HOMEBREW Digest #4253 Fri 23 May 2003

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  Re: Size matters? ("Kent Fletcher")
  Re: Fort Worth water ("Dean Fikar")
  Ooh, ooh, I know this one! (Beechwood vs Oak) ("John O'Connell at Work")
  DC brewpubs (Robert Sandefer)
  Fat Tire ("Mike Racette")
  Talk about timing....(barrel aging discussion) ("Andy Mikesell")
  RE: Good beer in DC (Jim Wilson)
  Fw: predicting flavor ("Chad Stevens")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 01:11:24 -0700 From: "Kent Fletcher" <kfletcher at socal.rr.com> Subject: Re: Size matters? Mike wondered if his ol' Coleman cooler would suffice for a ten gallon batch: > Off the top, what size cooler do you need to work a 10 gallon batch of > all-grain beer? I have an old rectangular Coleman cooler (the kind with the > metal locking thing on it..) that I've used to do 5 gallon batches and it's > always been adequate for that.. but it's been a while since I've brewed, and > I can't rmember if it was half full, or just over or under half full.. so > I'm wondering now if my 10 gallons is going to all fit in there. Before I > strees out tryint to measure it.. does anyone happen to know? Mike, I use a 54 quart rectangular cooler, it's probably in the same size range you have, though the insulation is probably better on mine. Five gallon batches are really almost too small, with a mash depth of maybe 6 inches. Ten gallon batches of 1.050-60 gravities don't come close to filling it. The biggest mash done in it was 28 pounds of malt for a 22 gallon batch of Bitter. It WAS filled to the brim with that batch, but it was also a fairly wet mash, as I was HERMSing it to get a mash-out step. So, with capacity for 28 pounds, you should be able to get ten gallon batches of 1.080 or more for a Tripel, Wee Heavy, etc., with no "strees" at all! Hope that helps, Kent Fletcher Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 07:13:28 -0700 From: "Dean Fikar" <dfikar at charter.net> Subject: Re: Fort Worth water >Hello all...I was wondering if anybody out there has or has seen a >chemical analysis of the water from Ft. Worth? I live in central Texas >and am not really pleased with my brewing efforts using the local water >(hardness ~180, alkalinity ~110). I think I have convinced myself that >this could be the source of the characteristic "flavor" (harsh-bitter) >in all of my beers. The reason I ask about Ft. Worth water is that I >can buy it from my firendly neighborhood Wal-Mart, so it would be a >simple switch to make. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks! >Augie Altenbaumer Augie, You probably will disappointed if you switch to FW water. For years I have brewed with it and also have noticed harshness and increased bitterness in lighter styles of beer. I have compensated by lowering the IBU's by 20% or more from what is usually recommended for style. Here is a 2001 composite analysis on FW water: Calcium (ppm) 34 - 55 Chloride (ppm) 16 - 48 Magnesium (ppm) 3 - 10 Sodium (ppm) 13 - 37 pH (units) 7.8 - 8.7 Bicarbonate (ppm) 98 - 154 Carbonate (ppm) 0 Total Hardness as CaCO3 (ppm) 119 - 163 Total Alkalinity as CaCO3 (ppm) 80 - 126 Phenol Alkalinity as CaCO3 (ppm) 0 Total Dissolved Solids (ppm) 176 - 257 Sulfate (ppm) 36-47 As you can see, there is moderate hardness and sulfates are higher than I'd like. I think that the combination makes for some harsh notes in the lighter styles. That said, the water seems fine for hoppy amber beers and the darker styles. Dortmunders are also good with FW water. I think it makes for excellent Scotch and Scottish ales. I think that when I start brewing again (I'll be coming off of a long hiatus) I am going to start using mainly RO water for anything milder than a pale ale. Dean Fikar Fort Worth, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 11:03:11 -0400 From: "John O'Connell at Work" <oconn at mindspring.com> Subject: Ooh, ooh, I know this one! (Beechwood vs Oak) To all: >>Anyone know how Dixie's process differs from Anhauser? I've seen the beechwood. Imagine what putting a fresh baseball bat through a giant carrot peeler looks like. It is A-B's sole anachronism in its brewing process, used because it sounds nice on the label and in ads, and it is flavor-neutral. The beechwood was, to my best recollection, an old-school clarifier and flocculation assistant. It does still do part the job, (the used strips were wet and slimy) but other parts of their brewing process are relied on to finish it. Beechwood is therefore about as much a flavor component as Irish moss. I'm not sure if cypress isn't in the same category, really. Dixie's use would seem to be a holdover from the days of cypress tanks (the wood was plentiful, rot resistant and dense-grained, perfect for tanks in the days before stainless). These woods were chosen for their non-flavoring character. They've been kept around because "stainless steel aged" just doesn't sing. Oak, especially charred oak, is a completely different story. Scotch would look like vodka without it... John Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 13:51:09 -0400 From: Robert Sandefer <melamor at vzavenue.net> Subject: DC brewpubs In the Northern Virginia/DC area, I like Capital City Brewing. I prefer the one in Shirlington (it's listed on their website as Arlington, VA) to the one in DC (11th and H St.), though both are good. The Shirlington store IMO has better service. The food is good, and the beers are fine. See www.capcitybrew.com I personally avoid the Rock Bottom Brewery in Ballston Mall. The food was horrible on my last two visits, and the beers are unimpressive. Robert Sandefer Arlington, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 12:55:31 -0600 From: "Mike Racette" <mike.racette at hydro-gardens.com> Subject: Fat Tire On Wed, 21 May 2003 11:44:52 -0400 (EDT) Bob from Brew Wisconsin <brewwisconsin at yahoo.ca> wrote: "And here's the issue: Yes, great brewery.... FANTASTIC brewer/brewery, great people... But Flat Tire is their least interesting beer. Tripel, Abbey, Folie, Brussels Black, et cetera... Pick just about anything from that brewery EXCEPT for that one. Maybe Fat Tire is the mass market product that provides the cash flow that makes it easier for NBB to do everything else, but then you have to decide what you're honouring. Is it respect for their marketing ability, or the distinctiveness of their beers? Considering that we're talking about something for a homebrewing magazine, I think you have an audience receptive to distinctive beers rather than merely what sells to Bud drinkers with extra discretionary income and who are a little more image conscious to want to be seen drinking a craft beer without challenging their taste "buds" too much." I agree 100% with all the above. Also wanted to add that Far Tire has changed over the years and used to be a much better beer to me. I lived in Ft. Collins when the brewery first started up and I've followed this beer from the beginning. I don't know about the actual recipe ingredients changing but I know that the bottle label used to talk about dry-hopping and bottle conditioning and Fat Tire used to have yeast in the bottom of the bottle. Not anymore. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 15:28:32 -0400 From: "Andy Mikesell" <andy_mikesell at yahoo.com> Subject: Talk about timing....(barrel aging discussion) This month's Brew magazine had a few articles on barrel aging, which I found very interesting. All the recent posts about barrel aging piqued my curiosity and I thought I might try to barrel age a simple batch. However, when I found the price for a 5 gallon barrel was $100+ (US) I was rather discouraged. Then, last weekend for completely different reasons, my father-in-law gives me a 4 gallon antique wood barrel that was gathering dust in his basement. I filled the barrel, let it swell, and after 24 hours it's holding water with no leakage. My father-in-law's recollection on the barrel's origin is fuzzy, but he believes the barrel is about 80 years old. Neither of us know what was originally in the barrel, nor is the sealing bung still around. The barrel ends have no char, so I assume it was used for beer or wine, and not bourbon. The original wood tap is complete, in decent shape and fully operational - serving the beer should pose no issue. And I figure I can fabricate a bung - so how to sanitize? I've read wine makers burn a sulfur strip inside the barrel then seal, but how effective is that approach and are there better alternatives? The inside appears to have the remains of a black resin which I assume is brewers pitch. I have never seen brewers pitch and have only read about it. Does this sound right? Is another application of brewers pitch something I should be considering? If so, anyone know of a source? Since I want to understand what flavors the barrel is going to impart, I was considering a Kolsh, rather than a P-Lambic or other exotic. What would you age? Ideas and input are appreciated! - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Andrew Mikesell Westwood, MA [644.2, 86.2] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 12:56:07 -0700 From: Jim Wilson <jgwilson at adelphia.net> Subject: RE: Good beer in DC Brickskeller 1523 22nd St NW 202-293-1885 Self proclaimed to have the "The World's largest selection of beer" No affiliation yadda, yadda Jim Wilson o \o __o /\ / `\ <> `\ `> `\ > (*)/ (*) (*)/ (*) (*)/ (*) I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 15:45:24 -0700 From: "Chad Stevens" <zuvaruvi at cox.net> Subject: Fw: predicting flavor Steve Alexander has had some interesting musings with regard to flavor and what turns us on. He lamented: "...unfortunately little is written." Well lament no more. Leon Rappoport, after better than ten years of fiddling around, finally finished: "How We Eat: Appetite, Culture, and the Psychology of Food." I found it at Walmart and it was $14.05 including shipping. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp? cat=18763&dept=3920&product_id=2131484&path=0 %3A3920%3A18763%3A20849 The book very nicely summarizes the issues -S et al. have been pondering of late and provides a framework from which the subject may be approached as objectively as possible. Disclaimer: Yes, this is a shameless plug. While I won't see a penny, Rappo is my best friend in the whole world, is one heck of a nice guy, and I'd like to see him make millions. Unfortunately, this isn't one of those books you'll see on anyone's national best seller list so I doubt he'll recoup the cost of typewriter ribbon (yes, he still uses a typewriter). Anyway, good book, good read, hits the mark with regard to current thread. Cheers, Chad Stevens QUAFF San Diego Return to table of contents
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