HOMEBREW Digest #3271 Tue 14 March 2000

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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

  belgian beer (Boekamp J & Smith J)
  addendum ("Dr. Pivo")
  Judging Color ("A. J. deLange")
  close enough for horseshoes... ("Alan Meeker")
  Fw: YEAST PITCHING RATES ("Alan Meeker")
  anuses ("Alan Meeker")
  Problems with StPat brew that are Renner's fault . . . ("Brett A. Spivy")
  RE:  Orval clone ("George de Piro")
  Re:  First All-Grain Batch (Dryw Blanchard)
  re: beer color ("Curt Speaker")
  Dark Beer, Light Body, drives me out of my mind. (Drew Beechum)
  Line Length (Dave Burley)
  RE: First All-Grain Batch, Easier bottling technique (Chris Cooper)
  Re: Hop Cultivation ("Michael A Nemier")
  high final running SG question ("Taber, Bruce")
  atlanta and my quest for hops ("Czerpak, Pete")
  AHA Big Brew Info ("Paul Gatza")
  Bourbon Barrel Stout ("Murray, Eric")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 17:33:31 +1100 From: Boekamp J & Smith J <jann.jurriaan at bigpond.com> Subject: belgian beer Howdy hbd'ers, Jens P. Maudal is keen to brew some belgian beer but needs some help with recipe formulation. I would suggest you try to get hold of 'Belgian Ale' by Pierre Rajotte from the Classic Beer Style Series (ISBN 0-937381-31-4). It should provide you with enough information to produce some excellent beer. Good luck, Jurriaan Boekamp Federal,NSW Australia Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 10:11:36 +0100 From: "Dr. Pivo" <dp at pivo.w.se> Subject: addendum I know I told Phil I was retiring, but the thought of Jill snickering beside him in her Indian head dress was just too tempting to resist posting one more time.... besides, staying in front of his computer keeps him from corpse-wrestling in the garden. Steve Nagley wonders about appropriate appellations for our collective identities: "Should they be forced to append a Roman numeral to their assumed title in order to keep them straight?" In that case I shall choose "IXI", which means "from 9-11"; not only does that match very well with my vagueness and lack of specificity, it is the time and length of my morning coffee break, and the only Roman Numeral that looks at all like "(*)", my beloved "moon" ASCII, the authorship of which I'm still quite proud. But don't let your guard down.... I'm continually perusing this keyboard for other obscenities. George quoted and edited me: "1) How variant there (sic) methods are form (sic) that that is reccomended (sic) here." And I'll quote him (using a new editorial method): " What a ridiculous way to try to make a point (sick): make a vague (sick), general (sick) statement about how great so-called (sick) traditional breweries are, and then cite a country that relatively few have ever visited as a good place to see traditional breweries (sick)" Apparently George is almost annoyed as much by my appalling spelling, as I am by his appalling taste. I suppose that if George challenges me to a spell off, as the "challengee" that would give me the right to choose the language..... be interesting to see if on his trip to Belize if he ever got past "Una cerveza.", and learned to append "..por favor".... or did he say: "Una cerveza. Have fun." In my own defense (can there be one?) I was sincerely trying to find something close to the United States that people there might be able to visit, as representative of older brewing methods. If I'd ever seen anything of value in the States to match that category, I'd have mentioned it, but I haven't.... I may have to take up "up state New York" with my travel agent... I've heard its just lovely there this time of year. A very pleasant recent report from (Paul?) on his visit to England reflects on exactly the sorts of things I was referring to. Quite honestly, my info on Belize is WAY out of date. I haven't been there in the 80's, and have heard no reports from there, excepting George's... (but then again, he wasn't sporting his Seibel medal, and was not a "trained taster" back then, which makes his observations totally useless.... Whew! He almost had me there!), and I'm sorry your holidays were spoiled, and the beer has disintegrated... maybe they should have kept the Brits hanging around after all. Mainly, I'd like to thank Phil Yates for his tip on Mr. Pieman... a truly interesting fellow, and real HBD material (gobbles up anything that dares to show its face). He should learn to brush his teeth though. The remains stuffed up against his gums (including nails and hair) was TRULY disgusting. Neither was he much of a brewer. His idea of "a good pitching rate", was using his slop bucket full of viscera. I know that Steve Alexander has admitted having Streptococcus cloacae growing in his sauer kraut, but ever since I cultured that organism from a motorcycle accident victim's knee on Corfu (that was one green stinky mess, and I removed a LOT of leg before I ever found any healthy tissue), I have stringently avoided (and let me go on record saying this RIGHT now) recommending the culturing of organisms derived from the human colon, for use in food products. I understand that Mr. A's well known botulism paranoia causes him to boil his kraut before eating it (perhaps his yoghourt as well), but I am just starting to realize that it is the boiling of his beer that gives him such strange ideas about the making of it. Try it cool and with bubbles in it, Steve. I'm sure you'll like it. Finally I'm wondering why, when Mr. Meeker quoted me, quoting him, he omitted the part where he was shouting the truth at us.... "This leads us to the conclusion that you should be using about 20 GRAMS OF DRIED YEAST PER 5 GALLON BATCH" Could it be that it seemed a tad arrogant, even to him, especially when he contradicts a rule so hard and fast that it must be shouted, by a factor of 2. And, of course, my poor English is by now legion, but even I can spot a collective personal pronoun when I see one, and I wonder what the other members of the group were when he uses the word "us". Could there be more than one Alan Meeker? ...or are they cloning Dave Burley? Heavens. Hope this helps. <- (That was for Pat. My intentions are actually good. If this forum is so dominated by individuals that make brewing seem didactic and boring, at least I can be silly, and try and reinject some of the "fun" of brewing. Maybe Charlie's worn out phrase was right... RHAHB) Dr. Pivo IXI Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 13:34:17 +0000 From: "A. J. deLange" <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Judging Color Alan Monaghan mentions that he is slightly color blind (a brother!) but cannot use the "color strips I see the other judges using". I assume he is referring to the Davison Guide but perhaps not because the Davison guide should be useable by even totally color blind people (extremely rare) so I wonder if Alan is using the Guide correctly. It must be used by transmitted light and the beer must be viewed by transmitted light as well. The light should be northern daylight or a lamp with the characteristics of CIE illuminant C but lets be real - it's going to be the light that's available where ever the contest is held. You can use northern daylight when you practice with it at home, though.The beer must be viewed in a cup which is about 10 cm (4") across. The colors on the Davison guide at best only approximately match actual beer colors (in some patches quite well and in others quite poorly indeed) so that what you will be matching is apparent lightness or darkness of the beer. People with normal color vision also have trouble with matching to standards that are not quite the same color as the thing they are trying to match to. This is one of the reasons that the industry went to an instrumental rather than a visual comparison method for rating color. Even though the gamut of beer colors is very restricted it is impossible to come up with a series of comparison glasses, solutions or three color dye transparencies which match all beers. The Davison Guide does match lightness/darkness to within an SRM unit or two of the labeled values. Now your perception of lightness/darkness does depend on the relative responses of your cones and as you are color blind we know that you are not the CIE "standard observer". Nonetheless you should be able to distinguish variation in luminance (brightness) as well as the next guy unless your color vision deficit is much more than "slight". Now to answer the real question: Yes, there are devices that will allow you to measure color. You do what is done in the brewing laboratory but with less expensive equipment. What is required is a spectrophotometer or photometer capable of making meaurements at 430 nm. The difference between the two is that the spectrophotometer selects the desired wavelength from a broadband source by means of a prism or diffraction grating while the photometer uses a filter. Suitable portable spectrophotometers are available, are not quite pocket size and cost about $1300. Photometers are often pocket sized and cost in the hundreds of dollars but I'm not sure about the availability of a suitable filter i.e. 430 nm with fairly narrow bandwidth. The narrow bandwidth is important because the slope of the absorption spectrum is largest at that wavelength. I can look into this further if the price hasn't scared you off already. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 08:31:13 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: close enough for horseshoes... Brian Lundeen asks: > >As I said, "pretty close" - a factor of two is pretty close for pitching > >rate. >Double is close? So, if you owed the IRS $100,000 in back taxes, and they >asked for $200,000, you would say, "Sure, that's pretty close"? ;-) No the IRS wouldn't cotton to this but as I said, it's close enough for /pitching rate./ The point was that Pivo jumped in saying that he underpitces without any ill effects but without giving any info on the degree to which he was underpitching. Later, he gave numbers that indicated what he was calling "underpitched" meant pitching just 1/2 the consensus commercial pitch rate. I doubt that most people would consider this to be sufficiently underpitched that any negative flavor effects would result. In his book Designing Great Beers, Ray Daniels claims that homebrewers can get away with pitching up to 10X less than the accepted commercial pitch rates (this he calls the "homebrew pitching rate") so, relative to this Pivo's 2X difference is small. -Alan Meeker Baltimore Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 08:59:11 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Fw: YEAST PITCHING RATES Since the queue is short and the topic is still active I thought I'd re-post my yeast pitching analysis from August 1999 I can't resist pointing out that it was in paragraph form and contains the phrase "hope this helps" at the end!! -Alan > There have been questions about optimal yeast pitching rates. These threads > really do cycle - Mort O' Sullivan and Jim Liddil discussed this topic at > length EXACTLY one year ago! > > Here's some info I have FYI: > > > Most sources give optimal pitching rates which aim at achieving from 5 million > to 20 million /viable/ yeast cells per ml of wort. Another commonly cited rule > of thumb is to pitch one million yeast per ml of wort per degree Plato (.004 > SG units) giving rates within the 5-20 million range for "normal" gravity > worts. > > [Note that these are pitch rates for ALE yeasts. The recommended rates for > LAGER yeast range anywhere from 2X to 5X higher.] > > So, for ale yeast, the bottom line is that one needs to pitch a total of about > 200 billion yeast cells into a normal 5 gallon batch to achieve the commercial > rate. How does one achieve this practically? Well, it will depend to some > degree on what type of yeast you are planning on using for your pitch: > > > DRY YEAST - Supposedly, dry yeast contains in the range of 5-40 billion yeast > cells per gram weight (published values vary from source to source. Note that > these are counts of VIABLE yeast so I imagine much of this variabiltiy in published > counts is due to differences in the care with which the yeast was handled and stored > which will, in turn, impact the viability of the yeast, etc...) At any rate, > it seems that 10 billion cells per gram dried yeast is a reasonably conservative > estimate to work with. This leads to the conclusion that you should be > pitching about 20 GRAMS OF DRIED YEAST PER 5 GALLON BATCH. > This means using two 10gram packages to reach the "commercial" pitch rate. > You could start with less if you step-up the dried yeast following reactivation > and before pitching. Also, according to Ray Daniels, good results can come from > using up to 10-fold less yeast - what he refers to as the "homebrew pitch rate" > although he is quick to point out that in his opinion this should be viewed as a bare > minimum pitch. > > > LIQUID YEAST "SMACK PACKS" - These contain about 40-50 ml volume and > supposedly generate some 2.5 billion yeast when properly swelled (published ranges > seem to be between 1 billion and 5 billion cells so 2.5 billion seems reasonable.) So, > if you were to pitch this into your 5 gallon batch of beer you'd be > UNDERPITCHING BY 100-FOLD!! (compared to commercial pitch rates) > This means either you would need to buy 100 smack > packs (ouch!) or "step-up" the starter by innoculating the smack pack into a > larger volume of sterile wort in order to grow more yeast. > > Now, to increase the yeast numbers by 100X sounds a bit daunting but don't > worry, this doesn't mean you need to add 100 volumes of wort! We'll let the > magic of "exponential growth" do the work for us. Since the yeast grow by > dividing, the population essentially doubles with each yeast generation > (generation times can be as fast as two hours when the yeast are really happy > and cranking right along.) If we are starting with a swolen smack pack we have > about 2.5 billion cells. Now we let them grow in new wort, in one generation > we'll have 5 billion, then 10 billion, then 20 billion and so on... resulting > in our desired goal of 200 billion cells in only 6 to 7 yeast generations. The > only problem we run into is that there is a limit to how dense a satrter > culture can be grown because of problems due to overcrowding - they will eat > up all the nutrients (actually there will usualy be only one so-called > "limiting" nutrient which will run out first, typically nitrogen if the wort > is well aerated) and be swimming in a sea of waste products (aka- beer!). > > The take home message is that it requires several LITERS (or about 1 gallon) > of stepped-up starter to reach the commercial pitch rate. Most people can > probably handle making a gallon starter but usually you want to let the yeast > settle first (refrigeration will help promote this) so you can pour off the used wort > which (if you're allowing air in like you should) would negatively affect the flavor > of the finished beer. Remember also that you don't have to step up to the whole > gallon volume all at one time, you could do it in stages such as 4 X 1/4 gallon steps > as long as you make sure you are getting most of the yeast through to the next step... > > > USED YEAST SLURRY - Published suggested pitching rates rates call for > 3 oz (weight) of thick slurry per 5 gallon batch or about 4-8 oz liquid volume > (approx. 60% solids) per 5 galon batch. Caveats here include: > (1) There can be a lot of variability in the amount of non-yeast solids > present in the slurry > (2) There can be variation in the number of viable cells (due to strain differences, > diffs in fermentation or storage conditions; for example higher gravity or high > temps,etc.) > (3) Viability can decrease markedly with time post-fermentation, especially at > higher temperatures. > (4) These yeast have just finished ANAEROBIC fermentation and, depending > upon their state at original pitch and original pitch size, may be extremely > depleted of sterols and unsaturated fatty acids thus wort OXYGENATION will be > VERY IMPORTANT if this yeast is to be re-pitched, much more so than for say a > well oxygenated/aerated starter from a stepped-up smack pack. They may also have > severley depleted their reserve carbohydrates (glycogen and trehalose). > > > There are MANY ills attributed to underpitching, I know my beers improved > DRAMATICALLY once I started pitching decent amounts of yeast. Good luck, hope > this helps! > > -Alan Meeker > Baltimore MD (the state, not the title!) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 09:14:34 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: anuses [No, this isn't a post about the recent spate of vituperative attacks!] Here's a quote from Bamforth's book Beer: Tap Into The Art And Science of Brewing that reminded me of the "yeast anuses" post: ..." have a stomach and an intestinal canal, and their urinary organs can be readily distinguished. The moment these animals are hatched they begin to devour the sugar in the solution, which can be readily seen entering their stomachs. It is then immediately digested, and the digested product can be recognized with certainty in the excreta from the alimentary canal. In a word, these infusoria eat sugar, excrete alcohol from their intestinal canals, and carbonic acid from their urinary organs. The bladder, when full, is the shape of a champagne bottle, when empty it resembles a little ball; with a little practice an air-bladder can be detected in the interior of these animalculae; this swells up to ten times its size, and is emptied by a sort of screwlike action effected by the agency of a series of ring-shaped muscles situated in its outside." -Justus von Liebig & Friedrich Wohler -Alan Meeker Baltimore Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 07:20:10 -0600 From: "Brett A. Spivy" <baspivy at server1.softdisk.com> Subject: Problems with StPat brew that are Renner's fault . . . and for that matter, the rest of you brewers on the HBD!!! Gee . . .I wonder if that headline was sensational enough. If I keep that up, I could qualify for official membership in the liberal media elite. I started brewing a year ago this May fifth (just over 138 gallons so far). I started with my Caphalon, some laundry detergent buckets, and a beginners set I cobbled together based on advice from the HBD in March and with the aid and mentorship of Bob Carbone (aka The BeerSlayer). After two batches of HyperChlorate beer (dubbed swimming pool beer at my first HomeBrew club meeting by a new fellow member), I bought some Iodophor and have made increasingly better beer ever since. I now have nine (9) cornies, two (2) 20 lb gas bottles, six (6) carboys, three (3) plastic buckets, a CF Wort Chiller, a CP filler, two (2) SS kettles (9 Gal & 4 Gal) - one with racking arm, Surescreen (TM), and tap, and dozens of stoppers & feet of tubing of all kinds. All of this with less than three hundred and fifty dollars ($350) spent on equipment -- Karl L. should be proud! Three (3) months ago, I started thinking about going all-grain, but thought it was too daunting -- all that talk of manifolds, sparge arms, and RIMS / HERMS / NUCLEAR REACTORS. Six (6) or eight (8) weeks ago, within one week, I read a dozen posts on no-sparge and Jeff Renner posted his suggested recipe for St. Patrick's day brewing. It was, as I'm sure you all recall, an Irish-American Red he called McGinty's Irish-American Red and I was hooked like a FL bass by Bill Dance on a Volunteer Orange "Banjo Minnow" (TM). Since the first Spivys into the colonies were a young Welsh slave trader and his new Irish bride, I called it: Spivy's Welsh/Irish-American Red. I typed Jeff's recipe into Suds '97 (freshly downloaded), and got right on the phone to The BeerSlayer. Bob aided in adjusting the grain bill for no-sparge and suggested a small beer from the grain after I had completed the mash out of the no-sparge Red. So, I got my grain, mashed my grain, mashed out, collected 5.22 gallons, added 1.47 gallons to hit my target gravity, re-mashed the grain, remashed-out, collected 4.5 gallons at 1.018, and used DME and white sugar (50/50) to get to 1.030, and I brewed the two batches successively finishing a twelve (12) hour brew day with nine and one half (9 1/2) gallons of bubbling-in-the airlocks, actively fermenting beer (yes, that's less than three hours lag time 'cause I was taught to make one gallon starters). All of this was great until I kegged and tasted these beers (obviously WELL before the St. Pat weekend). First, the small beer. Better than average - hell, better than anything I have ever brewed before -- good, I'm happy to have it for practically free. Second, the Red: This was hands-down the BEST DAMN BEER I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE!!!!! I drank the whole corny, I have NO special brew for St. Pat's, I've been invited to play coed Bunko (DrunKo) St. Pat's evening, and since I am known in my group of friends as the brewer, winemaker, cheesemaker, mustard maker, I'm expected to have something special to drink!! This is all Jeff Renner's, Bob Carbone's, and this collective's fault for helping me right into this mess. My wife will be in touch with each of you individually about taking the house over with glass and SS. Seriously, thanx guys (and gals). I might have gotten here without you, but it would not have been this easy or this fun and I appreciate all of you -- librarians and luddites alike! Now can anyone tell me how much green food coloring to put in a corny of my Dream-A-Little-Cream Ale to pass this off as my "special" St. Patrick's day brew??!? PM ok. Thanx . . . Brett A. Spivy Shreveport, LA (Can someone tell me how to say that Rennerian?) Stolen Cactus Brewery Cyan Winery Berry Dairy Cheese Factory & Miss Inc. Link Sausage & Mustard House Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 09:33:38 -0500 From: "George de Piro" <gdepiro at mindspring.com> Subject: RE: Orval clone Howdy, Bill asks about making an Orval clone, saying that he has tried using Wyeast Trappist as the yeast. Regardless of whether you believe in Wyeast's QC or not, their Trappist strain is not the optimal choice for an Orval cone. It is, in my opinion, too estery in a banana fashion. A phenolic (but less estery yeast) like their Wit strain (3944) might do better. The real key, however, is to have a dose of Brettanomyces in the beer. That is what gives he beer the fruity, musty, earthy, cellar-like character that so many confusingly describe as "horsy." Brett. cultures have relativley short shelf life and can be slow fermenters. You can purchase a Brett. culture from the Yeast Culture Kit Company. Have fun! George de Piro C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station (518)447-9000 http://evansale.com (under construction) Malted Barley Appreciation Society Homebrew Club http://hbd.org/mbas Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 07:53:59 -0800 (PST) From: Dryw Blanchard <dryw9680 at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: First All-Grain Batch Thanks for all of the replies that I received regarding the amount of water that is to be used in the mashing process. Generally, everyone said that the amount should be between 1 quart/pound of grain and 2.5 quarts/pound. The recommendation that seemed the best was to use about 1.3-1.5 quarts/pound of grain so that once the grain is added to the water hotter or colder water could be added to adjust any temperature variances. Dryw Blanchard __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger. http://im.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 11:20:55 +0500 From: "Curt Speaker" <SPEAKER at SAFETY-1.SAFETY.PSU.EDU> Subject: re: beer color This has certainly been kicked around before, but: Appearance is the least important of all in evaluating beer. If a brew tastes like is supposed to, smells like it is supposed to, has the appropriate balance and other overall characteristics, appearance should mean very little. That is why the BJCP scoresheets allocate only 3 points out of 50 to appearance. Being right on as far as color goes; likewise with clarity, and having good head retention is good as well, but it is really a minor consideration in whether it is a good beer or not. I'm sure it is possible to make a black-as-ink IPA or a straw yellow barleywine, but these brews will likely have other problems associated with them besides appearance. Just my $0.02 Curt Curt Speaker Biosafety Officer Penn State University Environmental Health and Safety speaker at ehs.psu.edu http://www.ehs.psu.edu ^...^ (O_O) =(Y)= """ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 09:27:00 -0800 (PST) From: Drew Beechum <Drew.Beechum at disney.com> Subject: Dark Beer, Light Body, drives me out of my mind. Hmm.. my post seems to have wander into the ether.. oh well and now I've lost my notes. Someone recently asked about a beer of flavor and color. In lieu of all the responses regarding CAPs and CACAs, if you're really stuck to the idea of dark color, then why not a scharwzbier? Light body, good toffe/caramel flavor, black as coal color. Just make sure to use the carafa malt (I'd post my recipe, but it's on another of my computers that's acting wonky) - -- Drew B Webmaster, Maltose Falcons HBS http://www.maltosefalcons.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 12:40:24 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Line Length Brewsters: Comments about my line length have prompted me to try once again to send a "normally" formatted missive, as having to shorten on a line by line basis has been a continual PITA for me and HBD readers as well. Some years ago, I got lots of complaints because of the random nature of my line spacing which provided random paragraphing even Jeff wouldn't like and even more confusion. Turns out when the linelength here exceeded about 40 characters as I recall, the HBD software produced a new line and sometimes even inserted things like Ds and = and stuff like that. Hopefully, the upgraded HBD software can now handle this, although we ( the Janitors and I ) did try unsuccessfully several times in the past. We'll see, as in this missive I did not space between lines and everything is fine on my end with my lines going from one side of my screen to the other. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 13:46:09 -0500 (EST) From: Chris Cooper <ccooper at a2607cc.msr.hp.com> Subject: RE: First All-Grain Batch, Easier bottling technique Greetings all! A couple of recent posts caught my eye and here's my $.02 - ---------- To Dryw Blanchard, congrats on your first step into all-grain and welcome to the fray! When I mash I use an insulated round 7-gal Gott-Rubbermaid cooler and for the first infusion I mix the milled grain and hot water until it looks like a slightly runny oatmeal. I make sure that after it has settled for a couple of minutes that there is clearly water visable at the surface of the mash. I tend to batch sparge (check the HBD archives for past posts on the subject) and for my second addittion I usually fill my mash tun pretty much to the top, stir gently, let it settle for several minutes (about 15), recirculate till clear and then drain at a very slow rate (30 min +). In order to shorten the brew day a bit after I drain the first runnings into the kettle I start heating them as the second runnings are added to the kettle. By the time the mash is finished I usually have the kettle up to boiling. I think that this extra cooking of the first-runnings may contribute a slightly increased malt profile. - ---------- Paul Shick posts on his bottling method, I would like to add my Early on in my brewery I became very disenchanted with the bottling aspect of home brewing, my move to kegging was hastened when a good friend bought a building that had been a bar in a former life and offered the left-over hardware in the basement to me if I helped him clean it out. The spoils included 3 full size kegs and several cornies. The local suppliers told him that they didn't want them back (the building had been abandoned for about 3 years and the stuff that came out of one of the keggs had legs, turned on us, and swore at us like a sailor as we poured it down the sewer! One would have thought it would have been grateful for our freeing it from its prison. I guess that it actually liked living in a closed system of stale mega-swill, Go figure!) My original regimem cosisted of moving the finished beer into a CO2 purged corny, adding my boiled and cooled priming solution, closing the keg and rolling it on the floor for a bit to mix. Then using a Phil's Philler(tm) attached to a ball-lock fitting and about 2-5 PSI of CO2 to fill bottles. I would usually put about 2-gal. into 16oz bottles and allow the rest to carbonate in the keg. While this method had worked well for many batches I started experimenting with forced carbonation and made the switch as I felt this allowed a greater degree of carbonation control and closer matching of style guidelines. I acquired a Phil's Counter Pressure Philer(tm) (which I feel works very well) and used it to fill bottles for competition or travel. The only drawback here was the set-up and clean-up effort required to fill a few bottles. Currently I use the same method as Paul. I transfer the finished beer to a CO2 purged keg, and use my old brass filler and ball-lock attachment. Cleaning is accomplished by pushing the keg cleaning solution out through the filler tube using low pressure CO2. This is followed by a rinse with approximately 1 gallon of boiling water which is also pushed out through the filler tube (use caution when applying pressure to HOT water and handle with care!). Depending on the style, the volume of the bottle and level of carbonation desired Prime-Tab's(tm) are added to each bottle. A chart is included with the product to help calculate the correct number of tablets per bottle considering the above mentioned variables. I have found this information to be spot-on and the consistency of carbontation between individual bottles has been very good in my experience. As far as my endorsement of the Phil's products mentioned and Dominique's Prime-Tabs the standard disclaimers apply, I am simply a satisfied customer and wanted to share my experiences with the list. "Hope this Helps!" Chris Cooper, Pine Haven Brewing (aka. Debbi's Kitchen) {at least in winter!} Commerce, Michigan Member, Ann Arbor Brewer's Guild (Approximately 25 miles from 0.0 Renerian) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 13:41:26 -0500 From: "Michael A Nemier" <Michael.Nemier at ipaper.com> Subject: Re: Hop Cultivation Gang: Long-time lurker, first-time poster, blah, blah blah... Wayne Love had several questions regarding hop cultivation in HBD #3270. I think that I can answer them all. I have an established patch of Perle and Fuggles growing on a ridiculously over-engineered, concrete-anchored, automatic spring-tensioned, turnbuckle-intensive, steel wire rope (aircraft cable) trellis. Tough to slip that one in as "minimum effective design" under the wife radar. Hop plants will generally not bear any cones the first year. My Perle bore none, and my Fuggles only developed a couple of little dwarf cones after the first growing season. You'll get some crop the second year - figure on a fraction of an ounce, dry basis, per plant. A lot of the cones will still be small and poorly-developed, but you should see a pretty good amount of big, healthy cones by this point. The crop will continue to improve in quantity and quality during subsequent seasons as the crown (underground root/rhizome mass) gains size and vitality. I feed a substantial herd of wild white tail deer (they love commercial 10% sweet horse feed) in my back yard - not far from the house and mere feet from several gardens (including the hop patch). With such an arrangement, you quickly learn what they like to eat (apple trees, beans, peas) and avoid planting it, as there's really no way to keep a hungry, motivated deer from eating whatever it wants to. I can tell you with great confidence that deer find all parts of the hop plant repulsive, as they've never so much as nibbled the foliage. I also have two large, extended families of woodchucks (groundhogs, whistle pigs, or whatever you prefer) gorging themselves on the horse feed (with an occasional "salad" on the side), and although I've watched them play around in the hop patch on several occasions (with the trusty Smith and Wesson ready to rock), they also don't find hops the least bit palatable. Ditto for squirrels, opossums, raccoons, chipmunks, and anything else with fur on it. Hop bines (vines) will not grow to their full height the first year. You'll still need a trellis, however, as they'll reach a good 10 feet. I suppose that this depends on the quality (energy content) of the rhizome, your climate, and your care (fertilization and watering) regimen. Be prepared for nearly full growth the second year. My Perle topped the 20-foot trellis early in the summer, wrapped around the ash tree I use for the trellis support, and climbed another 5 feet up a branch. You'll get even more growth during subsequent years, with more "fullness" to the lateral growth (off the main central bine). I suppose you could suppress their height somewhat by growing more bines from each rhizome - I only train two each year onto a common trellis wire and clip the rest. My advice is to plan for the future and build big - don't go cheap or weak on the trellis. I tried the "twine" approach for the first year and wasn't at all happy with it - it's tough to keep it tight enough to prevent violent flapping and tugging on the bines during high winds. I find the quality of homegrown hops to be excellent, and others in my club (Bloatarian Brewing League) seem to share that opinion as well. As far as bittering potential, that's a tough one to assay (and ridiculously variable from crop-to-crop), so most home-growers reserve their crop for late (flavor and aroma) additions, thus removing alpha acid content (more-or-less) from the list of concerns. As far as growing tips, the majority of the published advice seems to be just fine. These are hardy plants, and I suppose it would be difficult to kill them (Roundup excepted) once they're established. I've found that it's tough to give them too much water or fertilizer, and I tend to really hammer it to them during the growing season. Lay a lot of mulch over the bed (to hold the water), and basically water them (at ground level) every day during the summer that it doesn't rain. Frequent applications of fertilizer (I throw 12-12-12 on the bed by the handful) help a lot also. I measured one of the Perle vines growing at an inch an hour in May of their second season, which is really something to behold. Most common garden pesticides work well for keeping the bugs off them (aphids seem to love them). I've had good luck with liquid Sevin. A couple of tough infestations have prompted a thermonuclear strike (Diazinon), but that has proven damaging to the foliage on more than one occasion. Better living through chemistry. That's been my experience. Anybody else out there have similar/dissimilar observations? Mike Nemier - Perintown Ohio Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 13:56:27 -0500 From: "Taber, Bruce" <Bruce.Taber at nrc.ca> Subject: high final running SG question In Monday's HBD George de Piro was giving reasons for poor efficiency. One of the possibilities he stated was; > 2. Sparging too fast and/or too cold can reduce your efficiency. What is the SG of your final runnings? If it is high (>1.020), then something is wrong. I am confused. If the sparge is too fast or too cold, and yet you have extracted the amount of wort that you need, wouldn't the final runnings have a very low SG? If your final runnings have a SG > 1.020, then the SG of your wort would be nice and high meaning that you have good extraction efficiency. What am I missing? Bruce Taber Almonte, Ont. Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 14:14:44 -0500 From: "Czerpak, Pete" <Pete.Czerpak at siigroup.com> Subject: atlanta and my quest for hops Hey everybody: Thanks to all who posted or sent me private emails with beer/pub/restaurant choices for the Atlanta area. I just got back last night and left there on a sunny but chilly day of about 45ish degrees. I did get back to a snowstorm in NY though that left me feeling a bit unhappy. Anyways, here is an account of my eats and drink in GA. Got in wednesday night. Felt like having a burger so went down to the Vortex. Great burger, very quiet that night. Also had a Tuppers Hop Pocket for the first - nice and bitter. also had a sweetwater IPA as well. I didn't like the sweetwater that much as it had kinda a funny sweet taste to it. almost belgianish but with lots of bitterness. I also stopped in at gordon bierch that night and got a dunkel. not too bad for a chain brewery. again very quiet since it was a wednesday night. thursday night I headed over to Sotto sotto and had an excellent pasta dish with mushrooms and a white sauce. a nice cabernet to round out the meal. they were pretty busy but i was well-tended by staff even though it was just me. I stopped at max lagers on the way home and had their Belgian abbey ale. nice estery belgian taste. next off I headed over to Green's beverages to grab a few 6-packs for the journey back to NY. Brought home Sweetwater Porter, Tuppers hop pocket, and Dogwood IPA. They also had the y2k batch of sweetwater holiday ale in a 6000 bottle limited release for $8 but I decided that 3 6-packs on the plane in my luggage was enough to import to NY. Friday night I headed up to US Border cantina for some tex-mex after stopping at REI and looking at mtn biking possibilities in GA for the wkend. I had their IPA and their stout. the IPA was very very good. it was dry hopped with cascades and EKG I believe. great hop nose and taste and nice and bitter. a must for IPA lovers trapped in GA. the stout was good even though i was disappointed to not find it on nitro. they were quite quiet for a friday and i enjoyed sipping a beer and listening to the acoustic band there with a few other peoples. the fajita plates were 13 bucks and were huge, like enough for 2 people. so I finished most of it and left happily full of fajita and IPA. saturday headed me over to Little Szechuan for tasty and bold chinese food that was so tasty and cheap too. I will definitely be heading back to all the above restaurants too. I had the spicy wontons and the kung pao chicken. again, i could not finish my meal but thought it great. Also i used chopsticks for the whole meal for the first time ever. no beers here but I headed over to taco mac in sandy springs to watch the hoop game and drank a tuppers pilsner and rogue dry hopped red. I am glad that I didn't pick up a 6-er of pilsner at the beer store since I wasn't terribly impressed. The Prima Pils by Victory is more to my liking. but the Tuppers Hop Pocket is pretty equivilent to Hop Devil although slightly different in its own respects. All in all a good trip. I got to drink Hop Pocket for the first time and brought enough back to compare to my personal stash of hop devil in addition to my own homebrewed rendition with 50% munich and 50% 2-row. lots of good food and great beers. i did drive around alot looking for some of the above places but many were supposedly accessible via subway although i didnt try it. Ohh, and i managed to jog around olympic centenial park everyday too to work off some of the IPA effects. Illegally importing Hop Pocket and Hop Devil to upstate NY via Delta airlines. Pete Czerpak albany, NY Ps. And I even used paragraphs for those that check post structure. don't check my punctuation or grammer though. or even spelling. ;) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 12:26:37 -0700 From: "Paul Gatza" <paulg at aob.org> Subject: AHA Big Brew Info The AHA Big Brew is set for National Homebrew Day, May 6th. Big Brew 99 had 2180 homebrewers register as participants at 265 brewing sites in 47 states and 8 foreign countries. This day of community celebration of homebrewing also includes an internet chat on the Brew Rat Chat site, www.brewrats.org, so log on to find out what is happening at other brewsites around the globe. (Thanks Scott.) Most of the Big Brew material is already up in the homebrewing section of www.beertown.org. We will have the registration and remittance pages again to record the results, so that local homebrewers and the hobby of homebrewing gets as much press as we can generate. At the request of participants, as mentioned in Big Brew founder Brian Rezac's post from 2 April 1999, we deferred the american pale style until 2000. Plan A involved a proposal I sent to Ken Grossman at Sierra Nevada asking for permission to use the SNPA recipe and name. I spoke with Ken in the introductory phase of this effort, but have not been able to get him to respond to phone messages the last couple weeks. He is a busy man, and this does not surprise me. I am at my Zymurgy deadline and we are getting more questions each day, so I need to proceed without an answer from Sierra Nevada. If Sierra Nevada does provide the authentic recipe, I will add it to beertown as one of the recipe options. I would also like to include a no-sparge recipe if Louis would like to convert the recipe. Beertown will also include detailed brewing instructions. The official AHA Big Brew 2000 recipe is based on the eighteen attempts of Chris P. Frey of the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild and Fermental Order of Renaissance Draughtsmen (FORD) to emulate Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Here is the official recipe for the Big Brew. Big Brew 2000, Nearly Nirvana Pale Ale All Grain Recipe for 5 gallons: 6.5 gallons water (2.5 mash, 4 sparge) 1 T gypsum (unless using hard water) 7 lb U.S. two row malt 1/2 lb U.S. crystal malt 60 L 1/2 lb U.S. dextrin malt 1 oz Perle hops (first wort hop) 1/2 oz Cascade hops (flavor) 1/2 t Irish moss 1/2 oz Cascade hops (aroma) 1/2 oz Cascade hops (dry hop) Wyeast 1056 liquid ale yeast Extract with grain recipe for 5 gallons: 5 gallons water (1 1/2 steep and boil, 3 1/2 added) 1/2 lb U.S. crystal malt 40 L 1/2 lb U.S. crystal malt 20 L 1 T Gypsum (unless using hard water) 6 3/4 lb Alexanders Pale Malt Extract Syrup 1 1/2 oz Perle hops (bittering) 1/2 oz Cascade hops (flavor) 1/2 t Irish Moss 1/2 oz Cascade hops (aroma) 1/2 oz Cascade hops (dry hop) Wyeast 1056 liquid ale yeast The August AHA Club-Only Competition will be the best of Big Brew. The best beer from each club made with one of the recipes will go head to head in the competition. Information on that competition will be in the Club Report in the July/August Zymurgy. Paul Gatza (mailto:/paulg at aob.org) Director, American Homebrewers Association 736 Pearl St., Boulder, CO 80302 voice(303)447-0816 x 122 fax (303) 447-2825 Join the AHA at http://www.beertown.org Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 16:14:36 -0500 From: "Murray, Eric" <emurray at sud-chemieinc.com> Subject: Bourbon Barrel Stout Greetings all. Here in Louisville, KY we have an up and coming local brewery by the name of Pipkin. They have some really good beers ranging from a blonde, to a nice porter. I had the opportunity to try a seasonal brew they did this weekend called Bourbon Barrel Stout. It was a fantastic and very unique beer. Nice and full bodied, aged in used bourbon barrels ( and yes, you could taste a hint of bourbon). Has anyone ever given this idea any thought? Ever heard of anyone else doing this? I thought I might try to clone it, but I would have to figure out how to get a used bourbon barrel small enough to age 5 gallons. Peace, Eric Return to table of contents
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