HOMEBREW Digest #337 Mon 08 January 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Hop growing (dw)
  Some kegging tips (gateh)
  Re: Slow starter (Andy Wilcox)
  Re: I have to worry! I can't relax! (Brian Glendenning)
  Stainless pots from RAPIDS -- good prices! good pots? (Chris Shenton)
  British beer foam and kegging (Patrick Stirling)
  Buying grain from local grocers- is it alright? (GOPINATHRTAR)
  Sparge Clarity (Martin A. Lodahl)
  Water Used in Brewing (Brad Carlile ext 2699)
  Wort Chillers in the Summer (Martin A. Lodahl)
  netlib archive of HOMEBREW Digest (a.e.mossberg)
  kegging and time (a.e.mossberg)
  Converting a soda keg for homebrew (a.e.mossberg)
  misc. (Alan Duester)
  Beer Bottle Bombs (revisited) (doug)
  Wort Chillers (Norm Hardy)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 5 Jan 90 09:09:34 EST (Friday) From: dw <Wegeng.Henr at Xerox.COM> Subject: Re: Hop growing I usually reply to these postings via direct email to the sender, but since there's been some discussion on the digest... I've been growing hops for a couple years, with pretty good sucess. Hops are a lot of fun to grow, but there are a few things that potential hop growers should know. 1) Hops are propagated from rhizomes, which basically are root cuttings. To grow hops you need to find a supplier of hop rhizomes (someone else said that they are collecting a list of suppliers - so I'll refrain from including my small list here). You plant the rhizomes in the spring (using whatever organic/chemical methods you prefer) and watch them grow. Note that hops are not a free standing vine, and need some sort of trellis system. Keep this in mind when planting different varieties, for the vines may become mixed on the trellis (making it difficult to seperate your saaz hops from your brewers gold. Hop flowers are harvested in the fall. Most references that I've seen indicate that you won't get much production from the plants the first year, and my experience agrees with this. 2) After being harvested, hops need to be dried. I use a food dryer, though others have had sucess with air drying. 3) I don't know of a way for homebrewers to measure the alpha acid content of hops (either store bought or homegrown) so you'll have to experiment with a couple batches of beer. I've been thinking about writing a pamplet on hop growing, which I'd then sell to interested people for a couple bucks (to cover postage, copying, etc). If anyone thinks that they would be interested please let me know via private correspondence. /Don wegeng at arisia.xerox.com or hplabs!arisia!wegeng Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 09:58:07 EST From: gateh%CONNCOLL.BITNET at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU Subject: Some kegging tips I used to build and distribute home CO2 systems (for commercial beer) and have been using my own for about 5 years - here are some tips I've learned about dispensing beer from such a system. > Now say I were to get a c02 kegging system. If I tapped a keg and had > a few beers tonite, how long would I have to use up the rest of the beer? > If I don't drink any more for a week, how will it taste? How about a few > weeks? Will the c02 affect the flavor, or the aroma of the beer? > > What about sediment? If my bottles have sediment in them, won't the > keg have some too? How do you keep this from being kicked up? I've had kegs that were perfectly good 5 or 6 weeks after being tapped, and in some cases actually thought the beer tasted _better_ at the end of the keg than at the beginning. As for CO2 affecting the taste of homebrew, I don't know, but I would guess that it wouldn't be a problem. As for sediment, yes there will be some of course, but the kegs I've seen all run a pipe from the top down the center of the keg to just off the bottom - perfect for homebrewers (I don't think the soda kegs work this way). I would let the keg sit for a while before tapping to let the sediment settle. One problem with using beer kegs is that the sizes are not convenient (7.8 and 15.6 gal.). I was told by the distributor I worked for that 12.5 psi is the proper amount of pressure for a keg. My experience is that this is about right, although if you want to play with the pressure, go down, not up. Other tips: - never, never, EVER roll a keg. Always carry or use a handtruck. Be as gentle as possible - it will pay off. - when pouring, always open the tap *all* the way. Trying to slow the flow of beer by opening the tap just a little will guarantee foam. If foam is a problem, change the pressure, clean the lines, clean the tap, but don't play with the tap itself. This was one of the most common problems I had with the folks I put systems in for. - Don't put your CO2 tank in the fridge. The liquid CO2 may freeze and that don't help nuthin. I either drill a hole in the fridge, or run the line out the side of the door. Currently I run both beer and CO2 out the door. - Hardcores say the system needs to be cleaned once a week. As long as the system is used regularly, I never had to clean more than a couple times a year. Cleaning never hurt, though. When purchasing a system, make sure that there is a way to release pressure directly from the keg. Most systems should have this, however I have seen two-prong tap heads without a release value, and boy is this a pain. If you can't blow all the pressure off the keg and start over again, you'll have a lot of difficulty dealing with foam problems. Hope this is of some use. I've learned a lot from recent digests about kegging homebrew, and am very excited to give it a shot. My own beer coming from my tap will be a very good thing indeed. Cheers! - Gregg Gregg TeHennepe | Minicomputer Specialist gateh at conncoll | Connecticut College, New London, CT "...I don't know, maybe it's Utah." - H.I. McDonaugh Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 90 10:19:34 EST From: Andy Wilcox <andy at mosquito.cis.ufl.edu> Subject: Re: Slow starter Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!mal at hplabs.HP.COM> writes: Dead? I doubt it. What kind of yeast? How warm is the room? I had Doric behave exactly as you describe, and still (eventually) produce good beer. If there WEREN'T a light layer of foam on top, I'd worry. It's interesting that Doric would go slow for you, yet so fast for me! I frequently have 3-4 day fermentations in my glass carbouy using doric yeast. This is undoubtably a temperature effect, as my kitchen (here in florida) is usually warm, bordering on hot in the summer (90+)... Which brings me to a question, do *I* need a wort chiller? I've not had any bad batches, but would they be better if kept cooler? Not worrying, Andy Wilcox (andy at ufl.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 10:37:51 EST From: Brian Glendenning <brian at radio.astro.utoronto.ca> Subject: Re: I have to worry! I can't relax! I should have trusted the platitude. Either there is a leak in my primary fermentor (although when I press on lid the level on the airlock changes) or fermentation passed in a quick burst when I was sleeping. In any event, when I took a gravity reading I discovered that it had dropped a bit more than 20 points in 4 days. So it looks like we've made beer. Thanks to all the helpful respondents for holding my hand! Brian - -- Brian Glendenning - Radio astronomy, University of Toronto brian at radio.astro.utoronto.ca uunet!utai!radio!brian glendenn at utorphys.bitnet Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 10:14:37 est From: Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Stainless pots from RAPIDS -- good prices! good pots? A while ago, John Polstra (jdp at polstra.UUCP) wrote about good prices for stainless pots from Rapids (Wholesale Bar & Restaurant Equipment, 800-553-7906). I just got their catalog, and it looks like a winner. Most interestingly, a 40 Qt for $80 (List $160); matching lid, $21.25. They're described as ``Heavy gauge stainless steel.'' Anyone have any experience with them? I may break down and order one next week, and if I do, will report on it in these pages. One potential caveat: they do call themselves *Wholesale* and at the end of the catalog is a disclaimer: WHO CAN BUY: Possession of this catalog should not be construed as an offer to sell. WTF??? _______________________________________________________________________________ Internet: chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov ( NASA/GSFC: Code 735 UUCP: ...!uunet!asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov!chris Greenbelt, MD 20771 SPAN: PITCH::CHRIS 301-286-6093 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 09:03:42 PST From: pms at Sun.COM (Patrick Stirling) Subject: British beer foam and kegging Having just returned from a vacation in England, I can report on the foaminess of the beer there. Basically, "real" beer in England isn't pressurized at all. It's kegged in wooden or aluminium barrels and delivered to the pub. It's then served either by a hand vacuum pump or gravity feed through a tap in the keg. The only foam is that caused by the splashing at the beer flows into the glass, and has usually subsided by the time you get the glass to your mouth. Note that of course this implies that the beer is (almost) still (i.e. not carbonated). Naturally there are many beers (and all lagers and Guinness) that are served using the familiar CO2 pumps; however you can always tell the real stuff by the large vacuum pump handle and the groans of the barperson as they pump your glassful! On to kegging. There's a pharmacy chain in Britain by the name of "Boots", that sells a large range to homebrew supplies. While in one last week, I saw a 5gal plastic pressure barrel (for 16 UK pounds), which can be pressurized by sparklets CO2 capsules or by SodaStream CO2 cartridges. The full setup would be around 30 pounds I think, or about $50. Has anyone seen anything like this here? Does SodaStream exists in the USA? Alternatively, does anyone know of a supplier of RotoKegs here? Actually the real difficulty is finding the CO2 cartridges - any ideas? patrick Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 08:02 MST From: GOPINATHRTAR at CHE.UTAH.EDU Subject: Buying grain from local grocers- is it alright? We just started brewing a month ago and a very glad that we started it. The question I have is that is can we buy grain from local groceries instead from the standard sources ( local brewing stores, mail order etc.) Thanx gopinathrtar at chemical.utah.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 8:34:50 PST From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!mal at hplabs.HP.COM> Subject: Sparge Clarity [ Here's the text that was supposed to go in the empty posting I sent to HBD 336. Sorry! --MAL ] In HOMEBREW Digest #335, Douglas J Roberts observed: "I don't recycle sparge water. My experience has been that the hot break removes all protiens quite nicely. My mashed beers all clarify beautifully with just a straight sparge." I never thought of that angle. My assumption has always been that it's the draff, the small grain fragments, that are filtered out by recycling the sparge until a filter bed is established. This cloudy stuff is mostly husk, and I would imagine that if too much of it makes it into the boil, it could impart some astringency. I've also noticed that shortly before the sparge begins to run clear, the flow rate (usually) slows considerably, which I've taken as an indication of more complete extraction through a "tighter" grain bed, increasing the grain/water contact. Hooey, perhaps? = Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff = = pacbell!pbmoss!mal -or- mal at pbmoss.Pacbell.COM 916.972.4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) = Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 10:22:41 PST From: Brad Carlile ext 2699 <hplabs!fpssun!!bradc> Subject: Water Used in Brewing Hello, I am interested in finding out the mineral content of water at the various brewing "Capitals" of the world. So far my sources include: 1) "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing" C. Papazian 2) "Brewing Lager Beer" G. Noonan 3) "Malting and Brewing Science" J. Hough et. al. 4) Zymurgy - All grain Issue 1985 5) Zymurgy - Winter 1989 6) David Line's Book (name escapes me now) So I was wondering if anyone had any additional info on water content. For instance, access to a good Tech Library (not necessarily brewtech stuff) with books that lists the water content of various cities water. I am looking for the following info: CITY 1) source of info - (if there are several sources send info on all) 2) year of water test 3) Perm Hardness 4) Temp Hardness 5) CO3- Hardness 6) Total Solids 7) Ca++ 8) Mg+ 9) Na+ 10) K+ 11) HCO3- 12) SO4- 13) Cl- 14) NO3- Alternatively, I am also interested in the observed contest of finished beer (mineral content changes dramatically throughout the brewing process). Another interesting bit of infor would be starting water and amounts of additives in recipes. Please EMAIL me any findings, I'll post a summary if there is interest. Thanks, Brad Carlile P.S. If you interested in your own water, call your local water board, its most likely free. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 8:47:21 PST From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!mal at hplabs.HP.COM> Subject: Wort Chillers in the Summer In HOMEBREW Digest #336, Chris Shenton asks a question dear to my own heart: "OK, so I think I'm convinced to build a Wort Chiller -- immersion cuz I'm paranoid about cleanliness. But how well can it work during the summer when my tap water is a good 80 degrees F?" I don't have quite this problem, but I do have an "iffy" well, and seeing all that water go down the drain is more than I can stand. A possible answer to both problems: an icewater bath, recirculated through the chiller. That implies a pump, and therefore a possible problem. Every winemaking supplies shop has pumps, but they're expensive! Has anyone found a good, cheap, preferably self-contained electric pump? The possibilities I've considered include the scavenge pump from a washing machine and the water pump from an evaporative cooler, but these usually require a separate motor & belt, which I'd like to avoid. Suggestions? = Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff = = pacbell!pbmoss!mal -or- mal at pbmoss.Pacbell.COM 916.972.4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) = Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 16:44:32 EST From: aem at mthvax.cs.miami.edu (a.e.mossberg) Subject: netlib archive of HOMEBREW Digest The current month's issues of HOMBREW Digest are now also available from the netlib server netlib at mthvax.cs.miami.edu To get one of the current month's issues, send a request such as send 335 from homebrew-new to the netlib address. Issues should be available minutes after they arrive here. To get information on the archives, send the request send index from homebrew to the netlib address. aem Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 16:51:05 EST From: aem at mthvax.cs.miami.edu (a.e.mossberg) Subject: kegging and time In HOMEBREW Digest #335 RobertN. asks: >As the subject of kegging has been floating around the net lately, >I was wondering how long kegged beer will stay fresh? As long as bottled homebrew. >Now say I were to get a c02 kegging system. If I tapped a keg and had >a few beers tonite, how long would I have to use up the rest of the beer? Months at least. >If I don't drink any more for a week, how will it taste? How about a few >weeks? Will the c02 affect the flavor, or the aroma of the beer? It will continue to age in the keg, as it would in the bottle, but at a slightly slower rate. (Like wine in splits as opposed to magnums). CO2 is what the little yeasties are producing (CO2 out one end, and alcohol out the other -- don't ask me which end produces what!). >What about sediment? If my bottles have sediment in them, won't the >keg have some too? How do you keep this from being kicked up? Yes, there will be sediment. That's the purpose of converting the kegs with the float system. That way the beer is picked up from slightly below the top of the beer, rather than from the bottom as with an unconverted soda keg. aem - -- a.e.mossberg / aem at mthvax.cs.miami.edu / aem at umiami.BITNET / Pahayokee Bioregion Let me further make it plain to the assassins in Beirut and their accomplices, wherever they may be, that America will never make concessions to terrorists. - Ronald Reagan Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 17:00:29 EST From: aem at mthvax.cs.miami.edu (a.e.mossberg) Subject: Converting a soda keg for homebrew The conversion consists of removing the pickup tube going to the bottom of the keg, cutting it off several inches below the top, reinstalling it in the keg, and attaching a plastic tube with a float mechanism to keep the end of the flexible tube slightly below the surface of the beer. A kit consisting of all the parts you need for the float assembly is available from Wine and Brew By You. I use it in all my kegs (8 or 9) and have not had any problems with the system. Wine and Brew By You - 5760 Bird Rd, Miami 33155 (305) 666-5757 aem Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 19:45:33 EST From: capnal at aqua.whoi.edu (Alan Duester) Subject: misc. People are often talking about old beer being not quite as good as fresh. I had to let you all know about an event this past weekend. I went to a friend's for a New Year's party, and was offered a bottle of Guiness - that was 15 or 16 years old! It had been under the kitchen sink since he moved in! It wasn't as bad as I expected. Soured, but still having the Guiness flavor. No photo-oxidation I could detect. Also, no unpleasant physical afteraffects. The most annoying thing was the gloppy chunks that started pouring out as I neared the end of the bottle. An interesting experience, but not one I would recommend for newcomers! I'll try the other bottle next year.... I've been using a 16 qt. thin stainless pot by Metro that I got at Bradlees for $16. Unfortunately, it has a tendency to scorch a bit if one is not careful. Also, the first one I had developed a corrosion hole and numerous pits in the bottom (and emptied 2 qts. of brew into my stove in the process). I have a passing familiarity with corrosion problems, as designing instrumentation for oceanography is my job. I didn't expose it to conditions that should have caused problems in what *I* consider to be "stainless" steel. It seems to be a poor alloy. Metro replaced the pot immediately, with no questions, after I had had it 9 months, so I can't complain. Regarding the blowoff/blowup discussions - I've always strained the hops out as I pour into the primary carboy. Maybe that's why some folks have had problems with clogging? ======================================================================== Al Duester, Ocean Engineer, MS S201 # SPAN: 6308::capnal Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution # INTERNET: capnal at aqua.whoi.edu Woods Hole, MA 02543 # GEnie: A.DUESTER (508) 548-1400 x2474 (508) 457-2000 auto-receptionist for touch tone phones ======================================================================== *oh, I used pelletized hops.... Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 90 05:37:29 EST From: hisata!doug at gatech.edu Subject: Beer Bottle Bombs (revisited) There's been some discussion of the sturdiness of bottles. Here's my 2/100ths of a $'s worth. I prefer bottles with a gently sloping next--NOT like longnecks--because they're easier to pour and don't "glug" so as to stir up sediment. I use ANYTHING close to this shape: Guiness, Harp, Heineken Dark (brown bottles), IBC root beer, etc. In 16 batches x ~50 bottles = 800 bottles, I've only had two break when being capped. No glass grenades yet, and I've had some real gushers! Some of my bottles have been reused many times. The IBC root beer bottles and several others are "throwaways," though I've never had a problem except as noted above. And speaking of gushers, I had some beer that I'd stored under the house to age a couple of months. This whole batch was contaminated and gushed mightily when opened. I thought I'd save a couple to show my folks at Christmas. I brought them up to the kitchen and left them on the counter. After they warmed, I notice they were producing gentle bubbles in the capped bottles! They were dumped immediately. A friend who lived in Ireland told me of a homebrew competition there. One brewer brought in a large bottle exhibiting the same symptoms. A judge stopped the competition until the bottle was removed from the building--for the safety of all present! Doug Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 90 18:44:27 PST From: polstra!norm at hplabs.HP.COM (Norm Hardy) Subject: Wort Chillers The question was: "How do I use an immersion chiller in the summer when the tap water is 80f?" Here is an idea: Construct 2 immersion chillers with copper tubing. Have the water flow through the first as it sits in a water bath filled with ice water. Then the water moves on to your wort where the second chiller sits. Keep an eye on the ice water and add more ice as needed to keep it very cold. Hey, it's extra expense to have two chillers, but it will work for you, and if you do it yourself you'll save bucks over buying a counterflow chiller. Norm, in Seattle Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #337, 01/08/90 ************************************* -------
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