HOMEBREW Digest #55 Fri 20 January 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Zymugry Subscription Address (rogerl)
  Big Brewer Blowoff?? (Mike Fertsch)
  Crushing Grain (Michael Bergman)
  Seattle brewpubs? ("Anthony M. Giannone")
  Re: Psychoactive beer (harvard!ima!wang7!klm)
  two copies? (rdg)
  Blow-off method experiment
  Beginner bottle question (John Opalko)
  mashing control and beer body (Darryl Richman)
  cider (florianb)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 20 Jan 89 10:42:25 EST From: rogerl at Think.COM Subject: Zymugry Subscription Address Nicolette Bonhomme asks: >How does one get a subscription to Zymurgy? It sounds like the last >word in good recipes. Write: American Homebrewers Assoc. P.O.Box 287 Boulder, CO 80306-0287 or call: (303)477-0816 Happy Reading! Roger Locniskar Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 89 09:53 EST From: Mike Fertsch <hplabs!uiucdcs!meccad.RAY.COM!FERTSCH> Subject: Big Brewer Blowoff?? I agree with the thinking of many with regard to the blowoff method of fermentation. The foam and resins which cover the top of the primary ferment are FOUL! Separating it from beer has to be good. Blowoff seems to be the only way of getting the crud off the beer without contaiminating the fermenting beer. What do the big brewers do? I don't recall A-B using hoses and scaled-up gallon jugs to collect their blowoff. Presumably, they use a closed fermentation system, with the resins falling back into the wort. In spite of this, the big national brands have none of the fusel alcohols or other tastes often associated with the krausen foam. The national brands are so bland that any problems associated with unseparated resins would be immediately obvious in the taste. I must conclude that either a) the unseparated krausen foam does NOT detract from the taste or the beer, or b) there are other ways of separating the wort from the bitter resins. Any comments? Mike Fertsch Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 89 15:12:47 est From: Michael Bergman <bergman%odin.m2c.org at RELAY.CS.NET> Subject: Crushing Grain A blender can probably do an adequate job. The only problem (that I know of) is that "wheatberries" (that's what they call them) are hard enough to scratch the inside of your glass blender jar. So you probably want to have a dedicated wheat-crushing jar. Assuming that you already have a blender, a new container should be $10 - $20. Or you can haunt the flea markets and yard sales and easily pick up a complete blender for $1 - $15. I don't know for sure that this method will crush your wheat sufficiently -- I am not a beer brewer and don't know what your requirements are. The price on the grain mill is typical, by the way, your local supplier isn't trying to screw you. You could also try an electric coffee grinder, although I would imagine that the quantities you are interested in would probably make that inefficient. --mike bergman Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 89 16:37:59 EST From: "Anthony M. Giannone" <giannone at ccm.bbn.com> Subject: Seattle brewpubs? Folks, Does anyone know of any brew-pubs in the Seattle, Wa. area? It looks like I'm going to spend a couple of weeks out there on business. thanks in advance, tony g (Townsend, Ma) email: giannone at bbn.com p.s. If not a brewpub how about a favorite watering hole? Or is it wortering hole? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 89 16:44:36 EST From: hplabs!harvard!ima!wang7!klm Subject: Re: 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... I was wondering about this. Since hops are somewhat related to other green leafy substances, I'm sure that at some time somebody had tried it. I've just never heard anybody talk about it before. (I can't imagine why! :-) Does it need to be a real heavy beer like stout to balance the fairly strong flavor and aroma of the vegetation? I think it would be interesting to try this. Strictly for scientific purposes, you understand. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 89 15:13:41 MST From: rdg at hpfcmi Subject: two copies? Full-Name: Rob Gardner Many people have told me that they are getting two copies of every digest. This is just to let you all know that I am looking into the problem. Rob Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 89 17:44:44 mst From: Gary Trujillo <garyt at hpfcspm> Full-Name: Gary Trujillo FORUM ON BEER, HOMEBREWING, AND RELATED ISSUES Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator Contents: Blow-off method experiment (Gary Trujillo) Return to table of contents
Subject: Blow-off method experiment In response to Algis R Korzonas: > 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 In four batches where I used the blow-off method I haven't encountered any clogging problems. (I don't recall the size of tubing used.) All my brews have been malt extract and liquid yeast. Is it possible this is a significant variable in the exploding carboy phenomenon? > 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 I have experimented with this belief. My finding was that there is definitely a difference in the flavor of beers fermented using the blow-off method and the air-lock method. While I agree that the blow-off by-product is rather repulsive the flavor imparted to the beer gave it its unique character. If I recall correctly, fellow brewers could only determine that there was a difference, but not that either was good or bad. The experiment was conducted on a lager using two 1-gallon jugs. The beer was racked after 4-6 weeks of initial fermentation to jugs with airlocks. Thus, the gunk sat in the airlock sample for the 4-6 week period. Gary Trujillo HP, Ft. Collins, CO Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 89 13:49:13 pst From: mcgp1!jgo at hplabs.HP.COM (John Opalko) Subject: Beginner bottle question Greetings, friends, I've decided to take the plunge and start brewing my own. The nice man at my friendly, neighborhood homebrew supply house informed me that the twist- off beer bottles (not screw cap) that I had been emptying and saving all these months are useless. He said that even though the bottles take a crown cap and will seal properly, the glass is thinner than regular bottles and I may end up with dozens of little, tiny time bombs. Is this true? Not that I have any reason to doubt him; just hoping. Are soft drink bottles acceptable? I've got zillions of sarsaparilla bottles that aren't twist-off. Nice dark brown glass, too. Please set my mind at ease, 'cause I don't want to start my first batch 'til I'm done worrying. :-) Thanks, John Opalko uunet!pilchuck!thebes!mcgp1!jgo Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 89 10:01:21 PST From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: mashing control and beer body In the January 18th digest, Tom Winkler discusses his experiences with mashing. His difficulty is maintaining the body of his beer. He doesn't say what his technique is, but I do several things to obtain and keep a rich body, when I want it. The saccharification rang eof rmost malts is in the range of 148-158F. At the lower end, beta amylaze is active, and at the upper end alpha amylaze is busy. Beta amylaze is an inefficient converter of starch to sugar, but it only produces maltose, which is what the yeast like. Alpha amylaze cuts starch at more arbitrary points. After a few minutes at 158, beta amylaze denatures and becomes inactive. Similarly, alpha amylze quits above about 168. To get high body, you must mash low; to get thinner body, mash high. By mashing at 150 or 152 until you get a negative from your iodine test, you are letting the beta amylaze convert as much as it can and keeping the alpha amylaze working slowly. This will result in lots of long chain sugars being left over. By mashing at 156-158, you have the alpha amylze working at full speed, cutting things down to size while the beta is still active. Even when the beta eventually flicks it in, the alpha is still floating around cutting up any sugar chains it bumps into, making lots of little fragments. Although yeast can't take these short chain sugars in through their cell wall, they do excrete enzymes that can cut them down further. The enzymes are very quick-acting in these ranges. It is surprising just how fast a negative iodine test can come up when things go well. (My most recent batch of bitter came up negative after we reached our proposed sacch. temperature--immediately after. I was so amazed that I thought my iodine must be contaminated and tested it on some corn starch to be sure!) After you have mashed to the point you want to quit, you must stop all enzyme action. By raising the mash to 170 or so for 10 or 15 minutes, you are denaturing any enzymes left and you don't have to worry about falling back into saccharification range while sparging. If you don't do this and you fall back, you are giving the enzymes another go at breaking things down and you'll lose body. --Darryl Richman (The Falcon's Nest homebrewer's BBS 818 349 5891) Return to table of contents
Date: 20 Jan 89 09:06:35 PST (Fri) From: florianb%tekred.cna.tek.com at RELAY.CS.NET Subject: cider In yesterday's digest, BB13093%pbn33.prime.com at RELAY.CS.NET commented: [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.] It's going to be great! I use one gallon pure apple juice, and boil for ten minutes with 2 lbs corn sugar. Then I add 1 tsp citric acid and 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid. I ferment it for two days in a gallon container sealed with plastic wrap (Using Red Star champagne yeast), then rack it to my 1 gal carboy with airlock attached. During this secondary fermentation, I rack it an additional two times to remove spent yeast, each time adding 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid to prevent oxidation. After the sg drops to 1.000, I bottle it in Grolsch bottles. Periodically, I check for over pressure during the aging. I have found that about 4 weeks in the secondary and 4 weeks in the bottle produce a delicious, semi-dry champagne-like flavor. No headaches, either. I can't make enough of this to satisfy my wife and friends! Variations include addition of cherries, strawberries, etc to the boil cycle, and boil somewhat longer. Cheers! Return to table of contents
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