HOMEBREW Digest #772 Mon 02 December 1991

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Cranberry Stuff (Mike Sharp)
  Cutting a keg (Re: Boiler/Chiller Construction - Part 1) (steve)
  I've got my water analysis and I should... (Frank Tutzauer)
  YEAST (Jack Schmidling)
  Diacetyl (Jay Hersh)
  Re: Homebrew Digest #771 (November 29, 1991) (Robert Orr)
  DMS and Other Stuff (Jeff Frane)
  more about Prickly Pear (Zymurgy articles) (Dick Dunn)
  Zymurgy index? (Dick Dunn)
  Bitter at bottle, Evaporation, bottles,cases (Bill Crick)
  wooden casks (Dieter Muller)
  avoiding light-struck beer (Dieter Muller)
  Re: Baker's Malt Extract (dbell)
  Cost of Kegs (Bob_Konigsberg)
  free advice for Jack (mcnally)
  Cyser Recipe??? (Chuck Coronella)
  mead yeast - continued (Dieter Muller)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 29 Nov 91 7:38:01 EST From: Mike Sharp <msharp at cs.ulowell.edu> Subject: Cranberry Stuff It was suggested that I post this to HBD, so here goes... The text originally appeared on another beer related dist. list. (fyi, I'm the author of the included text) --Mike Hi, I'm now sitting at home, in a comfy chair, with my keyboard and a glass of Sam Adam's Cranberry Lambic. The bottle says: "This Cranberry Beer is our version of a traditional Belgian Lambic. It is made with a top-fermenting yeast and wheat and barley malt. After brewing, this wheat beer is fermented again with fresh cranberries. Pure maple syrup is added to balance the tartness of the fruit. This beer combines the tart dry character of the cranberry with the refreshing taste of wheat beer. A special New England brew for the holidays. Cheers! James Koch" A few comments on the label's claims: o wheat malt is not used in a lambic (but I'll concede this point since I've been known to use wheat malt too) o there is a lot more than 'top-fermenting yeast' that ferments a lambic. For starters, there is the bacteria Pediococcus cerevisiae and the yeast Brettanomyces lambicus. o maple syrup is definately not used in a traditional lambic. First, I'll say the nice things: o the bottle should be strong enough to use for homebrew o I kind of like the color (of the bottle, but the beer's is ok too) o the label is on straight (the label's color is nice too) o the carbonation is ok o if I forget they're trying to market this as a lambic, its an ok, but otherwise unimpresive fruit beer. I prefer a more assertive fruit flavor in a slightly heavier beer. OK, now the real review: In no way, shape, or form is this even remotely related to a lambic. The beer tastes like a _very_ light beer (or my tap water) with a slight hint of hops & cranberry/maple. I was rather supprised with the lack of body/character and of the total lack of any lactic sourness. Of course this may be because I'm use to drinking lambics that really are from Belgium. (as a point of reference, my tastes run toward Timmerman's) I wouldn't bother buying a 12-pack just to get a bottle of this. (of course its too late for me...) Its my belief that this is, at the very least, a complete misunderstanding of the lambic appelation, or at the worst, a just a shameless marketing scam to sell a few extra beers [again]. You decide. I'd be intersted in hearing a response from James Koch should anyone have his ear. [hmm, this probably puts me on his black-list doesn't it?] Of course all of the above is _my_ opinion and I'm sure someone will disagree... --Mike "just calling 'em as I see 'em" Sharp (the guy who started the lambic mailing list, btw) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 91 12:19:56 -0500 From: steve at endgame.gsfc.nasa.gov Subject: Cutting a keg (Re: Boiler/Chiller Construction - Part 1) First, I'd like to thank Tom for sharing his experiences in building SS brew gear. I have a few comments to add to what was said re cutting up kegs... >From the keyboard of Tom Dimock <RGG at CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu> > The next step is to cut out the top of the keg. The kegs are 16" > in diameter, so an 8" hole in the top works quite nicely. I know > of at least 5 ways to perform this step. > > 1) Drill a couple of holes in the top and then saw between them > with a Sawz-All (a heavy duty version of a hand jig saw, for I did this using a "normal" jig saw and bi-metal blades. Definately a noisy passtime, and I did use up 5 or 6 blades. I tried a SawzAll, but it seemed to shake the top of the keg around too much. > 2) Use an abrasive blade in a circular saw. The blade is meant to > cut in a straight line, so getting it to cut in a circle is a > little tricky. You always want to wear eye protection when I uses some of these blades to "split" a keg (they make great barbequeue grilles too :-). I couldn't picture trying to cut a round hole that way, by any means. I believe that there are little air powered saws that use 4 inch or so abraisive wheels. Those might do the trick. Anyone? > 4) Cut it out with an oxy-acetylene torch. Unfortunately, stainless > cuts very poorly with oxy-acetylene, which leaves you with a lot > of slag and crud to clean up with an angle grinder. A file might > do it, but slag tends to be harder, so you might just end up using > the keg to smooth out the file! I tried to cut stainless with a torch, and pretty much made a mess of the metal. The cut was very rough, and, like Tom said, it seemed like I was using the stainless to smooth the file (I didn't have a grinder at the time). Since then, someone recommended sticking a regular gas welding rod into the cut. I haven't tried it yet, but he said that it will make the cut much cleaner. I'll probably give it a shot when it's time to build a bigger lauter tun (Real Soon Now). > Tom Dimock -- Flame your kettle, not the net! Steve Rezsutek Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1991 13:23 EDT From: Frank Tutzauer <COMFRANK at ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu> Subject: I've got my water analysis and I should... Like all good brewers, I've finally gotten an analysis of my local water supply. Help me interpret it! For organizational purposes, here's what I'll do: First, I'll list the relevant figures from the analysis. Then, I'll tell you what *I* think they mean. I'll probably screw this up, so I want you to point out where I'm in error. (Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor not a chemist.) Finally, I'll close with more specific questions about what I should do to fix up my brews. When answering, keep in mind that I am (currently) an extract and specialty grain brewer. Also, my guesses about what all this means come from my reading of Burch, Miller, and Charlie II. These are the only sources I own that go into any detail about water. Ok, first the numbers. All figures are in mg/L unless noted otherwise. Alkalinity 88-100 Hardness approx 120 Sulfates 21 Chlorides 15-25 Mg approx 8 Na approx 8 Ca 30-40 pH 7.7 Now, my reading of the situation: First of all, my water does not seem to be chlorinated, but instead is filtered, although I have no idea what filtration system is being used. I think that hardness is really total hardness, and a figure of 120 means that my water is hard. I believe that the temporary hardness is given by the alkalinity, and so my permanent hardness would vary from 20 to 32. Am I correct in believing that the alkalinity is primarily (exclusively?) a measure of the carbonate and bicarbonate content of my water? There is certainly no separate listing for either of these ions. In terms of general brewing, recognizing that what is desirable varies among beer types, I believe that alkalinity is a bit high, calcium and sulfates are a bit low, and magnesium is ok, assuming I get enough from my extracts (which Miller says is usually the case). Finally, my specific questions: 1. Should I mess with my alkalinity? When I first began brewing, I asked whether I should boil my water for sanitization purposes. Of the quite a few people who responded to me, about half boiled and about half didn't. I decided to refrain from boiling until I got an infection (which I never have). But now, looking at the alkalinity, I think I might need to boil to get rid of some of it. Miller says that alkalinity in excess of 50 (unless "balanced" by Ca--whatever he means by "balanced") will extract harsh flavors from the hops, and Burch says that the lighter the beer, the harder the water should be (Pilsner Urquell types excepted). And come to think of it, my pale ales and steam beers have turned out quite well and my stouts and porters do have a bit of harshness in the background--not much, but there, particularly at colder serving temps. OTOH, Burch also says that "some" temporary hardness is good for stouts and porters, although he does not define "some". Finally, Miller says that if you boil, after leaving a residual of about 35, one can get rid of the carb and bicarb at a cost of 3 parts Ca to 5 parts carb/bicarb. Doing the arithmetic on my water means I will "use up" ALL of my Ca. So, my question: When should I boil to get rid of the alkalinity, and how do I deal with the calcium loss (see stuff on gypsum, below)? 2. Should I mess with my calcium? Miller says that an optimum Ca range "for all brewing water" is 50-100. I, of course, am a bit lower. I could add gypsum, but in doing so I also increase my sulfates. Miller says sulfates are chemically irrelevant, but both Miller and Charlie say they give a dry, crisp palatte, unless they are "too" high, in which case they give a harsh salty taste. Again, what is "too" high? My sulfates right now are quite low, but by adding gypsum to a 5-gal batch, my calcium and sulfates change as follows: gypsum Final Final added Ca level SO4 level 0.5 t 60-70 91 1.0 t 90-100 161 1.5 t 120-130 231 2.0 t 150-160 301 I used Miller's numbers for changes. Charlie's are 5 mg/L lower for both Ca and SO4. Many recipes I have seen routinely call for adding 1-2 t gypsum. I have never done so because I figured "What does the recipe maker know about my water?" Last week, though, I had a recipe for an English special bitter that called for 2 t gypsum. I was in a "what, me worry?" mode and decided to add it all. Looking at the numbers above, I may have made a mistake, but it's too late now and I'm going to drink the beer anyway :-). So: When should I change my Ca by adding gypsum, and how much should I add? Should I worry about the increase in sulfates that would result? Well, there you have it. Thanks for any help. There's a pop song about Boston that's locally corrupted by substituting Buffalo and the Niagara River for Boston and the Charles. Anyway, the song has the line "Well, I love that dirty water--ah, Buffalo you're my home." And the last few days, going over this water report, I just can't seem to get the song out of my mind.... - --frank Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 91 11:19 CST From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: YEAST To: Homebrew Digest Fm: Jack Schmidling From: Todd Enders - WD0BCI <enders at plains.NoDak.edu> Subject: Yeast musings... > I don't believe it's exactly fair to call this yeast the same strain as you started with. Why? Well, consider that by using yeast from the bottle, you would tend to pick up the more attenuative cells that are left in suspension and still active. As one repeats this process over several generations of reculture, one is artificialy selecting a more attenuative population, no? Yes, you have set up an artificial (and natural) selection routine that could select for an infinite numbers of characters, not just attenuation. Some could be good, some could be bad. To me, the more obvious process would be to take your expensive yeast culture and instead of using it to make beer the first time around, use it to start multiple batches of cultures. You could build it up to sufficient volume to start as many separate cultures as you could use in the time they would go bad in the frige. I am not sure what happens in the frige but if you maintain a sterile environment, you can at least count on the same purity of strain. From: larryba at microsoft.com Subject: Galvanized Mesh >SS or copper/brass would be a much better choice for long term health. No doubt but let's not lose sight of the fact that a vast majority of our drinking water moves through galvanized iron pipes. I am the last one to suggest that common usage makes things OK nor am I ignorant of the fact that boiling beer may react differently than cold water but just wanted to make the point. BTW, brass has far more zink in it than galvanized iron. Re: Removing Lables I have found that some of the stubborn lables do not use water soluble glue and will never come off using water and soap. They do however, slide right off with paint thinner such as turpentine. This is expecially true of plastic pop bottles. HOME BREW HORROR STORY I brought three liters of homebrew to the familiy Thanksgiving dinner and was forced to rationalize and excuse one undrinkable bottle. It was, unfortunately, my finest beer. Early in the week, I chilled down the beer till ice was visible and decanted this into a chilled bottle. As it wasn't quite full and just for good luck, I topped it off with a bit from a currently fermenting batch. I squeezed the (plastic) bottle to expell all the air and let it sit till it got hard and fat. I then refrigerated it till the big show. It was utterly disgusting. I can't begin to describe the flavors but it was probably all of them. Unfortunately, I did not sample the bottle before the decanting operation but I have been drinking the same batch for several weeks and it's the best beer I have ever made. The other samples, also in plastic, were a dark and the clovy stuff, I have described before. I called it Holiday Spice Beer and they loved it. I was somewhat stunned because the day after I did this, someone posted an article saying that this is SOP for competition entries. This confirmed what I had intuited and thought I invented but something definitely went wrong this time. I don't have enough facts to prove what the culprit was but I just wanted to point that, even the "Worlds Greatest Brewer" has bad days. js Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 91 14:06:49 EST From: Jay Hersh <hersh at expo.lcs.mit.edu> Subject: Diacetyl I had also tasted a few "old" beers that were poorly handled in shipping (or so I believe) and found them to have diacetyl flavors. Some fellow judges (and friends) who were at this particular tasting said they didn't think the diacetyl could be a result of poor handling. I recently had a vacation in Europe. I brought back a few bottles of Budvar Budweiser, and found that while bottles I had drunk in Europe were fine, some of the ones I had after returning had developed a strong diacetyl component. This seems to confirm my suspicions that handling has some effect. I thought I saw something from George Fix recently (or maybe ot was someone else) on a correlation between poor handling and diacetyl. Was this you George, and if so what were the specifics?? If not does anyone else know about any correlation between diacetyl and handling?? Thanks, JaH - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hopfen und Malz, Gott erhalts Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 91 10:31:37 PST From: roborr at polari (Robert Orr) Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #771 (November 29, 1991) Please remove my name from this mailing list, for the tenth time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Return to table of contents
Date: 29 Nov 91 15:07:29 EST From: Jeff Frane <70670.2067 at compuserve.com> Subject: DMS and Other Stuff On DMS: I ran across an old American Brewer article by Gary Bauer called "Dat Ol' Debbil DMS: Dimethyl Sulphide". According to Gary, the problem lies with something called S-Methylmethionine (SMM) formed during the germination and kilning stages of malting. SMM "decomposes on heating to form DMS during kilning, wort boiling and hot wort storage." He also says "Two row barley which has a normally lower nitrogen content than six row barley, has been show to produce significantly less SMM during the malting process. European malt has less SMM and DMS than North American and Canadian malt." According to Bauer: "Beers with hig adjunct ratios or low gravities allow the DMS taste or off-taste to be more detectable, while German beers, all-malt beers, flavorful beers, especially dark beers, make the taste of DMS less discernable at higher levels." Most significant to Larry and the rest of us: "Kettle boiling hyrdolyzes SMM to DMS which is removed during evaporation. The half life or time need to remove half of the DMS is 40 minutes, so that three-fourths is removed in 90 minutes. Narssis recommends a 100 minute boil to reduce the level of SMM and DMS to acceptable levels in most beers.... "The following steps should ensure low levels of DMS in the finished beer. Boil the entire wort 90 minutes or longer Ensure that the boil is vigorous--rolling Allow at least 8% evaporation Minimize the hot wort standing time Rapidly cool the wort" To Jack Schmidling: What Baderbrau calls "webbing" sounds like what's more commonly referred to as Belgian lace. It's formed from the proteins in the beer and it's not terribly surprising that you didn't see much of it in your extract beers, especially if you weren't using many grain additions. I've found the best way to get a startling amount of lace in an extract beer is to add 2 ounces of flaked barley. To Todd Enders: Brewers have traditionally used the same yeast over and over for many generations, although nowadays most plate the yeast periodically to check and see if it has mutated or otherwise strayed from the straight and narrow. I suspect that your theory isn't "wrong" but that the yeast strains are inherently more stable than you give them credit. On the other hand, you might begin to select for a higher degree of flocculation (rather than degrees of attenuation). Just blue skying here. To Kinney Baughman: Why is the capillary action in the bucket to bucket lauter tun any more a problem there than any other system? The solution is generally to use knives for gradually cut down through the grain bed (in a brewery vessel the knives slowly turn but a similar effect can be achieved by using a kitchen knife at different points). My experience with a grain bag was not salutory, as the bag failed to hold the weight of the wet grain and kept falling into the bucket. Chuck Coronella: Your neighborhood hardware store should have an adapter that screws into your kitchen faucet like your aerator does currently. This will then snap on a unit that will accept normal garden hose/laundry hose fittings. I used one of these for a long time and only ran into a hassle when my new portable dishwasher turned out to need a different fitting. Return to table of contents
Date: 29 Nov 91 14:02:26 MST (Fri) From: rcd at raven.eklektix.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: more about Prickly Pear (Zymurgy articles) The main response I got to my earlier inquiry about prickly pear fruit for mead was a handful of inquiries about making it. So...I finally had time to dig up the original Zymurgy article about it. It's Volume 10, No. 2 (Summer 1987) - the "Lena" issue, p. 44. This gives a rapturous account of the qualities of one particular prize-winning PP mead, and a modest amount of information about making it. Particularly, this article describes boiling the fruit for two hours--which is one reasonable way to extract the juice. The fruits are a bit stubborn this way; a simple pressing doesn't seem to get much, and they're surpri- singly firm. A note about pectin--common wisdom hath it (correctly) that one should not boil most fruits in preparing them for fermentation, since it will bring out and "set" the pectin, leading to a nuisance haze. (Pec- tinase will mostly solve this...but I digress...) This is not a problem with the PP fruit. While the extracted juice from boiling the fruit looks a little cloudy, it appears to be just a suspension of gruk which settles out early in fermentation. In fact, a letter in the 14(3) Zymurgy (Fall 1991) Prof. Surfeit column says you *want* to boil the fruit and extract the juice, rather than just adding the fruit to the fermenter...dealing with the unboiled pulp is described with terms like "seal snot", "blob from a horror film", "fermen- tation from hell". The description suggests that something in the fruit pulp enables it to trap bubbles and keep them from bursting. I've no first-hand experience with this, but I'll take it as a valid caution; Charlie knows his stuff. The original (1987) article says to use 75-100 fruits. That will seem like a lot. (It IS a lot!) You can make it with considerably less...but do keep in mind that the taste is subtle. --- Dick Dunn rcd at raven.eklektix.com -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado Return to table of contents
Date: 29 Nov 91 14:36:21 MST (Fri) From: rcd at raven.eklektix.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: Zymurgy index? While digging through several years of old Zymurgy trying to find the article on prickly pear mead, I started wondering about an index. There used to be an index available from AHA, but I don't see it on any of the order forms any more. It wasn't a very good index anyway, but the info it contained might serve as a start for creating a good index. Anyone know if there IS a good index to Zymurgy? Barring that, anyone interested in trying to put one together? If so, let me know; I'll coordinate it. --- Dick Dunn rcd at raven.eklektix.com -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1991 12:39:06 -0700 From: hpfcmr.fc.hp.com!hplabs!bnr-vpa!bnr-rsc!crick (Bill Crick) Subject: Bitter at bottle, Evaporation, bottles,cases In response to a few recent inquiries: Adding Bitterness at bottling: About trying to add bitterness at bottling by boiling hops in water. I don't think this will work. The bittering resins have limited solubility in water. In wort they bond to something in the wort. I think it is some of the protiens. You may try hop extracts, but I believe these add more aroma, flavour, not bitterness. I'v enever tried them. All grain evaporation during boil: Someone asked about having to boil off a quart of water on all grain beers. It is more like a gallon! Reducing water is difficult. If you are doing an infusion mash, you can reduce the water a bit by adding heat, or adding hotter infusions, but if you go too far, the mash is too thick, and difficult to work with. If you reduce the sparge water much, you reduce your extract, and throw good fermentables out with the spent grain. Its hard to get less than 6 gallons of water for any brew with a reaonable gravity. This means boiling off at least one gallon! Yes that is a lot of humidity! It gets pretty steamy when we boil an all grain beer. Bottles: For those of you who like (and know what they are), you can still get stubbies by buying Jamacian "Red Stripe" beer at the booze shop. They only come in sixpacks;-( Stubbies are the short fat "ex-standard Canadian beer bottles". At one time, all Canadian beer from all breweries came in the same standard, compact bottle. Then some idiot decided that the way to gain market share was to make a unique bottle, and go on a huge ad campaign explaining that the beer was better because the bottle was a different shape, and that the size of your penis was directly related to the height of your beer bottle, and that you'd never get laid drinking from a short bottle. That's progress! Canadians don't drink beer, they drink Advertising! Not to be outdone, they all abandoned the standard! I like stubbies because they store more densely. I have a place where I can stack 7 cases of stubbies where only 3.75 cases of those at #$%&$^ing long neck abortions will fit! The .75 of a case always goes flat after i smash the top part of the necks off of the bottles;-) Cases: My main problem with my stubbies is that the cardboard cases are falling apart, and the new cases are too tall, and too slim for them. Anyone know where I can get new cases? Cardboard would do, but I'd really like to get some plastic cases. Cara-Pale malt: What is it? Is it the same as Cara-Pils? Cheers: Bill Crick Brewius, Ergo Santa! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 91 20:09:56 MST From: dworkin at habitrail.Solbourne.COM (Dieter Muller) Subject: wooden casks I'm fond of mead, which implies being a brewer of it, in this part of the world. I'm also a member of the SCA. As a result, I'd like to take some of my results to various SCA events. However, bottles aren't real medieval-looking, and a stainless steel soda keg (assuming I had one) is even less so. So, I've been looking for small wooden casks to put my mead into. I've even (finally!) found a source for them. However, it turns out I have to make a decision: do I want paraffin-lined, charred, or unlined? I'm pretty sure I don't want the charred casks, since that'll add all sorts of odd flavours. The impression from the catalog was that the unlined might not be liquid-proof. However, I believe paraffin is fat/oil-based. Alcohol, if I remember my organic chemistry from many moons ago correctly, is something of a solvent for fat/oil-based substances. So, if I get paraffin-lined casks, is the lining going to dissolve into the mead? That wouldn't be a particularly positive state of affairs. Of course, all this assumes I can figure out how to make a decent- tasting still mead.... Dworkin Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 91 20:15:47 MST From: dworkin at habitrail.Solbourne.COM (Dieter Muller) Subject: avoiding light-struck beer Now, as I understand it, the problem with light-struck beer is that light (flourescent, incandescent, or solar) is allowed access to the brew through less-than-opaque bottles. This has the potential of turning a perfectly good brew into something completely non-potable. Apparently this has even happened at competitions, a truly irritating event for the poor brewer involved, if it wasn't his/her/its mishandling that caused the exposure. So, my question is, why not make the bottles opaque? A good layer of paint, or glueing on foil or heavy paper should do the trick. I'm afraid I don't see the problem from the homebrewer's point of view. I fully understand that this doesn't address the problem with respect to commercial brewers, but then, that's not our problem (by definition of the domain of discourse -- this being the HOMEBREW Digest). I'm obviously missing something here.... Dworkin "My son was dating a demon?" "Don't be prejudiced. He'd done a lot worse his freshman year." dworkin at solbourne.com Flamer's Hotline: (303) 678-4624 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 91 20:34:14 PST From: dbell at cup.portal.com Subject: Re: Baker's Malt Extract Back on 11/19, Grant Basham <grant at oj.rsmas.miami.edu> asked about using bakers malt extract... >The local Baker's Supply house sells malt extract in 60# tins >for about $38. This is a BUNCH cheaper than other sources of >malt extract. Any of you non-purist out there know what is in this >stuff. They won't read me a lable over the phone. >Anyone ever tried it? I haven't tried it, but have been standing by anxiously awaiting a response! Have I missed one, or has nobody come up with an answer? This sounds like a real boon to <cheap> extract brewers... Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 91 14:19 PST From: Bob_Konigsberg at 3mail.3com.com Subject: Cost of Kegs To respond to all, I called the local Anheuser-Busch distributor, and the Anchor Brewing Company, and was told that 1) The actual cost of the kegs is about $100, 2) they legally remain (and should be so stamped) as being the property of the brewery, and 3) In some cases of flagrant violation, the brewery has taken legal action against the possesors of these kegs. They also said that homebrewers are not the only people who take and use them. I also called the local Anheuser-Busch office and brewery to ask about purchase of these kegs and was told that they do sell the old style used kegs, the Golden Gate style, but they have only a few, since microbreweries buy them up. These are the rounded side ones. For further information contact Virgil Cox (Anheuser-Busch St. Louis) at (314) 577-2000. As far as manufacturers of kegs go, Hoover Universal usually only makes them to order 40K to 50K per batch, and occasionally has extras, but nothing you can count on. Their phone number is (402) 223-2324. They will entertain orders for about 100 as a minimim, and then only after a large production run. Call Mike Ryan at Hoover. Spartanburg Steel Products in South Carolina will sell a generic keg to individuals. Prices are $125 for a 15 gallon 1/2 keg in stainless steel, $100 for a 7.5 gallon quarter keg or $95 for a 50 liter (about 13+ gallons) poly keg. Call (803) 585-5211 and ask for Linda. There is also an outfit called Tosca in Green Bay Wisconsin 701 Bay Beach Rd. Phone # (414) 465-8534 which will re-condition used kegs. Cheers, BobK Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 91 11:17:43 -0800 From: mcnally at Pa.dec.com Subject: free advice for Jack Here are some comments on Jack's EASYMASH process, for which I expect from him no compensation whatsoever. No mention is made of the pH of the mash. Where Jack lives, the water chemistry must be appropriate to the type of brewing Jack does. Some, however, might live in places with different water chemistry, and these individuals might be disappointed that they don't get results as good as Jack. The materials for dealing with water chemmistry are cheap (pH papers, some gypsum, some calcium carbonate) and the effort is minor. Though it is true that undermodified lager malt is better handled by decoction, much modern American malt and certainly British ale-style malt is quite well modified. The single-step infusion spurned by Jack is in fact used by most British brewers and many commercial brewers of lagers in America and on the continent. If, however, Jack uses very hot sparge water, he probably is better served by decoction. Jack contradicts himself when he states first that the object of the sparge is the removal of as much sugar as possible, and then a few sentences later instructing the budding masher to stop sparging when the gravity falls to about 10. Perhaps mention mught be made of the reasons for stopping at that point, lest an over-eager masher might continue to sparge and leach unwanted tannins out of the grain. - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mike McNally mcnally at wsl.dec.com Digital Equipment Corporation Western Software Lab Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 91 19:00 MTS From: Chuck Coronella <CORONELLRJDS at CHE.UTAH.EDU> Subject: Cyser Recipe??? Greetings!! I hope everyone (in the US, that is) had a festive Thanksgiving with plenty of bird and brew. I want to make a cyser, that is, a mead with with some apple cider. Although I've never made any kind of mead before, I've looked through all my books and through the Cat's Meow to learn about the secrets of mead making. (Actually, I've been saving posts regarding meads for quite a while, now.;-) Unfortunately, I found only 1 recipe for cyser. Maybe I should break down and get a book on mead. So I want to ask a few questions of anyone with experience making a cyser. (Get ready for a long series of questions.) 1. Is apple juice as good as apple cider for a cyser? It seems like apple cider is kind of hard to find around here. Could I use fresh apples? How, what kind, how much? 2. Is a sweet mead, with more than 3 # honey per gallon, most appropriate? If not, what is the <optimal> amount of honey per gallon? 3. What spices/herbs blend well in a cyser? Cinnamon, ginger, tea, hops, orange peel? 4. Does an ale yeast work well? 5. Are acid blend and yeast nutrient necessary ingredients? Obviously, I'm asking oodles of questions, but I want my first dabble into the ancient art of mead making to be a success. I feel inspired by the two guys listed in the most recent Zymurgy, who won the "Mead Maker of the year" award, (or some such title,) based on their first attempt at a mead!!! Thanks for all your help, Chuck Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 1991 17:42 CST From: Kit Irelan <CCI1874%TNTECH.bitnet at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> cancel Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 91 20:32:39 MST From: dworkin at habitrail.Solbourne.COM (Dieter Muller) Subject: mead yeast - continued The general gist of recent e-mail, as typified by Mike Zentner (zentner at ecn.purdue.edu): : I guess I'd have to ask, what is it that you found undrinkable about : your meads, and what are you using as a guide for "brewing" them? I : may be better able to tell what might be going wrong for you. Guide? What guide? Brewing's like cooking -- you look at what you have available, eliminate the obvious incompatibilities (like, say, vinegar and baking soda), and see what you can produce with what's left. ;-) The basic recipe I used was: 3 pounds (aka 1 quart) of unpasteurized honey 2 1/2 gallons charcoal-filtered tap water 1 packet of champagne yeast (Red Star, probably, it's been several months) Since the honey has been kept in the refrigerator, I used the microwave to return it to the liquid state. The water was somewhat above room temperature, mainly to assist in dissolving the honey. No boiling was done (re: discussions several months about the anti-bacterial qualities of honey, recently refuted). The yeast was dissolved into some warm water filtered as above. Once I got everything dissolved, I siphoned from the large kettle/pot into my fermenter (one of those collapsible plastic jerry-can ones), tossed in the yeast, and stuck the airlock on. Months pass (about four, actually). The mead has tasted reasonably OK during fermentation, though not quite what I was aiming at. The final product has a definite harshness. Unfortunately, it's kind of hard to describe. Following a suggestion from Dick Dunn, I tried adding a bit of sugar to a glass, and it reduced the harshness a fair amount. However, after doing that I have a slightly harsh, otherwise nearly flavourless drink. This is not quite what I'd had in mind.... To see if the problem is repeatable, I've started another batch. It's been going for about two months now. The only difference in the process was adding some spices -- nutmeg, clove, and (I think) ginger. The samples are tasting very similarly to what the first batch was like, modulo the spices (which are certainly contributing towards getting a flavour/odor closer to what I was expecting). After reflection on recent notes to the list and private e-mail, some courses of action I'm going to try are (in no particular order): - use glass fermenters - use a non-plastic storage after fermentation (hence my questions about wooden casks) - use a less-attenuative yeast I suspect that changing yeast will have a lot to do with getting closer to my goal of a sweet still mead. Any suggestions on other things to try, or a better order of trying the things above? Thanks. Dworkin Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #772, 12/02/91 ************************************* -------
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