HOMEBREW Digest #3429 Thu 14 September 2000

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  John Snow, Cholera, and a London Brewery (ensmingr)
  Naughty pictures! (Steve Lacey)
  Under modified grain/ yeast culturing (Steve Lacey)
  Home roasting ("Graham Sanders")
  Highly Salacious Admonitions ("Dr. Pivo")
  re: Sherry-like flavor from open boil (Nathan Kanous)
  CAP (Jeff Renner)
  plastric carboys (TDLogan)
  DMS diatribe ("Nathaniel P. Lansing")
  Saw Dust ("Hill, Steve")
  Cloudy beer from English malt (Paul Shick)
  Question on Weissheimer Pils malt (Paul Shick)
  Pounded-Over-The-Head Beers/Ginger Mead (Richard Foote)
  Imperial Stout Recipe (Richard Foote)
  Re: Harsh flavour ("Daniel C Stedman")
  The wort thickens (Althelion)
  I apologize for the non beerness of this post... ("Aaron Gallaway")
  really bad beer books (AlannnnT)
  chloramination (JPullum127)
  Re: Harsh Flavours ("Warren White")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 01:22:50 -0500 From: ensmingr at twcny.rr.com Subject: John Snow, Cholera, and a London Brewery I was recently reading E.D. Tuft's book, Visual Explanations (1997, Graphics Press, Cheshire, CT) and found a story that will surely interest some HBD readers. In 1854, Dr. John Snow, Queen Victoria's anesthesiologist, began his investigation of a serious cholera epidemic that occurred in a small area of London and eventually killed about 600 residents. By mapping the number of deaths due to cholera, Snow showed there was a high concentration of deaths near the water pump on Broad and Cambridge Streets. He concluded that the pump was the source of cholera and recommended its closure, presumably saving London from a more serious epidemic. (Many modern epidemiologists are critical of Snow's supposed demonstration of cause and effect, but that's another story.) Interestingly, Snow notes in his text ("On the Mode of Communication of Cholera"): "There is a brewery in Broad Street, near to the pump, and on perceiving that no brewer's men were registered as having died of cholera, I called on Mr. Huggins, the proprietor. He informed me that there were above seventy workmen employed in the brewery, and that none of them had suffered from cholera -- at least in severe form -- only two having been indisposed, and that not seriously, at the time the disease prevailed. The men are allowed to drink a certain quantity of malt liquor, and Mr. Huggins believes they do not drink water at all; and he is quite certain that the workmen never obtained water from the pump in the street. There is a deep well in the brewery, in addition to the New River water." Tuft says there is now a pub at the site of the Broad Street pump that is appropriately named after John Snow. Has anyone been to this pub? What's it like? Does anyone know the name of the original Broad Street brewery (on Broad and New Streets, according to Snow's map) and if they are still in existence, even if at a different location? Time for you Brits to chime in! Cheerio! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 17:35:53 +1100 From: Steve Lacey <stevel at sf.nsw.gov.au> Subject: Naughty pictures! Talking about graphic URLs, Aj verily said: "Now I suppose we could argue that I might post a URL which I claim is a picture of a pycnometer but which is really a picture of yours truly ... in the altogether. I give you my word of honor that I would never do that but can we count on our antipodal cousins in this regard? (Don't take offense down there. The only thing I don't like about Oz is the plane ride)." I suppose you were expecting some cheap and predictable off-topic responses to this. Well, let not me be the one to disappoint! We Orstrarlyans may be a bit uncouth and occasionally ill-mannered, but that does not mean we have a penchant for thrusting unsolicited smutty pictures of ourselves, our significant others, our insignificant others, or even complete strangers for that matter, on to anyone! Now solicited smutty pictures, that is a different matter all together.. I should also declare that Graham "Burradoo" Sanders and I have workshopped up a marvelous brewer's fantasy involving a certain Orstrarlyan former super-model (i.e Elle). It basically consists of Elle, me/Graham, and a bath-tub full of steaming warm spent brewing grains. Now, if a picture of that could be conjured into being, and it was posted to such a URL graphic site-thingy, the question is this. Would it be off-topic? Oh, by the way Aj, no offense taken, mate! And no offense in return, but I wish we could say the same thing about the US vis a vis the plane ride! Steve Lacey Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 17:36:19 +1100 From: Steve Lacey <stevel at sf.nsw.gov.au> Subject: Under modified grain/ yeast culturing Now, a brewing post. I brewed yesterday and the afore-mentioned Graham Sanders needs a big public thank you. I had been experiencing some problems with some local pale base malt. Malted under specs for a big local brewer (CUB, you know, of Fosters fame) and it is a bit under-modified. We suspect that is to give plenty of dextrins to support the 90% sugar in the grist. My problems had been achieving conversion within a reasonable time-frame with my basic garden-variety infusion set up. Graham suggested a mash of 64 deg C for 1 hour (at least we still use imperial time measurement) followed by a 68 deg rest for 30 min. It worked a treat. I can recommend this mash to any others working with under-modified malt. A mash-out step up to 72 certainly wouldn't hurt either (Wes Smith recommended that) but I did not try it on this occasion. - ----------------------- I was hoping to boast about how I had achieved reasonable success yeast culturing using very basic sterilisation procedures. Just boiling the dishes and media rather than pressure cooking it (I don't have one). Well, I'm afraid I can't. The plates were looking good for a few days, and then the little white colonies went from white, to off-white to fuzzy to yerk. There is some yeast there too, but you wouldn't call it a raging success. So, chalk that one up to experience folks and do give serious thought to buying that pressure cooker you see at the next garage (yard) sale. Mind you, I have had success using sterile disposable plastic petri-dishes, so that may be an option for the pressure cooker and autoclave deprived. Steve Lacey PS Phil, did you mean nobody had seen Graham's head eating fish, or Graham's head-eating fish? I'm a little confused here! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 18:47:38 +1000 From: "Graham Sanders" <craftbrewer at cisnet.COM.AU> Subject: Home roasting G'day All Now if those pesty cockies can keep quiet long enough I will try to cover this topic. Never mind my brew room gets put on the back burner for all you HBDers that are interested. I tell you, if I dont at least get the roof on by the wet season there will be hell to play. You'll never hear the end of it. So why first. One thing I love about this hobby is the directions it takes you. For me home roasting was definitely a necessity. Up in the wilds of Nth Queensland tropical fruits just abound, but shit not a malt house within coo-ee. In the early days of brewing you were lucky to get even schnooner malt. And when you got it, it was about as fresh as a maggot riddled roo. This is where I first started my experimentation. A quick roast of these grains in the oven brought the stalest grains at least some respectability. Over the years things improved and crystal malt started turning up, as well as fresh schnooner malt. All well and good, but our crystal was (and still is to this day) unknown in spec and colour. Because of the small demand for the stuff from the mega breweries, malting houses only make small amounts to order. The dregs are swept up and shipped to home brew shops. So one batch could be Crystal 80, the next Crystal 40. Worse the home brew stores didn't check. Even worse the malting houses would store up the dregs, til they had enough, blend them together and on sell them to home brew stores. All round not to good for the serious craftbrewer. Now today you can get a fairly good range, thou its near dam impossible to get speciality grains like Special B, smoked malt or brown malt, and the supply of the rest is at best inconsistant. So for me home roasting became a necessity, but it also has one benefit that many craftbrewers really overlook. I have said it before, its like buying freshly baked bread and day old bread, you CAN taste the difference. Roasting just a small portion of your speciality malt gives a wonderful 'fresh bread' taste to your beer (well not exactly bread, but you get my drift). What I mean is that you can actually taste the freshness in the final product. Now again this is another example of getting an extra 0.01% improvement in your grog, but it does give it that something extra. So enough of my ramblings, lets get into it. What equipment do you need. Just an oven therometer, nothing more (and of course SWMBO oven comes in handy, and her cooking trays). Why I'll explain later. Now you could buy a mercury glass one that goes up to 300c, but there is a far cheeper option. Go into those cooking shops, and look for those flat metal ones the size of a twenty cent piece (ok yanks work that one out). They are basical a coil spring, with the temp written on the metal face. As they heat up the metal expands in the spring and the dial move. Now yes they ARE NOT ACCURATE, but they are perfect for the job in hand, and they only cost about $10.00. You can handle them hot, drop them, throw them in anger, ideal. Now you need a tray for the grain. Anything that hold about an inch layer will be ideal. Ah crap I hear, I have one but SWMBO has cooked in it. No big deal, line it with Aluminium Foil will be fine. Now why the therometer you ask, i have a you beaut oven where I can dial in the temp, the local radio station even pick up the police band. Well those dials are sedom accurate and the sensor is actually on the wall of the oven, not on the grain. You need to take the temp at the grain surface. Thats where these metal ones are great too. you can sit them on top of your grain, and look throu the window of your oven at the temp of the grain. great for failing eyes. So as i cover this over the next couple of issues what should you do first. Well thats easy, get to know your oven. True its probably more appealing than getting to know SWMBO, (and easier to control) but you need to know what your oven actually does. Set your MT tray roughly in the middle (wonder how long it will take some to work that out), and set the dial at 100c. See what temp it flattens out at, do it again at at say 150c and so on. See what temp variations occur. Also see how different tray level affect the temp. So what are you after. two things. 1. You need to know what to actually dial in on the dial on the oven for a given temp. 2. You need minimum varations in temp. A lot of ovens have so called 'hot spots' these are to be avoided. Normally set your tray(s) near the middle of the oven. Ok next the basic principles involved Shout Graham Sanders Oh all this talk about whether to boil with the lid off, or on to avoid that pesty sherry flavour. To me it took a physics to sort it out and not chemistry. I've seen the burners you lot over there use. Looks like the left overs from the space shuttle and I bet they pack a punch. I also bet that the problem. You only need enough heat to get it a rolling boil, not try to get lift off. I use a simple 3 ring LPG burner. Not the hotest thing to arround, but it gets a nice rolling boil after an hour. Why the hell you need to try to melt the bottom of your boiler I do not know. Like all things in life, everything in moderation. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 10:52:58 +0200 From: "Dr. Pivo" <dp at pivo.w.se> Subject: Highly Salacious Admonitions They scratch their heads about it, until the scabs of previous contemplation float down from their temples like flakes of polluted snow. They pound their keyboards about it, until their hands become bloody stumps, hammering out the same tireless theme. They admonish, cajole, warn, badger, threaten, parry, thrust, and SHOUT about it... ... but they can't make it. Yes, the "'ol dreaded" seems to take the shape of childhood ghosts floating out of the closet at night, and yet not a single admonisher of this select faith has ever been able to create it. That is, they THINK they might have created it.... but never bothered to pin the guilt on the suspect, without giving it a "fair trial". Was it that singular splashing event that turned that particular brew into "doodie"? ...or was it something else... or even perhaps a combination of things? You would think that with the Vesuvius-like volumes of hot air blown on the subject, and the Pompei-like status of the "same old, same old" that has infected homebrewing internet forums, SOMEONE could tell us that they did "this" at "this time" for "this long" to half of a brew..... and it was a very different creature at "this age" in its life, compared to the same brew that never got "those". I tried. I couldn't make it. I wish someone else would do something other than prophesize. In light of the representatives of a few professional interests (Anheuser Busch, the Seibel Institute) saying: "I wouldn't worry about it".... why does the tirade continue? I thought I knew the answer to this, and that it was simple: If you have been going around for years, saying to The Emperor: "Gosh! Your new outfit looks just smashing!"... then it might not be too easy to suddenly shout: "CHRIST!!!! I CAN SEE YOUR WINKY-TINK, EMPEROR!!!" At least I thought that was the complete explanation, until I was thumbing through a journal the other day, and came across the following article: "A Link Between Iodophore Exposure and Obsessive Compulsive Neurosis" It's the "non-rinse sanitiser" they've been drinking! They can't help themselves! It seems that some animal experimental models were performed, using lab rats and cane toads. The lab rats were given iodophore drenched pellets, and the cane toads given cane beetles fricasseed in iodophore. Both groups had decreased serotonin levels (a chemical messenger in the brain), and the dopaminergic axis was way off compared to the controls.... and the compulsive behaviour was very apparent using the standard NQ Graham Scale. You may have thought that doctors operate on people to make them more healthy?..... Nooooo. It's the "scrubs" making them do it. They immerse their hands in Betadine, go in and operate, and just as they finish, the iodophore starts kicking in, forcing the obsessive thought: "I gotta' cut something open, I gotta' cut something open", and they go out and scrub up again, and begin a new cycle of compulsive behaviour, all in the need to relieve anxiety.... and it just goes on and on.... er, sort of like the HSA edicts. Probably the most interesting part of this research was when they investigated individuals drinking more than the USFDA's (United States Funny Diet Administration) current recommendation of "two quarts a day".... .... Now let's pause right here. I know that there are many people out there who get very irritated at the mention of words like "quarts". You think: "C'mon Yanks! Get with the program! Find a system of weights and measures that is divisible by 10.... and not 2, 3, 12, 28, 36 and any other number you can think of!" Well, that's just not being very charitable, and I think a look at the historical background of this system, might help you be more understanding of it usage and persistence: It seems King George was mightily irritated at the settler's attitude towards, and reaction to the "Tea tax". He decided then and there, that he would make up a system of weights and measures that would be so incomprehensible, that it would forever shackle those pesky colonists in confusion. And that night, he put together everything from the "firkin", to the "BTU". He sat well into the late hours, giggling to himself: "Hmmmmm. Let's see: If you put a "pound" together with some of your "feet", you get a "SLUG"!... Now that's a good one!" Imagine his delight when they bought it! He chortled, snickered, and wet his funny little three quarter length eighteenth century pants with joy when he heard the news! I know there are those cynical ones among you that view this obscure system as a form of "protectionism", and think: "Yeh sure. They always have to have their own standard for EVERYTHING, just so the public there won't find out that imported products can be cheaper and better.", but that's just not the case!.... They just haven't got Georgie's "little joke" yet. So, now that you have hopefully gained a bit more respect for this culturally endowed system, I will look up what "two quarts" are on my conversion table: Two quarts are exactly equal to.... 3 and 17/64 inches!... er wait, wrong line. Here it is... use a "T" drill, and a 0-80 thread.... unless of course you want it in NPT in which case you should use "schedule 80" pipe. Otherwise we could put it in "ounces", as long as you know if you want them "wet" or "dry", because they obviously can NOT be the same. Now. Back to the case of these really overindulgent sanitizer quaffers: It turns out the the REALLY excessive imbibers contract a rare condition known as "Gilles de la Tourettes Syndrome". This unusual neurological condition, is marked by "twitching" or "ticks", that are not limited to movement, but include speech. Repeated patterns, and almost without exception inappropriate to the circumstances in which they present themselves. They burst in uncontrollably, in the midst of normal behaviour, and then the individual returns to the previous behaviour pattern, as if there had been no interruption. The words, or phrases that insert themselves in ordinary conversation, can quite often be obscenities. Since the increasing consumption of "Non-Rinse", the following scene is ever more frequently beginning to pop up at the "squawk box" of a "drive-thru" McDonalds: "Hi. Can I take your order please?" "Yeh. I'll have a Big Mac-HSA!HSA!HSA!- a large order of-PITCHING RATES!PITCHING RATES!PITCHING RATES! - fries. A medium-SANITIZE!SANITIZE!SANITIZE!- sized coke. A filet o' fish.-CLINITEST!CLINITEST!CLINITEST!- Oh. and you better-BOTULISM!BOTULISM!BOTULISM!- let me have a cup of coffee.-HSA!HSA!HSA!" And as the driver pulls up: "Here's your order sir. Be careful of the coffee. It's VERY hot." ... and as the guy in the funny little paper hat glances downward from his serving window: "And I CERTAINLY wouldn't spill it! CHRIST!!! I CAN SEE YOUR WINKY-TINK!" "better a tongue in cheek, than your head up your (*)" Dr. Pivo Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 08:13:32 -0500 From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> Subject: re: Sherry-like flavor from open boil Hi All, Alastair (love that name!) mentions thermal loading as a possible cause in the development of sherry flavors in beers and seems to recommend a "low rolling boil" as a possible remedy. Good thought. However, he then follows this with a citation from Fix's Principles of Brewing Science which indicates that excessive wort evaporation could be a culprit as well. Dave Burley insists that using a 5/6 covered boil reduces oxidation.....Alastair contends that a 5/6 covered boil would reduce thermal load. I contend that the 5/6 covered boil would also reduce evaporation (back to Fix). Reducing evaporation (ala Fix) and reducing thermal load (ala Alastair) by using a 5/6 covered boil could potentially reduce the development of these off flavors and leads right into Dave's lair of insisting that a 5/6 covered boil is better than open. Now whether Dave is correct in chemical theory or Alastair, the result would seem to be quite similar...they would both recommend a 5/6 covered boil. DMS should be able to easily escape in that size opening. Just my thoughts.... nathan in madison, wi Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 09:32:33 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: CAP >Doug Hurst <DougH at theshowdept.com> writes >Eric Ahrendt writes: >"If you do make the trip to Capital (highly recommended) make sure to try >Kirby's 1900. One of the few commercial examples of CAP around." > >IMHO Capital 1900 is not very good. I detect a very strong creamed corn >note in it (DMS?) which I don't think should be so strong in a lager. I'm afraid I have to agree - it's a disappointment. I was looking forward greatly to tasting the 1900 after the draft version brewed for the Great Taste of the Midwest beer festival two years ago. That version was much cleaner, although still underhopped by my taste. The new bottled version has that stinky note (I can't say it smells like creamed corn to me, though) that Point Special beer (Stevens Point, WI) had until the last two or three years, when brewer John Zappa (yes, he's a cousin) cleaned it up. The smell always reminded me a bit of the sulfury smells coming from the central Wisconsin paper mills. >Maybe we need to define just exactly what a CAP is. Is Leinenkeugel's >Original Lager a CAP? The label states that it's been brewed with the same >recipe since 1867 (I think). Wouldn't this make it a CAP? We have defined what a CAP is, or at least BJCP has. Most importantly, I think, is that the bitterness should be 25-40 IBU. Leinie ain't a CAP, by those standards. I would love to find out just what justification they have for making that claim. I'm pretty sure that in 1867 they were hopping a whole lot higher than now, which is low teens, I'd bet. > Or is a CAP just >a label put on "caft beers" by snobs who are ashamed to say they like >American Pilsners and so create something to differentiate their beer from >other American Pilsners? I would go so far as to say those people simply >*guess* that over emphasis of DMS and underemphasis of hops is what beer >tasted like in those days A bit of DMS is OK, but I'm not sure if that's what the stink is in 1900. I tend to be a bit smell blind on DMS. But I certainly like a cleaner CAP. 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, 13 Sep 2000 08:51:35 -0500 From: TDLogan at arecns.ksu.edu Subject: plastric carboys Brew friends (fiends)- I was wearily assisting my wife with the grocery shoping over the weekend and noticed at the self service water dispenser, 3 gal blue plastic carboys. Hmm, looks interesting. Type 3 on the recycle symbol. Only $5 +/-. Are these things any good? How about the 5 gallon ones you see in the friendly office water cooler? I'm sure I have read some where that these are good/bad, but the lost brain cells are gaining ground! They look like a good way to make a test batch or split up a batch for comparison. Did find some stainless steel scrubbies for racking out of the kettle, so it wasn't a wasted trip. Moved a month ago and are having brewing withdrawl! Still looking for all the parts and pieces. And almost OUT of home brew! Too hot lately anyway, 100 degrees + almost every day since I got here. Tom Logan Manhattan, KS Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 10:02:44 -0400 From: "Nathaniel P. Lansing" <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: DMS diatribe Doug throws out some bait for a rant by saying: >> I detect a very strong creamed corn note in it (DMS?) which I don't think should be so strong in a lager. I'm sure Kirby was going for that flavor, as it is a characteristic of the style, but over did it. << There is a possibility that the beer was a bit old, DMS will tend to assert itself a little more strongly after the effects of HSA and CSA have muted the malt and hop character. >>Or is a CAP just a label put on "caft beers" by snobs who are ashamed to say they like American Pilsners and so create something to differentiate their beer from other American Pilsners? << Quite the contrary; the style came about because we noticed what the contemporary beer factories have done to a respectable beer style. That all the factories mutilated a style that we are trying to restore in an effort to show American beer is not historically wimpy tasteless wizzwater. >>I would go so far as to say those people simply *guess* that over emphasis of DMS and underemphasis of hops is what beer tasted like in those days<< It is not a *guess*, 2 nearby regionals that brew post-prohibition recipes use a 2 hour hot whirlpool to bring out the DMS character. If you can find Rolling Rock on tap (so you don't taste the skunking) try 1 and see if the DMS in Kirby's 1900 approach that level. You may be reacting to a flavor that is not tasted often these days and all the talk of "DMS=infection, DMS=too-slow cooling, DMS=bad" has skewed your perception. A properly balanced CAP would have DMS and diacetyl reinforcing the "grainy corn" character without becoming distinct characters unto themselves. Perhaps the 1900 is not that great of an example if that's how you found it? The BJCP guidelines specify up to 40 IBUs, with a bitterness matching Anchor Steam how is this 'underemphasis of hops'? >>Another example are the many American IPAs which are just loaded with hops. It's a hoppy style, of course, but I think it is sometimes overdone. << I somewhat agree here, if current brewers could remember Ballantine IPA it may be a help; but the point where I have a complaint about the current American IPAs is the excessive hop flavor and aroma. No real problem here, I simply don't drink them. An assertive bitterness is one thing but the current race to see who can use the most hops in their beer is out of hand. Taste Pilsner Urquel and Anchor Steam, both pushing 40 IBUs but with some malt character to balance, both are enduring classics. The beer factories have made the universally "acceptable" beer: no DMS, to avoid the "cream corn in my beer?" no diacetyl, to avoid "it tastes buttery" no hops, to avoid "it's bitter" no malt, to avoid "it's sweet" Problem is they removed the 4 players in a classic pilsner flavor profile. If they remove much more they'll be selling watered down vodka. _That's_ why we make CAP! Was that too constructive to qualify as a diatribe?? N.P. Lansing Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 10:50:19 -0400 From: "Hill, Steve" <SHill at advanta.com> Subject: Saw Dust I am looking to add some "barrel" to my barley wine soon. I know that some of the wine kits on the market have "saw dust" to add to primary to give it that yummy oaky taste. I am looking to buy some of this "saw dust." . I do not like using the "chips." Does anyone know where this "saw dust" can be purchased? private emails welcome thanks Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 11:02:16 -0400 From: Paul Shick <shick at jcu.edu> Subject: Cloudy beer from English malt Hello all, I justed wanted to add a data point/gripe to the latest round of discussion about cloudy beers brewed from English malt. For the third time in as many years, I seem to have gotten a bag of very inferior English pale malt. My symptoms include lower than expected extract, along with very persistent chill haze. I'm pretty certain it's not a starch haze, because the wort was very clear going into the kettle, but the beer is still quite cloudy after 2 months in the keg. Ah well.... My problems have all arisen from Munton's malts (both their Marris Otter and standard pale,) although there have been some very nice bags mixed in with the problem lots. Others have recently had problems with Beeston's (although my own experience with their malts has been trouble free.) It's gotten to the point where I plan to avoid English malts entirely for the foreseeable future. Given the availability of good quality American Pale ale malts (from Briess, among others,) I think it's time that we homebrewers stopped acting as a dumping ground for the rejects from English maltsters. Paul Shick Cleveland Hts, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 11:06:55 -0400 From: Paul Shick <shick at jcu.edu> Subject: Question on Weissheimer Pils malt Hello all, Some recent posters suggested that some of this year's Weissheimer Pils malt was much less modified than some previous year's lots. Can those who posted (or others) provide lot numbers (and maybe Kolbach indices,) so that those of us with large stockpiles of Weissheimer Pils can act accordingly? Thanks in advance for any information. Paul Shick Cleveland Hts, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 11:14:08 -0400 From: Richard Foote <rfoote at mindspring.com> Subject: Pounded-Over-The-Head Beers/Ginger Mead I agree with Doug Hurst when he wrote: >What I'm getting at is that just because one particular 'style exemplifying' >flavor is highly emphasized does not mean that a beer is good or exactly >what the beer should taste like. I think that subtlety in flavor is better >than being pounded over the head with it like an Oliver Stone movie. There can be a tendency to brew over the top beers in an effort to meet style quidelines. This is something I have noticed from judging homebrew competitions. Damn it, if an oktoberfest is supposed to be malty, then it's gotta be smack you upside the head malty. If an IPA is supposed to be hoppy, then let there be no doubt as to it's hoppiness. This is sometimes to the detriment of balance and enjoyablity of the beer. I have also noticed that there have been times when some of the winning beers in the "Winners Circle" in Zymurgy have been rather over the top. For example, I think I recall a winning beer that was something like 8 points over the maximum OG of the style. This doesn't happen all that often, but does help bolster the point. The temptation to over exaggerate is there. I have done it myself. John Leggett asks about "dry gingering" mead and the concern over introduction of bacteria. I once made a blackberry ginger mead that I dry gingered in the bottle. I dropped a 1/2" cube of raw ginger in each wine bottle. The alcohol of the finished mead seems to have prevented any noticeble bacterial infection. I do not have access to my brewing records right now to determine how much ginger I used in the boil, but this amount of ginger in the bottle did not IMO overwhelm. Hope this helps. Rick Foote Whistle Pig Brewing and Home Remodeling Murrayville, GA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 13:40:19 -0400 From: Richard Foote <rfoote at mindspring.com> Subject: Imperial Stout Recipe Hi all, Does anyone out there have a good all-grain imperial stout recipe they'd like to share? Our club, Chicken City Ale Raisers, will be brewing one in early October. Private e-mails welcome. TIA, Rick Foote Whistle Pig Brewing and Home Remodeling Murrayville, GA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 12:40:38 -0500 From: "Daniel C Stedman" <"daniel_c_stedman" at uhc.com> Subject: Re: Harsh flavour Hello Edward - let me start by saying that I feel your pain. My entire first year of all-grain brewing produced quite a few less than perfect beers, but since has improved after being more diligent about the following: Make sure you are pitching lots of happy, healthy yeast. This alone can make all the difference in the world. Look at www.brewery.org and www.wyeastlabs.com for lots of info on this. I myself pitch a smack pack into 500 ml, step it up to 3000 ml, and then pitch the resulting yeast solids into a 10 gallon batch. For insulation, I went to the local home supply store and got some foily air duct insulation - works great! Avoid the direct heat on the mash unless you have a way of recirculation the wort or stirring the mash. I would say stick with the single infusion into a well-insulated mash tun until you have the bugs worked out. On a related note, I have a thermometer mounted in a port on the side of my kettle and that threw me off on a regular basis because it would often show that the temp had fallen to the low 140's (after which I would rush to try and get the temp back up). After getting a probe thermometer, I came to the realization that the mash was staying a consistent temp while the wort near the sides of the kettle was cooling off a bit (which is easily solved by a little stirring or recirculation). Pay attention to your mash pH and the pH of your sparge water (especially if you have hard water). I was getting some astringency due to my extra hard water keeping my pH up in the 6's ( at 70 F), which is way too high and extracts unwanted tannins.The ColorpHast ph papers work well for me. Acidify your sparge water down to the upper 5's with lactic acid and check to be sure that your mash starts out around 5.3-5.5 ( at 70 F). If your mash pH is too high, try adding a little gypsum or lactic acid. Batch sparging, along with the above pH measures, will remove any remaining possibility that you are extracting unwanted tannins. To do this, increase the grain bill by 1/4th (since your efficiency will be reduced by this method), drain your first runnings into your boil kettle, add the bulk of your sparge water to the mash all at once, stir, recirculate until clear again, and drain it into your boil kettle. This will save you all of that sparging time and produce a slightly more flavorful beer to boot (IMHO)! Don't let your initial problems get you down - I'm sure everyone on this forum as experienced the same heartbreak of a beer gone wrong at some point (or multiple points, in my case!). It will all come together in time... dan Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 15:48:25 EDT From: Althelion at aol.com Subject: The wort thickens Clap on.... Well, now this 5~6 closed boil issue has shifted towards the comparative effects of the various levels of boil vigorousity (intensity). This George Fix thing of boiling down a 5.6 gallon wort to 5 gallons would either be accomplished in 20-30 minutes of a full boil or maybe 60 minutes of a tomatoe sauce simmer. Either way doesn't seem feasible to me. I've always accepted the notion that a vigorous boil was important to the chemical reactions in the wort including hop utilization. I observed a definite increase in hop utilization when I went from stovetop to cajun cooker. In fact, the primary reason I switched from stovetop to cajun cooker was to increase the intensity of my boil. So now my question is: To what extent will the decrease in boil intensity mitigate the alleged improvements of a 5~6 closed pot? Clap off. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 23:15:13 GMT From: "Aaron Gallaway" <baseball_junkie at hotmail.com> Subject: I apologize for the non beerness of this post... To All and ONE... I am living in Japan and come from Tacoma Washington. A month or so ago I posted a question about brewing software and received a message from a gentleman ALSO from Tacoma named Larry. Well Larry if your out there please e-mail me as I have lost your address. I am coming back to Tacoma next week and wanted to get in touch and talk beer. Hope to hear from you... Aaron _________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com. Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at http://profiles.msn.com. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 19:21:37 EDT From: AlannnnT at aol.com Subject: really bad beer books Since one thread is about brewing books, I'd like to excerpt the worst beer and brewing book ever written. <IMHO!> I know that you will think I am making this up, but alas, it is true, this is from a book published by an otherwise legitimate publisher. >From the Everything Beer Book, written by Carlo Devito, published by the Adams Media Corporation, 1998. ISBN 1-55850-843-0 >From the glossary - Alt. "Old" in German, as in altbier, meaning old beer. (pg 294) porter. Almost black, porter is a bitter dark lager. (pg 301) bitter. An English ale brewed with high hop content. (pg 295) gravity. A weighing system used to measure the heaviness of a beer. When a beer is said to have gravity, it means it has body and heft. In actuality, it judges the amount of hops in a beer. (pg 297) (yes, he said hops!) Trappist. A bottle conditioned, sugar added lager made by monks (pg 302) Tripel. Dutch, meaning a brewer's strongest beer. Can be a lager, but most often is an ale. - ---------- This is from the Using a Hydrometer section, page 242. The second reading is done after you've finished brewing your beer. This is the final gravity. The second reading will always register less than the first because there is more alcohol than water and alcohol is lighter than water. If your second reading is higher than your first, it means that the fermentation isn't finished. Also from the hydrometer section, (after taking your hydrometer reading) Throw out the beer you tested. It may be contaminated. Don't taste it. >>>note, remember, I am not making this stuff up. This is really from a published author! >From the section on beer tasting; Smokiness is added by malting the grain over an open fire. >From the homebrewing section; It is a good thing that most kits come with malt extract syrup, because making your own is too difficult for the novice brewer. It's like making a pie from scratch without ever having baked before. That said, there is something wrong with a brewery that uses malt extracts. Beer that is mass-produced with malt extracts is usually an inferior beer. These breweries are called extract brewers. Many lawnmower beers are made that way. Also from homebrewing section- Another popular kind of malt is roasted barley. - And - About hops in homebrewing. Never add the hops at the beginning of the boil, only in the last fifteen minutes or so. If added too soon the hops will boil off. The resins, waxes, and oils will superheat and rise out of the pot in the whiffs of steam and float away. In the end your beer will taste like garbage. With hops, bitterness is added in the last fifteen minutes and aroma in the last five minutes of brewing. >>note: Guys like John Palmer and Al K. should be especially incensed that this guy found a willing publisher, don't you think? >From the section about Pasteurization. Pasteurization is a process designed to preserve food by superheating it first, followed by flash-freezing. On methods of pasteurization, Mr. Devito writes; The first (method) is to boil and cool the beer in the bottle in which it is going to be stored. On Pasteur, Mr. Devito writes; His treatise also isolated and identified numerous yeast strains. Elsewhere in the book, Mr. Devito states that sanke kegs are "galvanized" after each use, that "some brewers substitute cane sugar for barley, making the wort an all-sugar and water liquid", and that "corn, wheat, oats and rice are all used by larger breweries to cut some of the bitterness in beer because they provide more sugar", he notes that making steam beer is a "patented process", rauchbier can be made "by throwing fire-heated rocks into the malt", ice beer is "frozen either during the fermentation process or sometime after maturation", and on and on. Anyway, you get the idea. I called and wrote the publisher of this nonsense only to get brushed off with a form letter. But don't go buy the book, I'll gladly send some xerox pages to anyone who asks, just so you can touch a few pages before believing this exists. This small sample is only part of the scores of stupid statements in this book. Comments can be directed to the publisher at Adams Media Corp, 260 Center St., Holbrook MA 02343. 1-800-872-5627 Oh, and my favorite, last one, I promise- this is the entire definition for Berliner Weisse, (page 294)- Berliner Weisse. Also known as a wheat beer. Known for its very low alcoholic content, this is a milky, white-ish beer that is highly carbonated. (that's it!) Ok, sorry for the long post, but I thought I'd give you all a look at a seriously bad beer/homebrew book. I learned with Charlie's book, and right now, Charlie never looked so good! Best Brewing, Alan Talman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 20:02:15 EDT From: JPullum127 at aol.com Subject: chloramination my local water supply(omaha) just announced a switch to chloramination. i remember hearing in the past that you cannot boil this to drive off chlorine but need to add a camden tablet or something a few days previously to remove this chlorine. anybody have some facts for me on this? i wish i would have saved some of those old posts! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 10:02:31 EST From: "Warren White" <warrenlw63 at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Harsh Flavours Edward Doernberg lets fly with a wee Freudian Slip... Some of you may remember I posted about my first mashed beer having a *hash* flavour. It is now carbonated and it is all but undrinkable. It is a terrible harsh aftertaste that lingers on the back of the sides of the tong. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * My advice to you... Beg, borrow or steal a Cheech and Chong CD, ring your Local Pizza Hut Delivery, flop in your bean bag (make sure the dog still aint lying there, he'll want some of your pizza) and mellow out my man! Maybe next time use some hops, instead of the highly resinous product you mention above, and most of all... SEND ME A SLAB OF EM MATEY!!!! Don't send a slab to Mr Graham Sanders, oops, retract the Mr. They'd throw the book at him for being a repeat offender and being in Townsville he wouldn't be found wanting for some anyway IMHO, absolutely DO NOT send any to the Burraddoo Hilton, it sounds like a cesspit for profanity, vice a little like the last days of Babylon (and the world's most mis-used pool table) and it does not mix well with Rice Lager anyway I can just see it now Rice & Resin Lager with Hemp Filtration "THIS BUD'S FOR YOU". Errr... Either that or someone's spiked ya beer as a party trick, next time tell em to use chillies. (We all now know the answer to that 23 year old mystery of; Who ate the Yabbie that ate Donald McKay) Sorry Edward! I don't normally point out other people's peccadillos, but that was a good one mate! (Heaven knows I make plenty of em myself, so feel free to exact revenge!) * * * * * * * * * * * * Better get back to the beer stuff... * * * * * * * * * * * * Sounds like you've got astringency or high tannin extraction. You sound like you have a similar problem to what I used to have, I'd be inclined to check the temperature of your sparge water first, is it too hot? This is a bugger for creating astringency. Secondly don't get greedy on your extraction efficiency, absolutely STOP your runoff when the S.G. of the runnings hits about 1012, believe you me doing this makes a big difference, you can probably stop at about 1010 for stouts/dark beers etc. This was the biggest improvement I made on my mashes, getting that extra litre of extract just isn't worth it. Another idea I use, can't say for sure if it actually works, (only in beers without roasted grains) is to use 1ml of 88% pure food grade lactic acid in your sparge water, as the PH of mash rises towards the end of the sparge, (your Chemist should be able to help you with the Lactic Acid, but alas not the hashish). Finally, it's very tempting to sparge your mash quickly (we all know it's a tedious job) DON'T. Do Insulate your Lauter Tun well and SPARGE SLOWLY i.e. it should take at least 1 hour for your regular 23 litre batch. It's just too tempting to hurry it up, but believe me your extraction efficiency will suffer! Hope this helps! Warren White, Melbourne Waiting for a Slab of Edward's M.E.P.A. (Midnight Express Pale Ale) _________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com. Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at http://profiles.msn.com. Return to table of contents
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