HOMEBREW Digest #5066 Wed 27 September 2006

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  Re: Oak chips (Alan Semok)
  Re: Airation in meads. (Christopher Bartlett) ("Eric Wescott")
  what happened to my fusels/harshness? ("Peter A. Ensminger")
  Re: Airation in meads. (Mail Box)
  Re: Taste and Gender (Mail Box)
  Looking for source for Cargill Caramel 60 ("Dave Humes")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 02:51:18 -0400 From: Alan Semok <asemok at mac.com> Subject: Re: Oak chips On Fri, 22 Sep 2006 14:13:48 -0400, "Kevin Gray" <kevin.gray at gmail.com> wrote: > ...could you conceivably use JD barrel chips in a beer to simulate > a whiskey > flavor? And if so, how would you first ensure that you weren't > introducing some undesired micro-organism? You could indeed ...my 2006 Christmas Strong Ale has been aging away for a few months now in bulk, on bourbon oak. As far as keeping the brew clean, you could steam the chips then soak them in whiskey...or nuke 'em in the ol' microwave. I can't imagine that any baddies would survive that (input from a microbiologist member would be most welcome here!!) Just don't overdo the oak...I've tasted quite a few potentially great homebrewed beers virtually ruined by too much "wood". Really good beer is all about BALANCE. By the time it is considered ready, my holiday brew (10 gallons, OG 1.079) will have spent about 5 months aging with a total of just under 3 tablespoons full of a combination of bourbon barrel oak and toasted Hungarian oak chips. cheers, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 08:30:08 -0400 From: "Eric Wescott" <eric.wescott at gmail.com> Subject: Re: Airation in meads. (Christopher Bartlett) Yes - Aerate the heck out of meads at start! Pump with O2 if you want. The same tricks to get a big healthy yeast colony in beer are good for mead. I would not pump it with air or O2 after about 1 day of fermentation (unless something went wrong, and I was trying to fix it). Assuming you have an active ferment, I would rely on that iniital aeration and perhaps one additional stir at +12 to +24 hours. The staggering of nutrients is also a great way to create a complete fermentation. Since many meads go to the ABV limit of hte yeast, those last 2% can take 4 times as long as the first 10-12%. SNA helps to keep the yeast fed and energized and to reach the finish line. - --EW Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 00:25:41 -0400 From: "Peter A. Ensminger" <ensmingr at twcny.rr.com> Subject: what happened to my fusels/harshness? Greetings, On August 7, I posted www.hbd.org/hbd/archive/5042.html#5042-5 and received several replies (www.hbd.org/hbd/archive/5043.html#5043-4, www.hbd.org/hbd/archive/5043.html#5043-5, www.hbd.org/hbd/archive/5043.html#5043-7, www.hbd.org/hbd/archive/5044.html#5044-4) regarding a braggot I made that was very harsh. My BJCP-trained tastebuds interpreted this as due to the presence of fusel (higher) alcohols. Following your responses, on Aug 18 I added 2 oz of "heavy toast oak chips" (Crosby & Baker) to my 5-gal corny keg of braggot. The keg has been maintained at ~42 deg F throughout and had some residual Nottingham ale yeast and Red Star Champagne yeast present. Well, I just had some of the braggot tonight (Sept 25) and it was wonderfully drinkable. It was just a bit "hot", but not offensive for a ~12% beer. There was no oak character. Since there was no "control", I cannot attribute the improvement to the oak chips. But this experience makes me wonder: Q1: Was the harshness (present 5 weeks after pitching) really due to fusels? [I don't have HPLC/GC/MS in my kitchen, so have to rely on my limited experience in drinking cheap whiskey, whose extreme harshness is attributed to fusels.] Q2: What exactly happened to improve my braggot? Did the yeast play a role? Was it the oak chips? Anyone care to speculate? TIA for your feedback! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY Apparent Rennerian: [394, 79.9] Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 06:09:45 -0400 From: Mail Box <mail-box at adelphia.net> Subject: Re: Airation in meads. > From: Christopher Bartlett <bridgeweaver at khanfusion.net> [snipped] > I have a couple of > questions, specifically about aeration. > > So, should I airate my mead at pitching time? If I'm going to > experiment with the incremental nutrition regime mentioned earlier > this week, (could someone provide me a reference where I can read > more about this) should I airate at each addition of nutrient? Chris, You should definitely aerate your must at pitching. I can't comment on your incremental nutrition regime, since I haven't read it, but some folks do divide the nutrient into 2-3 additions and add it over the first 2-3 days. I don't practice that method, but I do aerate at 24 and 48 hours (no fancy O2 set up, just about 5 minutes of stirring with a hand held kitchen mixer). At this point there is no danger of oxidation, as the yeast are still utilizing it and the CO2 production will strip any excess. Oxidation is a concern with mead as it is with wine and beer, but not at this point in the fermentation process. Hope this helps! Cheers, Ken Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 06:44:13 -0400 From: Mail Box <mail-box at adelphia.net> Subject: Re: Taste and Gender > From: "Alexandre Enkerli" <enkerli at gmail.com> [snipped] > It was never my intention to generalize and I was explicitly trying to > get away from the stereotypical "girlie beers" (wheat and/or fruit). > As it so happens, this stereotype seems well known among this group, > which is quite telling. This stereotype is not at all universal. > > My intention was to get some "success stories" from people who have > gone beyond the stereotype and have been able to brew a beer that > would convince someone that there is more to beer than what they > thought before. Alexandre, I'll weigh in late. :) I went through the process you describe with my wife. When we met she wouldn't consider a beer. But she is an open minded person and is willing to try new tastes, and also supports my hobbies. And so while she might not order a beer, she was very willing to sip various kinds of beers that I made or ordered out. This was more of an adventure than a religious conversion, to try to put in the proper context. I wasn't trying to get her to like beer so much as I was sharing my hobby and my enjoyment of beer with her. Now she occasionally will order a porter, or lacking that (and we find that while nearly every microbrewery has an IPA, not all microbreweries make a porter) a stout. She likes a chocolate "stout" (quotes since it is a 23 rather than a 13, being 50/50 wheat/barley and with cocoa powder) I brew, but no others. The specific flavor profile she enjoys is the roasty flavors, coffee and/or chocolate notes, very low hop bitterness and no sourness (Guinness clones or stouts with a soured addition are right out). As has been stated several times in this thread and as you acknowledge, while there may be a stereotype about womens preferences in beer, not every individual will fall into that stereotype. It's certainly not just women who enjoy wheat and fruit beers. I love apricots, and every spring when Pyramid releases their Apricot ale, I buy a case. Without the apricot flavor, this is not a beer I would typically enjoy at all. Belgian wheat beers are just lovely, and some of the more intense banana/clove 15As really suit my tastes as well. Cheers, Ken Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 14:29:30 -0400 From: "Dave Humes" <dhumes001 at comcast.net> Subject: Looking for source for Cargill Caramel 60 I'm looking for a source for Cargill Caramel 60. I've used it for years in a ESB recipe and have been able to order it from my local supplier. But, they've had to order a whole 55lb bag and hope to sell what I don't purchase. I only want 5-10lb, and don't want my supplier to get stuck. Anyone know of a supplier that's selling smaller quantities? Thanks. - --Dave Return to table of contents
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