HOMEBREW Digest #5385 Fri 01 August 2008

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  Re: Hop Questions/Advice ("Keith Anderson")
  Aeration on the hot and cold side (Jim D)
  RE: English brewer seeks help with US beer list at GBBF ("Steve Jones")
  Lead in glass carboys... (drsmith)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 08:47:08 -0400 From: "Keith Anderson" <keithxanderson at gmail.com> Subject: Re: Hop Questions/Advice Bob Tower writes: >I grow Mt. Hood hops on the southern exposure side of my house. I have >three sets of twine for each plant running from the ground up to the >eaves of the house, which is about 11-12 feet (335-366 cm) of total >growing length. In my climate, it's usually about early July by the time >the bines have reached the top at which point they grow into a snarled >mess as they have no where to go. Every year I threaten to experiment on >one plant by cutting the terminal buds once they reach the top. With >other plants this would simply encourage more side growth, but with hops >it's unclear to me what would happen. Every year I either chicken out or >simply procrastinate until it's too late. Either way, I never have >actually tried it. Any thoughts about this? Can anyone see a downside to >this kind of trimming? I grew cascades at my old house in NJ the way you describe for about three years except I had them on a ~60 degree include with a longer length of twine to the eaves. It seems to me the hops always grow as tall as they can vertically towards the midday sun and then bush out horizontally. No matter how you cut them back (early spring to encourage strongest shoots, top growth, late shoots, etc), they seem to grow just about the same and produce the same amount of hops. Don't have experience with Mt. Hood but it seems like varieties that do well in your climate can not be stopped from growing vigorously. I don't see a downside to trimming early in the season. If you trim once they bush out horizontally you won't get more vertical growth from those particular vines/bines but more shoots will come later and probably climb almost as tall soon (I didn't trim new shoots since they will bring another wave of hops after the first harvest). What I found worked even better than trying to grow them > 20 ft vertically is to grow them horizontally on a 5-6ft fence. I've seen a few articles (Zymurgy?) that also recommend this idea of a "hop bush". I screwed a few large pieces of privacy trellis to my fence and let the hops shoots climb vertically a few feet to the trellis and then horizontally ~6 ft in each direction. Much easier to manage and grew just about the same amount hops (possibly a bit less). I think an ornamental overhead trellis for growing grapes would work even better. >As far as hop harvesting goes, would there be any detriment (besides >taking up more freezer space) to simply freezing fresh harvested hops >without drying them first? Reduced shelf life? Freezer burn? Some kind >of enzyme action that would not be arrested by the freezing storage >temperature? In the past I've done this with small amounts and used them >utilizing the premise that fresh, undried hops weigh 5-6 times more than >dried hops. I've done this with the hops at the beginning and end of the >harvest (when there isn't enough harvested all at once to justify going >to the trouble of drying them) and I haven't noticed any difference. >However, I used them within a few months of freezing. Thoughts on this? I think the only potential problem is moisture which could encourage rotting/mold/mildew in the long run. If you freeze hops right off the vine and thaw them (as with herbs) they can get slimy and appear to be decomposing. But sounds like you don't have this problem so I wouldn't worry. I found my fresh hops added a flavor a bit too vegetal for my taste and preferred the flavor of dried hops (although the Sierra Nevada fresh hop ale is superb). Overall, my homegrown cascades lacked the oomph of "professionally" grown cascades and suspected I wasn't getting a very high %AA due to some missing nutrient from my soil but that was just a guess. Keith Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 08:15:55 -0500 From: Jim D <goswell at hotmail.com> Subject: Aeration on the hot and cold side I read tons of information regarding hot side aeration but very little about the cold side. I'm trying to figure out how both affect by beer. Hot side: This is obviously the hardest one for me to control. Mainly because I don't understand how I can mash grains in a cooler and not create hot side aeration. I usually put the mash water into my cooler and let it preheat the tun, then once it has, I mix in the grains. This act alone creates a lot of aeration but it seems impossible to mix everything up without aerating. One thought I had was that since that is preboil, perhaps the boil itself will drive off the oxygen I introduced while mixing. Cold side: This is much easier to control but I'm wondering if it is more critical, especially at bottling time since the beer will just be sitting and aging. I don't know that I create any aeration at this point but I am wondering if it is more or less critical on the cold side. I guess I'm looking for the straight story on the affects of aeration and some of the methods people use to control it. It seems that is the hardest part for me to control during the brewing process. //Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 14:27:11 -0400 From: "Josh Knarr" <josh.knarr at gmail.com> Subject: THE WORKS on THE HISTORY CHANNEL The beer episode was on last night on The History Channel. (WOOO I WOULD INCLUDE A LINK HERE BUT I AM REJECTED BY OUR PERL SCRIPT OVERLORDS). Mini-review follows! The host is a waif. I don't care that he's a PhD in Robotics or that he's the mastermind of The Gay Agenda. What does that have to do with the core interest of the program? Stuff amusingly wrong: * 212F was advertised as the mash temp. "Mashtun" was spelled correctly, despite being treated as a single word. * "All beers are ales or lagers." Absolutely no mention was made of "steam beers", etc. I find the spirit of homebrewing is in Doing It Wrong to find out what works. (I have a pilsner I'm intentionally fermenting at 80F to try to make it interesting, for instance). Where's the adventure? * There was a lot of talk about branding being important to a beer image and taste. Except no-one I know prints labels for their beer. If the beer is lucky, we're sober enough to write on the caps. Everytime Papizan says "Stop, have a homebrew" - WE DO. * The guy brewing in his house had an incredibly high end system. I guess plastic buckets just weren't impressive enough. His system, however, was beautiful. Good stuff: * Smuttynose went out of it's way to show everything off, talk about the hop shortage (but no mention of the warehouse fire was heard), talk about hop pellets, etc. They're not above throwing trashcans full of grain around. * The Bud guys were nice, but seemed elitist, which is about what I expected. The attitude seemed to be WE HAVE COMPUTERS, SO WE MAKE BEER WITH COMPUTERS, SO WE WIN. Only a very small hat-tip was given to adjuncts, which is more than most of these "beer specials" seem to get. I don't think it was intentional but the editing seemed to lean towards adjuncts like rice being bad. No mention of spices though, especially the staple Belgian coriander. * There was a good job of walking you through the process, but it glossed the details. Someone had half a clue about starch conversion in the program. * Beers were presented in proper glasses, and different taps were displayed. Cans were debated. If you can download it, I would say watch it. I don't think it's worth canceling dinner over to catch a showing of, however. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 17:41:34 -0400 From: "Steve Jones" <stjones1 at gmail.com> Subject: RE: English brewer seeks help with US beer list at GBBF Steve from the UK wrote: >> >> ... I am hoping that you good folk will be able to give me some advice as to which beers you would advise a friend to try. ... >> >> And gives us a link to the beer list. This would be my take on narrowing it down to a few dozen: Anchor Liberty Ale Anchor Old Foghorn Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale Firestone Walker Firestone Pale 31 Flying Dog Imperial Porter Goose Island Summertime Kolsch Great Divide Titan IPA Left Hand Brewing Co Milk Stout Lost Abbey The Angel's Share Rogue Shakespeare Stout Rogue Dead Guy Ale Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Sierra Nevada Porter Stone IPA Stone Ruination IPA Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale Stone Pale Ale Stone Smoked Porter Victory Hopdevil I've proabably only had a third of the ones I've left off - they were all pretty good, so you can't go wrong with them, either. But every one of these is a great beer, IMHO. The only ones I've not had on this list are the Firestone Walker and Lost Abbey beers, but I'd never pass up a chance on a beer from either of these breweries - especially Lost Abbey. Steve Jones State of Franklin Homebrewers http://www.franklinbrew.org Johnson City, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 01 Aug 2008 17:46:34 -0400 From: drsmith <hbd at aperature.org> Subject: Lead in glass carboys... As I mentioned a few days ago, I have a lead test kit here that I used to do a surface test of a 3 gallon glass carboy. There are 2 different ways to perform the test according to the directions. For general dishes or food handling items the instructions say to just moisten a strip of the test material with water and hold in place on the item for 2 minutes. For lead crystal, the instructions say to let the crystal rest overnight with some white vinegar and then to test the solution of white vinegar with the test strip. I covered both methods by taking 2 paper towels, wadding them up and taping them to the side of the glass carboy. One was soaked until it was dripping in water while the other was soaked in white vinegar. The following morning, I tested each by placing the test strip in between the paper towel and the glass for 2 minutes. Neither test strip showed any presence of lead in my case. Either the glass carboy I have is lead free or basic washing of the surface has removed any lead that might leach out of the carboy. - --Darrin Rochester, NY Return to table of contents
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