HOMEBREW Digest #4614 Tue 28 September 2004

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  Re: Apple Cider Final SG?? (Grant Family)
  getting started (Robin Griller)
  Weighing coins ("Mike Sharp")
  Queens homebrew supply shop (iDaWazoo)
  My 5 cents worth,Anna brewer, Beginning for Adam,Chris' cider, Jeff's third degree ("Dave Burley")
  My second batch - thanks guys ("Anna R. Dunster")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 15:56:41 +1000 From: Grant Family <grants at netspace.net.au> Subject: Re: Apple Cider Final SG?? Hi Chris, http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/andrew_lea/Part1.htm is a very concise and helpful resource for learning to make cider. My (limited) experience is that stopping cider at anything other than dryness is very difficult. Once your yeast (natural or otherwise) has started, it very difficult to get it to stop, especially without sulfites. Andrew Lea's article (URL above) has some info on retaining cider sweetness (see Part 4) especially the French method called "keeving", which basically uses added calcium and natural pectins to remove most of the nutrients from you apple juice. WIth these gone, the (natural) yeast has trouble lasting the distance and inevitably leave some sugar. I've tried this and it's quite difficult to do (I haven't succeeded yet). The reason your dry cider is "harsh" is because you're probably using eating/cooking apples (as I am) instead of the traditional cider-apple varieties used to make, for example, English pub-style cider. These apples have a high acid content and take a long time to mellow out. But it does happen, especially if you use natural yeasts, add no sulfites, and leave the stuff for at least 6 months before drinking. The last bottle from my last year's batch went recently at 12 months old and it was noticeably less acidic and very nice - patience is worth it. Hope some of that was helpful. Cheers Stuart Grant Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 13:31:42 +0200 From: Bjoern.Thegeby at cec.eu.int Subject: Although nobody can guarantee the outcome, you are doing everything right so far. Cider can end up below 1.000 FG, which will be very dry but normal. I would suggest that you leave it to ferment in a cool but not freezing place until spring. This might sound excessive but cider regularly goes through two fermentations. The first is a regular sugar to co2 and alcohol fermentation, the second is called a malolactic fermentation which changes malic acid to lactic acid. Despite what you might think, this is desirable as lactic acid is much less tart. This second fermentation tradititonally kicks in in spring when the weather heats up. If you find your cider too dry at the end, you can add lactose. Not too much, in excess it is a laxative. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 08:18:35 -0400 From: Robin Griller <rgriller at chass.utoronto.ca> Subject: getting started Hi all, Unlike many others, I'm a great believer in just jumping in with both feet and going all grain from the start, which is what I did (well, I'd done three or four kits ~15 years before). What it takes to do that is to take some time to do some reading, find an lhbs with an owner who is nice enough and has the sense to be willing to take the time to talk you through your fears and questions (there'll be lots--thanks Barry of BYO in Toronto!), and slowly put your equipment together. In terms of reading, go for the suggestions made already; I would add in Dave Miller's Brew the World's Great Beers and the Wheeler books (Homebrewing, and, with Protz, Brew Real Ale... and Brew Classic European...). I spent several months reading, accumulating equipment, and figuring out the basics of grain brewing, then did it. I had a rough first day of brewing, but I made an unbelievably good porter, better, imho, than most of what you can buy in the store. Go this way and you will be hooked for life and be making some of the best beer in the world! Robin Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 09:55:11 -0700 From: "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> Subject: Weighing coins The discussion on weighing coins triggered great memories for me...When I was in 6th grade (around 1967) my father ran a standards lab at IBM. For a school science fair, I weighed a large number of pennies with an ultra-precise balance. I forget the precision, but it was a number of decimal places...I'm thinking it was probably around 0.1 milligram, maybe better. The scale was in an enclosure, on a vibration dampened base, and was nearly as big as a refrigerator. I weighed 100 brand new pennies (untouched, no fingerprints), and 100 random pennies in circulation. While I don't remember the actual numbers, the distribution was an almost perfect histogram (bell curve), but the standard deviation was surprisingly small. Even the min and max values were quite close. Whether pennies or nickels, the accuracy of a home-made balance is not going to care about the variance. It's a good idea! Regards, Mike Sharp Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 12:13:41 -0700 (PDT) From: iDaWazoo <idawazoo at yahoo.com> Subject: Queens homebrew supply shop Hi All, Could somebody recommend a few homebrew supply shops in queens, ny near zip code 11364. I am looking for another shop besides East Coast Hydroponics (right of the LIE near main st.) located in flushing. I would like to check out all the stores in the area to see which one is the best. Thanks for any info. -Phil Newbie brewer Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 18:16:55 -0400 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: My 5 cents worth,Anna brewer, Beginning for Adam,Chris' cider, Jeff's third degree Brewsters: In response to my query about which coins weigh what, Moses Rocket says: >5 US cents = 5 grams. Who says the US >doesn't use the metric system!!! Thanks! I'll remember that Does that mean a dime ( 10 cents) is 10 grams? {8^) - -------------------------- Anna is anguishing over her second brew. This is a normal reaction, Anna, for newie brewers we have all gone through it.. Fear not your beer will likely finish out., But we have no details of your brew ( yeast type, temperature, style, OG) , so can't really comment further in detail. Ale yeast like it about 65F- 75F. Lager yeast , below 55F and down to 45F for best quality. In both cases you can get to somewhat lower temperatures. higher T increases the fruitiness and aldehydes. Chilling yeast can send them into dormancy, but warming them back up should restart them in most cases, especially early in the fermentation and at low alcohol. It is quite likely your airlock is not tight and is the reason you see no bubbles. Use a rubber stopper and dry the stopper and the glass neck before insertion. Fermentations that are going just do not stop instantly in my expereince. ( Although I did have a cultured Coopers once that ripped right through and I thought it was stuck. Clinitest saved me a lot of anguish) Bubbles of CO2 on your hydrometer is a possible explanation of why your hydrometer readings are variable and high because the bubbles float the hydrometer. You need to degas your beer before reading the SG (one of many reasons why I hate hydrometers for trying to read a fermenting beer). You can do this by heating a small quantity of beer to near boiling with stirring and cool to RT, then measure SG. Alternatively, but less effective, pour your beer from vessel to vessel until no more bubbles collect on the vessel walls, then do an SG. The finishing SG is not a reliable measure especially the first time you make a beer. Most typical beers should be in the 1.003 - 1.006 range, but it depends on the recipe used . The best way to really know if your beer is finished fermenting is to use Clinitest. See the HBD archives. - ------------------- Adam, To begin brewing beer may I suggest you visit a local hobby shop which sells beer brewing equipment and talk to a knowledgable person. You will need two 5 gallon carboys, some malt extract blended to the kind of beer you want to ferment. Some good quality dried yeast and an airlock. You will then need some bottles or keg to keep and dispense the product. Other miscellaneous kitchen equipment. Skip the hops addition for your first brew by using an extract that has hops already in it. Next brew use hops as it will immensely improve your beer. Next stage is a partial mash and the pinnacle is an all-grain mash. Many brewers stop at an intermediate stage depending on their likes and available time and equipment, etc. Above all never pour your hot wort through the air and avoid getting oxygen in your beer. Check out William's Brewing on the 'net ( no affiliation) for a good view of what is available. Many other reliable suppliers are available. - ----------------------- Chris, Wants to avoid sulfites in dealing with his "natural" cider. Sulfites are the simplest and best way to stabilize your fermented cider against oxidation unless you carbonate it. You can use 30 ppm sulfite and potassium sorbate according to package directions if you sweeten it and leave it flat or carbonate it in a keg. Despite what you read sulfites (except in extremely unusual cases, still suspect, BTW) do not cause headaches or anything else of consequence when in the proper range of about 30- 50 ppm. Interestingly, yeasts, can generate sulfites as can you internally. In the case of wines it is the histamines in red wine, suspected to be tyramines, which cause some to have a headache. In others it the alcohol.... - ----------------- H. Dowda, Wants an instrument that determines SG without having problems with bubbles. Specific Gravity measurements are an outmoded way of determining the progress of the fermentation. Specific gravity is a surrogate for remaining sugar and is pretty good in wine, except for the noted problem of alcohol affecting the SG ( and a final reading being below zero) , but in beer where unfermentables remain it is pretty lousy. Look up Clinitest ( in the HBD archives) which directly measures reducing sugars which are themselves a surrogate for remaining fermentables but lot closer to the mark and independent of bubbles and other interferences such as unfermentable carbohydrates and only takes a few drops of beer and requires nothing more than an eyedropper and a testube for equipment. - ----------------------- Jeff Renner comments that a third degree polynomial was added to Promash and suspects this helped Promash to be more accurate. I guess there are still minor problems if you are having discrepancies. I doubt a third degree polynomial wouild do it unless the details of unfementables were known from the beginning. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 16:49:34 -0700 From: "Anna R. Dunster" <azzacanth at livejournal.com> Subject: My second batch - thanks guys Hey, I got about a zillion replies to my question - thanks !! :) I went ahead and bottled it last night and we'll see how it goes. Next time I have a question I will be sure to include things like my whole recipe :) In other news my now 3 and a half week old IPA is getting soooo good. (that was my first batch) I almost wish I didn't taste test as much of it earlier... but well, I will save more from now on. Now I can't say I have a lot of experience with beers (really I have very little, I barely even know what I like) but man that stuff is so good now I kept tasting it for the rest of the night. Well once again thank you all for your help, I'm glad I sent my question in here. I've got plenty of tips for making everything work more smoothly next time - and have a better idea where things should end up and why. Not to mention a better idea what I should research before I actually buy my next batch of ingredients :) Just so many questions I don't even know enough to ask yet, but I am sure I will learn if I keep it up. Thanks !!! ~Anna Return to table of contents
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