HOMEBREW Digest #477 Fri 17 August 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: hops, kegs & recycling (Bob Clark - Sun Engineering)
  "Rouge Red" hops (maybe)  (Mike Meyer)
  Starting a homebrewer's club in Southern New Hampshire ("Gary F. Mason - Image Systems - MKO2-2/K03 - 603884[DTN264]-1503  16-Aug-1990 1335")
  On Exploding Bottles (bob)
  Resealable Bottles (bob)
  gushers? (florianb)
  carboys, hops, and racking (mage!lou)
  Trub, Old Testament and Hot Wort (Dave Sheehy)
  various replies to this weeks comments (jay s hersh)
  Not Enough Heat !! (Mark Montgomery)
  Hot Peppers & pH (Brian Capouch)
  strainers and glass carbuoys (Alan Duester)
  Wort straining (Norm Hardy)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 16 Aug 90 06:43:15 PDT From: bobc at Eng.Sun.COM (Bob Clark - Sun Engineering) Subject: Re: hops, kegs & recycling > From: Glenn Colon-Bonet <gcb at hpfigcb> > > Anybody know if you can use the hops directly off the vine (without > drying them)? The reason to dry them is for consistency. Without drying, you are using ingredients with substantial water content which is: a. variable b. not found in the commercial products you buy In other words, 2 oz. of wet hops has a whole lot less bittering than 2 oz. of dried hops. ----- On another subject, I have started the practice of taking an empty Cornelius keg with me to company functions where there is good keg beer. At the end of the event, I simply drain the leftovers into my keg and throw CO2 on top. It keeps quite well in my fridge at home. Just the other night, I was able to score 15 gallons of some local microbrew! Another advantage to being a homebrewer... Bob C. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 90 09:57:32 PDT From: meyer at tcville.hac.com (Mike Meyer) Subject: "Rouge Red" hops (maybe) Bryan Olson asks: Has anyone sampled "Rouge Red" from the Rouge River microbrewery in Ashland Or? I had some recently, it has the most incredible finishing hops aroma/taste, very strong. Does anyone know how they do it? Though I haven't tried Rouge Red, I recall a trip to the Bridgeport brewpub in Portland a couple of years ago, where I was similarly impressed by the hops finish of one of their ales, a floral, spicy taste of heaven. While sitting at the bar, I noticed the requisite jar of hops pellets left out for the curious, marked "Nugget Hops". Same fragrance, and it opened my eyes to the importance of fresh hops in my beer. Since then, my best ales have used Nugget hops, and I've even used them for a "light" beer I made with Bierkeller Dark malt, my infamous "Black Lite". Curiously, Nugget is a very-high alpha acid variety (about 14%), and is considered a bittering hop, but they have a very distinctive aroma that nobody ever mentions. They aren't appropriate to every beer style, but they add quite a flavor to a full-bodied ale. Mike Meyer Hughes Aircraft, El Segundo, CA meyer at tcville.HAC.COM Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 90 10:37:38 PDT From: "Gary F. Mason - Image Systems - MKO2-2/K03 - 603884[DTN264]-1503 16-Aug-1990 1335" <mason at habs11.enet.dec.com> Subject: Starting a homebrewer's club in Southern New Hampshire A group of us in Southern New Hampshire and bordering Massachusetts are beginning to form a Homebrewer's Club. We have contacted the AHA for their information, and done some other early groundwork. If there is anyone in the area who reads this Digest, and is interested in taking part, please reply to me, or call Bill Liston at (800)562-7173. Let's get this thing brewin'! Cheers...Gary Return to table of contents
Date: Thu Aug 16 14:35:37 1990 From: semantic!bob at uunet.UU.NET Subject: On Exploding Bottles On exploding bottles: My first batch of brew I bottled before fermentation was complete. The ferment got stuck, so I just relaxed and bottled it. Well it also got infected. I keep sturring it to try and restart the fermentation. I also used an old scratched up food grade bucket. Needless to say my first batch was a flop. (Things are much better now though.) I bottled in Grolsch bottles and WOW what *POP* I got when I opened them. Well, I would get them real cold and it wasn't so bad at first. But a few weeks latter they started blowing the porcelen (sp?) caps and harware off. Since the beer wasn't the best tasting, and things seemed a little dangerous I decided to dump the batch. So I go into my bathroom (where I keep my beer) and started to open the first bottle. Well it wasn't cold! The cap and harware *Blew* off, broke the medicine cabinet mirror, bounced of the ceiling, two walls, and landed in the toilet. And /everything/ got covered with fizzy, sticky beer. I was stunned! I could have been blinded! I didn't want to toss my bottles so I carefully loaded them into the fridge. The next day I took them out one at a time and opened them up in a sink full of water. The water dampened all the force of the beer. I havn't had a problem since then. However several people have mentioned that some of their brews build up carbonation over time. I'll have to sample some of my original batches which I stored away for ageing. I may just have to drink them All real quick! - -- Hope you enjoyed the show! - -- Robert A. Gorman (Bob) bob at rsi.com Watertown MA US -- - -- Relational Semantics, Inc. uunet!semantic!bob +1 617 926 0979 -- Return to table of contents
Date: Thu Aug 16 15:03:41 1990 From: semantic!bob at uunet.UU.NET Subject: Resealable Bottles I'm going to start a debate here. :-) I only use resealable bottles. I use two types: The standard 16 oz Grolsch bottles, and the 22 oz Fischer bottles. I get these at the local bottle redemption center for 5 cents each. So I can't figure out why any one would bother capping. I think 12 oz bottles would be very repetitive to fill. Then you've got to cap them all. What a pain. With 22 oz resealables I fill up about 22 bottles. I seal them as soon as there full, and that's it. No capper, no caps, no capping. I think they would be cheaper too. What do people pay for caps? 1 or 2 cents each. And then add on the cost of the capper. More expensive, More work, Why bother! Of course, I'm leaving my self open to those keggers out there. Now there's a lazy lot! Just on big bottle (keg) to fill. But they have to purchase kegs and taps and CO2 and refridgerators. So what's you opinion? - -- Robert A. Gorman (Bob) bob at rsi.com Watertown MA US -- - -- Relational Semantics, Inc. uunet!semantic!bob +1 617 926 0979 -- Return to table of contents
Date: 16 Aug 90 13:07:15 PDT (Thu) From: florianb at tekred.cna.tek.com Subject: gushers? Tom Hotchkiss gave us some interesting stories about gushers and exploders: >For safety's sake, if you currently have any gushers, I'd recommend >opening all of them ASAP! By "gusher," I mean that when you open a bottle >the beer gushes out violently (i.e. hits the ceiling). You can wrap the >bottles in a heavy towel when handling them to make the procedure safer. The part I'm having trouble with after reading his narrative is that if gushers and exploders are present in homebrew, then something must be seriously wrong. If this assumption is correct, then it seems to me that steps should be taken to understand what is wrong with the brewing process and to also fix it right away. Even though infection is often assumed as the culprit in gushing beer, I maintain that it is more likely secondary fermentation in the bottle. It is extremely important that one should monitor the "seconds per glub" in the secondary carboy, as well as the specific gravity. In addition, it is important to ferment and secondary ferment at a nearly constant temperature. This will reduce yeast shock. To this I will add that I'm a pretty sloppy brewer. I stick my filthy hands in the brew, I suck on the racking hoze, I roll loose hops in unwashed cheesecloth on the kitchen counter to make hop bags, I dump in priming syryp made with cold water, and I hardly ever scrub my bottles (when I *do* bottle), I have never used more than a one minute soak in bleach solution for bottles and equipment, and so on as T -> oo. I have yet to get gushing beer or gunk growing in the bottles. BUT, in very old (year old) beer, I have noticed excess carbonation, which I attribute to the yeast simply using up every last bit of fermentable left in the brew. But there has never been carbonation anywhere near the point of gushing out. Others may have separate opinions, but it is, I believe, worthwhile to examine the brewing process in order to understand the origin of these troubles. On the topic of Grolsch bottles, have a look at the thickness of the glass where the swingtop bail inserts into a dimple on the neck. This is a very thin point! It may be that Grolsch bottles relieve their pressure via the gasket. Case in point. About a year ago I popped some blueberries into a Grolsch bottle, poured boiling water into the bottle and capped it as an experiment to see whether I could make juice. About two weeks later, the bottle was oozing juice out of the gasket. I took it to the sink, swung open the lid, and the top popped off, spraying blueberry wine all over the place. I'm sure it would have exploded had it been a longneck bottle. The wine was pretty good, but I'll never go clowning around with bottling unfermented juice again! Florian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 90 15:58:56 MDT From: hplabs!mage!lou Subject: carboys, hops, and racking In HBD #476 Gary Mason writes: >Has anyone seen a cap (with the tube holes, etc.) for a 6 1/2 gallon carboy? >Every one I find is for a 5 gallon, and the larger one has a smaller OD neck. >In fact, have you seen a handle for the larger volume? Which reminds me that I >have wondered about carrying a full carboy by the neck with one of those - any >chance of snapping it off? Gary, you need a new source of large carboys. I use 7 gallon carboys (actually, I think it is 28 liters). The ID of these is the same as for 5 gallon carboys but the OD is definitely larger. I use the regular size carboy handles but have to enlarge them with pliers and have a great deal of trouble getting the original bolt to work because the larger gap is too large. On other matters, several people have commented on how to prevent hops from getting into your fermenter. Like others have mentioned, I use hops bags for all of my hops. I do it mainly because I often brew alone and I find this the easiest technique to use single-handed; the hops bags can be removed from the brew pot and sparged while the wort is cooling. This has the disadvantage of not being able to use the hops as a filter bed but has the advantage of being feasible for a single person to perform. If you want to use the hops as a filter, I recommend using a separate sieve in your funnel rather than using a funnel with a built in strainer. As to worries about siphoning into a carboy and having a lot of air above the beer that can cause oxidation, if the brew is still fermenting then it will produce CO2 and force the air out so no problem (several others have mentioned this). However, If you are racking something that is more or less fermented out but you're not ready to bottle yet (e.g. barley wine or mead that should age in the carboy for a while with several rackings) then this could be a problem. I used to add ascorbic acid at this point and worried far too much until I found a better way. I don't have a regular CO2 system so I came up with a jury-rigged fix. I have a seltzer bottle, the kind that uses CO2 cartridges to make club soda. I run a sanitized tube to the bottom of the carboy and exhaust one of the cartridges into it. I then let the CO2 settle to the bottom before racking which gives me a layer of CO2 to push the air out without spending $100's for a CO2 system. Louis Clark mage!lou at ncar.ucar.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 90 16:14:06 PDT From: Dave Sheehy <dbs at hprnd> Subject: Trub, Old Testament and Hot Wort Full-Name: Dave Sheehy I've had some experience with racking wort off of the trub. Using the same recipe I've made one batch racking the wort off the trub and another without racking off the trub. The batch where I racked the wort off the trub is in my opinion the best 5 gallons of beer I've made to date. I also followed Miller's suggestion to pitch first then rack a few hours later (before fermentation begins). He doesn't state why but I believe it's to reduce the contamination risk since the yeast will be well on its way when you rack. I've recently begun to wonder if this might be a great help to those of us who must cope with warm ferments during the summer months. My first batch of weizen beer using Wyeast's wheat yeast came out really funky due to the warm weather :-(. I've haven't had a chance to test this hypothesis yet though. As far as Soper's comments about TCJoHB being Old Testament I'd like to comment on that. I think that Charlie could give a rat's a** about a beer's clarity. His emphasis seems to be on making beer that's enjoyable and all the different kinds of things you can put in it to make it so. Contrast this with Miller or Noonan who say little or nothing about how to experiment with recipes and come up with something unique. When I want to brew a classic style I refer to Miller's recipe for a starting point. When I want to brew something unique I refer to Papazian for ideas. Papazian is also not oriented towards competition where clarity is an important factor. I guess to sum it all up I don't agree that Papazian should be labelled as Old Testament. As for hot wort, the first time I did a full boil (using an extract recipe I'd made many times before) I didn't have a wort chiller and I just had to let it sit overnight till it cooled down. Well, that batch never did taste very good. I think there's a moral in that story somewhere. Dave Sheehy dbs%hprnd.hp.com Return to table of contents
Date: 16 Aug 90 19:46:58 EDT From: jay s hersh <75140.350 at compuserve.com> Subject: various replies to this weeks comments Hi there was a bunch of things I wanted to comment on To the person wanting to keep air out of their secondary. CO2 is heavier than air so you could blow in CO2 if you have a CO2 system or you could pick up a soda charger and the CO2 chargers for it for that purpose To gary who suggested pitching right in to the brewpot after wort chilling. I don't see the point of this. You need to aerate the wort for the yeast to grow and reproduce and you need to get it into the carbouy anyway. The time it takes to get the beer into the carbouy has no real effect on the bacteria vs yeast war. The real problem is the lag time in which the bacteria reproduces by a factor of 2 every 20-40 minutes while the yeast takes 90-120 min. That is why starting your yeast and pitching a proper volume of active slurry is the best solution. to Chuck Cox. Chuck baby I have seen it printed that the lower the temperature the higher the CO2 absorption, with low 40s being the suggested temp. I believe this was in a 2 part series reprinted in Zymurgy and written by someone in the refrigeration mechanics trade group (the guys who install and maintain bar tap systems). It also seems a good idea to invert the keg since this increases the area the CO2 comes in contact with aiding absorption. To people with hop cloggin problems. If you use pellets forget straining its a pain and really the hops settle to the bottom of the fermenter and the yeast will form a layer over it fairly quickly isolating it from the beer. If you use leaf hops get yourself boiling bags and put your leaf hopsd in them. They do not affect acid extraction and make life much easier. My lagering procdure (*I use Vierka dry yeast typically started several hours beore pitching) is to toss the yeast slurry in as soon as the wort is chilled and then to move the carbouy into the cold room (45-55F). The beer is a large thermal mass and will take several hours to cool down this givves the yeast time to work up. Sometimes I wait until I see visible fermentation before moving the carbouy but I never wait more than ~24 hours. To Joe U with cloudy mead. I boil down Irish moss hops and water crystals into a tea before adding the honey. I have never had any haze in my meads so I assume this works. To all interested in Jalapeno beers. At the AHA conference of 86 I believe Charlie P served a pepper beer I believe was called Devil Made me Do it. I think this recipe has been published. Try writing or calling the AHA and asking Charlie - Good brewing! P.S. Boy has this digest gotten busy lately! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 90 19:32:46 PDT From: ncpmont at brahms.AMD.COM (Mark Montgomery) Subject: Not Enough Heat !! from yesterdays HBD both gerald at caen.engin.umich.edu (Gerald Andrew Winters) rhager%math at sdsu.edu (Richard Hager) mention the problem of not having enough heat to conduct a vigorous boil. Problem: I also have the same problem. I have a ~5 gallon pot which is barely large enough for a full batch and have recently whacked apart a 1/4 keg to enable full recipe boils. The Coleman propane stove that has served me marginally when boiling in the ~5 gal pot just plain runs out of poop when attempting to fire the ~7 gal keg. I believe the Coleman burner is rated at 10,000 BTUH which is the same as (or maybe slightly higher than) the normal kitchen burner. NEED MORE HEAT! Possible solutions: 1. In Paul Prudhomme's mail order catalog there is an 'outdoor cooker' that stands 24 inches tall and puts out ~35,000 BTUH running on propane. This seeems a little overkill and is also about $125. 2. Two local barbecue supply shops have available what they call a 'wok burner' that puts out ~35,000-~45,000 BTUH, can be run on propane or natural gas and costs about $65. A stand would have to be kludged or they can weld it up in a stand w/ grate for another $50 or so. They gave me a demo of it and it looks like an F-16 on afterburner, heading for takeoff. Again, seems like overkill and too expensive. Question: Has anyone found a good solution? Maybe a cheaper outdoor cooker from somewhere (mail order?)? A source for smaller burners in the 15,000 to 20,000 BTUH range? Magic?? If anybody has suggestions I'd dearly like to hear them and since it seems others have the same problem maybe a post to the digest wouldn't be out of line. Regards, Mark Montgomery (ncpmont at amd.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 90 21:24:30 -0500 (CDT) From: Brian Capouch <brianc at zeta.saintjoe.EDU> Subject: Hot Peppers & pH I don't have my "bible of peppers" here on hand, but I'd bet half a case of Bud Dry that the hotness of peppers comes from a lipid-based substance, which might have a measurable pH but certainly not enough, for the most part, to overcome the buffering capacity of an average wort. Note that I am talking here about the "active hot" ingredient only; I cannot vouch for what the effects of the main dry-matter mass of the peppers themselves might be. In an unrelated vein, perhaps I have been committing something heretical, but I always just shake my carboys a tad after racking into secondary, after placing the airlock on but before adding the water. I assume that a few minutes of bubbling is enough to remove the oxygen from the top of the carboy, and certainly haven't been bothered by lack of carbonation in my finished brews. I have had several professional brewers snicker at my questions about how they avoid oxidizing hot wort, and while I haven't actually seen them do it, they tell me that the effects of pouring from a boiling pot into a carboy or heat-exchanger would be negligible. Does anyone know for sure about this. Finally, I'm taking a poll: what would be a good, sturdy, reliable thermometer to use for mashing in a 5-gal stainless pot? I need to get one quickly, so a premium would be placed on one I could find at common hardware or mall type stores. Brian Capouch Saint Joseph's College for Children Rensselaer, IN brianc at saintjoe.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 90 23:18:11 EDT From: capnal at aqua.whoi.edu (Alan Duester) Subject: strainers and glass carbuoys Ken Weiss writes: >A question for those of you using glass primary fermentors - How do >you get five gallons of hops-filled wort strained and inside a glass >carboy without making a HUGE mess? I thought of a big funnel, but it The way I deal with the hops is by cross-straining between two pots. I pour through a somewhat coarse strainer into another pot (assuming that the wort was boiling seconds ago and will sterilize the thin walled pot), then back through a fine strainer. I have to halt about three times through each pour to dump the hops out into the garbage (I just live with chill haze, yes). Into the sink for cooling, and then pour it all into a half load of pre-chilled water in the carbuoy through my funnel and pitch my yeast. This way the mess usually stays on the stove instead of the floor..... ======================================================================== Al Duester, Ocean Engineer, MS S201 # SPAN: 6308::capnal Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution # INTERNET: capnal at aqua.whoi.edu Woods Hole, MA 02543 # (508) 457-2000 x2474 ======================================================================== Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 90 19:04:58 PDT From: hplabs!polstra!norm (Norm Hardy) Subject: Wort straining Here are my two bits about how to transfer the wort into the primary fermenter: (1) First, I NEVER pour through a funnel or strainer while hot. That is indeed the cause of some oxydized beer. (2) When the wort is through boiling, I place it on a flat surface (with appropriate towel or hot pad underneath). Then I stir quickly, but not enough to splash the wort in a clockwise direction. Then the wort sits and whirlpools for 10-15 minutes. Leaving the lid off is okay while the wort is over 170f, in fact, it probably is helpful to the taste of the beer. (3) I then chill the wort with an immersion cooler, placed in gently so as not to disturb the liquid too much. (4) When chilled to the right temp, I siphon the wort into the carboy using straight J tube connected to the flexible siphon hose. Putting the tube at the bottom outside of the boiling pot gets almost all the wort before the now centralized hops start coming through. (5) Crystal clear wort! Very little sludge in the primary. Norm H Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #477, 08/17/90 ************************************* -------
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