HOMEBREW Digest #78 Wed 15 February 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Mex. beer, lemons, flop cider (mhalley)
  Re: Apple Cider Disaster (Dr. T. Andrews)
  re: rec.food.drink +... (Darryl Richman)
  possible coliform infection ("Allen J. Hainer")
  Sourness (NOLAN)
  Thanks and Time (Joseph Palladino)
  Clarification after bottling (florianb)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 14 Feb 89 15:38 -0330 From: <mhalley%MUN.BITNET at CORNELLC.ccs.cornell.edu> Subject: Mex. beer, lemons, flop cider 1] First off, I'm glad somebody came back with some of the good Mexican darks. What about Indio (my personal fave), which is rather like a porter, but not quite as sweet? 2] The theory of wiping the dust off beer-can tops with a chunk of lime (or lemon) and then discarding it is rather interesting, especially to a folklorist like me. However, my beer-drinking career began in the days when ALL beer cans had to be opened with a "church-key" and I was raised in California on walnut and citrus ranches and in the barrios. At that point, ONLY Tecate was imbibed with lemon (ALWAYS lemon, NEVER lime), although Carta Blanca and Mexicali both came in cans as well. It was a ritual as structured as that surrounding the "shooting" of tequila, and went as follows: open the can of Tecate; squeeze lemon juice onto the can top until it almost reaches the top of the rim; salt the can top lightly; drink the beer THROUGH the salted lemon juice, attempting to make it last till the end of the can. On a hot day, after a full day in the orchards, that tasted awfully good -- though I'll admit Tecate on its own is NOT one of the best. 3] To the gent who flopped his cider -- you can't really rejuvenate it as CIDER at this point, BUT.... Go back through the past issues of this hotline (or come back to me personally through email) and get my recipe for melomel. Use your dud cider mixed with fresh sweet cider (in almost any proportions, but the sweet is to enhance flavour, NOT to allow fermentation -- the honey takes care of that). As long as the dud stuff is just blah and hasn't "vinegared", you still have a chance of producing an entirely drinkable and quite enjoyable result. 4] Courage will out! I just started my SECOND batch of Geordie Scottish Export. If it's as good as the first, I'll be delighted. Are Geordie products available anywhere in the States, especially California or Maine? At any rate, our visiting prof from Sheffield UK said the first batch actually tasted like BEER, which was a refreshing change. The archivist, who has brewed in the past, but had stopped, said tasting mine was so good it had inspired him to resume brewing. My good buddy brewer and beer mentor tried mixing some of mine which had been opened and gone flat with some of his (lighter) that was heavily carbonated and we both applauded the result. My gentleman friend was MUCH impressed, as he particularly likes dark beers, and a female colleague from Scotland (who likes "beverages" almost as much as I) said that anytime I wanted to offer her a pint, SHE'D buy the pizza to go with it. I think that says a LOT for your combined support and assistance in my virgin effort. Upward and onward. Warmth to all, and a Happy Valentine's Day! -Ye Olde Batte Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 89 7:10:05 EST From: Dr. T. Andrews <tanner at ki4pv> Subject: Re: Apple Cider Disaster ) "flat, almost tasteless liquid" [resulting from apple juice and ) champagne yeast after some months] It has been rather a while since I was involved with cider production, much to my regret. A real long time. My memory serves more or less; the most vivid memory is opening a bottle and having the top shoot across the back yard in Nashville. Our technique was admittedly crude: take apple juice (unfiltered) and some sugar, and yeast. We allowed it to sit for a week or so in the plastic fermentation vessel, and then bottled it. It was still active, I think. We just waited another week or so, and enjoyed the results. I think I'll write to one of the other parties involved and see if more specifics can be obtained. I'm sure there was no period of months before drinking the stuff. I don't recall that the stuff lasted very long after we started opening bottles, either! Alcohol content was fairly modest, especially in the early bottles. Dr. T. Andrews, Systems CompuData, Inc. DeLand Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 89 06:30:25 PST From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: rec.food.drink +... From: a.e.mossberg <aem at mthvax.miami.edu> "I think one thing we might do is to create a set of standard mailings for "new members to the mailing list -- such as a basic how and why to homebrew. "A teaser for it could periodically be posted to rec.food.drink. This idea has been floating around this digest for a while. I've got half an article written and I believe that there are a couple more people who are at a similar point. The why part is a lot easier than how: where do you want to compromise in explaining HOW in order to make it brief and to make it sound doable. (I find that a big problem getting people interested in any new phase of the hobby, including starting up, is that it takes so much verbage to describe what turns out to be a fairly simple procedure.) If you want to give it a shot, I'll send you what I have and you can hack it as you see fit. It IS a good idea, if someone will pick it up and run with it. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 89 13:29:25 EST From: "Allen J. Hainer" <ajhainer at violet.waterloo.edu> Subject: possible coliform infection Help! Last night I wracked my wort. Everything was sterilized and the water I added was boiled, but I rinsed the carboy with tapwater. This morning I woke up to here on the news that Waterloo water should be boiled before drinking because of high coliform counts. Can coliform survive in alcohol? Should I throw everything out? A. J. Hainer ajhainer at violet.waterloo.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed 15 Feb 89 10:26:46-PST From: NOLAN%LHEAVX.SPAN at STAR.STANFORD.EDU Subject: Sourness I have been brewing from extract kits for a couple of years on and off, something like 15 batches. I'm sold on the concept, but disappointed in the results. My problem is that everything I brew has a certain off-taste, which I can best describe as "sour". In the good batches, it is only an odor, but in the lousy batches it is a dominant flavor. It may be associated with excessive foaminess in the bottle (statistics are sparse). Figuring this for an infection, I have taken several steps: - Become fanatic about sterilization (I use clorox solution, rubber gloves, boil non-meltables, boiled and cooled water, no dry hopping, prime with boiled corn sugar syrup; - Reduced everything to as simple a procedure as possible (no specialty grains, 1-stage ferment, dry yeast) - I realize I'm sacrificing taste, but I'm trying to isolate the problem; - Tried changing the venue several times (three locations in two houses); But the problem remains. I've never had anybody's homebrew but mine, so I don't have a wide range of tasting experience. Am I missing something? Or do extract brews just taste like this normally? I'd appreciate any advice. Tom Nolan, LHEAVX::NOLAN (SPAN) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 89 14:00:06 EST From: palladin at moore.seas.upenn.edu (Joseph Palladino) Subject: Thanks and Time First a hearty thanks to everyone who took time to respond to my grousing about extract Pale Ales. Second, I am quite surprised that homebrewing books, especially those oriented toward novices, don't emphasize the importance of allowing your brew to age before drinking. In fact, many state that homebrews need to be drunk young. The point is, an IPA I brewed on New Year's day was very bitter and still yeasty two or three weeks after bottling. I took the advise of one respondent (Len Reed?) and went to a homebrewing club meeting with a couple of bottles to get other brewers' advice on what went wrong. To my surprise the damn stuff tasted great! The bitterness was just right (assertive) and the crystal and toasted malt flavors came through. In retrospect, it seems that the first batch of ale I brewed with a kit was probably so good, in part, since it was aged about 5 months. My beers seem to get smoother with age and even just plain ales don't show any signs of deterioration after many months. If anything, they may get a little drier. What is the general consensus on aging? Lastly, I want to make a lager with two stage fermentation. I have one glass carboy and two plastic fermenters. I like to use the carboy/blowoff method for primary, but I also want to use the carboy for secondary. If I primary in the carboy, siphon into a sanitized plastic bucket, snap on a lid, resanitize the carboy and then siphon back will I be risking infection to a great degree? I will, of course, siphon without aerating the wort. Thanks, Joe Return to table of contents
Date: 15 Feb 89 08:31:27 PST (Wed) From: florianb%tekred.cna.tek.com at RELAY.CS.NET Subject: Clarification after bottling Two questions: Does anyone know the mechanism whereby brews clear up after bottling? How do the yeasties suddlenly know that they have been sealed up and can now relax? Is it due to the presence of pressure? It doesn't seem to be the lack of something to chew on, since the brew will sit in a carboy for weeks without clearing, even after the sg as dropped to terminal. Is it really the yeasties and not something else dropping out of suspension? Please clarify this question for me! What are the advantages of using dry malt extract over extract syrup? When should one use dry extract in a general sense, as opposed to using it when a recipe calls for it? Are there any advantages to using it instead of a portion of freshly mashed grain? Is there a reference somewhere that discusses this topic? Thanks and cheers. Return to table of contents
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