HOMEBREW Digest #3785 Mon 12 November 2001

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  Hands-Free Beer Glass ("Jeff Hewit")
  Airlocks (Mike Lemons)
  Re: RE: Draft box  - Funny you should mention that ("RJ")
  making a starter (leavitdg)
  Pretzel recipe? (Mark Linton)
  Full-wort boils ("Bill Pierce")
  Beer Kit Delima ("gmc")
  Malt fermentability ("Fred L. Johnson")
  Polygamy Porter (Jeff Renner)
  Thought for the day ("Bret Mayden")
  My take on Wort Chillers (Bob Sheck)
  Is it ok to reuse an inline filter? ("Lou King")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 00:44:29 -0500 From: "Jeff Hewit" <aleman at home.com> Subject: Hands-Free Beer Glass Does anyone know a source for a hands-free beer glass? I have seen them - a container with a cord you can put around your neck so you can use both hands without needing to find a spot to place your beer - great for crowded parties. If possible, I would like to get them in quantity as a fund raiser for my homebrew club. Thanks in advance to anyone with any information. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 01:30:20 -0800 From: Mike Lemons <ndcent at hotmail.com> Subject: Airlocks I really depend on airlocks. The frequency of the bubbles tells me what stage the fermentation is at. Sure gravity readings would probably be more accurate, but it is such a pain to get a sample out of the fermenter! I've got one of those big glass wine thief things, but it dribbles on my carpet. It's very long and hard to sanitize. Compare this to the pleasant experience of pulling up a chair and listening to the airlock. It reminds me of when I had a vegetable garden and would sit in the back yard watching the plants grow. I don't understand these air leakage problems that people are having. It's basically a big glass bottle with a thick rubber stopper stuck in it. There is an airlock in the stopper that takes a lot of force to remove. It seems like a leak proof design to me. My plastic primary could leak, but it doesn't seem to. I recently bought a new one and discovered that it didn't have a rubber seal in the lid. I was going to call and complain, but I decided to do a test first. I put a gallon of water in it and a solid rubber stopper and turned it upside down. No water leaked out. I guess the lid forms a seal like a C-clamp and the back of the C doesn't matter. As for how an airlock gets dirty, it happens to me when I use it when I should have used a blow off tube. This is a bad thing because the airlock will become clogged and build up pressure. Have you ever seen a plastic primary before it blows its top? I was surprised at how spherical they can be. I try to predict whether I will need the blow off tube based on gravity, temperature, yeast and fill level. Sometimes I'm wrong. I should probably use a blow off tube for every new batch, but an airlock is so much easier to use. Trying to get a blow off tube to bend the way you want is like working with a live ox tail. I've been using a 1 inch O.D. tube that will only form a seal in a 1 inch hole when it is exactly vertical. It's hard to clean and finally got so cruddy that I threw it away. I found a 1 inch I.D. tube at the hardware store. It was wrapped so tightly around the spool that it got smashed like an anaheim pepper. I jammed a beer bottle in the end, so maybe it will be somewhat round by the time I need it. I have a little brush for cleaning air locks. It works pretty well except for the curvy parts of the fancy glass ones. I'm sorry to hear that you can't buy those anymore. (glass airlocks) Although they are fragile, they are really something to look at. I bought three of them about ten years ago. The place is still in business, but they don't seem to have a catalog online: http://www.semplexofusa.com/ I have a soft place in my heart for them because they sent me a free catalog when I was in grade school and I answered their ad in Popular Science. Mike Lemons Carlsbad, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 07:51:34 -0500 From: "RJ" <wortsup at metrocast.net> Subject: Re: RE: Draft box - Funny you should mention that "Audie Kennedy" <audie_24293 at yahoo.com> wrote: "...I considered doing what you suggest, but went a different route. I built a cooler for my cornie kegs out of a $8 trash can, $10 of insulation, a $3 five gallon plastic bucket, a $3 sleeping pad, and that cheap tubing. I duct-taped a cylinder made from the sleeping pad onto the top of the bucket, placed it in the middle of the trash can, insulated all around, and made a "collar" from the left over sleeping pad to cover the gap between the cylinder and the wall of the trash can. I used a $1 piece of pipe insulation around the top of the cylinder to give it a finished look. I cool the beer by putting a few ice cubes down in the bucket, then placing a 2-liter soda bottle with ice on top of the keg..." <snip> Audie & et al, I do basically the same thing as you, but even simpler, I have a 55 gallon "Rubbermaid" trash can with a pull handle and wheels - (yup, same one I use in the winter to CF in, but that's another thread) - I put a large wet heavy terry towel in the bottom, the "can" will accommodate (2) 5 gallon cornies, and (1) 3 gallon corny; the CO2 tank sits outside in the warmth, allowing easy adjustsments and better pressure; after arrainging the kegs, fill with ice and add a second large wet heavy terry towel on top. The can cover has (3) small holes cut out of the top, thru which I pass the beer line (one caveat to my system is that you need "flair screw" hose connections); while the upper side wall has a hole to accommodate the gas line(s) in. The cover has a built in twist-lock system that is integral with the handle in the flipped-up position (in other words, it won't come off unless you really want it too). Will keep beer cold for up to 24 hours (provided it was cold to begin with, and at least partially shaded). Clean up is a snap, too... RJ <aka Olde Phenomian> 43:30:3.298N x 71:39:9.911W Lakes Region - NH Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 07:21:51 -0500 (EST) From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: making a starter Dan mentions his method of drawing off some fresh wort, cooling with bottled water then starting his dry yeast in the mix. I certainly think that this is better than just adding the dry yeast to the fermenter, ie without re-hydrating, but my question is this: Some have said that yeast can get osmotic shock if the gravity of the medium they re-enter life in is too high. I wonder, is there an optimal mix of wort and water (gravity) below which this method might be ok for those of us who buy into the osmotic shock concept? Or, is it just better/ safer to rehydrate with warm water...? ..Darrell [500, something...Rennerian] Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 09:31:44 -0600 From: Mark Linton <cryptcl at earthlink.net> Subject: Pretzel recipe? Hi all, I joined the list a little late, and have been following the lye/pretzel recipe thread. I keep hoping that someone will attribute an earlier post with the recipe attached. No luck so far. Would someone be so kind as to post it again, or email it to me directly? My first homebrew batch (too dark, but whatta ya gonna do...) is a Munchner Helles. It's been in the keg for two weeks, and I've been sampling it recently - it's aging nicely. This beer just begs for a soft pretzel. I was in Munich two months ago and enjoyed the pretzels at the Augustinerkeller by the train station - how I wish I could peek at the grain bill/hop bill for the Augustiner Helles! My guess is that it's predominantly Saaz hops, but I'm willing to be corrected. Prost, Mark Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 11:26:09 -0600 From: "Bill Pierce" <BillPierce at aol.com> Subject: Full-wort boils The recent posts about the desirability of a full-wort boil, as opposed to boiling a concentrated portion of the wort and diluting it off with water in the fermenter, ignores one very important benefit in my mind. I'm firmly convinced that full-wort boils result in better beer and that one of the causes of the so-called "extract tang" found in some beers is boiling only part of the wort. On quite a number of occasions I have judged beers that received very high scores in competitions, including at least two best-of-show winners, that later I discovered were brewed with extract. In every case when I have spoken with the brewer I have found that the full volume of wort was boiled. This leads me to conclude that full-wort boils contribute to better flavor and improved quality. An analogy I can make is the difference between condensed soups to which water is added when they are heated and soups in which the full volume is heated. Brew on! Bill Pierce Cellar Door Homebrewery Highwood, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 15:04:14 -0600 From: "gmc" <gmc at setel.com> Subject: Beer Kit Delima I recently bought a beer kit that instructed me to add the ingredients to 2 gallons of water for the boil. This contradicts everything I've read on the subject. I was under the impression that a 3 gallon boil was typical for a 5 gallon batch. I guess my question here is, what's the difference between boiling 3 and adding 2 or boiling 2 and adding 3? Any information on the matter is greatly appreciated. Greg Collins Clay City, Kentucky Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 17:18:17 -0500 From: "Fred L. Johnson" <FLJohnson at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Malt fermentability Following on the recent thread regarding malts that produce less fermentable wort, I just had another experience suggesting that this variability can be a significant issue. I just brewed a 1.047 porter with 17% of the grist composed of malts kilned at elevated temperatures (crystal 60, chocolate, and black patent). The base malt was English Pale. Mashed for 90 min at 151 F. I used a 1600 ml starter of Wyeast 1318 prepared by continuous slow infusion, aeration, and stirring of 1.060 wort. This type of starter has consistently provided me with goodly amounts of healthy yeast. (However, this IS a new yeast for me.) Fermentation started off normally under the house at 65 F, but I had a cold snap and the ambient temperature under the house dropped to 57 F on day 2. Fermentation was considerably slower on day 3 and didn't pick up again when the ambient temperature came back up to about 68 F. I transferred the beer to a secondary on day 5. Gravity was 1.019. Because attenuation was so poor, I left the secondary in the house at 72 F for several days. Some very slow bubbling continued for a day or two but it was obviously close to finished. The beer became still and clear for several days and was bottled with a final gravity of 1.017, Clinitest tested 1/4% sugar--a useful test used in the appropriate context--indicating a low liklihood that a significant amount of fermentables were present. I believe there was ample opportunity for the yeast (if it had become cold shocked) to consume any fermentables that were available, and my conclusion is that the wort simply was not very fermentable. We've all read the tables of the amount of extract we can get from various malts, and these generally are right on target for obtaining desired original gravities, but nowhere have I read anything on the fermentability of wort obtained from these. Such would be another very useful malt parameter to publish. (I'm of the camp that believes there is little difference between most brewing yeasts in their ability to ferment a given wort.) Comments/flames? - -- Fred L. Johnson Apex, North Carolina USA - -- Fred L. Johnson Apex, North Carolina USA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 10:07:12 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at mediaone.net> Subject: Polygamy Porter Brewers Fun story from http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.brew09nov09.story: Jeff -=-=-=-=- Utah beer's flippant ads land brewmaster in the suds State liquor commission censors jokes; billboard companies refuse space - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ By Candus Thomson Sun National Staff Originally published November 9, 2001 PARK CITY, Utah - Polygamy Porter tastes good. The question in this Mormon-dominated state is whether the billboard advertising for the beer is in good taste. Greg Schirf, the brewmaster and owner of Wasatch Beer, insists the slogans, "Why have just one?" and "Take some home for the wives," are in good fun. But the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and two local billboard companies disagree. The state agency has toyed with the idea of banning advertising that pokes fun at religion while the billboard companies have refused to rent Schirf space on their signs. Although acquiring multiple wives has been illegal in Utah since 1890 - a ban required by the federal government as a condition for statehood - there are still pockets of practicing polygamists. Civic leaders promoting a cosmopolitan image consider it a sore point to bring up an activity once sanctioned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormons are formally known. That Schirf would poke fun at Utah's embarrassing history has become a brew-haha that is taking on Olympic proportions. "They're being thick-headed," says Schirf, who knows a thing or two about heads. "With everyone watching because of the Winter Olympics, they don't seem to realize they are drawing more attention to themselves. I couldn't pay for this kind of publicity." Steering clear of issue But Reagan Outdoor Advertising, which had a one-year contract with Schirf, and Young Electric Sign Co. are sticking to their guns. "We just do not want to be associated in any way with anything that associates in any way with polygamy," company President Dewey Reagan told The Salt Lake Tribune. "The entire ad is offensive." Seventy percent of Utah residents are Mormons, a religion that forbids the consumption of alcohol and frowns on caffeine. Government at all levels, including the liquor board, is dominated by church members. Park City, home to Schirf's Wasatch Brew Pub, is not so sober-minded. It is Utah's party central, a skiing town about 45 minutes outside Salt Lake City that attracts both the Mountain Dew and the Veuve Clicquot crowds. It's the perfect place for beers such as Polygamy Porter and St. Provo Girl ("If you just said 'Oh my heck,' it's probably not for you"). And Schirf, a fun-loving guy with a beer-barrel shape, is no stranger to fermenting controversy. He wrestled with state regulators to license microbreweries and brew pubs in the 1980s. And two years ago, he successfully tangled with Olympic organizers over his "2002 Unofficial Amber Ale." "I'll never understand that one," he says. "Which part did they have licensed? 2002? Unofficial?" The current spat is starting to attract worldwide attention, especially from the European press, which already is skeptical of Utah's ability to party down beneath the shadow of the Mormon Temple. The Dutch Olympic team has paid $180,000 to turn a golf course country club in a nearby suburb into Holland Heineken House. Park City is leasing its library and education annex to the Norwegian Olympic team for $200,000. Anheuser-Busch, a $50 million Olympic sponsor, has paid an extra $155,000 to lease the city-owned Gallivan Center for a beer garden. Legality questioned The liquor board took an awkward run last month at trying to head off Schirf's style of mischief, passing a regulation that banned ads using religious themes or symbols. But the board approved the measure during an apparently secret meeting, raising questions about its legal underpinnings. The matter is now in court. Meanwhile, Schirf is the life of the party, selling beer and merchandise on his Web site (www. utahbrewers.com) and promoting Park City. "I'm getting 400 online orders for T-shirts every day. The beer is flying off the shelves," Schirf crows. "The church has been so helpful, I should tithe 10 percent. It's the only right thing to do." - -- 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
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 22:10:05 +0000 From: "Bret Mayden" <brmayden at hotmail.com> Subject: Thought for the day "But man is a lazy creature! There are times, many times, when he feels the strain of polite society, when he would escape from the charming necessities of being on his good behavior before the delightful creatures who often demand good behavior. These are the times when he wishes to retire with a group of 'kinspirits' and drink beer. The female, for the most part, is willing to allow him to do this, as she does not apparently love that noble beverage. Thus we have our place cut out for us. We know where we can escape. The brewing and drinking, in masculine society, of good beer, is our last frontier, our last refuge. Let us make the most of it! We may never have another." From: The Homemade Beer Book, Vrest Orton, 1973, Charles E. Tuttle Co. First published privately in 1932 (height of Prohibition) for members of "The Company of Amatuer Brewers," a private homebrew club. Bret A. Mayden Oklahoma City, OK brmayden at hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 21:27:30 -0500 From: Bob Sheck <bsheck at skantech.net> Subject: My take on Wort Chillers I have used both, but in the main, I have made an immersion chiller from 50' of 3/8 copper wrapped around a corny keg. I've used this for the last 5 yrs, and I find it quite suitable. My brewing friend has made a CFC which hooks up to his large boiling vessel's valve. The last several batches (12 gal which we have split into our respective fermentors) have been cooled with this method. Which do I prefer? I like the simplicity of the immersion chiller. Although the convenience of having cold wort flow directly into your fermenter is nice. No fooling around with swirling the immersion chiller around. I can sit back and relax, not worry, have a homebrew. However, there is the prep-work of cleaning/sanitizing the rig before the boil, and cleaning it after the boil. We run about 5 gallons boiling water through the CFC before the wort boil and then about the same amount after the boil to rinse. then we wrap the ends with sanitized aluminum foil for storage between use. This is a lot of work! With the immersion chiller, I just periodically use copper polish on it to remove the verdigris on the outside, then clean with Logic's A+ to remove whatever gunk was in the copper polish, then rinse, wipe down, rinse, rinse, rinse, then into the boil the last 10 minutes before the end of the boil. During the cooling process, I swirl the coil around. and once the boiler is cool to the touch, up and down to oxygenate the wort, then when cool, whirlpool, remove, and rack to the fermenter. A quick rinse with the garden hose to blast off the trub and into a plastic bag for the next brew evolution. No messing around with boiling 2 5 gallon batches of water to clean and sanitize. No worry about what kind of verdigris build-up is going on inside the CFC tube, no worry at all! No worry about Irish Moss build-up inside the tube, or hop jams -yea, with an immersion chiller you can use leaves all you want, and not worry about enclosing them in bags (as long as you have a screen on the bottom of your boiler or outlet tube to act as a hop-back). I would have to say that immersion is easier than CFC in use, cleaning, and energy use. There may be better methods, but as for simplicity, I have to say that immersion is the way to go. The CFC is nice, but there is a lot of dicking around with it to insure that it's sanitized and clean and rinsed after use. I just like to relax, not worry and have a lot of homebrews! Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 22:08:09 -0500 From: "Lou King" <lking at pobox.com> Subject: Is it ok to reuse an inline filter? Sort of on the discussion of cloudy beer, today I tried filtering for the first time. I got a spun poly 1 micron filter from Beer, Beer and More Beer (FIL40 with FIL62). Beer, Beer and More Beer recommends against reusing the filter. See http://www.morebeer.com/index.html?page=detail.php3&pid=FIL62 . However, looking at the St. Patrick's of Texas web site http://www.stpats.com/filtering.pdf, they say to seal the filter in the housing, using a bleach solution to sanitize it. NAYYY Has anyone had any experience one way or the other trying to sanitize an inline filter? The filter isn't that much money, probably worth the expense, but I wouldn't mind using it a few times before tossing it out. (Even St. Pat's says only use the filter 2-3 times). BTW, since I normally keg my beer, it was really easy to use the filter, you just need an extra keg. Took about an hour including sanitation and cleanup, to filter 10 gallons (two Corny kegs). Lou King (Lou's Brews) Ijamsville, MD; [394.4, 118.4] Rennerian Return to table of contents
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