HOMEBREW Digest #3739 Wed 19 September 2001

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  re: brewing for contests ("Mark Tumarkin")
  re: Rose Hips ("Mark Tumarkin")
  Re:  Shipping to contests (Paul Shick)
   ("Milone, Gilbert")
  A Tale of Pumpkin Ale ("Steven Parfitt")
  Brewpubs in London, Ontaro? (Travis Dahl KE4VYZ)
  Competitions and stronger beers (David Harsh)
  Cascade v. Centennial & Munich (James Davis)
  Give till it hurts... ("Jeffry D Luck")
  venturi tube advice (Greg Speiser & Cynthia Sawatzky)
  Re: Brew in contests and storing yeast (Spencer W Thomas)
  Re: Question about Jeff R's CAP recipe (Jeff Renner)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 07:07:46 -0400 From: "Mark Tumarkin" <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: re: brewing for contests David Craft asks: "I have a question that has been bugging me. Do stronger beers fair better in competition? I had a nice Bitter place in the Southern Region with 41 points back in April only to drop to 23 points in the AHA Nationals. Two of the three judges in the Nationals said the beer didn't "travel" or "age" well. They must have known that it scored much higher in order to get in to the Nationals. This was a typical strength Bitter and was quite tasty. It was bottle conditioned and stored in a cool closet in the dark until going to California." Many people feel that beers that push the envelope (bigger, or hoppier, or...) tend to do better in competition. Unfortunately, this is can be true. For one thing, as palate fatigue sets in, it takes more flavor to make an impact. Experienced judges try to take this into consideration, but it is a factor. Ideally, you'd try to stay within the style guidelines, but at the higher end. Many people, though, do enter beers that exceed the guidelines and can do well. However, if 2 of the 3 judges said the beer didn't "travel" or "age" well, then that could well be a factor. First, look at the experience level of the judges on your score sheets, there were a lot of excellent judges at the Nationals and they could very well be right on target. Some styles of beer don't age or travel well. When was your bitter brewed? There are several months between the 1st & 2nd rounds of the Nationals and you may have brewed your batch well before the first round. One of the styles I judged at the Nationals was the German Wheats. They are a particular favorite of mine; both to drink and to brew. But they are really best drunk fresh. Many of the beers we judged were well past their prime. It was disappointing to me to have to give a lower score to a beer that was probably delightful in the 1st round. But as a judge, you have to score the beer in front of you, not what it might have been several months before. It's entirely possible that you're bitter had oxidized or lost flavor and thus the lower score. Some styles, especially the bigger beers, don't suffer with age (or can actually improve), so you're on the right track in planning your brews for competition ahead of time. You might want to brew the bigger or beers ( or brew to the high end of the style), but also keep time in mind in your brew schedule. Brew so that your beer will be at its prime when it's judged, at least as much as possible. With some styles, such as hefes and bitters, you might want to brew a new batch for the competition so that you can present the judges with a fresh beer in its prime. This is permitted (or even encouraged) by some competitions (such as MCAB), but check the competition rules to be safe. Mark Tumarkin Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 07:12:32 -0400 From: "Mark Tumarkin" <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: re: Rose Hips John Gubbins asks about using rose hips: "I picked some prime rose hips and plan to brew this weekend. I am yet undecided on whether I will make an extract or all grain. My question is, how do you use them? Do you add them to the mash or the boil? I understand that they should be seeded, but do the shells need to be crushed? " I've only used rose hips once, and in a mead rather than in a beer. So I'm not real experienced with them.... however, I would seed and crush them, and put them in the secondary (or at knockout) rather than boil them. Otherwise, I'd be afraid of extracting a tannic flavor from them. The rose hip mead turned out very well, and should be much better with age (if I can be patient enough). Mark Tumarkin Gainesville, Fl Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 08:20:37 -0500 From: Paul Shick <shick at jcu.edu> Subject: Re: Shipping to contests Hi all, David Craft asks about the problems of shipping beer to contests (in repsonse to a beer that scored a 41 in the AHA NHC First Round, then 23 in the Finals.) David, you're probably right that a stronger beer would ship a bit better, but the main difficulty here is that the NHC Finals are held at the height of the summer. Almost any beer will have problems if it gets stuck in a truck or warehouse, or on a runway, in the heat. It seems to me that it's not a coincidence that the "home club" usually wins more than its share of medals in most competitions -- their beers are generally much fresher. Still, there are a few things you can do to protect your beers when shipping. First, bottle conditioned beers have a bit more protection from oxidation, etc., if you're careful enough during the bottling process (avoiding aeration during racking and keeping air in the headspace to an absolute minimum.) Whether you bottle condition or counter-pressure fill, avoiding O_2 is the main concern. Keeping shipping abuse to a minimum is quite helpful, too. Avoid shipping at a day when you think the beer will have a weekend to bake in transit. If at all possible, overnight is the way to go. Finally, a fresh beer has a much better shot at surviving unscathed, but that requires that you brew with the competition in mind (something few of us have time for.) A few years back, I think, Dave Miller wrote in Brewing Techniques about his "secret" for having his beers do well in competitions like the GABF, in response to a Q&A question. He wrote something to the effect that he just filled the bottles from the conditioning tank or keg (with a home made CP filler, if I recall correctly,) the night before shipping, to be sure everything was a fresh as possible. Might be the way to go, if you're a kegger. Paul Shick Brewing and lurking in Cleveland Hts, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 08:18:40 -0400 From: "Milone, Gilbert" <gilbert.milone at uconn.edu> Subject: Hello all, I will in be in Montreal Canada and Burlington VT this weekend. I would like to know some good brew pubs in either place. Thanks, Gil Milone Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 08:41:27 -0400 From: "Steven Parfitt" <the_gimp98 at hotmail.com> Subject: A Tale of Pumpkin Ale Well, I tried doing a Pumpkin Ale. It shall be interesting to see how it turns out. As a base I used a Porter recipe, since I wanted to try cloning Sinebrychoff Porter (Finland). It was a brew session from hell... After mashing some 20 pounds of grain for an hour, I drew off about 3 gallons starting at 1.115OG down to 1.095. Added 3gallons of water, hops, boiled for 1-1/2hours. This half would be the Sinebrychoff clone. While this was boiling, I added six pints of home canned pumpkin and three pounds of 6-row to the tun. The six pints of pumpkin came from a single 12 Pound Pumpkin. This had been baked, stripped of the skin, mashed with a big fork, and cooked along with a cup of brown sugar and some spices, cloves, Nutmeg, Allspice, ginger, etc (easy on the spices). Koocked out the first boil into the fermenter and checked the OG before pitching the yeast starter(Wy1028), 1.064 I was expecting 1.074, so it was a little low. No problem. Started run-off again. Stuck Sparge! Can we say Pumpkin Glue? Added 1/2lb of rice hulls to tun and stirred it in. Back blew throught he outlet to hopefully clear mash. started runoff again...yup stuck sparge. Hand scooped 9 Gallons of mash out of tun into plastic buckets. disassembled tun. cleaned all lines. Straightened flattened SS false bottom. Reassembled, added 1Lb rice hulls on top of false bottom, reloaded mash, ...Stuck Sparge. stirred and added more water and finally got run-off. Took first reading 1.110. Ok getting somewhere. Ran off 7.5+ gallons and stopped run off at 1.035. Commenced boil. added hopps, second hops, Clearfloc, honey, last hops, ... got to end of boil and knocked out 6 gallons of wort. 1.092 OG! Guess there is a lot more sugar in pumpkin than I expected. I will never do this again. Well, not for at least another year. and only then if it turns out special this time. If you make a pumpkin ale, I recommend adding a pound of rice hulls to the bottom of the tun with the first half of your mash and stir it in well. Then add the rest of your mash and finally the pumpkin. Thinning the mash and not disturbing the hulls seems to help with run off. Steven, -75 XLCH- Ironhead Nano-Brewery http://thegimp.8k.com Johnson City, TN 5:47:38.9 S, 1:17:37.5 E Rennerian "Fools you are... who say you like to learn from your mistakes.... I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the cost of my own." Otto von Bismarck Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 09:39:03 -0400 (EDT) From: Travis Dahl KE4VYZ <dahlt at umich.edu> Subject: Brewpubs in London, Ontaro? So next Saturday I will be risking the multiple hour delays at the border to head out to London, Ontario for a crew race. Since it will be a very long day, I'd like to finish it with a nice dinner at a brewpub. Unfortunately, pubcrawler only lists two places in London (one defunct, the other a tavern/college hangout). Does anybody have any reccomendations? -Travis Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 10:11:26 -0400 From: David Harsh <dharsh at fuse.net> Subject: Competitions and stronger beers David Craft <David-Craft at craftinsurance.com> brings up a common question: > Do stronger beers fair better in competition? > a nice Bitter place in the Southern Region with 41 points ... > 23 points in the AHA Nationals. > (judges said) the beer didn't "travel" or "age" well. A few issues are important. 1. Flavor profile changes with time, even in a well stored bottle. Bitterness fades, overall flavor profile changes, etc. The two most remarkable examples of this I've experienced are smoke beers and witbiers. In both cases, the flavor intensity (of smoke and coriander, respectively) seems to drop by 50% every couple of months. I think that's one of the appeals of the MCAB. 2. Bigger beers stand out in a competition. As an experienced judge, I can tell you that judges KNOW this and are careful to make sure they can justify giving the "big" beer in a best of show the award. I've been on BOS panels that gave the award to the eisbock, and I've been on panels that gave it to the weizen. When we settled on the eisbock, the question was asked "we're giving it to the biggest beer, can we really justify that?" We talked about it and were comfortable with our decision. It has been argued that a "bigger beer" will do better in a given style - say a american pale ale with 1.075 og and 75 ibu and tastes like someone is ramming a grapefruit up your nose. I've seen that sometimes, but then that beer gets blown out in bos for being out of style. 3. Don't worry about the actual numerical score difference - you were going against other winners, so the competition was a lot stiffer and the grading was tougher, so to speak. More importantly, different judge panels can judge the same beers and give a different range of scores. Also, if the first beer was *really* good and the judges held back on their scores, all other scores would be depressed as well. I think that is rare, but some judges aren't comfortable giving the first beer they taste a high score. 4. Even though I think that winning beers are generally good beers, judging and competitions are a bit of a crapshoot. Your perfect foghorn clone will not score as well as my bigfoot clone if the judges prefer bigfoot - forget what the style guidelines say! There's alot of subjectivity in judging - there's also poor judging at times. 5. Finally, read your comments carefully - it does sound like there was a shipping and storage problem somewhere along the line. Seems odd if it was bottle conditioned and stored cool - do you have any left that you can taste while reading them? (I'm afraid I know the answer to that question...) And by the way, 41 in any competition means you made a pretty good beer. Dave Harsh Bloatarian Brewing League Cincinnati, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 09:03:59 -0500 From: James Davis <jdavis1987 at home.com> Subject: Cascade v. Centennial & Munich I was recently told that Paddy Pale Ale of Wild Onion Brewing outside of Chicago uses centennial, not cascade hops. I could swear it uses cascade - it is an extremely hoppy APA style with a distinctly bitter/citrusy character that I though was cascade. Is centennial close in taste/aroma to cascade? As a side note there is apparently significant damage to the cascade hops supply this year - anyone have any info on that? Lastly, I'm making my third pilgrimage to Munich for Oktoberfest - Any suggestions for beer stops that I might have missed the first two times? Jim Davis Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 09:14:59 -0600 From: "Jeffry D Luck" <Jeffry.D.Luck at aexp.com> Subject: Give till it hurts... Pat Babcock wrote: >Before donating to the Red Cross, check to see if >your employer has a matching gift policy... You mean if 5 of us each give a pint, they're going to tap 5 pints from my boss?!? Where to I sign up? JL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 06:18:33 -0500 From: Greg Speiser & Cynthia Sawatzky <gregspeiser at home.com> Subject: venturi tube advice First off, yes I realize that oxygenating is better than aerating and that an aeration stone is better than a venturi tube but those things will have to wait. I would like to make a copper venturi tube. I use immersion chillers in my kettles and the chilled wort will be flowing throw a syphon making a drop of about eight (8) feet from kettle to primary. The kettles are outside and the primaries are in the basement. I believe that the syphon is 3/8 id. Questions: What diameter copper tubing is best? How many holes? What diameter holes? How much tubing before/after the holes? Will the wort foam up too much? Any pics of similar tubes also appreciated. Greg Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 15:13:58 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Brew in contests and storing yeast I think you found out that shipping beer to southern California in June is a mistake. About the only thing you could have done would be to ship it via Fed Ex with dry ice to keep it cool (and pay a big bundle of $$ for the privilege). I wouldn't be surprised if the winning beer in that category had been hand-delivered in a cooler. :-( (Although given that the winner is from Delaware, I may have to eat those words. :-) Yes, the judges presumably "knew" that it scored higher than that in the first round, but they have to work with the beer they have in front of them, not what it might have been before subjected to the rigors of shipping. Lighter styles tend to suffer more in shipping. Lagers suffer more. Beers that have been exposed to oxidation (HSA or otherwise) in the brewing, fermenting, packaging processes suffer more. So brew big-flavored beers, treat them as gently as possible, and ship them by air (avoid "ground" at all cost!) preferably during a cool spell. Or, only enter local competitions. :-) =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 22:04:36 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at mediaone.net> Subject: Re: Question about Jeff R's CAP recipe "Tom McConnell" <tdmc at bigfoot.com> asked: >Jeff, you used HBUs. Specifically, you say >First Wort Hops: 4-5 HBU Saaz or other noble hops >Bittering hops: (60 minutes) 5.3 HBU whole >Cluster (4.8 HBU for pellets) >Flavor hops: (15 minutes) 1.5 HBU whole noble >hops or Styrian Goldings >(1.2 HBU for pellets) ten minutes before strike. > >Do you mean xx HBUs per gallon or for the 5 >gallon batch? Fer instance, the FWH is it 4-5 >HBU's per gal (meaning 20-25 for the batch) or 4- >5 for the whole batch? I meant HBU per 5 gallons. Actually, I think I may have specified IBU originally but changed it for publication in Zymurgy. I can't remember. But actually, the 5.3 HBU for bittering is a bit low (another revision?). It would work out to be only around 20 IBU by my reckoning. I like to get closer to 30 IBU. The FWH will give 15-20 IBU if you figure it will give as much as regular boiling hops, but they don't seem to produce the same bittering for some strange reason, even though they're boiled the whole time. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at mediaone.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
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