HOMEBREW Digest #597 Fri 15 March 1991

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Calculating Bittering Units...Thanks (Speaker-To-Bankers)
  Re: Sassafras in stout (Carl Hensler)
  Wort chillers and 1/4 inch tubing (Mike Zentner)
  Spruce beer (Ultra Network Technologies)
  Spruce beer (Jeff Benson)
  More on Moss (Aran Guy)
  CFJ hops, plastic bottles (Russ Gelinas)
  Vegetarian Beer, Cornelius as Primary Fermenter (hersh)
  Re: Alcohol-free beer (Chris Shenton)
  Hebrau (krweiss)
  lots o' topics (longish) ("KATMAN.WNETS385")
  Re: Fermenting in Kegs (Chris Shenton)
  IBU - Copper tubing (Dave Suurballe)
  "washing yeast" ("st. stephen")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 02:00 PST From: <CONDOF%CLARGRAD.BITNET at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> Subject: Cu Lately, a lot of people have been posting messages fearful of copper cooling tubes. The traditional brewing kettle is made of copper. For example, Sierra Nevada, one of the best micros in America, if not the world, brews and lauters its brews in a pair of copper kettles that came from Germany. Therefore, I think no one has anything to fear from contact between copper and beer or wort. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 7:44:14 EST From: cmorford at umbio.med.miami.edu (Speaker-To-Bankers) Subject: Calculating Bittering Units...Thanks Thanks to all who responded to my question... I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me that the AAU utilization wouldn't be 100%....Brain dead I'd guess....Or maybe too much of this great Pale Ale.... Anyway, thanks again... C.Morford Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 91 14:30:29 -0800 From: carl at ism.isc.com (Carl Hensler) Subject: Re: Sassafras in stout When I was a kid in West Virginia (40+ years ago) I pulled up sassafras saplings and peeled off the skin of the roots for my Grandma, who made sassafras tea with it. Great aroma! I recalled this with both nostalgia and alarm a few years ago when I read an article (probably in Science News) that reported that sassafras root contains a known carcinogen. I would not use sassafras as a flavoring agent. In complete honesty, I should also note that my Grandma lived to the age of 89, and did not die of cancer, not that that means anything. Carl Hensler carl at ism.isc.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 09:16:21 -0500 From: zentner at ecn.purdue.edu (Mike Zentner) Subject: Wort chillers and 1/4 inch tubing For anyone reading the recent discussion on wort chillers made out of 1/4" OD copper tubing, I'd advise not to do it. Go with something a little wider. Has anyone else who used 1/4" OD tubing had the problem of a very slow (counterflow, not immersion) wort chiller? I built one of these, and found that when initially starting it up, the cold break material falls out so quickly that I had to bang on the thing to get it to start flowing all the way through. After that, flow did not stop, but it took a good 45 minutes at least to chill a partial (3lb grain, 6.6 lb extract bock) grain batch. It took even longer with our 16 lb honey mead. You don't think about the increase in viscosity of high-sugar solutions upon cooling, but that mead took forever to get all of it through the chiller. I'm using gravity feed, and the hot reservoir is about as high above the chiller as ceiling constraints will allow, and it's still very slow. I'm going to rebuild it with 3/8" OD, like most books suggest. Regarding stainless steel tubing...copper is expensive enough when you're talking about 3/8" or wider. I have not noticed any metallic flavours in the worts that have run through my copper chiller, even with the extremely long contact time. Also, as far as sanitizing copper, I'd reccommend baptism by fire as the best method. I ran a quick test for about a day. I soaked little sections of refrigeration tubing in 1)a water solution, 2) a solution of B-brite, and 3) a bleach solution. Basically, nothing happened to the one in the water solution. Also, there was no discoloration on the BBrite sample, but it developed a disgusting musty smell. On the outside, the bleach sample appeared normal, but looking at the inside, there was plenty of the quite recognizable oxide material. So, during my boil, I've been bringing an additional 2 gallons of water to a boil and running it through the system (in the absence of cooling water, of course) first, before the wort. Mike zentner at ecn.purdue.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 8:44:19 CST From: ultra1 at poplar.cray.com (Ultra Network Technologies) Subject: Spruce beer Eric Roe indicated the following in HBD 596: >> Well, now that I've eliminated the idea of using sassafras in my stout I >> want to try some other exotic flavoring. Since spring is almost here and >> I've got a Norway spruce in my backyard, I figured I'd harvest a couple of >> ounces of sprigs. Anyone got any advice. Should I steep it or add it to >> the boil. How much should I use -- in TCJoHB there's a recipe for a beer >> called Kumdis Island Spruce Beer. Papazian says to use 4 oz and boil for >> 45 minutes. Anyone tried this or something similar? Thanks much for any >> words o' wisdom. I've made spruce beer an annual spring tradition in my brewing practices. I've found that everyone that I have given it to has liked it (including Shelly Jacobs - local big shot and all around beer guzzler). I did however find one interresting comment in some old literature that said something about spruce beer being quite tasty once you get used to the taste of terpentine. I used one of Charlies beers to base my recipe on but I don't recal the name; I do remember that Charlie described the flavor as tasting like Pepsi if that helps at all. Anyway, the beer I make is a brown beer that uses similar amounts of spruce new growth (candles) to Charlies and also uses a bit of hops. I'll try to remember to bring in the recipe if you are really interrested. Different trees produce different flavors. I think that you will find getting 4 oz's of this stuff will require you to use many trees or to defoliate the one in your backyard! (I made 40 gallons last year so I did lots of triming). When the product is done you will taste a strange bitter flavor that is nothing like gin nor hops. Suck on one of the new growths and you will get a slight incling of the taste to come. I've found that the beer lasts awhile but I think it is best if drunk within 9 months. I still have some around from last years brew and it has changed considerably. It is lots drier and much more bitter then originally. - -- Jeff Miller ultra1 at cray.com (612) 333-7838 Ultra Office Ultra Network Technologies jmiller at ultra.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 9:23:33 CST From: Jeff Benson <benson at chemsun.chem.umn.edu> Subject: Spruce beer In HD 596, Eric Roe asks for tips on making spruce beer. Here's my experience with spruce. My brew partner and I used Papazian's 'Kumdis Island Spruce Beer' recipe as our guide, though it wasn't exact (I don't have my notes in front of me). I recall we used about 4-6 oz of fresh spruce tips and only the new growth at the end of branches (the part that appears in the spring and is a lighter green than the rest of the branch). Our rationale was that the new tips would be less bitter than older, more mature branches. (Whether that's true, I don't know). We placed the spruce in the boil at the start and left it in for about 30 min., then scooped it out (total boil was about 60 min.). The rest of the brewing cycle was pretty normal. The resulting beer had a rather intimidating amount of spruce flavor. The spruce completely overwhelmed the hops and nearly the malt taste as well. It had virtually no head, probably because of the spruce oils. This is not to say it was undrinkable, but those who tried it had the proverbial love-it-or-hate-it reaction. Those who didn't like it really hated it and those who liked it had a sort of religious fanaticism over it and would always ask for a bottle when they visited. Personally, I liked it but it wasn't something I wanted to drink every day, just when I was in the mood for it. Here's what I would do different next time. 1) Use less spruce. We definitely put in too much. I would try only 2 oz next time. 2) Put the spruce into the boil at the end, say the last 10-15 min. Alternatively, steeping the spruce separately would probably work as well. 3) I would like to experiment with different species of spruce tree (I think the sprigs we used came primarily from blue spruce) to see which produces a better spruce flavor. Also, I'd like to compare the taste from more mature spruce branches with those of new shoots. Perhaps I'll split a batch some day and experiment a little. Jeff Benson Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 07:45:45 PST From: guy at bevsun.bev.lbl.gov (Aran Guy) Subject: More on Moss Irish Moss is called Carageen or Carageenan. It is an extract of seaweed harvested off the coast of Ireland. The traditional method of harvesting as carried out by the Aran Islanders involves raking the seaweed into a curragh. ( A boat consisting of a thin framework of wood coated with hides or canvas, and periodically tarred to provide some semblance of waterproofing.) The seaweed is dried on the public quay and then ferried to the mainland for processing. Since carrageen is used in many food products as a thickening and homogenizing agent, factory ships are now usually used to harvest and process the carrageen. Guinness is the largest single purchaser of carageen in the world, so it is quite a proper ingredient for homebrew. Aran Guy guy at bevsun.bev.lbl.gov Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1991 10:40:12 EST From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: CFJ hops, plastic bottles CFJ-90 hops are very high AU hops (10+). The name has changed to Centennial, at least that's what Freshops had in their 1990 harvest. I haven't used the Centennial hops (yet), but I'm thinking about SN pale ale too, so maybe I'll use them on that. I was *very* happy with the results from the CFJ-90 of last year. A warning about 2-liter plastic bottles: I've had a few bottles that did not carbonate. The caps seemed to seal ok, and other exact copy bottles *did* carbonate. All I can suggest is to make sure the platic-rubber seal inside the cap is pliable, so as to make a good seal. Maybe if it is too old and stiff, it loses it (much like a rubber Grolsch-type seal). Russ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 11:35:32 EST From: hersh at expo.lcs.mit.edu Subject: Vegetarian Beer, Cornelius as Primary Fermenter Isinglass is from fish bladder (who ever thought of using this stuff anyway??). Irish Moss is a type of seaweed, strictly vegetarian. I am very careful about this as my brother is an uncompromising veggie and he'd never let me forget it if I served him a non-veggie beer. Main disadvantage to doing primary in the Cornelius is the sediment. All that stuff sinks to the bottom, thus being the first stuff to get pumped out through that narrow tube. The tube gets easily clogged though since it is so narrow. If you siphoned out if it you might be OK. I know of some peple who do their secondary in the Cornelius and have cut off the bottom of the tube so it stays above the yeast level which is lower for secondary. Some of them do use the inline filtering you mentioned. I too have been considering trying primary lagering in the cornelius, but I have a 3 gallon carbouy and think I will probably do the primary in that, and do the secondary in the cornelius. My friend Jeff who runs the Modern Brewer in Cambridge Mass., now sells 50ft Stainless immersion chillers for ~$55. This has fitings on it. His number is 1-800-SEND-ALE Jay H Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 11:56:42 EST From: Chris Shenton <chris at endgame.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Re: Alcohol-free beer On Wed, 13 Mar 91 14:58:17 EST, malouf at acsu.buffalo.edu (Rob Malouf) said: Rob> When enough pressure is applied to the beer, alcohol and water Rob> molecules will pass from it into the pure water, and can be pumped Rob> away. What do they do with it, throw it away?? :-( Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 08:51:11 -0800 From: krweiss at ucdavis.edu Subject: Hebrau Justin Aborn asks: ============================== Is kosher beer possible? I thought idea of observing un-leveness (sp?) was to remind people of the suffering the Jews endured during their exodus from Egypt across the desert. ============================== There's Kosher, and then there's Kosher for Passover. Only during Passover is yeast excluded from the diet. Otherwise, we could never eat pastrami on rye with a cold pilsner, and I'd have no reason to go on living. Ken Weiss Manager of Instruction Computing Services U.C. Davis Davis, CA 95616 916/752-5554 krweiss at ucdavis.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 16:50 GMT From: "KATMAN.WNETS385" <6790753%356_WEST_58TH_5TH_FL%NEW_YORK_NY%WNET_6790753 at mcimail.com> Subject: lots o' topics (longish) Date: 14-Mar-91 Time: 11:47 AM Msg: EXT00667 Hello there! I'm new to this discussion, but am getting ALL SORTS of good tips & ideas. On sulfites in wine & mead: Even if you do not add sulfites, some are produced in the fermentation process. You will note that they say "No sulfites ADDED" on wine bottles. There was a nice discussion of "organic wine" making in the last _Wine Spectator_ that talked about this. On kosher: there are some commercially produced kosher beers (maccabee from Israel, Coors (!) ), so it is possible. I called one of the certifying organizations (718-756-7500) and asked about doing it at home. The rabbi suggests doing everything yourself (malting, etc) as you have more control over cleanliness. That is the main requirement, cleanliness. The food being processed on the ground is ok if it is clean. He also said you should check that the yeasts you use are certified kosher, just to be sure. Isinglass and gelatine are right out. There are no kosher for Passover beers, as the restrictions there are on adding yeast, using grain, etc. There are no kosher for Passover vodkas, for example, except those distilled from fruit. There was a nice article recommending good Kosher for Passover wines (apparently not a contradiction in terms) in yesterday's (Wed.) NY. Times. I'll post some recommendations if people are interested. On timing and Mead: Like wine, if you want an interesting Mead, expect it to take longer. I have a friend who makes mead that is ready to drink within 6 weeks of bottling. It is sweet, he adds no acids to it, and many people like it. Another friend makes a pop-like mead that he puts in beer bottles in the fridge, and it is ready quickly as well. He doesn't let it finish fermenting, and gets lots of bubbles. If you follow recipes in Duncan and Acton, adding powdered citric, tartaric, malic and tannic acids, expect it to take at least a year (if not more) after bottling to be near palatable. You will get something very wine-like after a few years of patience. On women and beer: (This is MHO) Being a woman and coming from a non-beer-drinking family, I was first exposed to (commercial) beers at college frat parties. I never really liked the stuff, but learned to drink it. The problem for me was bitterness and a lack of real taste other than that. Once I started trying imports and then homebrew I learned that I like darker, more flavorful (and less bitter) beers. I still don't like lagers much, even homebrewed they remind me of Bud et al. For some people learning to like beer is a lenthy proposition... certainly commercial stuff is not easy to love on average. Also, there has been an image problem. The image of a beer drinker is that of a guy in a t-shirt on the couch (with his large tummy) burping and watching the game. Women are less likely to identify with this image. This perception does seem to be changing, but still, beer is marketed at men, not people. Look at the ads. Men on the boat with bikini clad babes, college guys going to the game, grizzly bears, rams, bars filled with men. I'm not saying beer advertising is more sexist than panty-hose ads, but it is a marketing ploy: target your consumer. Women do drink less beer than men. On Brew-pubs: (again MHO) I want to go to a place that I can find good beer and that my friends will have fun. We don't need dancing and wildness, just an interesting crowd and good company. I am slowly introducing them to beer from micros and homebrew, but it takes time. Old habits (I'll have a miller lite) are hard to break. Having a brewpub with a few commercial beers would be good for business. I'll go, my friends will go, it will be fun, they'll be exposed to good brew, and the owner will profit. A pub can't survive just from regulars, it needs walk-ins as well. Eileen (Lee) Katman == Thirteen/WNET == New York, NY =Do not= use REPLY or ANSWERBACK, it doesn't get to me. INTERNET katman.wnets385%wnet_6790753 at mcimail.com MCIMAIL EMS: wnet 6790753 MBX: katman.wnets385 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 12:09:27 EST From: Chris Shenton <chris at endgame.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Re: Fermenting in Kegs On Wed Mar 13 10:38:53 1991, semantic!bob at uunet.UU.NET said: Bob> For the blow off tube: Bob> Remove the CO2 inlet as to leave the threaded nub. Then a Bob> piece of 1/2" tubing can be slipped over and held tight with Bob> a clamp. Works great. Seems like the diameter of the CO2 tube and hole would be too small to pass much gunk, especially hop leaves. (Same problem which convinces people to use 1 inch diameter tubing for blow-off.) Have you had any problems? Also, are you primary-fermenting in the keg? what do you do about all the trub? or do you transfer from your boiler in a way which leaves it all behind? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 11:02:30 PST From: hsfmsh.UUCP!suurb at cgl.ucsf.EDU (Dave Suurballe) Subject: IBU - Copper tubing C. Morford has a problem with International Bittering Units. I haven't verified that .000133 oz per gallon is in fact one part per million, which is what one IBU is, so there may or may not be a problem there. The glaring error is in the equating of alpha acid concentration with isoalpha acid concentration. Alpha acids do not suddenly and completely isomerize. It takes time, and not all of the alpha acid isomerizes. The most common figure I've seen for a 60-90 minute boil is about 30%. (If you boil for five minutes only, you get about 5% isomerization, and that's why aroma/flavor hops don't contribute much bitterness). Therefore, if you multiply your 112 by .30, you get 34, which looks better, but is pretty low for an IPA. Maybe you've got other arithmetic problems here, or maybe you don't like your IPA too hoppy. In the same HD issue, Bruce Hill's buddy worries about hot wort in copper. Use your head, Bruce Hill's buddy! Have you never seen a copper kettle in a brewery? I don't think you have anything to worry about. I have heard that you shouldn't run carbonated water (obviously this applies to finished beer) through copper, and I have never learned why. Someone once surmised that the carbonic acid dissolves copper. Maybe we already have enough copper in our diet. Maybe it's a plumbing concern: you don't want to erode your tubing. Whatever the answer, it doesn't apply to hot wort. And another thing. I'm sure copper is better in a heat exchanger than steel. Conducts heat better, right? It's also easier to work with. I have used copper tubing in wort chillers for ten years, and I see no reason to change. I'm a little curious about what the inside of the tubing looks like since I never clean it. I just rinse with boiling water before and after use. Suurb Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 91 18:25:10 EST From: "st. stephen" <ST402836 at brownvm.brown.edu> Subject: "washing yeast" Howdy, Some one recently posted some tips for making better beers. First off, thanks for the info; as a beginning brewer any info i can get is much appreciated. The post talked about reusing yeast in the trub from a beer start another beer, ie culturing yeast (right?). The post talked about "washing the yeast". What does this mean? I'm thinking of trying to culture yeasts (to cut down on the cost of Wyeast, and because it looks like fun) and so i'm trying to understand the whole process. Any comments would be helpfull. Thanks, steve Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #597, 03/15/91 ************************************* -------
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