HOMEBREW Digest #749 Mon 28 October 1991

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  scattershot (Dick Dunn)
  Plastic vs Glass - Haven't we forgot something? (Jim White)
  Homebrew Digest #748 (October 25, 1991) (Greg Kushmerek)
  Re- NJ State Laws (Bob Hettmansperger)
  Re: NJ State Laws
  Anyone have experience welding stainless? (Chris Shenton)
  Strange color change (Rob Malouf)
  RE>HBD #748 (Color change,  (Rad Equipment)
  Best batch... (DAVID KLEIN)
  Question on Traditional Recipts (hersh)
  Brewing Environments (C.R. Saikley)
  Jack & Oxidation (hersh)
  re: Brewing Practices (darrylri)
  All Kinda Stuff (Jeff Frane)
  EASYMASH (Jack Schmidling)
  Random comments (Chad Epifanio)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 25 Oct 91 03:04:44 MDT (Fri) From: rcd at raven.eklektix.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: scattershot orgasm!davevi at uunet.UU.NET [some machine name! is it up a lot, or does it go down a lot?] (David Van Iderstine) writes: > I'm making my first real batch of Apple Jack (that is, purifying it & then > adding yeast, as opposed to just letting it sit as it comes)... Suggestion: DON'T say "applejack" unless you really mean it! You'll save yourself a lot of grief and harangues on liquor laws and the dangers of home distillation. Applejack is a distilled spirit--in effect, it's distilled cider. Bob Jones <BJONES at NOVA.llnl.gov> writes, upon being questioned about how many awards he's won: > The answer to this question is about 35, (I didn't think anyone > would ever ask) but then again who's counting. I've been brewing > for 13 yrs. Not that I think I need to justify myself to you, but there > are a lot of beginning brewers who read HBD and I think they > should get the most generally excepted advice from experience > brewers... I tend to agree with this, especially since we've gotten some "advice" now and then (particularly within the past couple months) from folks who don't brew much, haven't even tasted other homebrews, etc. I remember some of the swill I made early on, before I started interacting with other brewers and getting help to figure out what was wrong with my brews. Jack Schmidling writes: > As a debunker of MOMILIES,... (hmph!) >...I decided to conduct my own experiment regarding > assertions that the billowing foam in my video "BREW IT AT HOME", would cause > oxidation leading to "cidery" or "cardboardy" tastes. Could we get this one straight? Oxidation leads to the cardboardy taste. Cidery is something entirely different, and I'm thankful to report I've not tasted any cider which is like cardboard (nor any cardboard which is like cider, although of late I'm strictly limiting my cardboard intake). --- Dick Dunn rcd at raven.eklektix.com -or- raven!rcd ...Simpler is better. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 91 06:52:44 EDT From: Jim White <JWHITE at maine.maine.edu> Subject: Plastic vs Glass - Haven't we forgot something? I happen to have a unique 6 gal. Stainless Steel container that was, once upon a time, used on a dairy farm. It's about the size of a large brewpot, and features a heavy grad of SS, a strong 'pail style' handle. It's, maybe, 16" wide at the bottom, narrowing to a 6" wide opening at the top. For a cover I sanitize a piece of thin poly and attach it over the top with a large elastic. I observe the following advantages.. - Moving it , esp. when full, doesn't risk death or dismemberment from falling upon (or under) foot long, razor sharp shards of glass. - It's easy to clean. - It doesn't scratch like plastic. - Doesn't soften, crack, or break when hot wort is poured into it. Doesn't anyone else use a SS fermentation vessel? Jim White Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 91 09:32:56 -0400 From: gkushmer at jade2.tufts.edu (Greg Kushmerek) Subject: Homebrew Digest #748 (October 25, 1991) A little while back, after I'd washed some homebrewing equipment, my cat knocked something on the floor and the dog chewed it up. That "thing" was the tiny piece of plastic I used to connect my rubber stopper to all my tubing. Of course, since it was so inconsequential, I've been ages in getting to replace it. Then again, it's necessary and I haven't been able to homebrew. Last night, I was at the Modern Brewer in Cambridge - good place BTW - and they kindly GAVE me the piece of plastic. But, they don't have the art of cutting it up quite up to par (which they admitted before giving it to me). So the piece has scratches on the ends. They said just to sandpaper it down and melt it with a flame to smooth it out. Any opinions on this? Otherwise I'll give it a go. ENTER MY DAD: He's a plumber. Turns out, he's got that size of tubing in copper. So my question is - would the copper affect the wort? This thing would be up top, but the blowoff would definitely make contact with it. He also has tons of soft copper (it's $7 a roll for him) and I was thinking of making an immersion chiller. Since this would be from scratch, any recommendations about what would be easiest for me? Thanks - --gk ------------------- | 5,397 miles | | - to - | THE SIXTH AMENDMENT states that if you are | WALL DRUG | accused of a crime, you have the right to a | | trial before a jury of people too stupid to |WALL, SOUTH DAKOTA | get out of jury duty. | U.S.A. | -Dave Barry- ------------------- **Sign In Amsterdam** Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Oct 91 10:17:10 From: Bob Hettmansperger <Bob_Hettmansperger at klondike.bellcore.com> Subject: Re- NJ State Laws Subject: Re: NJ State Laws tix!roman at uunet.UU.NET (Daniel Roman) writes: >I don't have any info on brewpubs but if they allow breweries, micros, >and bars that sell beer I don't understand why no brewpubs, but like I >said I'm not a politician (or a lawyer). I think the whole issue regards the normal "three-tiered" alcoholic beverage distribution. It goes something like this: The "big-guys" sell to wholesalers who sell to retailers who sell to consumers Micros sell to retailers who sell to consumers Brewpubs sell to consumers Homebrewers can't sell As far as I know, NJ does not currently allow brewpubs (i.e. a brewery that can sell directly to consumers), but will allow micros. Whether or not you could open a micro, and then "sell" your beer exclusively to a bar that you happen to also own, I don't know. I'd guess there's probably a clause in the laws somewhere to prohibit this. Cheers, Bob Hettmansperger Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 91 11:40:55 EDT From: Chris Shenton <chris at endgame.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Anyone have experience welding stainless? Does anyone have first-hand experience welding stainless? Or brazing with brass? Taking it to a metal shop doesn't count. I'm looking for hints and pointers, trying to save time climbing the learning curve. Thanks. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1991 12:33 EDT From: Rob Malouf <V103PDUZ at ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu> Subject: Strange color change >As far as beer goes, I've got a question to pose to the net. Has anyone ever >had a batch turn darker *during fermentation*??? I have had a beer turn darker *in the bottle*! It was an all-grain wheat beer that started out a nice light yellow, but after aging about a month and a half at 45 degrees, it had turned a dark orange. It didn't even really look like beer anymore. It wasn't cloudy--if anything it was clearer than when I bottled it. Also, the head was still white. There wasn't any noticeable change in carbonation and the flavor didn't change in any strange way, but I assumed that it had picked up an infection somewhere along the way. Does anybody have any ideas? Rob Malouf v103pduz at ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Oct 91 10:03:13 From: Rad Equipment <Rad_Equipment at rad-mac1.ucsf.EDU> Subject: RE>HBD #748 (Color change, Reply to: RE>HBD #748 (Color change, O2 Testing, Starters, & CA State_ To Norm Pyle and his question about darkening beer: I have noticed a similar effect in brews which have lots of "stuff" in suspension (yeast, trub, etc.). While frementation is active the stuff is pretty uniform and gives the beer a yellow/amber (albeit cloudy) appearance. Once the stuff begins to settle and the beer "clears" it takes on a much more red/brown color. Darker but clearer. I have a weizenbock in secondary at the moment which has a very distinct line between these two states. The lower third is still quite cloudy and yellowish while the upper portion is much darker looking. The line sinks a little each day. To Jack Schmidling and his Oxidation test: You really ought to allow an independent palate to taste the two brews side by side, blind. Not that I doubt your ability to detect flaws. I just think that you get better feedback from someone who has no attachment to the beer. Still it will be interesting to hear how the remaining two bottles turn out. Are they stored at room temp or under refrigeration? What style of beer is this? As far as Josh Grosse's starters go: What a great idea! Never thought of using the carboy to make the starter and thereby save a few steps. Nice going! California State Homebrew Competition: We (The San Andreas Malts) need judges for the State Comp on November 10th in San Francisco. Interested parties should contact Alec Moss at (415) 359-4783 ASAP. Apologies to any clubs which were overlooked this year (we seem to have lost a few addresses to the "bit bucket"). RW... Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 91 10:30 MST From: DAVID KLEIN <PAKLEIN at ccit.arizona.edu> Subject: Best batch... Well....I tried submitting this earlier, but the digest go bye bye...so I will try again, I hope it does not cause the digest to go up in smoke again (what--me parinoid?) I not meet the conditions of the original posting (>10 brews (I'm only at 9)) but feel that this beer is distintive enough to be mentioned. "Black Dwarf Imperial Oatmeal Stout" 3.3 lb liquid Northwestern amber 3.3 lb liquid Northwestern dark 3 lb pale 2 row 1 lb wheat malt 2 lb dark crystal (90) 3 cups roasted barley <1 cup chocolate 1.75 cup black patent 2 lb flaked barley 1.5 lb steel cut oats 1 stick brewers liq. 5 oz malto dextrin 1.5 C molasis 1.5 oz old leaf northern brewers leaf hops .5 oz mt hood pellets 2 oz 3.0 alpha hallertau 1.25 l starter--Wyeast Irish Ale Champaigne yeast (was not needed though) Mashed all grain like substances for 1 hour aT 130-140 F IN 2.5 gal water. added 1.5 gal boiling water to bring to 160, keep there for 1.5 hour. The high temp was used to get a high final gravity. Sparge: 5 gallons fresh 170 F water. Bring to boil, add northern brewers (tot 60 min). Added mt. hood 15 min to end and irish moss. Cool, place in fermenters. hallertau dryhopped in secondary, champainge yeast added then too, but not needed. O.G. 1.090 F.G. 1.032 primary 4 days secondary 7 days A heavy thick brew. The flavor lasts for upwards of a minuite. (hops and dark grains followed by full malt/grain flavor, finishing with molassis. Bit alcholic tasting when warm. I might recomend more water or dump an extract. (BTW this was about a 6 gallon batch). Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 91 13:52:52 EDT From: hersh at expo.lcs.mit.edu Subject: Question on Traditional Recipts >From what I have read it wasn't until the early part of the 19th Century (around 1830 or so) that it became to be understood that there was some organism or chemical responsible for fermentation, and not until the later part of that century (~1860s) that Pasteur documented that the single celled organims we call Yeast were actually responsible. So in light of this how is it that Ben Franklin, George Washington, et. al. have recipes that refer to adding a pint of Yeast?? Was this a name for the sediment (which of course contained the organism we now refer to as Yeast, and perhaps the origin of it's name) which brewers collected from one brew and tossed into the next (brewer's had long known the sediment had some connection with the cause of fermentation, but the mechanism was unknown till Pasteur's discovery despite the earlier innovation by Van Leeowehuk (sp?) of the microscope)?? - JaH History is just a blast from the past... - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hopfen und Malz, Gott erhalts Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 91 10:56:17 PDT From: grumpy!cr at uunet.UU.NET (C.R. Saikley) Subject: Brewing Environments From: m14051 at mwvm.mitre.org (John DeCarlo) >Beer is a product of heredity and environment. Heredity refers >to the ingredients and their quality. Environment to the brewing >process and where/how it takes place. >For new brewers, you can tell them a lot of very useful >information about the heredity of a beer, but the environment is >often a big unknown. >For this very reason, *I* (IMHO) consider it extremely important >to emphasize sanitation to the new brewer. Well said. I've had some experiences which testify to the importance and uncertainty of unknown brewing environments. I've been brewing regularly for 5-6 years, and in that time have lived in 6 different homes. With each move, the quality of my beer would temporarily suffer. It just wasn't up to the standards that I had achieved in my previous residence. As a result, I would re- examine my techniques, usually taking the shotgun approach of sterilizing everything and doing it all "by the book". After getting all anal and making good beer again, I've typically been able to relax my cleanliness standards in certain areas. But in each location, the particular standards that were relaxed has been different from the last. This has made it very clear to me that different environments call for different techniques, and that it's difficult (if not impossible) to predict exactly which steps are crucial in a particular environment. Given that, I too would consider it extremely important to emphasize sanitation to the new brewer. CR Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 91 14:14:48 EDT From: hersh at expo.lcs.mit.edu Subject: Jack & Oxidation Jack could you please describe for us what you perceive are the characteristics of oxidized beer?? I'm not convinced you know what it is. I ask this in all seriousness because many people have "blind spots" in their sensory perception, while others just don't know what to look for in the flavor. As an example many people who drink light damaged beer come to consider it a component of the flavor they desire. Since most if not all green and clear bottled beers get light damaged (this can happen as fast as 45 minutes in sunlight or artifical light like flourescents seen in beer coolers worldwide) and the damage is so prevelant that it is difficult to get non-light damaged beers. Other examples of the "I don't like this beer without the off flavor" phenomenon is a taste test rumored to have occurred with import germans beers. Fresh import beer was served against old import beer. The old beer was reputed to have been quite stale and oxidized. The results of this test supposedly indicated that consumers selected the stale beer as being what they considered the "normal" flavor for the beer and the fresher beers were described as too bitter. The plausible reasoning behind the results was that the stale beer was what consumers were used to. I have been hosting Doctored Beer Sessions with Steve Stroud for about 2 years now, and for over a year before that. We line up reference samples against beer intentionally tainted for flavor defects. Our findings have been that for various flavor defects people's ability to taste specific defects varies, often quite widely with some not being able to taste certain defects at all, and tohers being highly sensitive. We have taken notes, adjusted doctoring levels, and in general tinkered with the quantities of doctoring substances, but still we find that some people have sensory "blindness" to certain flavor components. The ability to perceive oxidation is dependent upon the recipe, oxidation is much harder to detect in darker and/or stronger beers where other strong flavors mask it. Development of oxidized flavors is affected by storage conditions as well. Higher temperatures speed up the process by which the flavor degrades. I would state that your experiment, while it may prove successful in demonstrating oxidation, may also demonstrate nothing for at least the above reasons. Should your single experiment not show demonstrable oxidation I would not deem it conclusive. I would point to the bottling technique used by commercial brewers as more conclusive proof that oxidation is a consideration. The manner in which commercial brewers bottled leaving little head space, filling bottles under CO2 counterpressure to reduce foaming of the beer and exposure to air all indicate that these brewers, who have a large commercial stake in maintaining the freshness of their product, consider oxidation a potential problem. - JaH Return to table of contents
Date: Fri Oct 25 12:09:44 1991 From: darrylri at microsoft.com Subject: re: Brewing Practices m14051 at mwvm.mitre.org (John DeCarlo) writes: > Now, I can say that I know my environment pretty well. I can > often tell from listening and looking at my beer what is > happening. I detected a stuck fermentation without the use of a > hydrometer (used it for confirmation) because of just noticing > that something felt wrong about the fermentation. Is this useful > to anyone of you? Probably not. Would I be able to explain it > to a new brewer in a useful manner? No. This is a general phenomenon that homebrewers pick up as they gain experience. It's a matter of using your 5 senses (6? ;-) during the course of brewing as well as making use of the scientific instruments like the thermometer and hydrometer. After all, brewers have had to make a relatively complex set of steps occur to produce beer, and have been able to do so for far longer than those tools (well, maybe not the "egge" hydrometer, but certainly longer than the standard groat) have been around. I find that by observing my brewing in my environment (which I'll have to do again, since my environment has just made a radical shift northward), I can predict a good mash temperature (steam begins to come off of the mash at about 150-155F), a good sparge temperature (that boiling noise begins around 170F), and I can tell by the mash texture when conversion is near finished (the grittiness fades away and the wort has a silky feel on the tongue, ignoring husk bits). I find it fascinating to rediscover these clues, which might allow me to brew "modern" beer without modern instruments. But it is important to be able to note what it is that clues you in to each step, and I think that putting that in words is important. So, John, the next time you notice something funny about your ferment and discover that it's stuck, try to put into words what it is that caught your attention. --Darryl Richman (Now residing in the Seattle area, working for Microsoft, after being detached from email for almost three weeks.) Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Oct 91 16:53:59 EDT From: Jeff Frane <70670.2067 at compuserve.com> Subject: All Kinda Stuff And a most gracious thank you to Dave Murphy, who took the time to send me a divided copy of HBD #744, which had apparently been stuck in CompuServe's mail and never delivered. On WYeast: I note several people have had problems, either with packages exploding or some form of contamination. I would imagine that packaging is a problem in both cases. I know that the WYeast staff work very hard at ensuring clean yeast, but considering how many packages are shipped out every week, it doesn't amaze me that once in a while the foil seal is defective. The contamination might well have come from a pinhole leak; certainly the exploding package (which used to be more common) was the result of a failed seal. Anyone who goes to all the trouble of plating out their failed package really should take the time to drop Dave Logsdon a note--he's most respectful of homebrewers and very quality conscious. If the package does swell completely within 12 hours, as Bill writes, the best thing to do--outside of adding it to a starter--is to pop the thing in the refrigerator until it's going to be used. Marc Roleau asks if optimum temperature is "the highest temperature at which yeast can operate without producing undesirable byproducts?" Without getting on the phone to check with Dave, I would say that this is indeed accurate. In general, the warmer the temperature the more vigorous the ferment, and the more vigourous the ferment the better--as long as no unpleasant side effects result. Curt Freeman asks about a burst WYeast package and what to do about the contents of the inner package. Unfortunately, I think you'll find that the inner package is the growth media (basically wort), and that the yeast culture is in the outer--now contaminated--portion of the pouch. Not much can be done at all. In respect to the discussion about reusing yeast, I would reference again my notes on washing yeast. According to Dave, storage of the washed yeast will be considerably better for them than storage under beer--the explanations were in the notes. Thanks to Stephen Hansen for including the coffee recipes. This will make Liz happy. I believe I'll take a shot at the Speedball Stout, tampering a bit with the hops. The information about adding the coffee is a little confusing. If I read it correctly: If one has a wort chiller, the coffee and finishing hops are added only to end of the boil. If one does *not* have a wort chiller, the finishing goods are added to the fermenter for 24 hours. Is this right? And what's the comment on contamination relevant to? On the question of cold-extraction of coffee, I offer the following, from Corby Kummer's "Untroubled Brewing" in the June 1990 Atlantic. Kummer, by the way, is as anal-retentive about coffee as I am about beer, so I like his stuff. "The third form in which infusion survives is coffee made with cold water. This method becomes fashionable every few years and then retreats into deserved obscurity. Ground coffee steeps in cold water for ten to twenty-four hours and is then filtered through a funnel-like device. The resulting extract, which is stirred into hot water, is mild and characterless, because cold water does not extract the lighter aromatics or acids in coffee--or the oils, or much of anything." I've also noticed a couple of unanswered questions about cider in recent Digests. Isn't there a Cider Digest? Seems to me that they are (or were) being stored in the CompuServe Beer Forum library, but that they originated somewhere on this network. Robin? Got an answer? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 91 22:28 CDT From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: EASYMASH To: Homebrew Digest Fm: Jack Schmidling EASY MASH Now that the orders for "BREW IT AT HOME" are pouring in by the billions and billions, I have begun research leading to the sequel. I want to develop an all grain process that reduces the cost and effort to the minimum while producing an acceptable beer. As I have the same aversion to plastic as I do to aluminum and to keep within the budget of most hobbiest, I decided to base the system abound the old enameled 8 gal kettle that grandma used for canning. The same kettle is used for mashing, sparging and again after dumping the spent grains, for the boil. It is never lifted full so the problem of handles falling off in not an issue. A few simple mods are required to make it fit the process. A small brass spiggot is fitted to the bottom with a short piece of pipe extending several inches toward the center on the inside. A small piece of window screen is rolled several times around the pipe and secured with a hose clamp or twisted copper wire. The screen roll extends several inches past the end of the pipe and the last inch is bent over itself to prevent anything from entering the spiggot that has not passed through several layers of screen. The original setup also had the traditonal false bottom, fashioned from a SS plate with a zillion holes laboriously punched into it. It has SS screws on the bottom acting as feet to hold it up off the bottom. I abondoned the false bottom on the third batch and found that the screen was all that is needed for a super simple sparge operation. It also serves to keep the hops out of the wort chiller after the boil. I won't go into the details of the mash because I don't want to get into a flame fest (yet) about times and temps but obviously the mashing is done by direct heat and judicious stiring and temperature monitoring. A partial decoction is simple as pie because all you need to is tap a few quarts and bring it to a boil on another burner. It's fun and gives you something to do while watching the buns rise. When the mash is complete, shut it off and let it sit while heating water on another burner. If you have control over the hot water heater, you can get it almost hot enough out of the tap. I prefer to bring it to a boil anyway and just keep adding to the kettle as the clear wort comes out. I found that laying a dinner plate on top of the grain and pouring the sparge water into the center of the plate distributes it evenly around the grain with minimal disturbance. I sparge until the gravity falls below 1.010 out of the spiggot. With 8 lbs of 6 row, I get about 7 gals at 1.035. I then dump the spent grain on the compost pile and rinse out the kettle and screen. The seven gallons of wort will fit easily into the kettle for the boil. A minimal one hour boil will evaporate about a gallon so you can play with the volumes in various ways. You can increase the gravity by more boiling or boil less and have more beer. After the boil, it is tapped into the primary after cooling, either overnight or with a wort chiller after sitting about 15 minutes. I am currently running tests to see if the chiller is worth the trouble. The last batch was with the chiller and seems to be clearing faster but if it eventually clears either way, then it probably is not worth the trouble. The kettle seems to be universally available for about $35 and the rest of the stuff can be had for less than $5 making it a pretty inexpensive system. I happen to have a small foundry furnace that I use to boil on and have not actually tried boiling on the kitchen stove but I gather from others that two burners will eventually bring 5 gals to a boil. My furnace will bring 7 gals to wild boil in about 20 minutes and provides a true "fire-brew". It is made out of a few fire bricks, a small blower and some pipe fittings. I am toying with including a "hot to" segment on the furnace in the video. More to come, comments welcome......... js ZZ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 91 12:56:06 CDT From: gjfix at utamat.uta.edu (George J Fix) FROM: George Fix(gjfix at utamat.uta.edu) SUBJECT: Dextrins Jeff Frane: Thanks for the kind remarks. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a stupid question as far as brewing is concerned. It would be difficult to count the number of times that queries, drawn from practical brewing experience, which on the surface appear to be "uninformed", in fact turn out to touch on issues that one and all have overlooked. What makes brewing so exciting is that everything is not known. While this might be frustrating to some,just think how boring things would be if it were otherwise! DEXTRINS: The one good thing "dry beers" have done is to increase awareness and discussion on the role dextrins play in beer flavors. Dextrins appear tasteless when dissolved in water solutions. They do however carry calories (30-40% of the total in most beers) as well as adding to the perceived viscosity of beer. This is, as I understand it, the primary motivation in "dry beer" formulations. The dextrins are greatly reduced in order to lower the calories and produce a less satiating beer without affecting normal flavors. In reality , flavors are affected in nontrivial ways , and producers of these beers are now using the "no aftertaste" line (as opposed to "less filling") to promote them. This is of course the problem many have with this beer style. While one does not want the flavors of our beers to cling for hours , it would be nice , on the other hand, for their half-life to be measurable in units larger than nanoseconds! I feel the relevance of dextrins derives in large part from their role as flavor carriers. In particular , their interaction with malt based proteins is apparantly responsible for defining much of the malt character of beer. That different barley varieties ( and hence malt types ) vary dramatically in their protein content is well established, and this one reason why different malts produce different beer flavors. However, for these effects to be fully realized, sufficient dextrins must be present to "carry" the flavors. I first became aware of this in an experimental brew using Irek pilsner malt in an extended low temperature mash (63C-145F) designed to minimize the dextrin content of the wort. I have a very high regard for the Irek malt, and I particularly value its quintessential continental flavloring. Much to my surprise the latter was greatly subdued in the experimental brew. In fact, when I first tasted the beer I actually thought I had screwed up and used the wrong malt. For the above reasons I feel that dextrin malts can be used to advantage in a wide range of beer styles , not only as body builders but also as flavor enhancers. My own personal favorites are the light crystal malt made by Irek as well as the one distributed by Great Western Malting. The latter is produced under license for G.W. in the U.K. A serious practical issue is whether the dextrin malts should be mashed. The obvious concern in that the dextrins from the specialty malts would be broken down into fermentables and thus nullifying the desired effects of these malts. I personally prefer to mash all my grains for a variety of reasons. However, I generally hold the crystal malts out of the first part of the mash. In particular, I usually mash in at 52 -55C( 125-130F ) with all of the specialty malts and some of the base malt held out. This rest is held for 30 mins. during which time additional water is heated to a boil in a separate kettle. At the end of this rest the additional water is added incremently to the mash. This plus a small amount of external heat is all that is needed to achieve a steady increase in temperature. I usually go up to 68-69C( 154-155F ). I have found that gently stirring in the remaining malt at this point will serve as a "brake" on the temperature rise, and allow the mash to lock in on the desired temperature without overshoots and related hassle. This rest is held from 30 to 60 mins. depending on the type of beer being brewed. While some dextrins are being degraded in this rest, many do survive.I have found that the effects of the crystal malts can be discerned in comperative brews even with charges as low as 5%. I do not want this post to read like a anti-dry beer ditribe. These beers do have a function , and they likely will be around for some time. I have actually worked out a dry brew formulation, and brew it on occasion. In particular, my wife makes a supercharged version of Kung Pao chicken using peppers that would make jalapenos seem mild as marshmellows. Of all the beers I brew, the crazy dry beer is the one that comes out best with this dish , and I brew it explicitly for this purpose. I am amazed how the Kung Pao can pull flavors out of this beer which are invisible when the beer is tasted alone without the food. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 91 15:31:10 PDT From: chad at mpl.UCSD.EDU (Chad Epifanio) Subject: Random comments Somebody had no head on a Christmas Ale: I've experienced similar problems with three of my spiced ales. The only ingredient they had in common was ground cinnamon. I used cinnamon stick in my last batch, and the beer had a pleasant head. This is just an observation in my beers. Dave Iderstine asked about Apple Jack: You might post a message on the Cider Digest for more info. Subscribe: cider-request@ expo.lcs.mit.edu Submit: cider at expo.lcs.mit.edu My litterature recommends sufiting, then adding yeast after 24 hrs. I used wine yeast in three of my ciders, and they all came out very dry. There seems to be a running discussion on the Cider Digest as to how exactly to achive sweet cider. Traditional cider is made in the fall, and bottled in the spring, acording to what I've read. Some suggest to carbonate it slightly to inhibit the production of vinegar. I would suggest treating the cider more like a wine than a beer. My lattest attempt evolved into a Cyser, so I'm treating it like a mead. By the way, I am under the impression that "Apple Jack" was an old method to condense the cider; i.e. the finished cider is allowed to freeze, a hole is punched in the ice cover, and the underlying contents siphoned into a waiting carboy. This process is repeated until the liquid no longer freezes. A primative distillation perhaps. Reply to Bob Jones: Perhaps a comunication error on my part. I was not asking you how many award you have won, merly adding your quote for reference. From your comments, it is apparent that you are knowledgeable, and your advice is appreciated. Not wishing to beat this thread any longer, I just wish to clarify my previous comments. You implied that plastic will not make award winning beers. Granted, in the breakdown of awards listed in some Zymurgy competition results, there are more awards won with glass than with plastic, but there _are_ some with plastic. Perhaps beginners, and I may still have one foot in this catagory :), should learn the techniques with glass first. With good sanitation, why not go to plastic if so inclined? I would consider the technique, more than the equipment, as the dominant factor in creating an award winning brew. Just my opinion... To Jack Schmidling: Excellent idea! Chad chad%mpl at ucsd.edu Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #749, 10/28/91 ************************************* -------
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