HOMEBREW Digest #426 Mon 28 May 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  What does "yeasty" taste like? (the Badger of Norman)
  reply to "stuck" ferments, blowoff (Alan Duester)
  low end hydrometer source (Alan Duester)
  review of Sieben's in Chicago (Alan Duester)
  Re: Stuck Fermentation (Robert Del Favero Jr.)
  how to get yeast slurry (Rick Noah Zucker)
  Re: blow-off, dry hop (John Polstra)
  Wyeast's Bursting Bags (Martin A. Lodahl)
  Blow Off Problems (Norm Hardy)
  Rubicon Tour (Martin A. Lodahl)
  Re: plastic kegs (617)253-0885" <CASEY at ALCVAX.PFC.MIT.EDU>

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 25 May 90 10:05 CDT From: the Badger of Norman <PTGARVIN at aardvark.ucs.uoknor.edu> Subject: What does "yeasty" taste like? Greetings, homebrew fans! I've opened some "not-quite-ready" beer (it's only been in the bottles for a week to two weeks) and it tasted "metallic". Is this what "yeasty" tastes like? "Yeasty" had always tasted kind of sharp, but usually, that was in more mature bottles. (This is the batch that a few bottle caps landed in, by accident, when I was bottling. The bottle caps were sterile. I didn't discover them until after bottling.) - Ted, aka Badger on TinyHell - -- "I never say everything I am thinking, and not just because I think much faster than I can think." -- Dan Mocsny ptgarvin at aardvark.ucs.uoknor.edu / ptgarvin at uokmax.UUCP | Eris loves you! in the Society: Padraig Cosfhota o hUlad / Barony of Namron, Ansteorra Disclaimer: Fragile. Contents inflammable. Do not use near open flame. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 May 90 11:23:50 EDT From: capnal at aqua.whoi.edu (Alan Duester) Subject: reply to "stuck" ferments, blowoff > cckweiss at castor.ucdavis.edu >I recently had an inadvertent experiment in blow-off brewing. I racked into >the secondary a bit too soon and got about 2 cups of blow off through the >fermentation lock and onto the basement floor. My question is, for anyone >who converted from conventional to blow-off fermentation, did it make a really >*BIG* difference in the quality of your brew? Cause this stuff I made is in >the fridge now, and it's really good, and I'm wondering if a revision in my >brewing techniques is called for. I got a large improvement in flavor when I switched to blow-off techniques. This subject is probably going to lead to flaming, as it's a subject of great controversy. Your answer depends on your individual tastes. I tried a batch a few months back the old way in a 7 gallon plastic bucket letting the foam collapse back in - I didn't like the result. However, the amount of improvement in my brew's flavor was more noticeable with all the following switches I made over the past years. 1) Boiling all water, including water to chill in fridge to bring batch to 5 gal. in carbuoy. 2) Switching to Leigh-williams stout yeast - mostly, I think, because of enough of a volume of yeast into the starter so I usually get blowoff within 2-4 hours of placing into primary, and completed primary ferment (no secondary) within 5-6 days. 3) Switching from boiled water to filtered water - no chlorine in water I start my grains in? I do grains and extract mixed. 4) Changing from canned malt extract to dried malt extract. ******************* >From: gak at Sun.COM (Richard Stueven) >Subject: Stuck Fermentation? > >"Gak & Gerry's Batch #3" is in the fermenter now. We brewed it on >Sunday and pitched two packets of Red Star Ale Yeast. It bubbled >Like Mad on Monday, but it was almost stopped by Tuesday night! >Is this your basic "Stuck Fermentation"? What can be done about it? See my #2 above. I pitched at Midnight Wed, and at 10 am Fri I had my fermentation lock on & it was bubbling at 1 per 5 sec.. A) Do you have an inch or two of yeast on the bottom? B) Does your hydrometer read a reasonable number (~25% of OG for regular batches, ~33% for batches with lots of unfermentable dextrins like my brews have)?. If so, you're golden. Don't be like the novice brewer we had here. After tasting a sample bottle that he wanted us to analyze to figure out why his brew was bad, we had to sadly inform him that he had poured 5 gallons of perfectly fine brew down the drain due to excessive worry..... Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 May 90 11:24:15 EDT From: capnal at aqua.whoi.edu (Alan Duester) Subject: low end hydrometer source Anyone on the west side of Chicago should note that American Science Center (a.k.a. Jerryco) 5696 Northwest Highway (312) 763-0313, had urine testing hydrometers, range 1.000 to 1.060 for $3.50. Small size, reducing whatcha need to use up in a sample. There's also a Milwaukee store (414) 281-2322, and an affiliate: Grande Junquetion Ltd, 100 South Lyn Shores, Virginia Beach, VA. Mail order as well from Evanston, IL (708) 475-8440. Neat surplus catalog with all kindza nifty stuff. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 May 90 11:25:45 EDT From: capnal at aqua.whoi.edu (Alan Duester) Subject: review of Sieben's in Chicago I was in Chicago last weekend, and got to the Sieben brewpub for dinner. 436 W. Ontario. Parking on the street very crowded due to dance club across the street. $3.00 parking at lot a block west of the brewery. Large water tower with Sieben label on top of building. Either a dance club or a function room that was having a wedding attached (shares bathrooms via a corridor). This led to the building resounding with the thumpy, overcranked bass, but didn't really interfere with conversation. Atmosphere: The non-smoking section involved the Maitre-de-ess seating us at a table and removing the ashtray. Not legal under area laws as I understand them, but then the ventilation was goo enough so that I wasn't bothered by the party of 6 smoking at the table next to us. The large copper-domed brew kettles are displayed behind glass as you walk in. Food: Very good rating by both of us. Generous portions at reasonable pricing. Beer Cheese soup very good, but also VERY salty. What they served as a cup would pass for a bowl in any other place I've been. Onion rings $5 for a loaf. I had just these for dinner, and couldn't finish the portion. Suitable to serve 4 hungries as an appetizer! Also very good. Barbecue sauce served with them was potent. I'd love to try it on ribs, but don't remember if ribs were on the menu (but they gotta be, right? I mean this *was* Chicago.....). My partners Reuben sandwich good but a little shy on amount of sauerkraut. German Potato Salad served with was also very nice. Flavors blended nicely and richly, without the harsh overtones most have. Brews: All served cold, but not excessively so, carbonation shy of traditional american brews (just right for me). All less hopped (both bittering and finishing) than other brewpubs I've visited. A sampler of four 8 oz. glasses cost $3.50. Alcohol content did not seem very high. I expected to notice more effects after 30-35 oz. of brew, but would not have driven right afterwards. Weiss - served with lemon. Blah. The lemon totally overpowered any wheat flavor that might have been there. Not an unpleasant drink on its own (lemon beer), but not what I would expect from a weiss. Lager - equivalent to a good, premium, domestic with more than average flavor. Nice, but not great on any count. Non-distinctive, in other words. Suitable more for the average bar-hopper crowd as an intro to what real brewers can make. Amber - sorta wimpy, smooth, and non-distinct like the lager, but a bit different and richer. Another good brew to use to start introducing Budalobe drinkers to what brewing can produce. They liken this to Bass, but I haven't had Bass served as this was (it's always in a bottle, too cold and too carbonated). Better, creamier head than I've ever seen Bass have. Irish - A rich, warm brew with an undescribable flavor (at least by me - might have been the diacetyl butterscotch folks have been talking of, of late). VERY nice - I could easily drink this all evening. Bock - Very nice, smooth, rich, & malty. Another brew I could drink all night. This wasn't really available this evening, as they were having problems with that line (overcarbonation and gushing, I believe), but I mentioned that I was going to review their brews for the net, and the waiter managed to dribble some brew out for me to sample. I wasn't billed for this and don't know if it's normally included in the sampler. Mentioning that I was doing the review may also be why the soup portion was so large, but it was the only way I could get some Bock. My recommendations would be to skip the Weiss, Amber, and Lager, or split a sampler among four folks without diseases. I think regular glasses are $2, and double glasses are $4, but I was paying more attention to my friend and driver than the menu. For those of you doing the World Fantasy Con brew-hop trip that R. Allen Jervis is trying to organize over Halloween, I'd rate this as slightly better quality food, beer different but about equal (dark brew available here but not Goose, but Goose had hoppy pilsner), but a good deal cheaper than Goose Island (which I reviewed a few months back) in both food & beer. The Berghoff downtown is listed in brew guides, but only seemed to be a better than average German restaurant with its own bottled brew, which is not exceptional. Don't worry if you miss it, but be sure to hit both Sieben and Goose Island. BTW, Baderbrau (a Chicago microbrew) is available in bottles in stores in the area, now. I didn't pick any up or try it, as we were planning on Von Stuke's Hofbrau but failed to make it. ========================================================================= "The farther it gets from the bench it was built on, the more real the real world gets." - Todd Johnson Al Duester, Ocean Engineer, MS S201 # SPAN: 6308::capnal Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution # INTERNET: capnal at aqua.whoi.edu Woods Hole, MA 02543 # GEnie: A.DUESTER (508) 548-1400 x2474 (ans. Machine, voice messages) (508) 457-2000 auto-receptionist for touch tone phones ========================================================================= Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 May 90 09:07:28 EDT From: hplabs!gatech!b.atc.olivetti.com!bunker!clunker!rvd (Robert Del Favero Jr.) Subject: Re: Stuck Fermentation Before I went around badmouthing Red Star yeast, I'd take a hydrometer reading. It's not unheard of for a primary fermentation to be essentially finished in a day or two -- in fact, the someone asked about the same thing on the Net a few months ago. Turned out that when they tried a hydrometer reading they found that their fermentation had stopped for lack of fermentables in the wort ;-) If your hydrometer reading isn't close to the final gravity in your recipe, then your fermentation is probably stuck, and you should follow the standard unsticking procedures. If the gravity reading is close to the FG in your recipe, it's time to rack into the secondary. I need to say something in response to the fellow who suggested that using Red Star yeast was the cause of your problem. In my experience, Red Star isn't great yeast, but it does do the job, and I have one recipe where I prefer the taste with Red Star over the taste with Whitbread's. There are lots of things you can do to affect the quality of the finished product, and some (like sanitation) are (in my experience) much more important than others. If you start Red Star in a starter wort a day or two before you brew, you should get acceptable results. - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Robert V. Del Favero, Jr. ISC-Bunker Ramo, an Olivetti Company rvd at clunker.uucp Shelton, Connecticut, USA OR clunker!rvd at oliveb.atc.olivetti.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 May 90 10:22:27 -0700 From: noah at cs.washington.edu (Rick Noah Zucker) Subject: how to get yeast slurry A friend of mine who was doing a two stage fermentation saved his yeast slurry for me and for another batch of his. Papazian says that the best yeast to use is yeast slurry, and we must agree that it worked great. We just pitched it without creating a starter and things got going in no time. The question is, how do you collect the slurry if you are doing a single stage fermentation? Will it simply pour out of the carboy well? Also, how long will it stay good for? Can you even freeze it or will the yeast take offense to that? Rick Zucker, U Dub, CSE Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 May 90 15:41 CDT From: <AUIDCC%AUDUCVAX.BITNET at CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu> Subject: SIGNOFF SIGNOFF HOMEBREW STEVE ENSMINGER Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 May 90 08:48:49 PDT From: hplabs!polstra!jdp (John Polstra) Subject: Re: blow-off, dry hop > How does a dry hopped beer differ from a conventionally produced brew? Much more hop aroma and noticeably increased hop flavor. - John Polstra jdp at polstra.uucp Polstra & Co., Inc. practic!polstra!jdp at uunet.uu.net Seattle, Washington USA ...{uunet,sun,pyramid}!practic!polstra!jdp (206) 932-6482 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 May 90 10:33:21 PDT From: Martin A. Lodahl <hplabs!pbmoss!mal> Subject: Wyeast's Bursting Bags To continue the exploding Wyeast packet thread: Last night I had one burst when I tried to start it! Not only did the inner capsule rupture, but the outer packet as well ... yeast and culture medium, all over the kitchen. Bummer. The homebrew shop where I got it (R&R Home Fermentations in Sacramento) told me to bring it back, and they'll presumably send it back to Wyeast so they can study the obvious design flaw in their package. I hope I have a viable culture to pitch on Sunday ... = Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff = = pacbell!pbmoss!mal -or- mal at pbmoss.Pacbell.COM 916.972.4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) = Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 May 90 17:21:31 PDT From: hplabs!polstra!norm (Norm Hardy) Subject: Blow Off Problems The question was raised about having a secondary ferment blow excess wort through the air lock. Did it ruin the beer?.... I doubt it. Actually, the times that has happened to me, the beers all came out quite fine; sooooo, don't worry, just be more patient before racking and wait until the activity is slowed way down. I put all the secondary ferments into a refrigerator to condition and clear. Usually a week or two is sufficient. Norm Hardy Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 May 90 15:42:22 PDT From: Martin A. Lodahl <hplabs!pbmoss!mal> Subject: Rubicon Tour In HOMEBREW Digest #421, Ken Weiss asked: >I had dinner last night at Rubicon Brewing Company, on Capitol Ave. in >Sacramento ... > ... the waitress told me that the brewmaster there started out as >a homebrewer, and went on to some advanced study at UC Davis, scaled up, >and voila! His name is Phil Moeller. He wasn't around, but the waitress >said he's happy to arrange tours for brewers. > >If anyone's interested in checking this place out and having a bit of a >tour, E-mail me and I'll try to set things up. > >Ken Weiss >krweiss at ucdavis.edu >cckweiss at castor.ucdavis.edu Ken called a few minutes ago, and the tour looks like it's coming together! Mornings are best for the Brewmaster, and he's suggested two possible dates: Saturday, 9 June Saturday, 23 June If you'll be in the Sacramento area on either of those dates and would like to take a tour of this successful brewpub, please drop Ken some email and let him know which date you'd prefer. If you can't reach him, mail to me, and I'll forward. But (as the ads say), act now! The Rubicon folks would like to know soon which day we prefer. Y'all come; should be a Good Thing. = Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff = = pacbell!pbmoss!mal -or- mal at pbmoss.Pacbell.COM 916.972.4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) = Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 May 90 09:51 EST From: "JEFF CASEY / (617)253-0885" <CASEY at ALCVAX.PFC.MIT.EDU> Subject: Re: plastic kegs Bill Pemberton asks: >I recently saw a kegging system in one of the mail order catalogs >and I would like to know if anyone out there has any experience with it. >It is the brewcraft plastic 'pressure keg.' I would really appreciate >any information/recommendations/etc that anyone might have with this >system. I bought one of these (I think it was Edme and/or Brewcraft, in any case it had fake wood grain texturing on the sides) in the 3 gallon size. I kegged about 5 or 6 batches with it, and had problems on at least 3 of them. The spigot has a real problem with sticking, and needs to be disassembled and cleaned EVERY time you use it - it is a funny two part valve. If you don't, the upper part sticks and separates from the lower part, and then strips when you crank down hard enough to stop the drips. I didn't discover this until I blew out one valve (and half a keg of beer - I was kept busy drinking...). It also helps to lubricate the upper valve pieces and threads with vegetable oil every time too. After I figured that out, I had a problem with the pressure valve -- it is a plastic plunger with an o-ring seal, and the shaft broke off of the sealing disc. I discovered this after filling the keg, and had to quickly wash a case and a half of bottles and bottle instead. If I had kept using the keg, I would have also wanted to replace the pressure valve with a weaker spring, to drop the 10 psi down to 5psi for a more reasonable head (at the cost of more CO2 cylinder use). 10 psi is a little ridiculous - all you get is foam. The keg is now in my basement collecting dust -- if anybody in the Boston area wants it, you can have it for free, but you'll have to replace the o-ring seal plunger. I have since spent the relatively big bucks to buy a Cornelius keg. No comparison -- all metal, simple apparatus, serving is easier with a tap on a hose, and pressure control means that I keep under 10 psi for a good head, and drop to 5psi for serving at parties. If it isn't clear by now, my advice is to avoid the half measures, and do it right. You won't be sorry. Jeff Casey (617)924-0523 home (617)253-0885 work CASEY at ALCVAX.PFC.MIT.EDU Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #426, 05/28/90 ************************************* -------
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