HOMEBREW Digest #4048 Mon 23 September 2002

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  Re: Decoction debate (Svlnroozls)
  Colorado Brewpubs (Brett Hetherington)
  Re: Headless hefeweizen ("Gavin Scarman")
  Re: Cincinnati (Alex Boster)
  re: Freezing fresh hops ("Steve Alexander")
  re: Pils showing signs of age(?) in the aroma ("Steve Alexander")
  re: decoction ("Steve Alexander")
  Headless hefeweizen /LA Fair ("Don")
  Decoction with less labor ("The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty")
  re: Budvar vs Urquell yeast (Dr. Pivo's dream?) ("The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty")
  Hopping rates (David Brandt)
  Pretzel Salt Origins ("Bill Slats, CEO")
  Forbidden Fruit (Wyeast): question (darrell.leavitt)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 00:37:49 EDT From: Svlnroozls at aol.com Subject: Re: Decoction debate Howdys, gentlepersons. I thought that since the subject was on the table, I'd toss in a small by-the-way from my brew kitchen. I have been doing decoctions habitually for almost a year now, but not so much for any particular flavor reason. I've been doing it, believe it or don't, because I wanted my step mashes to go faster. I brew on a stove and it is an outdated and inefficient old wiretangle electric. I hate it. If I let it heat the mash on one burner, it would scorch and take hours, so I turn on the heat low undet the main mash and take out the decoction heat it on another burner it while the rest is slowly heating. It's really just a way for me to use two burners at a time when stepping up. If the main mash isn't hot enough after adding back the decoction, I adjust with a little water from my HLT (another pot that I'd put on to heat several hours before). Sure, it thins the mash a little, but it doesn't make a huge difference. A little extra proteolytic action wouldn't hurt in the witbiers I've been making this way anyhow. Speaking of which, one of said wits was a 1st place winner several times over. A very pleasant surprise. C.T. Davis Los Anguhleez, CA In a message dated 9/20/02 9:11:10 PM, Paul Shick's infinite number of monkeys at keyboards came up with: << Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 10:20:46 -0500 From: Paul Shick <shick at jcu.edu> Subject: RE: Decoction debate Hi all, Dave Harsh and Steve Alexander make some very good points about the pros and cons of decoction in response to a question by Bob Pelletier. Dave, in particular, questions whether you can duplicate the flavor of a decoction mash by adding Munich or melanoidin malts to the grist. A few years back, I tried to do just this by adding DeWolf Cosyns Aromatic malt to certain German lager styles, with pretty good success. >> *snip* Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 22:57:56 -0600 From: Brett Hetherington <Bretth at idcomm.com> Subject: Colorado Brewpubs Phil wants to forget about the purple mountain's majesty and get to drinkin' some good ol Colorado beer. Well Phil, since you'll be real close, you'll have to start at the Wyncoop Brewery in Lodo. Most everything they serve is pretty tasty. Then head south on Kalamath to the Breckenridge Brewery. They do allright too. Keep going south on Kalamath till you get to Alameda and make a big left hand curl. East on Alameda, north on Santa Fe, then west on the next little street. On your right is the Heavenly Daze Brewery. Real Nice IPA, too bad the Chapter 13 Ale is gone... The only thing I wouldn't recommend is the pasta salad... After that, wobble on down Kalamath again until you hit southbound I-25. Watch that right hand merge, it's a bitch when you're legally intoxicated... Weave south to County Line Road and the Rock Bottom, (you can see it just before the exit, on the right) They brewed a killer IPA that has strawberry esters in it. Gotta ask how they did that.... Along about now, you'll be looking for a cozy ditch to sleep in for awhile, because that's just the beginning. What with Coors, AB, New Belgium, me, and about a hundred regional and local craft brewers, We make more beer than any other geographically distinct region in the world! -Brett Aurora, Colorado Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 16:08:03 +0930 From: "Gavin Scarman" <suba2 at bigpond.net.au> Subject: Re: Headless hefeweizen > I suspect its the yeast. I don't think so, tho the autolysis might be what is responsible for weizens having a short shelf life. I use 3068 and have no problem with head retention, in fact I almost have the opposite in that a 2" head sits on my hefe's and won't go down, so that I get foam up me nose :). This is true of a weizenbock that has been in the bottle for 6months+, and I generally have quite a bit of yeast sediment. As Jeff R said, drop any 50-60C (protein) rest completely. FWIW, I mash with a 40-64-71C schedule, and the 40 is a loooong rest of 30-60 mins, this helps both reduce the wheat gums, and also the formation of ferulic acid which is a precursor to the clovelike phenol, 4-vinyl guiacol. And I generally do a double decoction with that schedule. prost Gavin Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 01:35:19 -0700 (PDT) From: Alex Boster <alex_boster at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Cincinnati Hi! I'm also actually from Lexington, KY, (and now live in San Diego, CA -- have for about a year) but spent a lot of time two years ago up in Cincy. If you are near Blue Ash, try Watson Bros. Downtown, go to Nicholsons. It's not a brewpub, but an upscale Scottish bar and restaurant. The tap selection was excellent last time I was there -- many beers I've very seldom seen in North America on tap (and then, mostly in Ontario). Naturally they have a good selection of other traditional Scottish libations as well. Cheers, Alex Boster Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 23:49:41 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: Freezing fresh hops Dave Riedel attacks a timely question (to us Northern hemisphere types) ... >The one-year-old crop, stored identically, went brown >nearly immediately. It has been theorized by one of >my friends that perhaps the hops were not thoroughly >dry when I froze them. Possible - even probable - water and picked leaves don't mix. My wife used to drive me crazy by cutting basil just before the first frost then, despite my protests, rinsing it off before hanging it to dry. Wetting the leaves is a formula for brown useless basil. The major mechanism in leaf browning is phenol oxidase enzymes reacting with phenolics in the leaf. The phenol oxidases are there to protect more critical cell constituents from oxidation by sacrificing the abundant phenolics. Phenolics also have structural, growth regulation and pesticidal(fungi, bacteria and even herbivore) roles in plants. Wet warm conditions and some cell damage increase the rates. It's not entirely clear that the hop browning itself and the oxidized and polymerized phenolics directly cause any flavor damage in beer (these are less soluble and pretty protein-philic), but wet warm storage conditions and cell damage can *imply* loss of the humulones and essential oils we're after. IOW I wouldn't throw out hops with cone surface browning but I also wouldn't buy brown hops since they may have experienced serious mishandling. I've recently frozen some undried fresh hops just to see how this comes out - I don't see any good reason why this isn't a good storage method aside from the difficulties measuring by weight and the extra storage costs which make this commercially untenable. There *may* be green hop flavors that appear but that will have to await some experiments. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 23:46:55 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: Pils showing signs of age(?) in the aroma Dave R says ... >I made a Czech Pils in the early spring: brewed Apr 19th, ..... [...] >Over the last two-three weeks I've noticed an >increasing sulfury smell overtop of the hop aroma. I just polished off a pils that was getting old (brewed 3/10) and the hops aroma and bitterness were both fading making it sweet and showing off some flaws more clearly. Can't say but maybe it's just the hops fading and other flavors showing through. Hops aroma, flavor and even bitterness don't last forever, especially with very imperfect HB kegging procedures. The best HB kegging methods I've read of will introduce air in the headspace at rates far above commercial bottling standards. Oxygen and nitrogen are each implicated in the flavor/aroma theft. Beers don't travel well in time or space - good beer is a shortlived local phenomena. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 03:14:41 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: decoction Dave Harsh notes ... >Question 1: For the same grain bill, there is a clear difference in >flavor from an infusion vs. a decoction mash. There is a "clear difference" ? Great to hear that but where is the evidence ? I've tried comparative brews (decoction vs step) and I was surprised to see that differences were modest and variable. Louis Bonham did a comparative brew and triangle tasting that found no decoction advantage. M.Lewis at UCDavis published his informal tests that over a period of years found decoction & step mashed beer not even reliably distinguishable! So far I've heard of no test result evidence to support the idea that decoction matters - much less that decoction matters in a big way. Two (or perhaps 3) informal tests are weak evidence - tho' far stronger than a mere hunch. >People have claimed that >is no effect on flavor and I have to question how many decoction mashes >they've actually performed. I certainly never said or implied decoction has no flavor effect. Any two brews, even a single brew split tween kegs and bottles will show flavor differences. No one can claim decoction makes no flavor difference. The question is - are these differences significant, reproducible and are decocted beers sufficiently better so to justify a very long brew day. I think that decoction has a small advantage in flavor - but smaller than most 'true believers' accept unchallenged. So here's a test that shouldn't be too hard to perform . I'd wager that a bevy of beer judges cannot ID the decoction brewed beers in a flight in a statistically significant way. (My side-bet is that they would preferentially pick beers with more dark malt as the decocted ones - even if they weren't.) - -- The evidence that NO-SPARGE brewing makes maltier, better tasting beers is far clearer than that decoction does. I'd suggest that beginners try the very simple no-sparge method before concerning themselves with a tedious decoctions. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 07:16:10 -0700 From: "Don" <don at steinfillers.com> Subject: Headless hefeweizen /LA Fair Regarding the current thread on Headless Hefeweizen; I am currently working a booth at the LA County fair where we have been pouring a very tasty hefeweizen with nice banana/clove flavors, but no head. It was brewed by a local brew-pub. I don't want to say where, but apparently some of the slightly larger brewers have the same problem. BTW, if you are in S. Calif., the LA County Fair is currently going on through 9/29. If you go, stop by the "Beer Tavern" we built to serve the beers from the commercial beer competition. At any given moment, we serve 10 different beers. It has been a real experience and we have been able to introduce a lot of Joe sixpacks to good beer. Don Van Valkenburg Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 09:58:08 -0500 From: "The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty" <mikey at swampgas.com> Subject: Decoction with less labor Just add my two cents to the decoction thread: I use a decoction method that only adds about an hour to the mash session. I'd like to take credit for this idea, but I got it from George DePiro a couple of years ago. Basically, I haven't seen any real character difference between this method and a double decoction (I've done a few of those). Don't know how this might compare to a triple decoction; I've only done one of those and will probably never do another. In any case, my method is as follows: Saccharify your mash at your favorite rest temp (145F-155F). I use about 1.2 - 1.4qt/lb of water. After the mash has converted, use a large strainer (the kind with a handle), to scoop the mash into your decoction pot. As you extract the mash, try to take as little of the liquid part of the mash with you as possible. In general, I take most of the solid part of the mash into the decoct pot. The idea is to try to leave as much of the enzyme-laden mash liquor behind as you can. The mash solids in the decoct pot should be dry, but not too dry. If necessary, I will add a little brewing water (or even some of the thin mash left behind) back in to the decoct pot so that I can just see a little liquid in the spaces between the grains in the decoct pot. Things should look like thick porridge or oatmeal at this point. Insulate the main mash so the temp doesn't drop too much (you may even need to apply heat of you don't have a good insulator), and begin boiling the mash in the decoct pot. Note that it may take some time to get this up to boiling without applying massive amounts of heat. You'll need to stir quite a bit. Once the decoct hits boiling, let it go for 20-30 minutes, stirring all the while. If the mash gets too dry, add some brew-water as you see fit. The whole proecess should take you less than an hour, and smell pretty good. After you are done boiling, re-add the decoct back to the main mash slowly to bring the whole thing up to about 160F or so. Rest for 30 minutes, then either mashout or do whatever your regular sparge routine calls for. Note that you will probably have some scorching on the bottom of your decoct pot, which will be all but impossible to remove by scrubbing. I generally remove this (after rinsing the pot), by putting about 3/4 inch of water in the bottom, and adding a generous portion of lye. After soaking overnight, I pour off the lye solution (carefully), and the scorched material is either gone or very easy to remove. CAUTION: Lye is highly caustic and extremely nasty stuff. Use goggles, gloves and great care when handling it. DO NOT use lye on aluminum pots. I've done side-by-side comparisons using this decoct schedule versus adding aromatic specialty grains on samples of Bohemian Pilseners, and definitely preferred the decocted versions. On the other hand, I'm not sure that on other beers that are brewed with predominantly munich malts that there is really much of a difference. I'm hoping to do a side-by-side comparison of a couple of mostly-munich dunkels in the near future. Hope that helps -- m ==== Teleoperate a roving mobile robot from the web: http://www.swampgas.com/robotics/rover.html Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 11:31:20 -0500 From: "The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty" <mikey at swampgas.com> Subject: re: Budvar vs Urquell yeast (Dr. Pivo's dream?) Paul Shick wrote in HBD #4047 > I've been thinking about Bohemian Pils lately, > in light of the availability of new yeasts. My first > attempt to play with these new strains involved splitting > a ten gallon batch between two carboys, one fermented with > Wyeast 2278 (rumored to be from Pilsner Urquell) and White > Labs "Cesky Budejovice" (their seasonal, supposedly from > Budvar.) Are you sure that Cesky Budejivice is really the Budvar yeast? I just brewed a couple of beers with this one (not pilseners, tho) and haven't noticed a tendency for the yeast to produce much diaceytl at all, or to be particularly under-attenuating. I should, mention here that I'm brewing dunkels made from primarily continental munich malt, but I would expect _stronger_ attenuation using a pilsener grist. Also, these beers are not done lagering, so I still don't know what the final character of the beers will be. I did notice this description of this yeast at the White Labs site: "Pilsner lager yeast from Southern Czech Republic. Produces dry and crisp lagers, with low diacetyl production. Attenuation: 75-80 " This doesn't sound much like the Budvar yeast profile. I was under the impression that this was the Budvar yeast myself, until I saw this description. Might be nice if someone from White Labs chimed in if they're reading this. I may pitch a doppelbock on this yeast next. If this really is the Budvar yeast, I may choose another style. Cheers -- m ==== Teleoperate a roving mobile robot from the web: http://www.swampgas.com/robotics/rover.html Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 09:56:15 -0700 From: David Brandt <jdlcr at flash.netdex.com> Subject: Hopping rates Dear HDB'rs When I use pelleted hops I let them sit in the wort while I cool it for yeast pitching. If I use whole hops I usually put them in a bag and pull the bag out prior to cooling. Is yanking my bag (come on, you know what I mean) a mistake here? How can I find out the variance of whole or pelleted hop isomerization in these two methods as far as the aromatics are concerned? I imagine those bittering hops that have been sitting in a boil for 60 minutes are about tapped out so they shoulnd't be of concern- or is this not true? Many thanks for any help, David Brandt Cloverdale, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002 00:22:54 -0600 From: "Bill Slats, CEO" <tlm50 at pop3.comcast.net> Subject: Pretzel Salt Origins Alan has asked what pretzel salt is. The honourable Jeff Renner has graciously told him, along with the rest of us where to get it. However, what Alan really wanted to know was what it is. I can help the collective out on that account. Let me introduce my self. I am Bill Slats, CEO of Pretzel Integrated Salt Services Ltd. Our primary business is mining pretzel salt. Our ancestors left behind enormous quantities of pretzels. Those pretzels have spent eons underground. My company mines those pre-historic pretzels and processes them to make pretzel salt. Many cheap Yank knockoffs are on the market, but I can assure you that the best of pretzels have pure Pretzel Integrated Salt Services crystals on them. So...... when you make pretzels, spend the extra for quality and make sure you have pure Pretzel Integrated Salt Services crystals on them. Now, I can only hope that the collective will find the charity to forgive the Honourable Jeff Renner for dealing with superficialities, that the Honourable Pat Babcock and Honourable Karl Lutzen can find it in their heart to forgive my crass commercial announcement, and that the Honourable Jeff Renner will find the kindness to not flame me for such outspoken criticism of his handling of such a weight question. With Tool in Hand, Bill Slats CEO Pretzel Integrated Salt Services Ltd Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002 06:55:17 -0400 From: darrell.leavitt at plattsburgh.edu Subject: Forbidden Fruit (Wyeast): question This is the description of Forbidden Fruit Yeast from the Wyeast website: 3463 Forbidden Fruit yeast >From classic Belgian brewery for production of wits to classic grand cru. Phenolic profile with subdued fruitiness. Seasonal availability. Flocculation low; apparent attenuation 73-77%. (63-76o F) This is the first time that I have used it,...do I need to worry about the max temp,..ie will it get nasty above 76F? If anyone has used this yeast and can describe it, I'd really appreciate it. ..Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 21:50:10 -0500 From: "gbienert" <gbienert at cox.net> Subject: Tonight we went by Cooter Brown's and found that their web site was bogus-the only English beer on tap was a Newcastle Brown and they had no oatmeal stout on tap-plenty of bottled beer though.Zea's has a nice selection,the food was great and the 5 buck sampler (four 4 0z samples) is a deal and since tonight they were out of 4 oz glassses we had to settle for 6 ounce glasses at the same price-worth the little trip to the 'burbs. Return to table of contents
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