HOMEBREW Digest #3406 Thu 17 August 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

  Spreading the word Downunder ("Warren White")
  Re: Grain extraction ratings ("Warren White")
  Or am I just being paranoid about bacteria... ("Casey C.")
  Whirlpooling/siphoning etc (Steve Lacey)
  re: ppppg confusion (Steve Lacey)
  my brewery (Edward Doernberg)
  Buying a bigger system (Brad McMahon)
  Cleaning SS brewpot ("Bill Dubas")
  re: Complexity and grain bills/political screed (Mark Rogerson)
  Thanks again, Charlie! ("Spies, Jay")
  Mail order brew stores ("Spies, Jay")
  re: "Dead bacteria walking" (Jeff Renner)
  Location, location, location (Jeff Renner)
  re: good mail order stores? (Dryw Blanchard)
  Brussels (Mark Garthwaite)
  Calcium bicarbonate (Dave Burley)
  Autoclaves & stuck faucets (Joe Perrigoue)
  decoction, mash hopping, flying with brews, gypsuym, malt bill co ("Czerpak, Pete")
  Freezing yeast ("Pannicke, Glen A.")
  Second Annual Blue Ridge Brew Off ("Jay and Arlene Adams")
  Sterilizing Water (Eph Fithian)
  books on growing hops (Dave Wills)
  FWH / Wyeast Pitchable Tubes ("Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies")
  surprise hops ("Richard Sieben")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 13:24:57 EST From: "Warren White" <warrenlw63 at hotmail.com> Subject: Spreading the word Downunder Paul Mahoney writes.... Yes, it helps to give lots of good homebrew away. It does spread the religion and the craft and the taste and the idea that we are not alldrunks. - ------------------------------------------------------------- I can always remember telling people yeah I homebrew, it would always be met with the same answer... I've got a friend, who has a friend who tried homebrew and he told me that it tastes like shit! I'm sure we've all heard that one before, I even found it almost changed my mind about taking it up when I did. I'm the first one to admit that when you start out with a hopped homebrew kit and 2 pounds of cane sugar, follow the directions on the can, throw everything together, piss your pants waiting two weeks after bottling for the thing to be ready, open your first bottle and wham, bitter dissapointment! Nobody told you (at least that's what you hoped) that the thing would taste like a cross between Eno and Cat's piss, you almost think that all those afore-mentioned cynical bastards were right, but as most of us know a bit of research, trial and error, and talking to the right people (i.e. homebrew stores), not the shelf-packer at Kmart or Safeway, get my drift??? Yes SERENDIPITY! We've got a half-drinkable beer in our midsts! You tend to always find the stereotype in your supermarket who buys his two cans of Wander Draught or Coopers Lager, his bags of sugar and hopes like shit he can produce a batch for under ten dollars. It's this type of guy who personally attaches the bad stigma to homebrewing. But by the same token I suppose it's his business if he's drinking fusel alcohol just to save a quid, time and effort etc. and I suppose what he doesn't drink his wife could always use it to remove her nail polish. The companies (some of them) who produce these kits don't help either, my first setup was as you've all seen in the department stores a fermenter, a can of hopped lager extract, bottlecaps, capper hydrometer etc. The thing even comes with a lame instructional video that says... FOLLOW OUR INSTRUCTIONS EXACTLY or you will produce bad beer, don't forget to use this brand of cane sugar... It's laughable! I think some of the kit manufacturers work in league with the supermarkets and don't want people to experiment, because they're scared the consumer will get pissed-off with going over the magical ten bucks for his brew. You've probably all seen the books too say in Kmart, i.e. one titled "Understanding Beermaking". This was the first homebrew book I was foolish enough to buy, it also said follow the instructions on the kit, (surprise, surprise I wonder which kit manufacturer this guy worked for), OR YOU WILL MAKE BAD BEER! So it's pretty easy to see how Homebrewing get's a bad rep, way too much of the dump and stir mentality by the big kit manufacturers and supermarkets and their associated propoganda and literature! As much as Charlie P. gives us some misleading information, at least he encouraged us all to go forth, experiment and burn the instructions under the lid of your homebrew kit. Long live all the homebrewing stores for giving the craft some much-deserved dignity, respect and steering brewers in the right direction (advice comps. and joining clubs etc). Warren L. White, Melbourne, Australia Thankfully a long way away from Kmart & Big W (Sorry about the bandwidth folks) ________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 14:31:27 EST From: "Warren White" <warrenlw63 at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Grain extraction ratings Steve, I pretty much do the same thing, I won't go too much into the virtues of Promash again for fear of repeating myself, but I pretty much just calculate my overall efficiency rather than points per pound etc. I tend to find that different malts and mashing schedules give different extractions anyway (i.e. Alexis?? You'll know what I mean on that one Steve!) Finally I'm not ashamed to admit, if I stuff up my grainbill and get low extraction then I'm not afraid to add a bit of malt extract (gulp!!!) Warren White - Melbourne (Mexico), Australia (South O'Da Border and Cheating with Malt Extract!) ________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 22:21:36 -0700 From: "Casey C." <acez at mindspring.com> Subject: Or am I just being paranoid about bacteria... A few concerns: I've made two batches (5 gallons each) of beer now and they each still have about a week left in the secondary fermentor. I woke up the other day to find a bit of white, almost saliva looking, spots on the surface of one of the containers. There were also bread crumb looking specs just below the surface. Having read about bacteria and infection, even though I spent close to two hours sanitizing everything before starting, I assumed the worse. I was reassured, however, that this was normal after a call to the home brewery store. Just yeast remnants on the surface and they should settle out. Cool. But a question still remains...While siphoning into the secondary glass carboy, on both batches, I couldn't help using my mouth. The old 'fill the tube with water' trick didn't work so I sucked the tube, with great care to not get saliva on the tube (just with my lips), and let beer first flow into a cup (in case some did get on it) before letting it go full throttle into the carboy. I do remember though, in an unsuccessful first attempt to siphon, that I got some sediment in the tube and blew it back in the primary fermentor before the next (successful) attempt at siphoning....I was careful to not get saliva in there, but I don't know if the bacteria in my mouth could still get in the beer. Do you guys think I have anything to worry about? And do I indeed having nothign to worry about with regards to the white foam looking spots on the top of the other carboy. I know its only 30 bucks worth of beer, but my actions have made me kinda worried about the the brew. Thanks, Casey Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 15:13:03 +1000 From: Steve Lacey <stevel at sf.nsw.gov.au> Subject: Whirlpooling/siphoning etc Bob Shotola, I take my hat off to you sir, for the thoroughness in your planning for your first brew! I love your questions because after two years and 20 odd mash brews I am only just now sorting out some of these issues to my satisfaction. It would take a long description of my perculiar boiler and whatnot to fully explain the reasons for this, but the main point is you will get by even if you don't have everything worked out perfectly from the outset. Sure you will find yourself cursing and swearing a few times, but you will get by. So, with these problems freshly solved in my brewhouse, I will share my experience with you. The rest of you page down now if you are happy little boiled wort handlers! 1) I used to whirlpool and rack by siphon from boiler to fermenter AFTER cooling. No special attention to sanitation other than sanitising everything that will come in contact with the wort and keeping a cover over the pot as much as possible. And I can assure you that God, in His infinite wisdom, will not strike down you or your brew if you do this (recall, as should some of our recent correspondents, that His son was known to craft the odd brew from whatever materials were at hand). But, I rarely got a good enough accumulation of hops in the middle. The run-off would be very slow, because of clogging by hops and break. I would lose more wort to the trub than I was willing to. At this, I would surely curse with great ferocity! 2) A much better approach, I have found, is to whirlpool the wort as soon as I turn off the kettle. Go and clean some brewing equipment. Come back in 10-20 min or so after the break & other crud has settled, and siphon the very hot wort to a second sanitised vessel using scrubby and siphoning from the edge (be very careful siphoning this hot stuff - common sense). This will have been enough of a steep time for your aroma hops if pitched at the immersion chiller sanitised because it is not so easy to just rely on boiling it. 3) Do the immersion chilling in the second vessel. When ready, whirlpool again to get the cold break into the middle (being as rough as you like this time because you now want oxygen in that wort). You don't need the scrubby on the siphon this time because you are simply minimising cold break suck-up, not preventing it altogether. I find this approach works really well and I feel it is being very anal to go and boil the wort again after siphoning the hot wort. Jeez, if just sanitising the stuff that comes in contact with the hot wort wasn't good enough, then how would we ever make a non-infected brew?? Do take some precautions to get the outlet of the siphon immersed as soon as possible to reduce chances of the dreaded HSA. If you can't manage the second vessel, just chill and whirlpool in the boiler, but be prepared that it might be a slow runoff, especially toward the end as the hydraulic head is smaller and the clogging is worser (one of my favourite non-words). If your boiler does not have a tap (spigot), then siphoning would be the only way to transfer to the fermenter, IMHO. Have fun with your first brew. Steve Lacey Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 17:17:17 +1000 From: Steve Lacey <stevel at sf.nsw.gov.au> Subject: re: ppppg confusion Phil, whilst curled up on the floor around around a keg of rice lager, and reading the HBD, oggling the naked billiard bunnies, and having visions of Marylin coming at him out of the swamp, has been confused by my question about what units we Aussies use when for the gravity contribution of grain. >>But I digress. What are "pts per pound"? Are we talking about extraction efficiency? << I must apologise to Phil, and everyone else, because he is right, I was less than crystal clear in the phrasing of my question. Let me try again, if you will bear with me. Malt, sugar, rice etc have a rating for the contribution they make to the gravity of the brew. In the US, it is measured in points (i.e hydrometer reading points on the scale of 1.000 to 1.100 or thereabouts) per pound (of grain) per gallon (of wort). Apparently, a pretty bloody good pale malt gives a value of 1.038 ppppg. A crystal will give you 1.033 and DME gives a whopping 1.046. Now, I know these values because the Promash database tells me. But many *advanced* home brewers in the US, or so I am led to believe, care enough about this value for the purposes of recipe formulation, to make sure, one way or another, that the value they are using for their grain is correct. It means that extraction efficiency calculations can be calculated accurately instead of near-enough-is-good-enough-ly. Now, the point of my question was this. Because I work in kg and L, the ppppg number does not have an immediate resonance for me. Sure, I could convert to some metric equivelent like pts per kg per L, but basically, I just don't bother. I mean, what would Promash do with it? I just accept the nominal ratings for the various grain types (1.037 for pale malt, 1.033 for crystal, 1.031 for chocolate, whatever). I also accept the Promash calculation of my extraction efficiency based on these assumed numbers. Basically, until John asked, I have not really given much thought to the gravity contribution of the malt etc and let the software do it for me. I can see the hands going up to the faces in horror as I write this. My question was, are Aussie or other metrically advantaged brewers like me in that they don't "give a rats arse" (thanks, Dave) about getting this value right, or do they do conversions, test their grain, and otherwise obsess about the actual versus potential extraction from their grain? I hope this is clearer and of interest. If not I will just shut up and go back to peering forlornly into my beer. Steve Lacey Sydney (Olympic and gay quips witheld) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 19:02:46 +0800 From: Edward Doernberg <shevedd at q-net.net.au> Subject: my brewery I just made a small page on my brewery it isn't much but I would appreciate any comments. The address is http://www.q-net.net.au/~shevedd/My_Brewery.htm. Edward Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 21:15:11 +0930 From: Brad McMahon <brad at sa.apana.org.au> Subject: Buying a bigger system I know that some readers of the HBD are involved in the microbrewing scene, and I hope you guys can help! Some friends of mine are in the market for a small brewing system of around the 400L to 1000L size (2.5bbl to 6bbl). This equipment would preferably be second hand but if someone can build something for a reasonable price that is also considered. They have e-mailed some places like CAMRA and they have invariably received no replies back at all. If anyone knows of suitable brewery equipment that is surplus or a brewery that has gone (or will be going) under, or an organisation that can help track some down please let me know. US, UK or elsewhere is no problem - this kind of stuff is just not available in Australia. Thanks for any help at all! Brad McMahon Aldgate, SA, Australia. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 12:07:09 GMT From: "Bill Dubas" <bill_dubas at hotmail.com> Subject: Cleaning SS brewpot I'd like to thank all of the people who e-mailed me with solutions to my scorched pot problem. Some of the suggestions that I received were. . . . Bon Ami, Bar-Keepers' Friend, oven cleaner, vinegar + hydrogen peroxide, lye (sodium hydroxide?), and a dremel tool or electric drill with emery or SS wire brush attachment. The most frequently recommended method was oven cleaner, which I luckily already had in the house. Two overnight soaks, followed by scrubbing with a SS scouring pad, removed all of the burnt-on residue. A slight stain remains but I can live with that. I am also going to refrain from brewing for a few weeks to let the stainless steel passivate. Thanks for the help, Bill ________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 08:46:21 -0500 From: Mark Rogerson <Mark.Rogerson at RandyStoat.com> Subject: re: Complexity and grain bills/political screed Concerning the "political screed" portion of Stephen Alexander's recent HBD post, with the exception of the following, I wholeheartedly agree. > It has to do with appealing to a majority so to void rights of, or > place unjust burdens on, a minority. **Very undemocratic stuff.** > (emphasis added) Actually, that's exactly what democracy is, i.e., mob rule (note #4). democracy - noun plural democracies 1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives. 2. A political or social unit that has such a government. 3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power. 4. Majority rule. 5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation; further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved. Liberty=Good; Democracy=Bad dog! BAD! BAD! BAD! BAD! BAD!.... And while I'm on my soapbox: Thief=Republican=Democrat=Socialist=Thief - -- Mark Rogerson, HMFIC Randy Stoat Enterprises Houston, Texas http://www.RandyStoat.com/ Minister of Propaganda Kuykendahl Gran Brewers Houston, Texas http://www.TheKGB.org/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 10:36:51 -0400 From: "Spies, Jay" <Spies at dhcd.state.md.us> Subject: Thanks again, Charlie! All - Bob Sotola asks in HBD #3405 about advice given by the mysterious and rarely seen Charlie Pap, who quotes thusly: >>>Chas. Papazian recommends whirlpooling and siphoning off hot break trub from the wort while it is still hot, using a stainless cane rigged with a copper scrubber as a filter. He then recommends reboiling the dang wort for a short time to resanitize.<<< Once again, Charlie's stellar advice falls prey to common sense. Bob, do yourself a favor and take anything CP says with a pound or two of salt... When the wort is still hot, do not whirlpool and do not siphon. Hot wort is highly susceptible to O2 uptake caused by vigorous stirring and/or siphoning. Use kid gloves on the wort until it has reached at least under 100 degrees, and preferably around 70. Then, I'd whirlpool and let the trub/break/hop residue settle out to the bottom. Once the wort has settled for about 20 minutes to 30 minutes, *then* siphon into your fermenter, and aerate away. If you aerate the hot wort, you're likely to get a lot of O2 into it, which can prematurely stale your beer. If you're busily stirring and siphoning it, I can almost guarantee that aeration will occur. Also, do yourself a favor and keep the lid on the cooled wort as you're waiting for the trub to settle, and sanitize all of your siphoning and fermenting equipment well (but you probably already knew that...) There's absolutely no reason to reboil anything as long as you sanitize your transfer tubing and fermenters well, and minimize the cooled wort's exposure to the outside air. Hope this helps. Brew on, my man... Jay Spies Wishful Thinking Basement Brewery Baltimore, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 10:43:28 -0400 From: "Spies, Jay" <Spies at dhcd.state.md.us> Subject: Mail order brew stores All - Rama asks for recommendations on good mail order supply stores... The thing that kills me on mail order HB supplies is the shipping. I've had orders where it's almost as much as the supplies themselves. Along that vein, the best store for my money (N.A.,Y.Y.) is Beer, Beer and More Beer. See them at www.morebeer.com They have free shipping for anything over $35, plus a killer selection of stuff. I'm not sure if they'll ship bags of grain, but I'm sure they'll tell you. Plus the service is great. Just my .02... Jay Spies Wishful Thinking Basement Brewery Baltimore, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 10:13:31 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: re: "Dead bacteria walking" One group of organisms, if they can be called that, that appears to be able to survive autoclaving, are prions. These very simple infectious agents are the cause of mad cow disease, scrapie and Jacob-Kreuzfeld (sp?) disease. Don't put any brain matter in your beer and you should be OK. Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 10:40:31 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Location, location, location John_E_Schnupp at amat.com wrote >I'm sure you've looked. What about local homebrewers? BTW, where >are you located? Sorry Jeff, looks like I'm taking over your job. Always glad to have help. I guess this is time, then, for the semi-annual request that HBDers include their real name and location. It helps answer some questions, like the supply one John was addressing and water questions, helps get homebrewers who live near one another together, and generally fosters comunity. As always, Rennerian coordinates are optional. (I also wouldn't mind at all if we kept away from politics and religion. They get tiresome very quickly, and I doubt anyone is going to be convinced.) Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 07:49:44 -0700 (PDT) From: Dryw Blanchard <dryw9680 at yahoo.com> Subject: re: good mail order stores? I buy about 90% of my equipment, supplies and ingredients by mail order, and I've ordered from several different suppliers. As always, I have no affiliation to any of these, but would consider becoming a spokesperson for the right amount of beer...I mean money. St. Pats (http://www.stpats.com) They're located in Texas. I was out of brewing for several years and through several moves had misplaced and broken most of my equipment. I restocked with an order of more than $300. When it arrived the bottles I ordered were not packed at all. They were in a flat that was just thrown in with all the other equipment, and two of them were broken. Also, the funnel I ordered was supposed to come with a screen. I called St. Pats and told them and they told me they would send the screen right out. Well, 11 months later and I've seen no screen. I won't reorder from St. Pats again. Homebrew Adventures (http://www.homebrew.com) They are in Charlotte, NC. I have ordered from Homebrew Adventures many times, and I have always had great success. The equipment, supplies, and ingredients all come pretty quick, you can track your shipment online, and Phil is great to answer any questions that you may have; either e-mailed or by phone. I like them so much, I have joined their stor club so that I can receive 10% on all orders. It has paid for itself many times already. Williams (http://www.williamsbrewing.com) Not sure of their location. I have ordered from them once. It came very quickly (3-4 days including the weekend) and was packaged nicely. I only ordered one piece of equipment, but I'm happy nonetheless. I'll do business with them again. Beer, Beer, & More Beer (http://www.morebeer.com) Located in California. Like Williams, I've only ordered from them once. Everything was packaged well and I received it in about 10 days. That's not too bad considering that I live in North Carolina. They also have free shipping on all orders over $35. That's a great deal when you're ordering lots of ingredients or large pieces of equipment. I have e-mailed them with questions once, and they responded promptly. I'll do business with them again also. Well, I hope that this helps some others out there that are like me and don't live near a homebrew shop. Dryw Blanchard Chicken Sh*t Homebrew __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Send instant messages & get email alerts with Yahoo! Messenger. http://im.yahoo.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 10:24:56 -0500 (CDT) From: Mark Garthwaite <mgarth at primate.wisc.edu> Subject: Brussels Hello, Bruce Garner covers alt and kolsch country perfectly so I'll throw in a few suggestions for Brussels. My highest reccomendation goes out to a self-guided tour of Cantillon. The place looks like an abandoned blacksmith shop but it won't disappoint. When you wander through the place you can't believe that one would even think of brewing there but lambic is certainly a different breed. It's a little tricky to find the place but don't give up. I had hoped for a tour of Boon but they give limited tours so check ahead if that's on your agenda. La Becasse is a little cafe near the Grand Place that features Timmermans lambic which is much sweeter than most lambics. It's good for contrast with something like Cantillon. You'll really have a hard time *not* finding places for good beer. Another favorite experience was dinner at In't Spinnekopke Estaminet-Restaurant at 1, Place du Jardin aux Fleurs, 1000 Brussels (tel 02/511 86 95) It's closed on Sundays and holidays. Make sure to get there before 7:30 pm. This place specializes in "cuisine a la bierre" which is food prepared with Belgian beer. I had a fantastic Filet de Porc "Carolus".(it was one of those sauces that makes you want to lick the plate off!) Make sure to get an apperitif before you eat (wit with some sort of fruit syrup) and for dessert you'll not want to miss the trio of sorbet. One was made with Hoegaarden, another with Carrolus, and the third with a kriek (best of the three). Nothing beats beer for dessert! Enjoy your time there, Mark Garthwaite Madison, WI Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 11:32:16 -0400 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Calcium bicarbonate Brewsters, Lance Levsen in helping a newbie with his water treatment made a mistrake in chemistry that may confuse. Calcium Bicarbonate is the relatively soluble form of calcium which occurs in temporarily hard water. Calcium bicarbonate can be formed when carbon dioxide in water comes in contact with calcium carbonate ( chalk or limestone) in the soil, most often. Heating a solution of calcium bicarbonate to boiling and holding for a while drives off water and carbon dioxide from a calcium bicarbonate molecule and will produce calcium carbonate which is relatively insoluble and precipitates as a crystalline powder. Even a pure calcium bicarbonate solution will still retain some calcium ions after boiling, as calcium carbonate has some solubility. After allowing the closely lidded pot to cool overnight, this precipitate must be removed by decantation of the water before brewing or the calcium wil be reincorporated as CO2 redissolves in the water. Calcium sulfate ( gypsum) is a typical salt of calcium which is in permanently hard water and boiling doesn't affect this. Often the bicarbonate and sulfate occur together in hard water and of course being salts there are no specific calcium ions associated with a given anion. Therefore these salts are in equilibrium. Boiling can only reduce the calcium partially n this case In the newbie's case of calcium in the range of 40 - 80 ppm, I wouldn't do anything. If the water company doesn't use pure chlorine ( fewer do) boiling will not have too big an effect on the stabilized chlorine ( typically chloramine). Allowing such water to sit for three days as Lance suggests will do little to allow the chlorine to escape. I suggest you use a carbon filter for this purpose if you are really concerned. There is no magic pH = 5.3 unless you are measuring the sample of the mash after taking it to the sacharification temperature. Frankly, I wouldn't even worry about this in all malt brews as the malt buffers wil take care of this for you. As Lance suggests, water treatment in most cases of city ( not necessarily well ) water is lower down the list of things to worry about when producing good beer, especialy ales which require harder water to be "authentic". I have made excellent ales with soft water, however. - -------------------------------------- Steve, you ( as have many Americans) forgot one basic principle of this nation upon which it's past strength is based but has been denigrated ( as you did) in the past few decades. Majority rules. This is not tyranny. - -------------------------------------- Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 08:35:30 -0700 From: Joe Perrigoue <Joe at supply.com> Subject: Autoclaves & stuck faucets While the vast majority of know organisms can not survive the temperature and pressure of a functioning autoclave, at least one can. It is usually dangerous to make blanket statements about life and biology 'cause some smarmy post-doc always comes along and shows you something unexpected. Example: Pyrolobus Fumarii lives its entire life at 115C at enormous pressure. No one has ever tried to autoclave a colony of P. Fumarii as far as I know but they should survive if one is inclined to try. Of course they would not survive in your beer as they tend to freeze to death at temps below 70C. I have a really nice stout in my beer fridge that makes the brass faucet stick shut after about 2 days of nonuse. If I don't draw some beer for more that 5 days it get stuck so hard that it takes both hands and a cheater bar to break it free again. Does anybody know how I can get rid of this problem? Is there some sort of "faucet lube" or other substance I can put on the gaskets? Joe Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 11:41:21 -0400 From: "Czerpak, Pete" <Pete.Czerpak at siigroup.com> Subject: decoction, mash hopping, flying with brews, gypsuym, malt bill co In looking at the decoction momily, was munich style grain available historicaly all the way back to when decoction originated? maybe this is yet another reason that decoction came around since the malty flavors were only available via temperature treatment of mash and not by purely using a Munich style grain like we are able to use in modern brewing. I have to admit to loving to us the munich malt in my IPAs - adds nice balance..... Quick question, anybody try mash hopping using pellet hops? I tend to always use pellet hops (yes, even to dry hop) and was wondering if they'll make their way down through the grain bed since they are fairly small particles or if they will get held up in the middle of the grain bed somewhere? I may use this technique early in the fall for some extra IPA hop flavor. I tend to fly with my brews quite regularly - like atleast 3 or 4 times a year. A case tends to get stuck in my checked luggage and maybe a six-pack in my carry-on. Never had a problem or any complaints. I have broken maybe 1 bottle and had one incompletely sealled bottle leak. I think the security folks like to see the beer in my bags. I haven't found that they have ever sampled any though either. Dr. Pivo asks about gypsum in the boil. I tend to do this in most of my ale recipes that are highly hopped in style or of an english variety. In the area that I live, we have soft water. adding gypsum to the mash may push my mash region into a pH that isn't beneficial or so I remember being told. thus I only add it to the boil. I use gypsum because I wasn't getting a good crisp hop character with the soft water. seems to work quite nicely in bringing out the flavors enough. maybe 3 teaspoons in a 5 gallon batch for bitters and IPA styles. The poor australians.. we can surely ship some of those crazy grain varietys down there for them to aid in "complexity". I guess that I stay away from very complex grain bills because I buy most of my grains in fairly large bulk supplies. plus the local shop doesn't sell all the crazy ones. the only time I use alot of wierd varieties is for belgians brews (my triple was only belgian aromatic and DMC pils though). however, the use of the complex grain bills probably gives some interesting variety in character. some folks have enough control over their brewing process to develop many of these flavors without complex bills - some can not. see my above note on decoction and munich malt. often times, the complex bills are used to help emulate commercially available brews where certain aspects are not known for sure. local water, grain supplier, scale up considerations, yeast available all effect the flavor profiles. sometimes a brewer can substitute and cheat a bit with grain in order to obtain flavors that they could just not develop using the standard grain bill. i think that my porter has the largest variety of grains in it - 2 row, munich, crystal, black patent, and chocolate. each one just adds something that works with an infusion style mash. but we al like to experiment and add something different to our own take on a brew and these specialty grains enable one to add just a bit of something to distinguish it from our fellow homecrafted beer makers. any hope of getting that Ayinger yeast up to the US to WhiteLab or Wyeast for propogating and distribution? brew on, Pete czerpak albany, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 11:45:25 -0400 From: "Pannicke, Glen A." <glen_pannicke at merck.com> Subject: Freezing yeast John said of freezing yeast in glycerol: >Needless to say, avoiding possible contamination >is paramount. Bacterial contamination during re-growth screws the >entire process & a contaminated glycerol stock is garbage. I'll say! I've had problems with this method from contamination during regrowth to no growth at all (for some god-known reason - temp cycling, maybe???). I like to keep mine on slants over a 3-4 month cycle with a backup (master) storage method good for 1-2 years. I'm currently experimenting with keeping a slant under sterile light mineral oil as per Dr. Cone's suggestions. The mineal oil should keep the slant from drying out and the slant should be good for about a year. Has anyone else tried this method? Another method I'm looking into is vacuum filtering a slurry under asceptic conditions and packing the plastic-wrapped cake in chipped ice and storing in the freezer. This method has also been suggested and would require less step-ups for pitching. Has anyone tried this one too? Carpe cerevisiae! Glen Pannicke http://www.pannicke.net "He was a wise man who invented beer" - Plato Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 12:12:45 -0400 From: "Jay and Arlene Adams" <goosepoint at teleplex.net> Subject: Second Annual Blue Ridge Brew Off This note is a reminder that the Second Annual Blue Ridge Brew off will be held in Asheville, NC in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. on September 9, 2000. Bring your entries and come to Asheville! If you are interested in judging, contact Brian Cole at Bribarcole at aol.com. if you are interested in more details of the competition (drop off points, mail in points, deadlines, rules, etc.). Contact me at goosepoint at teleplex.net. Enter early and enter often! Jay Adams BRBO Organizer Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 10:18:53 -0600 From: Eph Fithian <fithian at telocity.com> Subject: Sterilizing Water I have a reverse osmosis home water supply and a hot water dispenser system which heats the water to 90C. The 90C water stays in the hot water unit until dispensed, which may be several hours after it enters the hot water unit. The RO system is downstream of a water softener. Most everything is removed from the water, including chlorine. Is it safe to cool this and use it for a yeast starter, or do I need to boil it? We are currently on vacation in Boulder, CO, waiting for the last batch of homebrew to mature in Pennsylvania. Anything beerwise worth visiting around Boulder? - -- Ephraim Fithian fithian at telocity.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 09:35:45 -0700 From: Dave Wills <dave at freshops.com> Subject: books on growing hops >Here is the info on harvest and drying from Freshops- Hop Gardening. >Because most hops are produced out of reach from the ground, it is >safest to lower the vines in order to pick the hops. The harvest >date varies with variety and location but will become evident as you >gain experience as a hop grower. At maturity, the hop aroma is at >its strongest and is measured by crushing a cone and smelling it. >The yellow lupulin glands in the cone become much more evident and >plump looking when magnified. The cone will develop a drier, papery >feel and in some varieties a lighter color as it matures. Some >browning of the lower bracts is a good sign of ripeness. Squeeze the >cones as they develop and you will notice they become more light and >resilient rather than green and hard. The actual picking is >self-explanatory and this is where you want the flower cones, not >the leaves. I don't know why raw hop cones are occasionally called >leaf hops, when the idea is to not pick the leaves. > Drying can be done in a good dehydrator, custom made hop dryer, >well vented oven, or they can be air dried. If you use heat, the >temperature should not exceed 140 degrees F. Cooler temperatures >take longer but a higher quality hop is obtained. Under dry weather >conditions, I suggest taking a screen off of your house and setting >it up in a wind protected area, elevated on each end. >Spread the hops as shallow as possible and fluff daily so moist >inner cones are brought to the outside of the pile. If weather is >dry and the pile is not too thick they will dry in about three days. >A high moisture content in the cones will adversely affect >storability and recipe formulation. The hops are dry when the inner >stem of the cone (strig) is brittle and breaks rather than bends. >The strig takes much longer to dry than the bracts, so be patient. >Pack the hops in an air tight container and store in a freezer until >used. Dave Wills Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 11:56:52 -0600 From: "Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies" <orders at paddockwood.com> Subject: FWH / Wyeast Pitchable Tubes Andrew Nix asks about FWH. The results of FWH/Mash Hopping are controversial, but we offer our opinion and experience FWIW: For info on First Wort Hopping and Mash Hopping see our online Guide to Using Hops www.paddockwood.com/guide_hop_usage.html#FLAVOUR FWH yields about 10% more bitterness than an equivalent start-of-boil addition and a mellower bitterness. Mash Hopping yields about 90% less bitterness than an equivalent start-of-boil addition and a flavour/aroma that some have compared to dry hopping, but we find it to be quite different. Keith Busby asks about Wyeast pitchable Tubes. We have been very happy with the performance of the new tubes. A few of our customers have reported longer lag times with #1275, but when the yeast did take off and exhibit visible signs of fermentation, it was very vigorous. I have noticed that the tubes, when fresh, perform about the same as an XL pack without a starter. They have a shorter shelf life, and an older tube does not perform as well as an older XL pack. ______________________________________________ Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies, Saskatoon, SK orders at paddockwood.com www.paddockwood.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 13:28:34 -0500 From: "Richard Sieben" <sier1 at email.msn.com> Subject: surprise hops Ken Miller asked about how to care for his surprise crop of Cascade hops. No real surprise to me, Cascades I have found, grow like weeds! (a nice problem to have if you are a brewer). When the cones start to feel kind of papery to the touch and maybe even the edges of the cones start to turn brown, then they are ready to pick. I usually pick off of my plants two or three times before they are all harvested since I only take the ones that appear dry enough. Then you can either get one of those dehydrator thingies or you can spread them out on a window screen, which is what I do. After a few days of curing in the warm garage they are dry enough (the strig down the center of the cone should snap instead of bend) to be packaged. I have used mason jars, but now I vacum seal them, which takes less room in my freezer. The Garetz book on "Using Hops" was my source of education when I wanted to grow them, and it has served me and my 12 varieties of hops well. Now go and make up a nice brew for those Cascades! Rich Sieben Island Lake, IL Return to table of contents
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