HOMEBREW Digest #37 Wed 28 December 1988

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: extract diatribe (Dick Dunn)
  Mead (BB13093)
  Clinging yeast; imported/expensive malts (CRF)
  re: extract styles (Darryl Richman)
  BOOTS Ale Kits (Mike Fertsch)
  Re: hard cider (dw)
  malt extract syrups (arthure)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 28 Dec 88 02:14:00 MST (Wed) From: hplabs!utah-cs!cs.utexas.edu!raven!rcd (Dick Dunn) Subject: Re: extract diatribe Rob asked: > ... What do people think of making a beer in > the style of country X, but attempting to make it more authentic > tasting by using malt extract *from* country X? . . . >...The question is, will I be able to tell a difference here, or am I > wasting my effort?... . . . > Now, I'm the first to admit that there are lots of variables that > might account for my preference, including plain old power of > suggestion. I'm aware that the actual malt & water contents vary quite > a bit (thus producing different starting gravites)... You should consider that different extracts are made with different types of water, and since the extract is made by just dehydrating a wort, the minerals from the water remain in the extract. This IS going to influence the character of your beer, and may be the reason you prefer the extract you're using for a lager--i.e., the water it's made from may have lower mineral content than an extract with similar malt properties but made for an ale. There's also the matter of what sort of water you're using to reconstitute the wort for your brewing--obviously it will add minerals of its own. Trouble is, I have no idea how you go about finding out the mineral content of the water used to produce the wort. Certainly it's known to the manufacturers. --- Dick Dunn {ncar;ico;stcvax}!raven!rcd (303)494-0965 Return to table of contents
Date: 28 Dec 88 10:27:09 EDT From: BB13093%pbn33.prime.com at RELAY.CS.NET Subject: Mead Greetings: In response to several requests, here is the recipe I use for small mead: bubbly and not high in alcohol. Things you need: 1 pint honey ( the more raw the better ) 8 pints water ( the more pure the better ) cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves campden tablets ( or whatever you use for sterilizing must ) champagne yeast 1 gallon bottle, fermentation lock, and cork 1) Boil honey and water for 1/2 to 1 hour, skimming the top fre- quently, until the must has been boiled down to fit in the bottle and there is little or nothing left to skim. Also toss in one crushed campden tablet. 2) Just before removing the must from the stove, add spices to taste. I prefer 2 Tblspns cinnamon, 1 Tblspn nutmeg, and 6-8 cloves. 3) Allow to cool to about 70 degrees F. (about 2-5 hours) 4) Dissolve appropriate amount of yeast for the must in 1/4 cup warm water and add. 5) Put fermnetation lock on and let sit for 3-7 days. Don't let bottle get cooler than about 70 degrees, or the fermentation will stop. 6) When the bubbling settles down, siphon and cork. Ready in three weeks; turns sour after two or three months. NOTES: You may wish to prime it with more honey. Take great care where you put the bottles after corking - they can explode spectacularly. I have glass embedded in the cement foundation of our house! - Nicolette Bonhomme (bb13093%pbn33 at en-c06.prime.com) Boston, Mass. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 88 12:52 EDT From: <CRF%IFASGNV.BITNET at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> Subject: Clinging yeast; imported/expensive malts Hello, all! About the yeast sticking to the sides of a bottle: one possibility (apart from the surface and/or composition of the glass itself) is debris clinging to the interior surface of the glass. Such is not necessarily a contaminant; it is possible to kill off a contaminant when sterilizing but still have material remain (example: dishes which have undergone steam cleaning, but still have some residue on them). Thus, the beer wouldn't spoil, but the yeast would have something to cling to. Another manifestation of this same situation is the way brew or soda will foam up to excess in a dirty glass, or one with some sort of film inside it. As to Rob's comments and questions in the Dec. 28th digest: firstly, brands certainly *can* make a difference. For example, I tried Geordie's products because literally _everyone_ I met who used them swore by them. Now, I tout them just as enthusiastically (try their Yorkshire Bitter-- *trust me!*) I learned very quickly that imported malts are worth purchasing. Their quality and flavor do tend to be superior. Of course, we all know that one can never duplicate _exactly_ a given beer; there are too many environmental variables beyond our control. Price/performance ratios, it seems to me, are largely related to personal satisfaction. If I **REALLY** like a certain malt, then spending extra money will probably be worth it to me, even unto $20 per can. I might have to make it an occassional, special treat (and you can bet _no one_ else would get a bottle...), but it _would_ be worth it to me. In point of fact, I have put as much as $30.00+ into a single 5-gal batch; and oh, my! it was a brew beyond compare... So, like one of the famous philosophers of Rome (I forget which), I counsel "all things in moderation-- including moderation!" This occassionally means financially, too! |-) |-) Cher Feinstein "CRF at IFASGNV.BITNET" Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 88 07:52:19 PST From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: extract styles Rob's observation about differences in style resulting from the country of origin of the extract he's using probably has some basis in fact. Caveats: I'm not an extract brewer and I haven't used them except for yeast starters in more than 2.5 years. But as a masher, I know that the malt used in different countries has different properties and the mashing style differs as well. English malts tend to be more highly modified, which suits their single infusion mashing techniques. They get a better extract and less haze than if they used the continental malts, which, having been less well modified by the maltster, require a protien rest and usually several steps or decoctions to obtain a clear product. The differences in these ingredients and techniques definitely produce different tasting results. An export lager doesn't taste like an IPA, even though they both might have similar starting gravities. (Of course, the difference in fermentation temperature, water salts, and hopping have a lot to do with this as well). My experiences using continental malts (my shop has imported German Pilsener, Munich, and Vienna malts) is that they produce very different flavors than the English Pale, Mild, and Scottish malts. I would be surprised to hear that there were no easily discernable differences. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 88 16:31 EST From: Mike Fertsch <hplabs!uiucdcs!meccad.RAY.COM!FERTSCH> Subject: BOOTS Ale Kits Recently, a new occupant moved into the office next to mine. He was born and educated in Scotland, and worked in Cambridge, England before moving to the States. He loves good British beers, and often reminences about the commerical cask ales from home. In addition to the pub beers, he did his share of homebrewing in the UK. He wants to resume brewing here, and wonders if he can get his favourite extracts in the US. He is partial to kits make by BOOTS; he claims to make super ales with just the tin of hopped extract and corn sugar. The Boots kits apparently come with a vial of liquid yeast, rather than the normal dry yeast. Sounds interesting to me... Has anyone out there in netland heard of Boots Ale Kits? Are they available in the US? He can probably get some from his friends in the UK, but he would greatly prefer a supplier on this side of the puddle. Apparently, the airline security people are paranoid about letting cylindrical metal objects onto international flights. [He says the airport people once held his extracts for three days in a bunker at Heathrow, waiting to see if it would blow up...] Mike Fertsch Return to table of contents
Date: 27 Dec 88 12:22:39 EST (Tuesday) From: dw <Wegeng.Henr at Xerox.COM> Subject: Re: hard cider The question is asked about why recipes for hard cider usually call for adding sugar to the apple cider. The answer is that cider does not contain sugar so that, when it is fermented, there will be enough alcohol to prevent it from spoiling. You need somewhere around 9-10% alcohol, and the added sugar (or honey, or whatever) provides this. Personally, I add honey rather than straight sugar, resulting in a drink called 'cyser'. The next logical question that one may ask is why doesn't beer spoil, since it isn't usually much more than 5-6% alcohol? The answer is that the hops serve as a preservative. (This is a generalization; for beer can and will spoil if you mistreat it). /Don Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 88 17:28:14 PST From: sco!arthure at ucscc.UCSC.EDU Subject: malt extract syrups There certainly are differences in flavors between various malt extracts. The way in which the grain is malted, roasted, and mashed is a big variable in the overall flavor of your beer, and each malt extract is made differently in this respect. I can't make any specific recommendations for lager-type malt extracts (I've never tried to make lager), but you might try looking at (extract based) recipes for the type of beer you're brewing, and see what brands other people recommend. -arthur Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest
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