HOMEBREW Digest #365 Mon 26 February 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Volume vs. weight measurements (don't work) (Dick Dunn)
  Re: Hopped Extracts (dw)
  Re: Extract bitterness ("V70A::LENO")
  boil over (mage!lou)
  Dry hopping and Reading Label Date Codes (Glenn Colon-Bonet)
  soft drink-like carbonation... (boubez)
  Re: Hopped Extracts (Robert Del Favero Jr.)
  Re:  Failure in culturing yeast (Chuck Cox)
  hop mania (Pete Soper)
  Re: hop planting (Dr. T. Andrews)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 22 Feb 90 23:16:59 MST (Thu) From: hplabs!hplms2!gatech!raven!rcd (Dick Dunn) Subject: Volume vs. weight measurements (don't work) Mark Leone asked for volume->weight conversions, noting Charlie P's approximation for grains. But grains are relatively easy (they're uniform; they don't compact or settle too much; object size is small relative to typical quantity), and even at that the best you can get is an approximation. None of what Mark asked for have reliable conversions: > - one ounce of whole hops This is the worst; I can probably take an ounce that's been packed into a volume of less than a cup and fluff it up to two cups or more. > - one ounce pelletized hops This tends not to work right because the volume you need is small relative to the size of the pellets. > - one pound of dry malt extract This one tends to surprise people, since they don't think of sugar as something that packs down. But dry malt is a fine powder; it behaves more like flour. (Cooks are probably aware of the problems of measuring flour, relative to sifting.) I did some measurements by pouring dry malt loosely and gently into a container, noting volume, then tapping the container gently until the malt stopped settling. Result: 20% decrease in volume! This may not be enough to screw up a recipe, but it will certainly keep it from being "right on" or repeatable. Incidentally, the same effect (and about the same percentage) applies to dextrose in its usual powdered form. It's a good argument for weighing your priming sugar instead of using a volume measure. (The pessimist will note that fine sugars, and malt in particular, are quite hygroscopic--so weight measures don't work either! But the effect is a lot less.) --- Dick Dunn {ncar;ico;stcvax}!raven!rcd (303)494-0965 or rcd at raven.uucp Return to table of contents
Date: 23 Feb 90 09:26:01 EST (Friday) From: dw <Wegeng.Henr at Xerox.COM> Subject: Re: Hopped Extracts There's been a steady movement for some time to get producers of malt extract to print more information about their products on the label. Most doen't even bother to list the ingredients, much less the quantity of each. I agree that it's very difficult to judge how much hops to add when brewing with hopped extract. When I'm forced to use the hopped product, I always taste the boiling wort (allowing the sample to cool first, of course) before I add any bittering hops. This isn't very scientific, but with practice you can attempt to make an educated guess about how much additional hops to add. Practice is the key word here, because the sweet flavor of wort tends to mask bitterness (temperature affects this as well). BTW, I got the original idea to taste wort after touring a few wineries. Wine makers *always* taste their product throughout the wine making process. Over time they learn how it should taste at different stages, and use this knowledge to detect problems. I've been trying to do the same with beer, and while I'm no expert I think that it's helped my beer making. /Don Return to table of contents
Date: 23 Feb 90 11:17:00 EST From: "V70A::LENO" <leno%v70a.decnet at nusc-npt.navy.mil> Subject: Re: Extract bitterness Hello, >From: "Allen J. Hainer" <ajhainer at violet.waterloo.edu> >Subject: Hopped Extracts > > Why can't producers of hopped extracts indicate on their labels the >level of bitterness? I think it would be a great idea. > Does anyone know what can be done about this? I'm fed up with trial >and error. A couple years ago in Zymurgy they printed a table of different extracts with their attributes. One of these was the number of AAUs or HBUs (can't remember which) I'll look it up and post the date of the issue tomorrow. peace, Scott Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 90 10:02:19 MST From: hplabs!mage!lou Subject: boil over In HBD # 364 Jon Mellby writes: >What I want to know is, how does the wort know exactly when >my back it turned, so it can instantly boil over? I never >see it start to raise, but I turn to the sink for ONE SECOND >and when I turn around, the stove is covered with molten >wort! I have always used a glass (pyrex?) or stainless "boil over preventer" after I spent two days cleaning my first batch out of the stove. While this is quite effective at preventing boil over, I've wondered what effect it might be having on my hot break. I'm not real sure what to expect from a hot break so I can't tell if it's making any difference. Any suggestions out there? Louis Clark ################################################################################ at at | | at Relax | | | at at at at at at | _ / \ | : |/ \ Don't Worry |H B| | . | | | | | . | | Have a Homebrew | | | |\_/ ----- -------- mage!lou at ncar.ucar.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 90 10:48:20 mst From: Glenn Colon-Bonet <gcb at hpfigcb.hp.com> Subject: Dry hopping and Reading Label Date Codes Full-Name: Glenn Colon-Bonet - -------- Could someone please repost the description of how to read the date code notches on beer bottles. I know it was covered in detail a while back, but I can't seem to find it in my archives. Thanks! Regarding dry hopping, I have used the technique on a few of my batches, with fairly good results and no infection problems (although my beer rarely sits around for more than a month or two). I usually add 1/2 to 1 oz. of Cascade hops to the beer after the primary ferment is over and let the hops sit in the beer for 1-2 weeks. The beer has come out pretty good, but the dry hopping seems to add an almost "soapy" flavor to the beer. I've tasted microbrewery beer that uses dry hopping, and they never seem to have this off flavor. Could the off flavors be from using too much dry hops or possibly leaving them in the beer for too long? I really like the aroma and flavor that dry hopping gives, I'd just like to get rid of some of the off flavors! On a similar note, has anyone heard of "flavor hops"? I'm taking an advanced homebrewing class (sponsored by the AHA) and the instructor gave us some beer to sample. It had a great hop flavor! I asked the instructor if he had dry hopped the beer, and he mentioned that he used a technique where he introduces an additional hopping step (boiling, flavor, and finishing hops) at 10 minutes before the end of the boil for hop flavor, 60 minutes for the boiling (bittering) hops and 1-2 minutes for the aroma hops. The result was similar to dry hopping, in that it has a nice strong hop taste, but it was definitely much cleaner than what I've achieved with dry hopping. One other interesting note, a while back some people were discussing boiling hops seperately from the wort, the instructor from the AHA mentioned that you will get very different results from boiling them seperately than together, due to chemical changes that take place when the wort is boiled with the hops. He encouraged the class to always boil them together. Well, I'm off to homebrew-class again tomorrow, yeast culturing lessons! Have a great weekend! Glenn Colon-Bonet gcb%hpfigcb at hplabs.hp.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 90 12:58:52 EST From: boubez at bass.rutgers.edu Subject: soft drink-like carbonation... Since we're new to this, we've been proceeding with the usual optimisation caution: "Don't tweak too many things at once!" (I remember spending numerous hours trying to bring my Webbers back to their original state, after having tried to "over-adjust" them once, but I digress). This time around, we'll be fiddling with the head and head retention. On our last batch, the carbonation is rather like that of a soft drink. It's plentiful and works up a large head on pouring, but subsides in an instant, just like when you pour Seven-Up (or Slice, or...) The beer isn't flat, though, as you can see and feel the bubbles when you drink, it's just that there's no head. What could be a cure for this? Thanks a lot in advance. toufic Toufic Boubez boubez at caip.rutgers.edu - --I'll have a new .signature as soon as I think of one. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 90 12:59:20 EST From: hplabs!clunker!rvd (Robert Del Favero Jr.) Subject: Re: Hopped Extracts I believe that the Zymurgy Special Issue on extract brewing had a several-pages-long chart listing a whole bunch of commercial extracts, with information on alpha acid content and how much a can would raise the specific gravity of a quantity of water. I don't know whether the chart is still accurate. I got all the special issue reprints at once, so I'm fuzzy on which exact year this issue came out. - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Robert V. Del Favero, Jr. ISC-Bunker Ramo, an Olivetti Company rvd at clunker.uucp Shelton, Connecticut, USA OR clunker!rvd at oliveb.atc.olivetti.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 90 11:54:40 EST From: bose!chuck at uunet.UU.NET (Chuck Cox) Subject: Re: Failure in culturing yeast John Mellby sez... > I tried a bottle of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale... Try using at least 3 bottles, Sierra Nevada filters their beer well, it often takes more than one bottle to get enought viable cells. > Anyone know whether Sierra Nevada > uses the same yeast in Bigfoot and Celebration? Yes they are the same, Sierra Nevada currently uses only one variety of yeast, however they are planning on brewing lagers soon. - Chuck Cox - america's fastest beer judge - Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 90 18:02:06 EST From: Pete Soper <soper at maxzilla.encore.com> Subject: hop mania >From: Paul Perlmutter x2549 <paul at hppaul.hp.com>: >Some books talk about "dry hopping". In particular, Line's book >suggests dry hopping for numerous recipes. By "dry hopping" we >mean putting fresh hops into cool wort - either in the primary >fermenter or secondary fermenter. I find this curious, since >fresh organic material is bound to introduce undesirable bacteria >and / or yeasts! How do brewers get away with this? From Line's >book, I do believe that brewers dry-hop regularly. What are the >implications of this? Most of the time the bacteria and wild yeast in dry hops cannot gain a foothold and compete with the brewing yeast population of a healthy fermentation. The bacteria are there, they are probably generating taints, but at levels that are orders of magnitude below sensory thresholds because their number stay so low, they can't handle the acidic environment, etc. Added at the end of a fermentation, there is nothing left to eat. (This is ignoring the possibility of the dreaded *dextrin fermenters from hell*, which would hopefully not live on hops) I read that Fritz Maytag, owner (and head brewer?) of Anchor says that there is nothing ordinarily found in hops that present a problem as a result of the dry hopping they do. But I'm sure he would never add raw hops prior to the start of active fermentation. I'm still not totally comfortable with dry hopping. I use hot water infusions with coffee filters at bottling/kegging time. From: "Allen J. Hainer" <ajhainer at violet.waterloo.edu>: > Why can't producers of hopped extracts indicate on their labels the >level of bitterness? Something as simple as "12 AAUs Bittering Hops" >would not give away the receipe. Something like "12 AAUs Bullion Hops" >would be even better. (details about Coopers beer kit omitted) > Along with the 8 AAUs Cascade I added, this beer is almost undrinkable. >I have never tasted anything so bitter (and believe me, I have had my >fun with Bullion!). > Does anyone know what can be done about this? I'm fed up with trial >and error. Start a campaign to bring pressure on suppliers. Track down the addresses of the extract makers and send them letters, petitions, or whatever. Ask the AHA to have extracts tested for actual bitterness (i.e. International Bittering Units - mg of isoalpha acid per liter. AAU is a hobby unit of measure and relates to potential, not actual bitterness). Once there is a lot of pressure built up and the suppliers are publishing bitterness levels and hop types used, then sock it to them and make them publish amounts of corn syrup, barley syrup, caramel and who knows what else they put in their kits. Look at the changes that have taken place already. It wasn't too long ago that labeling of hops with alpha acid percentage was unheard of. Labeling of color information (e.g. lovibond or EBC numbers for grains) is also pretty recent. These changes didn't happen by accident. They happened because suppliers got the message that homebrewers wanted this information and would buy from those who supplied it. Join a homebrew club and taste beers made with different ingredients. Ask your supplier how bitter a given kit is. Chances are he won't have the foggiest notion, but you might get lucky and it would also help with your campaign. Getting back to your example, however, I would suggest that 8 AAUs of bittering hops is a lot to add to an already hopped kit. Assuming that you got decent utilization, say 23-30%, then those 8 AAUs would contribute 27 to 36 IBUs to a 5 gallon batch. Let's pretend that the Coopers kit had 25-35 IBUs of bitterness (like many commercial "real ales"). Added to your Cascades, this adds up to 52-71 IBUs and that could indeed be bitter as hell without a lot of residual sweetness to balance it. Note that I assume you are listing only the *bittering* hops. If some of that Cascade was used for finishing then my numbers are junk and should be ignored. - --Pete Soper Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 90 7:00:51 EST From: Dr. T. Andrews <ki4pv!tanner at ge-dab.ge.com> Subject: Re: hop planting Hops roots are also available from Great Fermentations, 87 Larkspur St, San Rafael, CA 94901. ph: 415 459 2520 / 800 542 2520 Three varieties (cascades, two others I forget); I ordered one of each. $3 per. - -- ...!{bikini.cis.ufl.edu allegra attctc bpa uunet!cdin-1}!ki4pv!tanner Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #365, 02/26/90 ************************************* -------
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