HOMEBREW Digest #4126 Mon 23 December 2002

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  Re: Stir bars (Kent Fletcher)
  producing yeast for homebrewers ("Kelvin Keh")
  Egg Nog recipe (Jeff Renner)
  re: yeast slants, homebrewers becoming pro brewers (TomAGardner)
  re:  how long? (John Sarette)
  A good beer gone bad ("Jim Bartlett")
  re: magnetic stir bar (John Schnupp)
  hop utilization ("dave holt")
  acrylic cement - working with plastics (Robert S Wallace)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2002 20:13:04 -0800 (PST) From: Kent Fletcher <fletcherhomebrew at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Stir bars Steve Funk asks: >Does anyone know where I can find a large stir >bar for a decent price? McMaster-Carr sells stir bars in 10 sizes with or without the ring in the middle. Their largest is 3 inch by .5 inch diameter, $13.20 with molded on ring, $11.40 with removable ring (better for large containers). http://www.mcmaster.com/ Steve, do you find that stirring your HLT during HERMS helps significantly? Kent Fletcher Brewing in So Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 14:12:52 +0800 From: "Kelvin Keh" <kelvin at inbiotech.com> Subject: producing yeast for homebrewers Hi all, I've been lurking and reading the archives for awhile now. recently, there's been an active debate on brewing as a job. I'd like to ask a related question to this, one that i'm seriously considering. I am part owner of a biotech company, and am seriously considering producing varieties of brewery yeast for home brewers and small micros. As i understand it, there are only white labs and Wyeast who is currently targetting this niche (pls correct me if i'm wrong). we are also actively looking to start a bakery yeast production facility to cater to (primarily) developing countries (we are based in Malaysia). Other than price and quality (which is of course important), is there anything that you'd like to have that is NOT commercially available? maybe different packaging, pure culture kits etc... before I go out and do market surveys etc, i'd like to hear directly from people who are actually using it. any and every opinion/comments are welcomed. suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thank you, and merry christmas to all! warm regards, Kelvin Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 09:27:45 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Egg Nog recipe Brewers Here is a note from two years ago that seems worth sending again. I got a great response. I've also included a little additional history that I was pleased to find out. Hope this will become part of your holiday tradition as it is ours. Jeff ============== Brewers My father was not a big drinker or a cook, but he was famous among friends and family for his egg nog. It had a kick. It was an old recipe that he modified (probably increased the booze!) from one in a magazine ad for Four Roses Blended Bourbon in the 1930's or 40's. Straight bourbon is much to be preferred. Last evening I took a double batch to a potluck party. I made a further modification - an inadvertent, serendipitous mistake, that made it much better as a casual drinking egg nog. I used twice the proper amount of half and half (resulting in proportionally half the eggs, sugar and liquor). Strangely, it seemed still to be well balanced. The original one is twice as strong and is a wonderful drink, but the flavor of the liquor is more evident and it must be drunk with more caution. More like a cocktail, I guess. I like them both, but I think that the milder one is better suited to casual drinking, especially by people who don't like the full flavor of whiskey. And they are both easy enough to make that you'll never buy that horrible stuff from the grocery store again. Harry Renner's Egg Nog 6 eggs, separated 3/4 cup sugar (set aside 1/4 cup) 1 qt. cereal milk [half and half, or one pint each milk and whipping cream] 1 cup straight bourbon 2 oz. Jamaican dark rum Beat egg whites until stiff, fold or beat in 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside. Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar, fold into egg white mix. Add cereal milk, bourbon and rum. Serve topped with grated nutmeg. The mistake I made was to use a *quart* each of skim milk and whipping cream (actually I made a double batch; or was it a quadruple?). Dad always used Myer's rum and Old Forester bourbon, but if you are making it full strength and will be able to taste the liquor, better bourbon will make a difference. Two years ago we used Knob Creek (~$25) and the difference was remarkable. Jim Beam Black Label (~$15) or Wild Turkey 101 (~$18) would be two other, less expensive, but still somewhat premium choices. Of course, these three are higher proof, so drink accordingly. I suspect there are better choices than Myer's rum, too, but it has served us well. And now an amusing anecdote for your holiday enjoyment: Scene: a streetcar in Cincinnati, circa 1950. Characters: Little four-year-old Jeff and his grandma, returning from downtown Christmas shopping, and other passengers. Jeff, in a loud voice: "Grandma, don't forget you said that you needed to stop and get rummy for the egg noggin!" Grandma and passengers laugh. Jeff feels very embarrassed and the memory is seared in his brain, even though no one else remembers. Happy holidays! Jeff ================= Among the people I sent it to was Gary Regan, author of a number of fine books on whiskies and cocktails (http://www.ardentspirits.com). He sent me this email: Hi Jeff: I wrote to Dale DeGroff, and sure enough, the original recipe came from a relative of his! Here's what he wrote back: Hi Gary, The recipe that Jeff's dad adapted from the Four Roses ad was My Grandmother's brother's recipe. He submitted the recipe to them in some kind of contest and the four Roses Pr people or who ever handled the advertising in those days sent a release for him to sign for its use on the bottle and in ads. His name was Dominic Gencarelli, he owned a Granite quarry in Rhode Island among other things. He was an engineer and figured out a way to build stone jettys into the ocean without renting barges and tugboats. His Italian stone cutters cut the stone in the quarry in such a way that on side the stone was flat and the trucks could drive out on the jetty as it was being built. he built a lot of the jettys along the east coast especially in New England, but some here on Long Island as well. He always had two bowls of the punch at Christmas , one for the kids and one for the grown-ups...here is the recipe., and incidently what made the recipe special was its lightness twice as much milk as cream and the white of the egg whipped stiff and folded in to the mix , so it was almost like clouds on top of the egg nog; EGG NOG (Uncle Angelo's) 1 batch (6 people) 6 eggs (separated) 1 qt. milk 1 pint cream 1 tbsp. ground nutmeg 3/4 cup sugar 3 oz. bourbon 3 oz. spice rum Beat egg yolks well until they turn light in color, adding half a cup of sugar as you beat. Add milk, cream and liquor to finished yolks. Then beat egg whites until they peak. Fold whites into mixture. Grate fresh nutmeg over drink. Cheers Dale DeGroff aka "http://www.kingcocktail.com/index.html" King Cocktail - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 14:49:37 EST From: TomAGardner at cs.com Subject: re: yeast slants, homebrewers becoming pro brewers Hi all, There is a fantastic brewing resource in Colorado Springs, CO called the Brewing Science Institute. They have a great website (www.brewingscience.com) with educational information as well as yeast and yeast management supplies and links to other suppliers. Katie has been wonderful in teaching our local Denver homebrew club Foam On The Range. She has given several talks on yeast health, growing, pitching, cleaning and storing. She also organizes a yearly microbrewing symposium and yeast management classes. She sells yeast in microbrewery sizes and also miniplates ($10). She is very supportive of homebrewing and brews a little herself I believe. Maybe if we get together with support for future sales she might consider selling slants. As far as entering the professional brewing field, there are many successful transplants from homebrewing to commercial brewing here in the Denver area. When I first got to town about 10 years ago there were two members of a previous homebrew club that were entering professional brewing. Wayne Waananen went on to brew at the Hubcap in Vail, the Sandlot in the Coors baseball stadium, and then down at the Rockyard in Castle Rock. Tom Hale is now a brewer at the Sandlot. And the Avery brewery is owned and operated by a previous homebrewer as well as the Lefthand brewery in Longmont, and others too numerous to mention. So go with your passions. (Do what I say, not what I do! Now on to refind my passions!) And a big hello from Denver, Tom Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 17:27:08 -0800 (PST) From: John Sarette <j2saret at yahoo.com> Subject: re: how long? You're fine. just bottle condition for an extra couple of months. I've had beer in the fermenter for four years. John (its cool here in Duluth) Subject: How long in the bucket - ---Greatings, I've had beer in a bucket under air lock since mid-August. Looked in and took a sniff and can't detect any off aroma. Smells like a bucket of beer. Should I bottle it or should I just assume that it's swill by default? Thanks, D----- ===== God is not on your side God does not take sides God is a pure fan of the game. Play hard. Play fair. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 19:30:55 -0600 From: "Jim Bartlett" <jimndana at mchsi.com> Subject: A good beer gone bad The last beer that I brewed an Irish Red ale, after about 6 weeks from brew day, tasted great. Within 2-3 weeks this once good beer has turned into this fizzy alka-seltzer tasting beer. I used 7/8 of a cup corn sugar for a 5 gallon batch which I have done before. I have tried uncapping the bottles and recapping to release the pressure but this terrible alka-seltzer or baking soda type taste remains. I used one step sanitizer as I normally do. I have brewed this same beer before without any problems. Can anybody tell me what might cause this? A bacterial infection, wild yeast, too much corn sugar? Thanks, Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 20:02:19 -0800 (PST) From: John Schnupp <johnschnupp at yahoo.com> Subject: re: magnetic stir bar From: "Steve Funk" <stevefunk at hotmail.com> >I use a 10-gal beverage cooler for my HLT/HERM system that is equipped with >a heating element. The cooler sits on a 12"x12" magnetic stir plate. I >have been using a Teflon coated lab stir bar but it doesn't swirl the column >of water very well. I tried looking for a larger stir bar (mine is 2"L x >3/8" dia) and cannot find one outside of the high-priced scientific supply Steve, I would suggest that that the problem is not your stir bar but rather the lack of coupling between the stir plate and stir bar. The stir bar does not turn because of the lack of coupling. To get better coupling you need to get the stir plate closer to the stir bar. To do this you will need to cut the bottom of the cooler apart, probably not exactly what you had in mind. Most stir plates are for use in situations where there is a small distance between the stir plate and bar (a flask or beaker for example). I am not sure exactly why you would want to stir the water in the HLT/HERMS. Isn't the water already being circulated? I would think that the circulation should be enough to keep the water at and even temperatur throughout. If feel that you must stir the water, what about mounting a small motor on the lid on the HLT and attaching a stirrer/paddle to it? It doesn't have to be a big powerful motor. A small DC hobby type motor should work. You can control the speed by adjusting the voltage using a variable power supply or one of those multiple voltage "wall cube" type power supplies. I use a similar set-up to stir my wort when cooling with my imerssion chiller. Or why not devise some way to mount the stir plate on top of the HLT lid and attach a shaft to that? I'm pretty sure that your stir plate has some sort of control to vary the speed. ===== John Schnupp, N3CNL ??? Hombrewery [560.2, 68.6] Rennerian Georgia, VT 95 XLH 1200, Bumblebee Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 23:26:19 -0700 From: "dave holt" <brewdave at hotmail.com> Subject: hop utilization Thanks to Ray Daniels for answering my hop utilization question quickly. I appreciate it. 20% difference between my two brewing locations (1000'& 7800')! It has been my perception that the American Pale Ales that I brew at altitude aren't quite bitter enough. Maybe in the new year, once I get set up to brew in Phoenix again, I can brew an APA corrected for altitude and compare to a Phoenix brewed APA. I recommend Ray's book Designing Great Beers. It has become my every day reference book. Dave Holt brewing in AZ Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 03:53:24 -0600 From: Robert S Wallace <rwallace at iastate.edu> Subject: acrylic cement - working with plastics Kevin McDonough <kmcdonou at nmu.edu> asked about food safe acrylic cement. For years I've been making my own acrylic electrophoresis rigs and other equipment for my lab using standard woodworking tools. The key to getting good "professional" joints is having a very good saw blade (lots of teeth!) and making sure the mating surfaces are flat, clean, and align well. Clamp the materials together *DRY* and then flood the joints with the "cement". Use only enough solvent in the joint that is held there by capillary action - too much makes unsightly "runs' on the plastic surface, and does nothing to help the bonding. Do not move the item until the solvent evaporates completely. There are commercially prepared acrylic cements available, however in my experience, the organic solvent methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) works very well. This softens or "melts" the plastic and binds it together; if the mating surfaces are roughened a bit with fine sand paper (220, 320 etc.) or wet-dry paper (400, 600), the bond may be somewhat stronger (so I'm told by my plastics supplier). A somewhat quicker drying solvent is 1,1,1-tri-chloroethane. (Do not use these around sources of ignition, including sparks, because they flash pretty well if ignited.) Acetone works too, but dries much more slowly than these solvents. The recommendation about dissolving pieces of acrylic in acetone to make one's own cement works too, and is particularly useful if your cuts are "off" a bit or are not even - it has pretty good gap-filling (or leak stopping) qualities. (The previously recommended web site used chunks of shattered acrylic is a SLOW suggestion - use *acrylic sawdust* from cutting your pieces and the material dissolves MUCH more quickly!). Following solvent application, as long as sufficient time has passed for the material to outgas and dissipate, the resulting item will be as "food safe' as the acrylic itself. A thorough washing with water, detergent, etc. would be in order, prior to use. Don't use an abrasive cleanser, unless you want the 'frosted' effect really quickly. I agree with Wade Hutchison's <whutchis at bucknell.edu> recommendation to use polycarbonate (Lexan is the "Kleenex" of polycarbonate plastics) for this application instead of acrylic (I'd recommend 1/4 inch PC). Acrylic, especially in thicker forms, does have a tendency to warp if exposed to large temperature differences on either side of the flat surfaces. Polycarbonate does not have as high a degree of thermal expansion, and also has a benefits of scratching a lot less than acrylic, and will not shatter when you *will* drop the mash tun cover on the hard floor!. (Acrylic will shatter easily, and has very sharp edges!) You can prepare pieces of polycarbonate for your corner stops, but would need to use a commercial glue for PC, or go to a cyanoacrylate glue (like "Super Glue(tm)") to adhere them to the cover - Polycarbonate will not soften enough to bond with the solvents mentioned above. A large number of items can be made for the brewery with plastics - don't forget about splash covers for controls of RIMS/HERMS systems, dust /motor guards for powered grain mills, racks to hold or dry hydrometers, thermometers, etc. Good luck! Rob Wallace Robert S. Wallace, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Botany Department of Botany - Iowa State University Ames, Iowa 50011-1020 U.S.A. Tel: +001-515-294-0367 FAX: +001-515-294-1337 Return to table of contents
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