitement of visiting all the local beer stores in search of exciting holiday brews...put's the excitement back into Christmas for me! I've managed to try these so far (Berkeley area): Anchor's Special Ale '89 - Was this disappointing or what? The body was surprisingly thin. The flavor was promising, but too watery. Sierra Nevada Celebration - Good stuff! I should have bought a case of this instead of the Anchor. Sam Adams Winter Lager - I love the hop character of the normal Sam Adams. This combines that with a sweeter malty body. No dopplebock, this, but an appropriate extension of Sam Adams for the winter. Love it! Sun Valley Holiday Ale - This is a challenging brew. There are a lot of flavors offering themselves in the palate, but unfortunately they aren't balanced at all with the extremely bitter hop aftertaste. Mind you, I'm a huge hop fan -- I drink Anchor Liberty like it's Michelob Dry -- but the fabulous hop taste in the palate becomes quite bitter in the finish. An interesting brew well worth the price of admission, however! I also purchased an Aass Winter (alias Jule Ol?) that I'm saving for after finals. I'm extremely interested in any other holiday brews available in the San Francisco bay area. Also, it sounds like you New Englander's have a fantastic variety of regional holiday brews. I'd love to chat about these or trade offerings through the mail. ======================================================================= Chris Yerga "Give me Liberty or give me Steam." yerga at cory.berkeley.edu ======================================================================= Return to table of contents
Date: 13 Dec 89 15:57:00 MDT From: "2645 RUTH, GUY R." <grruth at sandia.gov> Subject: re: digest 322 Michael Berry write about fermenting apple cider: North of Albuquerque around Cochiti is the Dixon Apple Orchard. Each year they sell gallon jugs of cider. The cider is not filtered so it contains wild yeasts. The owners of the orchard recommend that the cider be kept chilled, otherwise it will ferment. Actually, I have found that it ferments in the frigerator. Anyway, one year I decided to leave the jug out in the open with an airlock attached. After about a month, I racked it into a couple of bottles and then racked it again after a couple of months. I tried the hard cider after 6 months and wasn't terribly impressed. Some of my friends told me that it probably needed more sugar or that I should have thrown some raisins into the jug to ferment along with the cider. I've never pursued making hard cider since. Besides, I like beer better. I have a friend who's living in Maryland who plans to bring some hard cider from that area when he comes for a visit next month. I'll let you know what I think of it. ========== John Simpson writes about tannins being leached from his grains: I've read that tannins are leached from the grain husks if the temperature of a mash is allowed to beyond 178 F. Looks like that falls within the range you mentioned. Tannins in wine will mellow with time, but usually that takes on the order of years. I don't think you want to wait that long. Your beer probably won't last that long either. In the special zymurgy issue on yeast it talks about reclaiming yeast from naturally conditioned bottles. Get a copy. It's good reading. << Guy >> Return to table of contents
Date: 13 Dec 89 14:41:36 PST (Wed) From: Bryan Hilterbrand <bryanh at dadla.wr.tek.com> Subject: S.G. and other novice questions I just bottled my third batch of brew ("Nutcracker Stout" -- it's Russian Imperial Stout brewed around Christmas...), and I have a few questions: I used 7 lbs. amber malt extract, 3 lbs. dry amber malt extract, 1 lb. 80L crystal, 1/4 lb. black patent, and 1/4 lb. roasted barley (and other various ingredients which don't affect S.G. much). The recipe was (more-or-less) taken from that chart in Papazian's book that shows some of the different styles of beers and ales. The grain was taken to boiling in 1 1/2 gallons water, then the extract was added to the grain water (after taking out the grain). I boiled the wort for fifty minutes, sparged the wort into a carboy, then let the wort cool overnight. The next day there was a thick layer of goo on the bottom (which I expected), and I took an S.G. reading and pitched the yeast. Papazian showed the starting S.G. for this style to be 1.070 to 1.090, but the S.G. of my brew came out to about 1.043. Should I have taken the S.G. reading while all that goo was still suspended or what? I expected the S.G. to be somewhere around 1.055 to 1.060 (at least!). I have tested my hydrometer a little bit, and it shows water to have an S.G. of about 1.002. I tasted the brew when I bottled it, and it tasted quite alcoholic. Does anyone have some bright ideas about what's going on? Does anyone trust what their hydrometer tells them? Are there some good tests that I can run my hydrometer through to make sure it is accurate? I've heard people complain that Papazian's numbers are high, but this seems a bit extreme. As a little aside: I didn't put any spices into this brew -- does anyone have suggestions for what spices would be good in this type of a brew? One last question: I've gotten sort of a "molasses" taste in this and the previous batches of brew. The other batch was a "bock" that I used lager yeast and fermented in my refrigerator for a month (total) in the primary and secondary. What's causing this taste? The person at the local homebrew store (Steinbart's) said that it's caused by scorching the sugars in the wort and that I should stir more when I'm cooking the wort. Bryan Hilterbrand P.S. Could some kind soul send my HB digest numbers 294, 295, 315 and 320? INTERNET: bryanh at dadla.WR.TEK.COM --or-- dadla!bryanh at tektronix.TEK.COM CSNET: at RELAY.CS.NET:bryanh at dadla.WR.TEK.COM UUCP: uunet!tektronix.tek.com!dadla.WR.TEK.COM!bryanh Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 89 18:09:09 PST From: polstra!norm at hplabs.HP.COM (Norm Hardy) Subject: German beers on duty Currently, you are allowed to bring one liter of alcohol (any %) duty free when return returning from Europe. Any amount above that is scheduled for duty expenses. I think the actual amount is small, and it would be worth it to try to bring mo more beer if possible. Remember though, German beer in the bottle is only a little better than what we get here in the bottle. To experience German excellence, you must have inone on tap, preferably IN Germany. The stuff we get here is usually always pasteurized. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 89 09:33:51 PST From: falk at Sun.COM (Ed Falk) Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #322 (December 13, 1989) > Date: Tue, 12 Dec 89 11:49:32 PST > From: kron at Sun.COM (Kenneth Kron) > Subject: Homebrew supply store in Palo Alto > > I'm looking for a homebrew supply store in the Palo Alto area. Anybody know > of one?? Here are the ones I've visited: The Fermentation Settlement in Saratoga are friendly and reasonably well supplied. They're a little pricey but they have "california malt" extract for $10/6lb. Beer Makers of America on 4th st. in San Jose is run by a real surley guy, but they have the best selection and prices on this side of the peninsula. You need to know what you want before you go in, because the guy is no help at all. There's a mail order place called "Williams Brewing Supplies" in San Leandro which I've heard many good things about. There's also a retail store in San Leandro (can't remember the name) on Marine that's as big as all the other retail outlets I've visited put together. They teach classes in the store and have a wine expert in on Wed. to critique your homebrew wine if you like. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #323, 12/14/89 ************************************* -------
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