HOMEBREW Digest #70 Tue 07 February 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Follow-up on Earlier Note Re: ginger beer (Dr. T. Andrews)
  misc responses... (a.e.mossberg)
  re: What is your exctract efficiency? (Darryl Richman)
  re: Lager fermentation (Darryl Richman)
  Re: Dry Hopping and Infection (harvard!ima!wang7!klm)
  Homebrew Digest archives (a.e.mossberg)
  Un-Carbonated beer! (ephram)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 6 Feb 89 21:26:29 EST From: Dr. T. Andrews <tanner at ki4pv> Subject: Follow-up on Earlier Note Re: ginger beer My most recent batch of ginger beer was made with re-cultured yeast from Dogbolter beer kit (rather than bread yeast). There is a definite improvement noted. How I re-cultured the yeast, in case you care. (Care: it's cheaper than buying new yeast. $0 vs $something.) After I siphoned the beer out of the secondary fermentation vessel, there was some small amount of beer which didn't go up the siphon, along with rather a lot of ugly and bitter grey sludge. I added a modicum of water to assist, swirled the mess around to get most of the ugly grey sludge in suspension, and poured it into a glass juice bottle (clean! Make sure it's clean!). The same was put in the back of the food fridge, and I take samples of the yeast as needed by sticking a (clean! Make sure it's clean!) knife in and scooping some of the sludge from the bottom. It has been some weeks since I stashed this yeast in the back of the food fridge (under the weak beer mixture). There has clearly been no deterioration in the material, possibly in part because I keep the food fridge quite cold, esp. toward the back. Adding sugar and a couple of hours of time, I had a very vigourous yeast culture for the ginger beer. Dr. T. Andrews, Systems CompuData, Inc. DeLand [moderator: if I'm going on too long, trim after the first 2 .PP and I'll try to hide my feelings :-] Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 89 10:52:57 EDT From: a.e.mossberg <aem at mthvax.miami.edu> Subject: misc responses... In Homebrew #69, .... Michael Bergman and Roger Locniskar ask about ginger beer- I used Telford's Nut Brown Ale, boiled for 30 minutes with four ounces of fresh, grated ginger, and no extra hops. It came out very gingery, a true "Ginger Ale", with a dark caramel color. Michael also mentioned that some people think mead takes a long time to ferment. It does, compared to beer. But remember the relative quantity of sugar involved. More importantly, mead takes a long time to develop character. Len Reed mentions a bad experience with dry hopping. Yep, that's why dry hopping is generally counterindicated. And I included a message regarding Mexican beers.. Toward the end it mentions Tecate, and how they advertise it with lime (lemon?) and salt. Ugh! With a lemon twist is how Corona is advertised here. Corona is an insult to commercial beers, let alone those we produce. Tecate, while still no comparison to our excellent brews, is drinkable. (barely.) aem -- a.e.mossberg aem at mthvax.miami.edu MIAVAX::AEM (Span) aem at umiami.BITNET (soon) Wet manure is slippery. - OSHA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 89 07:22:55 PST From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: What is your exctract efficiency? In the Feb 06 digest, hpfcla!hpcea!hplabs!rutgers!boulder.colorado.edu!akelei!crispy!dwight (Dwight Melcher) writes about "What is your extract efficiency?" "So, the crux of the question is this: most books seem to imply that "ones extract efficiency should be in the 80-90% range, while my extract "efficiency is always around 70%. Part of the problem here is the 100% extract numbers. I've got Noonan, and he suggests one set of numbers; I've just bought Dave Miller's new book, and he's got another (higher) set. I'd like to see some brewing industry book that actually discusses this and gives a baseline. I don't usually worry about percentage efficiency for this reason. I do look at my extract per pound of grist per gallon of water. As my technique has become more refined, the numbers keep creeping up. For recipe formation, I used to just lump everything but any black grains together and figure 1.030 per pound per gallon. I watch all of the grain recipes that go by in zymurgy, and it is rare to see anyone getting above about 27. There are occasional recipes that claim above 1.038 when you work it out, but I figure that they have a typo somewhere. Lately I've been getting 1.032 out of beers with no black grains. "Here are some general areas that probably affect ones extract efficiency "and my humble observations about my techniques: " " * Grain Grinding - I use a Corona mill. Perhaps I'm not grinding the " grains finely enough? From what I've seen of other grists, my grind " appears OK. A balance you must achieve is grinding as finely as you can and still being able to sparge in a reasonable amount of time. Our shop bought a small professional grain grinder last year and I think it does a wonderful job. Before that, a club project built one out of a motor, two rolers from a store's checkout-counter conveyor belt that had been junked, and some sheet metal for a hopper; it also worked well after two passes. " * Mashing: I always get a negative iodine test within 15-30 minutes of " reaching saccharification temperatures, so I'm confident conversion " is complete before I sparge. Don't you find it interesting that most books (Dave Line, Greg Noonan, and now Dave Miller) mention to check for conversion after an hour? I, too, get quick conversions. Sometimes I have gotten a negative response within 10 minutes of achieving saccharification temperatures. " * Sparging: I suspect this may have the greatest influence on the final " extract efficiency. My sparging technique follows Noonan's " book reasonably closely, and my lauter-tun is a "zapap" style " (that is, two 5 gallon buckets, one inside the other). " Any hints or tips in this area would be appreciated. I have built one of the "hacksawed copper tubing manifold inside a picnic cooler" types of lauter tuns. I recycle about 2 gallons of wort before it runs clear. At first I ended sparging when the outflow ceased to have any sweet flavor left. Then I got Noonan's book and he recommends stopping when the wort reaches 1.008 SG (after adjusting for 60F). This turned out to be further than I had been sparging. Another book (lost to my mind at the moment) suggested stopping before the pH went above 6.0; this turns out to be beyond SG 1.008. So now I don't worry and collect enough for the boil and topping up during the boil. This may be different for you depending on your water. You ARE treating your sparge water, aren't you? "So, if everybody else is getting extract efficiencies in the 70% range, "I'll just relax and assume these other sources are a little off. "Otherwise, I'd be interested in hearing your techniques that lead to "a higher extract efficiency. Using the numbers from Noonan's Table 20 as 100% efficiency values, I'm getting pretty close to 100% (I get a 1.032 from a 90% 2 row and English Pale mash). But I've seen other values quote 1.036-38 as 100%, and so I figure I'm getting in the mid-80% area. But once again, contradictory numbers make me wary, and I'd really like to find a brewing industry source for these. Good luck, and may your mashes clear quickly, --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 89 07:34:00 PST From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: Lager fermentation in the Feb 06 digest, unet!mccrae!jimmc at Sun.COM (Jim McCrae) writes: "At the moment I have what promises to be an excellent Pilsener "in the 2nd day of primary fermentation. Yesterday I started the "yeast at about 70F. It took off in a few hours. I pitched it when "the wort had dropped to below 60F and left it at room temperature "overnight. It got VERY cold last night; the dog water dish outside "the door had a healthy 1/4" of ice on it this morning, and that "was about 5 feet away from the fermenter. I would guess the wort "dropped to the 40F's; there was some residual heat in the basement "where it was kept. This morning I put the primary in the basement "fridge, set to ~45F. So far I have seen no activity in the primary, "but I'm assuming it's too early given the cold temps I've kept it at. " "Is the primary supposed to be kept at lagering temperatures right "from the start like I've done? Or does the yeast need a few days "at room temp to get started in the wort? Note that the starter batch, "about a cup, was doing great when I put it in the wort. How long should "the brew sit in secondary? All in the fridge or some at room temp? " "Can anyone give me some pointers on timing and temperature? I don't "think I would enjoy a malt daiquiri all that much. It depends on the yeast you are using. The lager yeast strain I use likes warmer temperatures for the primary. It is useful to start off warmer (50-60F) and cool it down a bit after the yeast has a visible hold on the wort. As it is, your suffering a long lag time. Another way to do this is to pitch more yeast. There are yeasts that, for various reasons, demand to cooled and warmed at specific points. If you cool the yeast too quickly, it will tend to drop out of suspension before diacetyl (a buttery off flavor which is produced during the respriration phase) can be reduced. Also, a cold ferment has less activity and less sulfur flavors are blown off. I normally primary in the low 50s and then reduce the temperature over a week in the secondary. After terminal gravity is reached, I continue the secondary at 32f (or whatever my fridge will hold) for a couple more weeks to get the clearest, brightest beer possible. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 89 11:33:31 EST From: hplabs!harvard!ima!wang7!klm Subject: Re: Dry Hopping and Infection While I agree that Dry Hopping is attractive, I have avoided it since the time I ruined a batch of beer. I dry hopped the primary with Cascade pellets. Within a couple of days I had a raging infection (again, I don't know what kind. I'm an engineer, not a microbio<mumble>) I'm convinced that unwanted microbeasties in the hops caused the problem. So, what's the solution? We want to be able to sterilize the hops before we let them anywhere near our precious wort. Sounds easy, huh? Ok, how do we go about doing that without boiling or ruining them? I had an idea. It's just an idea, and I'm not even sure if it will work. Perhaps somebody out there can answer this. Will nuking the hops in a microwave oven kill bacteria? Not heating them up a great deal, mind you, just nuking them on low power for a while. Will the microwave radiation dispatch the bacteria without cooking off the aromatics? What about other non-heat, non-chemical forms of sterilization? Strong UV exposure? I know that certain bottled water companies use UV to sterilize water. Will that work for hops? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 89 15:19:43 est From: a.e.mossberg <aem at mthvax.miami.edu> Subject: Homebrew Digest archives I've made all issues of the HomeBrew Digest available for anonymous ftp from mthvax.miami.edu, in ~ftp/pub/homebrew. If there's any demand I'll try to make them available for anonymous uucp as well. aem a.e.mossberg aem at mthvax.miami.edu MIAVAX::AEM (Span) aem at umiami.BITNET (soon) Despite the enormous civil rights gains of the past three decades, even the rawest forms of racism persist. - Jesse Jackson Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 89 19:07:57 PST From: ephram at violet.Berkeley.EDU Subject: Un-Carbonated beer! Hi there fellow homebrewers. I recently (Nov.) made a Kit. It was my 1st one and called for alot of sugar and tap water. I was tired the night we made the brew and my girlfreind took command (ie. sanitation, we don't need no esteenkeen sanitation). I decided that I did not want to argue and let her follow the recipie on the can. At least I convinced her to put the thing in a carbouy, She wanted to put it in an open bucket with a damp rag on it! "But, The directions do not mention anything about an airlock". I decided that if it went bad I did not care so bubbling away it went. Exactly 5 days later, the instructions said, bottle the beer. She did not win that one either though she put up a good fight. Fermentation done with we bottled the beer and set it aside to carb up. It never did. I later found out that the cork caps that I used for the 1st time should not get boiled, they should be chlorined for sterilization. Well here I am with 2 cases of flat beer that incedentaly did not get infected. How can I carbonate it? I have tried adding sugar to a bottle (1/2 tsp. corn sugar to a bottle and recap with a plastic lined cap) and no luck. Should I add more sugar? is the yeast incative after all this time? should I re-inocultae (pour all the bottles into a bucket add sugar and yeast and re-bottle)? any suggestions? use a soda siphon? Thanx for the suggestions We must prevent those commies from compromising the integrity of our precious bodily fluids. -Gen. Jack D. Ripper Ephram Cohen ephram at violet.berkeley.edu 466 44th St. #1 3210 Tolman Hall Oakland, CA 94609 Berkeley, CA 94720 Return to table of contents
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