HOMEBREW Digest #5989 Thu 03 January 2013

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  "Klone Beers" (Stephen Neilsen)
  What is a recipe? ("David Houseman")
  copper (steve hodge)
  A thanks, and a plea (Joseph M Labeck Jr)
  Send in the clones... (Patrick Babcock)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2013 21:34:12 +1100 From: Stephen Neilsen <stephen.neilsen at gmail.com> Subject: "Klone Beers" David Houseman hops on and sadly off his soapbox. I am firmly of the belief that the concept of cloning is at best flawed and in reality an insult to the beer you wish to imitate. One of the great joys of brewing is, having tasted a beer you like, conceptualising it in your head...how did they do that, what hops, which specialty malts, what base malt even, yeast, mash regime, fermentation profile,. You will never produce a clone but you can and with proper research will produce a beer that exemplifies the characters that you found so drinkable in the original. It takes work, but follow David's advice about research and you will surprise yourself at what you can do...follow a so-called recipe and all you are doing is following. Stephen Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2013 09:15:28 -0500 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: What is a recipe? So what is a recipe and what do you expect from a recipe. When I see published recipes, typically the malt bill, hops and yeast are all that are specified. Look at the recipe from (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/indian-brown-ale-dogfish-head-48622/): 10oz British amber malt 10oz Crystal 60L 8oz Chocolate malt 2oz roasted barley Steep all of this at 150F for 30 minutes Add 7lb Light DME 8oz Dark Brown sugar 1/2oz Warrior Hops for 60 Minutes 1oz Vanguard Hops at Flameout Ringwood Ale Yeast/Wyeast 1187 This is totally inadequate to reproduce this beer. What other factors affect the outcome of the beer that is not specified? What parameters does Dogfish Head control in their brewery to reproduce the same beer each time? - What is the alpha acid content of the hops? - How is the malt crushed? - What is the pH of the mash? The boil? - What is the target OG? FG? IBU? SRM? - Light DME? Each DME is very different. What brand since how the DME is made has a dramatic impact on the final product. - How much wort is collected from the steeping? - What is the size/shape of the fermenter? - Is the wort aerated and to what oxygen concentration? - What is the cell count that is pitched? - How long is primary fermentation? At what temperature? - Is this beer fined? Filtered? Carbonated to how many volumes? ETC. You get the point. Even this recipe, published by Sam, will not likely create a clone of their Indian Brown Ale. Not because Sam is necessarily protecting his intellectual property, but because many of these factors are not relevant to home brewers. And by clone I mean a beer that tastes the same as the original. It will likely produce a good beer, but the final product depends on a LOT of unstated parameters that depend on your brewery. So if any two of us make this beer, the two beers will be quite different. I bring this up so that home brewers will think about their brewing, not just blindly follow some "recipe." Take what you sense when drinking a beer and the fundamentals of brewing and have that inspire your own recipe that includes all these parameters. Take careful notes so that you can repeat the process should you like to repeat the beer or tweak the recipe. Can't find Warrior as a bittering hop? Does it matter if you substitute Cluster that you have on hand? Good luck brewing but learn how each ingredient affects the final product and how to formulate recipes that work on your brewery. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2013 09:32:51 -0500 From: steve hodge <steev.hodge at gmail.com> Subject: copper A buddy of mine got a copper wort chiller for Christmas and expressed some concern about the amount of copper it may add to the wort, especially with respect to the US EPA action level of 1.3 mg per L (http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm). Could anyone point me to studies that have been done, or has anyone made these measurements themselves? A cursory search turned up "trace amounts", "it's actually beneficial to the yeast", etc., but no numbers. I suggested it's a good time to have his water tested (for mashing purposes) and that a pre and post cooled sample of wort may provide an answer. Thanks, Steve Steve Hodge Salem MA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2013 11:24:56 -0500 From: Joseph M Labeck Jr <jmlabeck at joesjokearchive.ws> Subject: A thanks, and a plea First and foremost, thanks for the replies to my question about my winter ale. I learned a lot (as I always do here). and I know what to try when I next make this. Now, now one prompted me to write this. I have read the HBD for a very long time, since back when my hair was still brown. Now, I'm completely gray, and retired. I was able to squeeze a little out of my bank account to help out. Back when I was still a new brewer, trying to figure all this stuff out, the Digest was there for me. It's only right that, as much as possible, I be there for the HBD now. Besides my small donation, I'll try to drum up some support on my podcast (http://bligtalkradio.com/youmakewhat). I don't have a huge audience, but maybe it'll help. If we all do a little, it will get done. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2013 07:35:46 -0500 From: Patrick Babcock <patrick.babcock at gmail.com> Subject: Send in the clones... Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your brewing log... On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 5:34 AM, Stephen Neilsen <stephen.neilsen at gmail.com> wrote: > [...] cloning is [...] in reality an insult to the beer you wish to imitate Au contraire, mon ami! Imitation is the highest form of flattery! > [...]...follow a so-called recipe and all you are doing is following. Here we part company as well. Though we are in violent agreement that the process is infinitely variable, and, in terms of pure process control, has too many degrees of freedom, one of the things we as "socialized" home brewers (should) strive for is the ability to reproduce our results - hence our intense focus on data and the recipe. In attempting to reproduce the results someone else achieved with a different system, different lot of ingredients, at a different time of the year, etc., the recipe and their system/process data is your only starting point. Yes, you can divine your own recipe as we typically do when going after the profile of a commercial example, but when going after the nectar produced by your brewing buddy, assuming s/he doesn't treat it as a state secret, their recipe including information regarding their system and process is the starting point - but, even without understanding their system, just the recipe alone gives you the jumping off point. And in (effective) process control regimens, demonstrating mastery of the basics - the recipe - is the gateway to "process tampering" and improvement toward the original. In other words, once you can produce consistent results to the recipe, you have demonstrated enough control over your process to be able to make meaningful changes. To summarize: don't throw the baby out with the bath water. There is much to be learned simply by following a recipe and "getting it right" in terms or replicating it before adjusting technique or ingredients to approach your ideal. (In fairness, I don't think Stephen meant this post to come of quite as it did. His - and Dave's - points regarding research and experimentation are spot on and well taken, but you can't discount the recipe as the foundation of the effort, nor the practice, as idealistic as it seems, of cloning a commercial (or other) beer is a great motivator. I can name at least one brewer who rose from the ashes to great brewing prowess through his singular focus on replicating his (at that time) favorite beer. You know him, too: AHA Governing Board Member Chris "Crispy" Frey. Perhaps he will chime in with some of his insights to this discussion... - -- Pat Babcock HBD, Inc. Return to table of contents
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