HOMEBREW Digest #54 Thu 19 January 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Finings etc. (in defense of) (olson)
  Blow-off method (Algis R Korzonas +1 312 979 8583)
  Crushing Grain (Peter Klausler)
  Bubbles (BB13093)
  Steinbart's Address (florianb)
  Can Dried Yeast Freeze? (Mike Meyer)
  Psychoactive beer (Nick Pine)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 19 Jan 89 10:15:31 EST From: olson at cs.rochester.edu Subject: Finings etc. (in defense of) A lot of postings have come down on finings lately: >From: uiucdcs!rayssdb.RAY.COM!iws at hplabs.HP.COM (Ihor W. Slabicky) >Subject: the all-malt vs. finings ... > From: rdg at hpfcmi > Subject: Fish bladders, seaweed, etc > Full-Name: Rob Gardner > > The process called fining is a good one to experiment with, but I > think you'll find that you can make very clear beers without it. > ... > In all seriousness though, I would consider > any fining agent to violate the "all-malt" creed, and its use is only > to correct faults, and not to be put into your all-malt homebrew. > >I agree with Rob's posting and am surprised to see finings mentioned here. >I thought that all malt meant just that (and implied the Reinheitsgebot (sp?) >purity). How much of the gelatin (or other finings) stay in the brew even >after it percipitates all the yeast? How do the big boys over in Germany >or even the microbrewers here in USA do it? I'd think you'd want to keep >that stuff out of your brew. > All-malt brewing is the ideal for most of us, but let's not forget that other great dictum of homebrewing: "Relax...Don't worry..." (you know the rest!) Putting finings in your beer may not be necessary, but there's nothing immoral about it. For that matter, adding cherries, ginger, blackcurrants, et cetera to your wort violates the Rheinheitsgebot in a big way. (To say nothing of chocolate, garlic, hot peppers, or chicken! Yes, it's been done -- see Papazian's book.) But I wouldn't want to tell anybody that they aren't allowed to use these ingredients if they want to. (I'm sure the Rob and Ihor can relax, not worry, etc. with the best of them, and didn't mean to sound authoritarian. Just wanted to remind everybody that rules were made to be broken.) I find that all of my beers except the latest batch clear nicely after a few weeks, but early batches showed a lot of chill haze. My understanding is that you can't avoid chill haze unless you a) mash your own and b) know how to control your mash so as to get rid of the tannin/protein combination that produces the haze. For my last five batches I've used polyclar according to Papazian's directions and had no chill haze at all. (Polyclar is powdered plastic (how impure can you get?). It is supposed to adsorb tannin molecules and settle out, leaving nothing to bond to the remaining proteins when the beer is chilled.) Speaking of additives: The latest batch is an IPA-style ale made loosely after the CJoHB 'Pallalia' recipe. At 3 weeks it is still undercarbonated and cloudy, but the flavor and aroma are lovely. I was floored at bottling time to find a good-sized wolf spider living in the outer chamber of the one-piece fermentation lock. I carefully set the lock on the back steps to give the guy a chance to escape, but the bugger stayed in the lock for 5 days! Eventually I picked it up to see if he was dead, and he woke up, slithered down the tube and staggered off into the bushes. Some headache I bet he had. The question is, did he flavor the beer? If so, can I persuade him to come back for the next batch? regards, --Tom Olson (olson at cs.rochester.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 89 09:02:03 MST From: hpfcla!hpcea!hplabs!utah-cs!iwtsf!korz (Algis R Korzonas +1 312 979 8583) Subject: Blow-off method Full-Name: I've been using the blow-off method in the primary fermenter (where the fermenter is filled within an inch of the top of the carboy and a tube is used to eject the krauesen from the fermenter - be sure to submerge the tube into a half-filled- with-water gallon jug to act as an airlock) for a year now and have had only one explosion. The problem was that the blow-off tube had gotten clogged. I remedied the problem by switching to a 1/2" tube instead of a 3/8" tube and by cleaning the blowoff tube more thoroughly after use. Someone on the homebrew digest list had suggested cleaning it with a wad of cloth and a wire (like cleaning a rifle) and it works very well. Since I've made the changes, I have had no problems with clogging. I feel that using the blow-off method makes for a much "cleaner" tasting beer. If you smell the gunk that collects in the blow-off container you definately will realize that you don't want to drink that stuff. I have noticed that the exact same smell that is in the blow-off container is "missing" in the finished product - which I welcome. The krauesen contains fusel oils that allegedly contribute to hangovers. I can honestly say I've never had a hangover from my own beer - but then again, my beer is so rich that I can't drink more than four or five at a sitting ;-) Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 89 14:09:02 CST From: pmk at bedlam.cray.com (Peter Klausler) Subject: Crushing Grain Is there a cheap way to crush grain prior to mashing? Rolling pins and such aren't effective (and a lot of work), but my local supplier wants $45 for a real grain mill, and that seems a little extravagant. I'd be interested in hearing about other crushing methods (if any) that use apparatus I may already own or cheaply acquire. Return to table of contents
Date: 19 Jan 89 15:30:20 EDT From: BB13093%pbn33.prime.com at RELAY.CS.NET Subject: Bubbles Greetings to the Home Brewers! A question for you - How do you increase the 'bubbliness' of your brew? I prefer to drink more carbonated things. I tried yeast nutrient in my mead, and the results were PUTRID. There was wonderful carbonation, but the stuff tasted like p**s, and I had to pour the whole gallon down the drain holding my nose. Also, I just put up a gallon of cider with two cups raw honey and Red Star California Champagne yeast. It's bubbling mightily. Cross your fingers for me. How does one get a subscription to Zymurgy? It sounds like the last word in good recipes. "May your bottles never break." - Michael Tighe - Nicolette Bonhomme, Boston, Mass. bb13093%pbn33 at en-c06.prime.com Return to table of contents
Date: 19 Jan 89 09:46:31 PST (Thu) From: florianb%tekred.cna.tek.com at RELAY.CS.NET Subject: Steinbart's Address The address for Steinbart's is: F. H. Steinbart Co. 602 SE Salmon Portland, OR 97214 503-232-8793 Steinbart's is one of the oldest brew supply stores in the USA, dating back to before the prohibition. Their prices are reasonable, and their service is prompt. Their catalog is available by phone or writing. I highly recommend them. [Opinions expressed herein are provided independent of Steinbart's or my own employer.] Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 89 20:39:15 PST From: meyer at tcville.hac.com (Mike Meyer) Subject: Can Dried Yeast Freeze? Here's one to chew on, especially the micro-bio types: Have you ever had packets of dry yeast freeze, and if so, did it hurt the viability of the yeast? My roommate started a batch the other night using Red Star Lager Yeast, (the 'improved', 'faster-starting' strain they supposedly switched to) and had one HELL of a time getting it to go, where usually, we can get our yeast starters bubbling merrily away in far less than an hour -- he ended up adding a packet of Kitzinger dry lager yeast to the 2 pkts of Red Star, and pitching the still-sluggish mess a day later. (I might add that this turn of events has provided me with a guinea pig on the closed-vs-open fermentation question, as I convinced him that a closed fermentation was the only way to ensure the sterility of his wort until his yeast could take... Still hoping for some war stories, however...) His hypothesis, one I am somewhat dubious about, is that our refrigerator, which sometimes freezes, has damaged the packets of yeast that we have been storing for the last 4 or 5 months. The decreased amount of viable cells would therefore account for the problem. I see his point, though I haven't any additional data until I try my next batch. Doesn't the drying process reduce the amount of water in the yeast cell enough to prevent a freezing temperature from rupturing the cell walls? (I do recall a microbiology type or two on the list these days...) Or might the yeast just be too old, regardless of storage temperature? We've stored yeast for longer at room temperature and had no trouble with viability. Mike Meyer meyer at tcville.HAC.COM Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 89 21:10:57 EST From: hplabs!rutgers!vu-vlsi.villanova.edu!nlp (Nick Pine) Subject: Psychoactive beer Well, if you substitute another green leafy substance for the hops (I won't go into detail here) in a fairly strongly flavored (eg stout) brew with more than the normal amount of intended alcohol, it makes for "numbness in a bottle," a curious variation on the normal art... Return to table of contents
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