HOMEBREW Digest #548 Mon 03 December 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Wine Bottles (bostech!loc)
  various yeasts (Marty Albini)
  RE: Homebrew Digest #547 (November 30, 1990)  ("b_turnbaugh")
  Re:  Glass Fermentation Locks (bostech!loc)
  Notes from Anchor Steam tour (Bob Clark - Sun Engineering)
  Butterscoth - Diacytle (dreger)
  Concern about "aroma" (Gerard K. Newman)
  Mark Rouleau is worrying, dammit! (krweiss)
  Long Ferment (Marc San Soucie)
  Re: 1st time brew questions (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  Weizen Bier (Mike Charlton)
  Origin of lime in beer (Bob Devine  30-Nov-1990 1243)
  brewing hazards (Pete Soper)
  measuring attenuation (Pete Soper)
  Anchor Christmas Ale--it's finally here! (Alan Edwards)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 09:21:37 EST From: bostech!bostech!loc at ai.mit.edu Subject: Re: Wine Bottles I mis-placed who orginally asked about using wine bottles, but the bottom line is regular wine bottles will not hold the pressure created by conditioning beer. Champagne bottles on the other hand are fine to use. Beer can reach 60 PSI and champagne can get as high as 90 PSI. American champagne bottles can be crown capped just like a regular brown longneck. The European chapagne bottles have a larger O.D. to the mouth (and some have larger I.D. also, so make sure the cork/plastic stopper you get fits tight) so you have to use wire bails to hold the stopper on. I find champagne bottles a real plus at parties because there are fewer bottles to deal with (and I can't afford kegging at this time). They condition is about the same time. I have several cases of champagne bottles and will fill a case of those and the rest in 12oz'ers so I have party material on hand at all times. Enjoy, Roger Locniskar Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 6:58:48 PST From: Marty Albini <martya at sdd.hp.com> Subject: various yeasts Those who recall my message of a couple days ago: Williams denies their dry ale yeast is Edme. They won't say what it *is*, and "understand my concern." They also volunteered to replace, free, a package that arrived with a hole in it. A good outfit to do business with. I recently made a weizenbier from a 1.5kg can of Ireks wheat malt (*no barley at all*) with Williams' liquid wheat beer yeast. The package supposedly contains two strains: one to give a fruity character, and one to calm down the other. The problem is, I *like* the spicy flavor of wheat beers, and this came out much too subtle for me (though it is admittedly overhopped). Can somebody recommend a yeast which will produce the kinds of flavors and aromas found in, for instance, Schell's wheat beer? - -- ________________________________________________Marty Albini___________ "Thank god for long-necked bottles, the angel's remedy."--Tom Petty phone : (619) 592-4177 UUCP : {hplabs|nosc|hpfcla|ucsd}!hp-sdd!martya Internet : martya at sdd.hp.com CSNET : martya%hp-sdd at hplabs.csnet US mail : Hewlett-Packard Co., 16399 W. Bernardo Drive, San Diego CA 92127-1899 USA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 07:45:05 PST From: "b_turnbaugh" at csc32.enet.dec.com Subject: RE: Homebrew Digest #547 (November 30, 1990) Hi All, I am relatively a new brewer, about 7 batches and all ales. I read a couple of digests ago that Mcnally at wsl.dec.com suggests trying to culture Chimay yeast and brewing a batch. Well I went out and bought a pint of the red label ($4.89 a pint) and successfully cultured the yeast. This has to be the best ale I have ever tasted, and I would really like to brew an all grain batch. It is really sweet and not much bittering hops. Any comments on Chimay, and anyone have a recipe??? It was mentioned that there is a recipe for Trappist ale in "DAVES" book. Is that Home Brewing by Dave Miller? Thanks: Bob T. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 10:44:24 EST From: bostech!bostech!loc at ai.mit.edu Subject: Re: Glass Fermentation Locks In Digest #546 Peter Soper talks about using glass fermentation locks and that they are "expensive unobtanium over here". There is a source for these in the U.S.A.. Beer and Wine Hobby in Worborn, MA always has them in stock. They are not cheap, but if handled properly they should last a *long* time. They can be reached by phone at 1-800-523-5423 or (617)933-8818. Enjoy, Roger Locniskar Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 09:28:53 PST From: bobc at Eng.Sun.COM (Bob Clark - Sun Engineering) Subject: Notes from Anchor Steam tour My brewing buds and I took our (almost) annual tour of Anchor Steam yesterday. I thought I'd just mention a couple of details which have been brought up for discussion here at different times: 1) They aerate the wort while hot 2) They use two different yeasts, one lager, one ale, for the various brews. 3) For Liberty Ale, they dry hop (whole hops). Speaking of which, the Liberty out of the tap is *wonderful*! Noise: No on newsgroup. rec.food.drink is already there. Thank you, Rob. Bob Clark Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 09:59:10 PST From: dreger at seismo.gps.caltech.edu Subject: Butterscoth - Diacytle All this talk of diacytle and butterscotch has got me craving a Newcastle, Old Peculiar, Youngs Winterwarmer ! My perception of the tastes of these brews is that there is an underlying carmely smoothness (butterscotchy) flavor, which I really enjoy. The problem is in my attempts to duplicate this taste by adding Mollassus and greater than a pound of medium crystal malt produce great beers but they don't have the butterscotchy taste. Does any one know how to achieve higher levels of diacytal, but not so high as to make it cloying? I've read that one brewery obtains higher levels of diacytle because the yeast readily falls out of suspension. I recall a few days ago a digest reader indicated that he racked his beer into a secondary and fermentation abruptly ceased. I am wondering if this brew turned out to have noticable diacytle ? Any help is appreciated Doug Dreger Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 18:51:06 GMT From: gkn at Sds.Sdsc.Edu (Gerard K. Newman) Subject: Concern about "aroma" Hi: First, a little background: The guy across the street, who owns a restaurant (a very nice one, at that) and I collaberated on a lager -- he has nice restaurant stoves, walk-in refridgeration, etc. and an interest in homebrewing. We brewed a bock, 2 stage, partial mash, OG ~ 1.060, Wyeast Bavarian, with a FG ~ 1.016 or so. Primary fermentation was 10 days at 45 degrees F, secondary was 4 weeks (!!) at 45 degrees F. The length of the secondary fementation was driven by the continual signs of activity from the fermentation lock, so I figured if it was happy I should be. The mash went as well as any I have ever attempted; hell, with that nice restaurant stove it was wonderfully easy to control the temperature. The secondary fermenter is a 22 liter lexan carboy, with a #12 rubber stopper in the top. The stopper is the standard black rubber lab grade stuff, and the carboy was autoclaved before use (it's nice when your SO works in a tissue culture lab and can borrow the 'clave on weekends ;-). When we bottled this the other night, we noticed a very thin film across the top of the beer in the carboy (which was crystal-clear, so we didn't need to fine it). The film was whitish, slightly oily, and smelled *exactly* like the rubber stopper. I mean, not a "rubbery" odor, but *exactly*. The carboy was transported from the restaurant to the house (about 25 miles) in a truck, and I wasn't there, but I don't think it was subjected to any abuse on the way. Now, here's the question: What is it? If it's bad, any speculation on what we did wrong? Not worrying, mind you. gkn Gerard K. Newman gkn at sds.sdsc.edu 619.534.5076 San Diego Supercomputer Center gkn at sdsc.bitnet 619.534.5152 FAX PO Box 85608 sdsc::gkn (27.1/span) San Diego, CA 92186-9784 ucsd!gkn Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 10:56:53 -0800 From: krweiss at ucdavis.edu Subject: Mark Rouleau is worrying, dammit! Mark Rouleau writes: > The beer in the primary was covered with gooey plasticky mustard-colored > stuff. I left this top layer and the bottom layer of trub/dead yeast behind. > > The medium-brown beer started bubbling away happily in the carboy at a > rate of about one ever 5-10 seconds. Within a day an inch of sandy > sediment (dead yeast, I assume) had accumulated. Seven days have passed > since the racking and it's still bubbling about once every 10 seconds. > The layer of yeast is now almost two inches high, and the beer is > dark-brown. > > What should I do? Oh my God! Mark, you poor bastard, you've got 5 gallons of b-b-b-beeeeer! ;-) I've never actually said this before, and I'm sure there will be about a dozen other posts with the same advice, but Mark, relax, don't worry, have a homebrew! When the bubbles slow down to one every minute or so, prime it and bottle it. You've done everything absolutely perfectly, as far as I can tell from your post. The only comment I would make is that rather than doing a single stage fermentation in a large carboy, I'd use the large carboy as a primary, and continue to rack into 5 gallon secondaries after the krauesen settles down. In my admittedly limited experimentation with home brewing, the two factors that had the greatest positive influence on my beer were switching to two stage fermentation, and switching to liquid yeast cultures. Ken Weiss krweiss at ucdavis.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 10:15:36 PST From: marcs at SLC.COM (Marc San Soucie) Subject: Long Ferment Marc Rouleau writes: > My current batch is a brown ale with two cans of John Bull Amber, a pound > of crystal steeped at 175 degrees for 25 minutes (I now know that was too > high), hop pellets, and Wyeast German Ale yeast. Yum. My favorite basic recipe, save for leaf instead of pellet and some variety of English instead of German. > The beer in the primary was covered with gooey plasticky mustard-colored > stuff. I left this top layer and the bottom layer of trub/dead yeast behind. Right. > Seven days have passed since the racking and it's still bubbling about once > every 10 seconds. The layer of yeast is now almost two inches high, and the > beer is dark-brown. Sounds great. > What should I do? Wait until it's done fermenting. Sometimes these things just take a while. With this recipe, which I've used in one form or another about 15 times, the fermentations have almost always taken 2-3 weeks, and occasionally longer. Your ferment temperature (70) is reasonable, though mine usually sit at 65 degrees or so. A ferment of 8 weeks is not unheard of. You have a happy beer, and a lot of happy yeast. Sooner or later you will have a happy grin on your face. Marc San Soucie The John Smallbrewers Portland, Oregon marcs at slc.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 17:16:54 mst From: hplabs!hp-lsd.cos.hp.com!ihlpl!korz (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: Re: 1st time brew questions Duane Smith writes: > The temperature of the beer was 75 F when I pitched the yeast. > The room temperature where I put the carboys varies from 65-70 F. > After 24 hours active fermantation started But I never had a > blowout occur---Why Not?? > > The level of the beer in the carboy was up to the outside shoulder. > > The foam got up to the carboy neck but never out of it. > Was the temp. too cold? > Did I not put enough water in the carboy?? it was a 5 gal. carboy. > All of the nasty brown stuff has dried on the carboy glass at the > top. Don't panic. The beer will come out just fine. The reason you did not have blowoff is because the level in the carboy was too low. I top off the carboy with boiled, chilled water so the level of the beer in the carboy is 1.5 inches below the bottom of the stopper. Note that I use a 5/8" diameter hose stuck onto a 1/2" hard plastic tube (3" long) stuffed through a reamed-out rubber stopper. When I drilled out the stopper, it was ugly, but the plastic tube was a snug fit so it has a tight seal. Too small a blowoff hose can clog and give you a beer volcano. Another method for attaching a blowoff tube is to press a 1.25" OD PVC hose into the neck of the carboy -- no stopper at all. The main advantage of getting rid of the kraeusen (yes, it has a double meaning in brewing), the "head" if you will, is to reduce the amount of fusel oils that are produced during the vigorous initial fermentation. These fusel oils (I've also read fusel "alcohols") are rumoured to cause headaches and I have found that my beer is much less astringent since I started using the blowoff method. Whether this astrignency is due to the "fusels" or some other fermentation by-product, I don't know. One thing you can still do, is try to get as little of the brown crust into the beer when you siphon it out of the carboy. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 18:55:23 CST From: Mike Charlton <umcharl3 at ccu.UManitoba.CA> Subject: Weizen Bier Hello. I thought I'd comment on the Weizen bier topic. Having been to Germany recently and having had many of their fine beers on tap, I have formed a great interest in brewing weizen bier. There are 2 types of weizen bier: krystal (sp?) and hefe. The krystalweizen is brewed at high temperatures throughout the fermentation process (~68 degress F) and is filtered before it is kegged or bottled. This is because the saccaromyces delbruecii strain of yeast has a very high phenol content and imparts a strong clove flavour (in general, stronger than most people prefer -- myself included). A hefeweizen bier undergoes a primary fermentation at 68 degress F for about 2 weeks. At this time, it is shocked cooled to near freezing. The result is that the yeast is killed. They rack the beer off the yeast and pitch a slurry of lager yeast at high kraeusen. The beer is then lagered for 1 to 2 months. The resulting beer has a very much reduced phenol content. If the beer is served from the bottle, it is usually swished around to pick up every last bit of the yeast sediment (a little different from our normal homebrew pouring techniques :-)). I have successfully made a krystalweizen using Miller's recipe and using WYeast German Wheat Beer Yeast. I found that it was very much in character with the beers I had in Germany. However, It tastes much better if you are careful not to pour in the yeast. I don't have a spare fridge yet, so I haven't tried a hefeweizen bier. I think I'll have to buy a fridge, though, because I think it is my favorite type of beer. Mike Charlton P.S. Please excuse the numerous spelling mistakes. I don't really have time to check all the spellings... Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 17:48:00 PST From: Bob Devine 30-Nov-1990 1243 <devine at cookie.enet.dec.com> Subject: Origin of lime in beer Stephen D. Cohen writes: > The Suddeutche Weizen is often served with a slice of lemon > (the Mexicans Yuppies didn't invent it! :-)) to bring out the fruity > flavors of the Weizenbier. The reasoning for putting lime juice in Mexican beers predates yuppies. Here's a quote from a DECie (Gerardo Fernandez) who was born and lived for most of his life in Mexico The first mexican beer with lime (and salt) was Tecate. Like 20 years ago they develop a marketing stategy to have more market share with that beer and they thought in putting the lime to avoid the can taste this beer has (ugh!) This comes in bottle now also... Modelo respond saying that lime in beer would make the same effect than LIME IN MILK!... And in the US you only get Modelo beers that way at the bars!, that's embarasing!. Bob Devine Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 21:58:01 EST From: Pete Soper <soper at maxzilla.encore.com> Subject: brewing hazards With all the talk of blowoff tubes recently I thought you'd like to hear about an additional hazard. Not the explosion hazard but rather the effect of temperature changes. It is important once the fermentation has subsided to swap the blowoff tube back for a fermentation lock if there is any chance of a temperature drop and the blowoff tube diameter is small. This is because once the CO2 production subsides, a drop in temperature will cause the yuck in the blowoff sump to be aspirated into the fermenter. If CO2 production is still going on at a significant rate it is likely that the evidence of this happening will be erased, leading to all manner of confusion and superstitious conclusions. While on this subject let me share a story. A year ago a friend of mine who is a much more experienced brewer than me was trying out an experimental fermentation procedure with a 5 gallon glass carboy. It got stopped up while in the peak of activity. He had been away from the house and when he returned he was greeted by a smell permeating the house. When he entered the room where his fermenter had been he found glass shards driven into the walls and hardwood furniture and wort smeared over the walls, floor and ceiling. My friend is convinced that if the explosion had happened while he was in the room he would have been killed outright. Another hazard that has been covered in private mail and perhaps in the Digest has to do with air expansion from heat. There is a popular large funnel sold by homebrew shops with a screen in it that allows wort to be easily poured from kettle to fermenter. If the fermenter happens to be a glass carboy with the typical narrow mouth and the wort happens to be hot, to be diluted and cooled by cold water in the waiting carboy, then you can get an effect I and others have seen first hand. While there is little danger of breaking the carboy with the hot wort since it will just dive into the cold water and be cooled, there is a fast jump in temperature inside and the air in the carboy will expand very quickly. This can cause a positive pressure that is so abrupt that hot wort can be blown back out the funnel, toward the bodies of the people present. I treated this as a one-trial learning experience a few years ago and feel pretty lucky that my wife who was holding the funnel was not struck. I got minor burns but it was mainly an injury of pride. One last thing about pressure hazards. If you start using a counter pressure bottle filler, you *will* eventually spray beer into your face at least once. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 23:10:44 EST From: Pete Soper <soper at maxzilla.encore.com> Subject: measuring attenuation I've found something that helps make time pass more quickly as I wait for a fermentation to take place. This is to keep a log of the date, time and the seconds between fermentation lock "glubs". I've collected a lot of data and have come to some general conclusions about its usefulness. First, there is no argument that we don't know how much gas comes out of a fermentation lock when it glubs. Likewise, there are almost certainly variations in the volume from one glub to the next. However if we ignore this and believe that over a large number of samples the volume of glubs average out then we can concentrate on the glub rate. I believe it is the rate, the total count and changes in rate that carry all the interesting information. Before I forget it, it is also useful to log temperature if you can. Significant temperature changes throw a wrench into what I'm about to describe. Anyway, I'm going to describe a fermentation I carried in August and the data collected from it and show you what can be learned from this. Below is a typical line from my notebook for a fermentation: August 18 8am 3.2 seconds 51F 10pm 3.9 seconds 51F This just says that at 8am there were 3.2 seconds between "glubs" and so on. Taking all the entries like these for a complete fermentation and converting the date and time to cumulative elapsed hours and adding "glubs per minute" the data for this fermentation looks like this: elapsed hours seconds per glub glubs per minute temperature 6.00 10.00 6.00 53 16.00 5.00 12.00 52 25.00 4.00 15.00 51 31.00 2.50 24.00 51 40.00 1.71 35.09 51 48.00 1.00 60.00 51 54.00 1.00 60.00 51 64.00 1.18 50.85 51 74.00 1.36 44.12 51 87.00 1.82 32.97 51 98.00 2.22 27.03 51 104.00 2.40 25.00 51 112.00 3.75 16.00 51 122.00 5.50 10.91 51 126.00 5.90 10.17 51 136.00 9.60 6.25 51 146.00 9.0 6.67 51 Now by integrating the curve represented by this data we can establish that there were 231,377 total glubs (give or take :-). This means that all the CO2 created except for that still in solution in the beer translates to this glub total. So each time the lock glubs, 1/231,377 of the fermentation is complete. Another way to look at it is that we know we start with 100% of the fermentables and as the fermentation proceeds, this value will go down until it reaches zero at the end. I'm ignoring a few inconvenient issues like the fact that in the case above the fermentation isn't really done; after racking and lagering there will still be another few percent of the total attenuation left to do. Also, changes in temperature can cause changes in rate, especially as the gas in the fermenter expands or contracts. But converting to show the change in remaining fermentables the data look like this: elapsed hours % fermentables cumulative remaining glubs 0.0 100.0 0 6.0 99.5 1080 16.0 97.2 6480 25.0 94.0 13770 31.0 91.0 20790 40.0 84.1 36744 48.0 74.3 59565 54.0 64.9 81165 64.0 50.5 114419 74.0 38.2 142909 87.0 25.2 172972 98.0 16.7 192770 104.0 12.6 202134 112.0 8.4 211974 122.0 4.9 220047 126.0 3.8 222577 136.0 1.7 227502 146.0 0.0 231377 If the data from the first two columns above is plotted you will see the type of reverse "S" curve that is frequently found in the brewing books. My contention is that given a relatively constant fermentation temperature it is possible to directly monitor the wort attenuation, without measurement of specific gravity or anything fancier like gas flow rates, which are certainly beyond the budget of most of us. Not to say I wouldn't like to hear a peep out of those folks at Berkeley that polled about their electronic specific gravity sensors some time ago. They asked their questions and then dropped back off the planet. What this really boils down to for most of us is common sense as we get used to watching fermentations take place. We get a feel for the pace in various situations, with various ingredients. This is just an attempt to show how it is possible to get very fine grained information from simple observations. Also, I've shared this with very few other brewers and am open to the possibility that I've been deceived into thinking this has one iota of validity. Please blast this bubble if you can. The above example was of a lager primary fermentation for a Czech-style pilsner. The original gravity was 1.048 and it was around 1.014 at racking for lagering (don't have my notes handy). A packet of Wyeast 1042 was used but special starter procedures were also used to get a real commercial pitching rate. I had a few ounces of thick paste and the fermentation was roaring after six hours at 53 degrees. It might also be interesting to know that the starter was cooled to 35 degrees a day before pitching and was then warmed to around 45 degrees just before being used. I really believe that if commercial lager brewers can pitch at low temperatures and get fast results we can too. The problem in my opinion is that as homebrewers with liquid yeast cultures we are usually pitching way too little yeast or fumbling the temperature changes in the wrong way. - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Pete Soper (soper at encore.com) +1 919 481 3730 Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd, bldg D, Cary, NC 27511 USA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 90 22:13:01 PST From: rush at xanadu.llnl.gov (Alan Edwards) Subject: Anchor Christmas Ale--it's finally here! Hello fellow beer lovers: Our local liquor outlet finally got a shippment of Anchor's special Christmas ale. I eagerly bought a 12 pack. As I had my first taste, I noticed on the label that they change the recipe every year. Then I realized that it had a strange new taste that I had never had in a beer before--spruce!. I've never had a spruce beer before, so maybe I'm wrong, but I really like it. I know that there must be some fellow beer lovers on the list who can tell me if I am right or not. Go get some before they're all gone! And tell us what you taste in it. I got some St. Stan's Fest beer in the same trip. I'm looking forward to tasting that too. I bought two cases of that last year, it was so good. How I love the Holiday season! -Alan P.S. My apologies if either of the above mentioned beers are not available in your area. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #548, 12/03/90 ************************************* -------
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