HOMEBREW Digest #435 Fri 08 June 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  _Newsweek_ article ("FEINSTEIN")
  Re: Homebrew Digest #434 (June 07, 1990) (Ken Schriner)
  Yay for extraneous material (Chain is useless 'gainst false Cupid)
  Beer Postings and Cassis mead (John Mellby)
  blow off, Sam Smith (RUSSG)
  RE: vanilla beans (Mark Freeman)
  sanitizing fermenter lid (mage!lou)
  Reloders scales (JEEPSRUS)
  Siphoning and Bottle Filling (Paul Bigelow)
  Re: Brewpubs, tastings (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  Short postings, Eckhardt's New Book (Jay H.)
  #434, various (florianb)
  haze (Max Newman x6689)
  Joy Index (bowler)
  dry ale, run-offs, tolerance (HOLTSFOR)
  Re: Beer Babble, my 2 cents (Jeff Close)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 7 Jun 90 08:03:00 EDT From: "FEINSTEIN" <crf at pine.circa.ufl.edu> Subject: _Newsweek_ article Hi there! Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I read the _Newsweek_ article on homebrewing. While it could have stood some improvement, it wasn't too bad either. Personally, I would have liked to have seen some more emphasis on the quality, variety, and challenge of home brewing, as opposed to just emphasizing the economy of it. I was glad to see that some legal history was given, as well as a clear statement that home brewing is a fast-growing hobby favored by *responsible* people. All in all, I think that the article will be good for the hobby's image despite a slight tongue-in-cheek attitude. That attitude ended up amusing me enormously, btw. All that mention about baking one's own bread and smoking chicken breasts. Now, I *ain't* no yuppie; no way!! But I not only do those things, I cure my own meats (such as corned beef and bacon, which has to be smoked as well) and have been known to make my own cheese. What *would* the author have thought? :-) Y'know, God help that guy if he's ever assigned to cover an historical re- enactment group. I don't think he could cope! :-) Yours in Carbonation, Cher "God save you from a bad neighbor and from a beginner on the fiddle." -- Italian proverb ============================================================================= Cheryl Feinstein INTERNET: CRF at PINE.CIRCA.UFL.EDU Univ. of Fla. BITNET: CRF at UFPINE Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 90 07:30:15 CDT From: Ken Schriner <KS06054 at UAFSYSB.UARK.EDU> Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #434 (June 07, 1990) Hats off to Algis Korzonas who took the time to reply to the beginning homebrewer asking for advice. I'm sure many thought about replying but didn't have the time or the courage to expose their brewing techniques to this list of occassional flamers. I had a question about the technique used for sterilizing (not a criticism, just a question.) Algis mentioned using hot water for the bleach solution. I use cold water. I believe I remember reading something about an undesirable chemical reaction if hot water was used. Is cold OK? Is hot better? I think the comments about the beer testings and brewpubs and food are, in their proper context, comments about the digestor of the Homebrew Digest, Rob Gardner. I've not seen his editorial/digesting policy, but whatever it is, this is a great digest for me. It both sticks to the topic (homebrew), and provides eclectic material. Hats off to Rob. (I would like to see Rob post something about what criteria he uses to digest this digest, hopefully some very loose, unofficial criteria.) Ken Schriner BITNet : KS06054 at UAFSYSB 220 ADSB, Computing Services Internet : KS06054 at UAFSYSB.UARK.EDU University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR 72701 (501) 575-2905 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 90 08:08 CDT From: Chain is useless 'gainst false Cupid <PTGARVIN at aardvark.ucs.uoknor.edu> Subject: Yay for extraneous material If I'm not interested in something, I hit my return key a few times, and I'm past it. My only regret is that my mailer program doesn't have a backpage function. I find descriptions of brewpubs interesting (even though Norman doesn't appear to have one) and wonder if there is a list of brewpubs (with their critiques) somewhere. - Ted, aka Badger on TinyHell - -- "The death of God left the angels in a strange position." --Internal documentation, programmer unknown 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: Thu, 7 Jun 90 08:05:16 CDT From: jmellby at ngstl1.csc.ti.com (John Mellby) Subject: Beer Postings and Cassis mead Well, Jay Hersh brought up something I have been wondering about for some time, which is whether I should be posting some of our beer tasting results in a digest dedicated to homebrewing. I had been debating this with myself, but since I had gotten only postive feedback, albeit only a little, I continued these postings. Having spent many hours going through articles which I really didn't care about I really appreciate the advantages of a digest which concentrates on one subject. (I wouldn't call this censorship as someone else suggested.) Of course, the articles in question really were long, although they are excepts of the full compilation of tasting notes which is now running at 65K in length. Ugh! As to other postings like brewpub reviews and the like, the response seems to me to be positive, so I guess I and everyone else will continue these (don't worry, I won't deluge you in these -- its just been a couple of surprisingly good trips lately). And now back to the main topic. Lambics. One of the first lambics I ever had was Mort Subite Cassis which is a black currant lambic. As soon as I find some black currants (not widely available in Dallas) I would like to try some, as well as some black current mead. Has anyone tried making such mead? Are the recipes in Acton and Duncon's book on mead any good? Thanks, Surviving the American Dream John R. Mellby Texas Instruments jmellby%ngstl1.ti.com P.O.Box 660246, MS 3645 Dallas Texas, 75266 (214)517-5370 (214)343-7585 ***************************************** * "Is this a holdup?" * * "No, this is a scientific experiment" * * Back to the Future 3 * ***************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 90 11:22 EST From: <R_GELINA%UNHH.BITNET at mitvma.mit.edu> (RUSSG) Subject: blow off, Sam Smith Well I was hoping I could ferment a 4 gallon batch in a 5 gallon carboy with just a water seal (no blow-off), but the brew blasted the seal right out of the bottle, so now it's in blow-off mode. Moral to the story: Don't always believe your homebrew supplier; some things *can't* be done. (I don't think a 7 gallon bottle would have held it; it's foaming like a mad dog...) Part2: I just aquired a mixed case of Samuel Smith Ale (and lager). The lager is new for them I think, and it's alot like a German (Beck's) lager, not very English. Good, but not even close to the ales. Yum! Has anyone actually tried fining the yeast out of suspension to get the buttery diacytl (sp?) flavor? I'd like to give it a try; if I can get anywhere near these S.S. ales I'll be happy. RussG. R_GELINA at UNHH.BITNET - -- Would an anti-disclaimer actually be a claimer? -- Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 90 08:26 PDT From: Mark Freeman <MFreeman at VERMITHRAX.SCH.Symbolics.COM> Subject: RE: vanilla beans Date: Mon, 4 Jun 90 10:29 EST From: <S_KOZA%UNHH.BITNET at mitvma.mit.edu> Subject: Vanilla Beans Hi All. A brewing cohort is interested in putting up a malty, somewhat sweet and lightly hopped Vanilla Ale. The question we're unsure of is: How many beans should he use or should he consider using a high quality extract? Any experiences? Stephan M. Koza I used about 1/2 bean in a recent stout (5 gallon batch). The flavor did not really come through though, so you should probably try at least one whole bean or more. I grated and chopped the bean and added it to the grain. If I try it again, I think I would simply add one or two beans to the boil. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 90 09:44:28 MDT From: hplabs!mage!lou Subject: sanitizing fermenter lid In HBD #434 Fred Condo writes: >I use a large (7 gallon) plastic fermenter, which I sanitize by filling it with >dilute bleach as recommended in "Brewing Quality Beers" by Byron Burch. To >sanitize the lid, I have been jamming the lid in sideways, so it is about half >covered in the sanitizing solution; this temporarily distorts the fermenter a >bit. While my wort is boiling, I rotate the lid at intervals, so the whole lid >gets sanitized. >Well, I just noticed that this is not such a good idea, because the lid's lip >is stiff and sharp enough to have thoroughly scored the interior of my >fermenter, leaving scratches where bacteria could hide. So far, I have not had >any problems with infections, but, to keep from further damaging my fermenter, >I will be using sterilant-soaked towels to sanitize my lid. Fred, do you have some other container for sanitizing other equipment (siphon hoses, bottles, etc.)? If so, you can use it for sanitizing your lid. One side of a double sink works well also. The trouble with using sterilant soaked towels is that a bleach solution should remain in contact with the surface for 15-30 min. to be effective. Given the shape of a fermenter lid, keeping the towels in contact with all the critical surfaces could be a real problem. A better way to go is to thoroughly swab all the important areas with a mixture of 70% Everclear with water. This works much faster than the chlorine bleach and so just thoroughly wiping it down is sufficient. It also evaporates much faster and you don't have to worry about chlorine tastes in your beer. I have successfully removed scratches from hard food grade plastic (racking tube) using successively finer grades of sandpaper - essentially the same process as in wood finishing. I don't know how this would work with the softer plastic used in fermenters. You might try it on the outside first to see if it works. >Speaking of Byron Burch, his book has been a generally excellent guide for me, >but there is one thing that is terribly wrong with it. It says that any black >grain used as a color adjunct can be added directly to your boil about halfway >through. I did this and ended up with a brown ale that, at bottling time, >tasted like burnt steak (I kid you not). I bottled it anyway to see if the >taste will disappear with time. My local homebrew store proprietor, Don >Siechert, however, advises making an infusion of the black grains by straining >them through a coffee filter. I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds like a >good idea. I make a "tea" out of the grains by adding boiling water to them and steeping for 20-30 min. I then strain this into the brewpot and sparge. Some small particles will get through the strainer but not enough to cause problems. Louis Clark reply to: mage!lou at ncar.ucar.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 90 09:14 PDT From: JEEPSRUS <ROBERTN%FM1 at sc.intel.com> Subject: Reloders scales >Does anybody have any ideas about where to obtain a precise but >inexpensive scale? >So, to do this right I need a scale with a precision of around a tenth >of a gram. (Well, OK, I could make do with precision of one gram.) >Can somebody suggest a different source? By "inexpensive" I suppose I >mean "substantially less than the price of a laboratory balance scale." I agree with other responces about a reloaders scale. Given the fact that I reload my own ammunition in addition to reloading BEER bottles, I can attest to the accuracy of reloaders scales. A local gun shop should carry a nice LEE or RCBS scale in the $30 range. Then one I use, a RCBS, even has a table showing grams. As another poster mentioned, they are accurate to 1/10 grains, due to the delicacy of powder measurements. This should make them more than sufficient for your needs. Given the nature of powder and bullet measurements being relatively small, you might have to break you measurement into two. I believe I think mine goes to 1000 grains, but am not sure without.... wait a minute, I'll call home!..... I got it! 500 grains. If, as someone mentioned, there are 15.4 grains in a gram, then my scale could measure a little over 32 grams. I think it cost about $30-$35. RobertN Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 90 12:58:26 EDT From: Paul Bigelow <bigelow at hppad> Subject: Siphoning and Bottle Filling Full-Name: Paul Bigelow In Al Korzonas excellent summary of how to brew your first batch, he says: > 2. Don't start the syphon with your mouth [it's full of bacteria] > - use a sanitized turkey baster, or at least sanitize your mouth > with whiskey. I've found that pre-filling the siphon hose with water works best for me. The small amount of water introduced to your brew is insignificant in a 5 gallon batch. If you want to be paranoid about off flavors, you could use pre-boiled water. The weakness in my production line is bottle filling. Has anyone found a really good technique or equipment? I have a spring loaded bottle filler tube that attaches to the end of my siphon hose, but it is way too slow (insufficient flow). If I just use the siphon hose and clamp it by bending the tube, I get a small flood of beer on the floor. The last few inches of the tube below the clamping point that go down into the bottle always release their contents when the tube is inbetween bottles. The top end of the siphon hose is always guaranteed to slither out of the pail part way through the bottling operation, in spite of (often unsanitary) attempts to tape the hose down. Paul Bigelow [who has permanently sticky floors] bigelow at hppad.hp.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 90 12:07:16 mdt From: hplabs!hp-lsd.cos.hp.com!ihlpl!korz (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: Re: Brewpubs, tastings Tom Hotchkiss writes: >I think brewpubs >are an excellent example since often (in my opinion) the quality >of their beer lies somewhere between decent homebrew and high >quality commercial beer. Therefore, brewpub beer provides an >example of an improved beer that may be closer to your homebrew >than commercial beers. I personally, when I initially read this, thought I would rate beer quality in this order: 1. High-Quality European Commercial Beers 2. High-Quality American (U.S. and CANADA) Microbrews 3. High-Quality Homebrew 4. High-Quality Brewpub Beers 5. Average-Quality European Commercial Beers . . . 8. Average-Quality Brewpub Beers 9. OLD BUDMILOORS On the other hand, it depends on what your criteria is. If you are looking for consistent beer flavor, the BIG Brewers win hands down. Same is true if you're considering shelf life - their santitation control is impeccable (others would argue that no self-respecting bacteria would live in Budweiser ;^). Back to the issue: I don't mind beer reviews of any kind - but I take them in perspective. If someone says that Acme Porter has a strong licorice flavor, I won't buy a case at first - I don't like licorice. Etc. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: 07 Jun 90 13:29:15 EDT From: Jay H. <75140.350 at compuserve.com> Subject: Short postings, Eckhardt's New Book At the risk of being out of sink with the discussion on lengthy postings Most of you forget that just because you have free e-mail access doesn't mean everyone does, a major reason that it is polite to limit your postings and provide direct follow-ups to those interested is (oh horror) some people still pay for things like computers and connect time!! On the homebrewing/beer styles side. Yes it is important to be familiar with styles and flavor perception (why I teach Dr. Beer sessions). Has anyone read Fred Eckhardt's new book essentials of beer style?? I haven't had a chance to open mine yet. I'll bet it's chock full of USEFUL info, 'of course you'll have to purchase a copy, it's not distributed free over the net. - Jay H. Return to table of contents
Date: 07 Jun 90 13:34:05 PDT (Thu) From: florianb at tekred.cna.tek.com Subject: #434, various Yesterday, Tom Hotchkiss pointed out that brewpubs are a good way to introduce oneself to various styles and provide a basis for the judgement of one's own brew. You're right, Tom. I used to frequent these establishments in the beginning, and I learned a lot by doing that. Perhaps what is needed is a specific subject heading and the body of the information concise as Jay reminded us. Separation of brewpub and tasting material from direct homebrew discussion by separate submissions will aid us in discriminating which articles to read. Jay Hersh also asks about kegging. Some pertinent tips are: (1) See if you can get kegs from a soft-drink distributor. Often, they have kegs around which had wine in them, and they won't put soft drinks back in them. Be wary of the old Firestone kegs which have the oval racetrack that uses a square profile o-ring. The seals may get hard to find soon. I paid $10 each for my spare kegs. (2) Extra parts are available from Foxx and Rapids. (3) You can get the CO2 bottle charged at a fire-extinguisher shop. (4) Fill the keg, invert once, then charge with CO2 for better sealing. Florian. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 90 06:34:12 PDT From: hplabs!gatech!intermec.com!maxn (Max Newman x6689) Subject: haze I just brewed my first recipes using specialty grains (Charlie P. steam beer and I.P.A) and have noticed for the first time a haze in my beer. Would using a grain bag possibly help? Maybe irish moss? This is the best tasting brew I've made to date, but I'd like it to look a little nicer. maxn at intermec.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 90 18:20:14 EDT From: bowler at ATHENA.MIT.EDU Subject: Joy Index I have formatted Steve Conklin's (uunet!ingr!b11!conk!steve) very helpful index of The Complete Joy for the Macintosh. I made it into a Word 4.0 (and 3.0) file. It prints real nicely on your friendly LaserWriter. If anyone is interested in a copy of the file I will gladly send a copy of this file. You just need to unbinhex it and unpack it with stuffit. - --albert smith, bowler at athena.mit.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 90 14:32 EST From: <HOLTSFOR%MSUKBS.BITNET at CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu> Subject: dry ale, run-offs, tolerance Greetings, homebrewers -- Ken Weiss was wondering about drying-out a pale ale recipe ... > I'm aiming for a drier, more pale ale quality. Any recipe suggestions? My > plan is 6 lb. of light extract, 1 lb. of crystal malt, 3 oz. of grated ginger I'd cut down on the crystal malt. I think the essence of dryness in beer taste is no sweetness and little mouth-feel and cutting the crystal by half should push the taste in that direction while retaining some pale ale character. Brian Glendenning was worried (!) about low efficiency and mashing and a fast run-off ... >I get the impression from Miller that the grain bed is such an >efficient filter that the sparge operation will take more than an >hour. In our case the sparge water comes through at such a rate that >the sparge is over in 15 or 20 minutes - and that is with the spigot >partially closed. Since you're using the double-bucket lauter tun with 1/8th-inch holes (the Papazian recommendation), you shouldn't be concerned about Miller's time estimates for run-off. Miller recommends much smaller holes (1/64" ?) to strain the mash through. One sparging trick taught to me by Uptown Jackie Brown is to collect the first (c. 2gal)runnings of sweet wort and pour these back through the grain bed. Hence, more liquid is passed over the grains but no more volume is added to the sweet wort. I've been getting gravities of about 1.062 from 9 lbs of Klages + 1/2 lb of crystal and 1/2 lb of toasted malt. I'd also like to echo the sentiment of tolerance for submission of all sorts of beer-related text. I don't mind paging through the long beer reviews and I even enjoy Florian the dreamer's ramblings. Happy brewing, Tim Holtsford Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 90 18:58:48 EDT From: Jeff Close <jclose at potomac.ads.com> Subject: Re: Beer Babble, my 2 cents Greg Wageman writes, expressing many people's sentiment: >Those of you who feel you are suffering from information overload, I >humbly suggest that's *your* problem; trying to shut people up isn't the >answer. >Personally, I find the mix of articles and interests in this newsletter to >be just about perfect. I'm grateful to all for pointing me in new directions, >and not just in homebrewing. I have to add my support as well for Mr. Mellby (and any others), who obviously feel that they have something to offer the digest which will be of interest to others. I have two comments about Florian's original remarks: First, I think it would have been much more appropriate, if you personally disagreed with Mellby's practice of posting tasting results, if you had mailed to him personally. This would have been an inherently more tactful and diplomatic way of informing him of your reaction. If many people chose such an action, he would no doubt get the message. Perhaps for insurance, doubling your personal message with a message to the list maintainer would have insured that your reaction was recorded. If many people followed suit, the moderator could then mail to him, or to the list in general, to cut out the tastings. True, some people due occasionally deserve flames from the net, but in the cases when people's intentions are good, there are better ways of communicating. The fact that you chose the public forum that you did suggested to me that either you were trying to muster public support for your idea, or you were trying to embarass him. Just a suggestion. Second, I think it's RIDICULOUS to suggest that beer tastings and brewpubs have nothing to do with a homebrewers' list! I am also a very active wine enthusiast, and what you say is analogous to saying that wine tastings and visiting vineyards have nothing to do with vinification! Just enjoy the list, if possible; and if not, why not just unsubscribe? -^- * Nothing I say or write could possibly represent the opinions of: Advanced Decision Systems | InterNet:jclose at potomac.ads.com 1500 Wilson Blvd/Arlington, VA 22209| UUCP: sun!sundc!potomac!jclose Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #435, 06/08/90 ************************************* -------
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