HOMEBREW Digest #79 Thu 16 February 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  sourness (David Baer)
  RE:  Wanted Malt Extract Recipes ("MISVX1::HABERMAND")
  bacteria, yeast settling (jhersh)
  Lagering, aging, Irish moss taste (is there any?) (Jim McCrae)
  (2): Sour and Aging (florianb)
  re: Clarification after bottling (Darryl Richman)
  Re:  Homebrew Digest #77 (February 14, 1989) (Paul Perlmutter)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 16 Feb 89 08:00:28 PST From: dsbaer at Sun.COM (David Baer) Subject: sourness in response to Tom Nolans concerns about sour flavors in his home brew: Have you tried using a different yeast. Specifically have you tried using liquid yeast? Second, do you ferment in plastic? Possibly you have some nasty living in your plastic fermentor, switch to a 7 gallon glass carboy or buy a new primary and then becomea fanatic about sterilization. If you do use a plastic primary, use it for beer only, don't put anything in it that could scratch the plastic. I recommend using plastic for soaking bottles and nothing else. Trying to be helpful, Dave Baer Return to table of contents
Date: 16 Feb 89 08:35:00 PST From: "MISVX1::HABERMAND" <habermand%misvx1.decnet at afrpl-vax.ARPA> Subject: RE: Wanted Malt Extract Recipes J. Wayne Boyer says: > I am looking for some good malt extract recipies. Specifically, > recipies for porters, sweet stouts (like Mackeson) and Barley Wines > (like Old Nick). I have Papazian's book on home brewing, but the I just joined the AHA and ordered some back issues of Zymurgy magazine. One of them was the special 1986 - All Extract issue. All the recipes are from extracts and some contain other grains as adjuncts for flavor and color. It has several recipes for Lagers, Ales, Porters, Stouts, Meades, Barley Wines (Anchor's Old Foghorn is mentioned.), and other specialty beers. David ------ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 89 11:47:15 est From: jhersh at rdrc.rpi.edu Subject: bacteria, yeast settling hello, To the person who asked about coliform bacteria. I reference the article on Yeast by John Piesley and Tomas Lom of Molson Breweries which is found in The Practical Brewer published by the Master Brewers Assoc. of America, Madison Wisconsin. "[coliform] can be dangerous spoilage organisms when wort has been stored unpitched..... they develop quite rapidly wth production of celery-like or phenolic odors. They cannot grow in beer due to its low pH." I would say let it ferment and see what it smells like at bottling time, you can always throw it out later but it may be that your yeast will starve out the E. coli. To the person with the sourness problem. You also said something about excess carbonation. That sounds like bacterial contamination at bottling time. Check you bottling procedure. This sounds like it may be due to one of the various lactic acid bacteria which can grow in beer. Is this sourness present in your green beer before you bottle it?? Are you sure it is sourness?? Depending upon your perceptual ability (which develops with brewing skills and training) you might possibly be confusing it with another taste, say excess bitterness. If you know someone who has had some judging experience you might have them try to diagnose your problem. Regarding aging. The only beers I have made that have aged well are those that were way too bitter. Typically any ales I have made have always been best when consumed within the first three months. I find that my beers get pretty clear in the carbouy before they are bottled. Usually it takes only 3 - 5 days for any yeast stirred up during bottling to settle in the bottles. If you're having long periods where your yeast remains suspended in the bottle you're either bottling too early or your yeast has poor flocculating properties and you should change yeasts. Beer is a product of living organisms, it is subject to spoilage by bacteria and flavor changes due to yeast decay. Only high alcohol beers tend to retard spoilage because of the alcohol content. aging helps the alcohol mellow the way wines and other high alcohol beverages do. Most beers though have too low an alcohol content to remain insusceptible to oxidation or bacterial damage, especially with long aging. I still hold therefore that you should drink your beers fresh, after all you can always brew a new bacth when it is gone, but can't drink an old batch when it has gone bad. - jay h Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 89 09:53:59 PST From: unet!mccrae!jimmc at Sun.COM (Jim McCrae) Subject: Lagering, aging, Irish moss taste (is there any?) I posted a query on extract lagering recently and received several helpful replies. Thanks all, particularly the two hour link to North Carolina. A quick update; others thinking of doing a real lager from extract may find this helpful. I used Vierka dried lager yeast, 2 packets/5 gallons. I started the yeast at ~60-65F, pitched at ~55F. Once there were signs of fermentation at 55F (in one day), I moved the fermenter into a 43F fridge. Fermentation took ten days to complete. The fridge stayed at 43F the entire time. There was no thick surface krausen as with ales, just lots of delicate little bubbles. I racked to a glass secondary last night and returned it to the fridge for 1-2 months. It tasted great, very clean for brew right out of a primary. The moral of the story is: it can be done. Has anyone ever noticed a residual taste from Irish moss? I added 1/2 teaspoon Irish moss to the boiling wort for the first time. I did detect a faint taste that I couldn't identify. It tasted like it might be from the moss. It was something that concerned me when I added it. The taste may be from the three stage hopping I used, with Tettnanger at zero minus ten and Saaz at the last minute. Whatever it is it will have mellowed out by the end of secondary, I'm sure. Which brings us to aging. My intermediate-level experience is: let that stuff age for at least two months from primary to first taste. Longer is better. My brew always improves over time. By the last bottle I usually wish I had let the entire batch sit for four months. I suspect a lot of homebrew press is concerned with convincing the novice of how easy and quick it is to make beer, so they stress that you CAN drink your brew after some minimum period. But letting beer sit is free, right? One of my earliest batches was a half corn sugar affair that I was pretty unhappy with. I gave up brewing after a few of these (I didn't know about all-extract brewing yet). When I was moving a couple of years later, I found a six pack that I'd forgotten. The beer had turned into a very tasty ale. So let it sit. It'll still be there tomorrow. Return to table of contents
Date: 16 Feb 89 08:28:13 PST (Thu) From: florianb%tekred.cna.tek.com at RELAY.CS.NET Subject: (2): Sour and Aging In HD #78, NOLAN%LHEAVX.SPAN at STAR.STANFORD.EDU inquires about brewing from extract kits, and the sour flavor produced in the process. I can comment that I too have obtained this flavor in extract processes, but only when I used corn sugar, and every time I used corn sugar to supplement the extract. There have been about a zillion words written in this forum, in rec.food.drink, and in beer books about this subject. I think it is clear that corn sugar produces a taste which can be described as "dry", "cidery", and "sour", to different extents. May I recommend to "NOLAN" that double malting be tried, if not already. The sanitation practices seem to be satisfactory. Also, check the water-- don't use cold water in the fermenter. Next, palladin at moore.seas.upenn.edu (Joseph Palladino) inquires about aging. I agree with his observations that aging improves the ale, at least, beyond the initial couple of months. I have a nut brown ale that is about seven months old at this time, and it is better than it was at five months. All my other ales appear to improve beyond the three to four month aging. I think that the idea of overaging (deterioration with age) is all blown out of proportion. Proper care of the beer (and relaxation) should obviate this kind of fear. Cheers! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 89 07:04:35 PST From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: Clarification after bottling In the Feb 15 digest, florianb%tekred.cna.tek.com at RELAY.CS.NET wrote: "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! Consider the depth of beer that the yeast must fall through in order for the beer to clear. This is clearly (ahem) much shorter in a bottle than your fermenter. By bottling you are effectively racking into a very short, wide carboy. Other haze products that might drop out have to fall through the depth of the beer as well. "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? The advantage of dry malt or syrup over mashed grain is the convenience. Although I'm only doing all-grain, I use dry extract for yeast starters because of the convenience. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 89 22:25:54 mst From: Paul Perlmutter <paul at hppaul> Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #77 (February 14, 1989) I recently purchased a "Cooper's Bitters" brewing kit. I couldn't resist the price at $5.99 a kit! It makes 3.5 gallons. I mixed up the batch as described in the instructions, with one exception: the night before I started the yeast (because I heard rumors that the Cooper's yeast is a slow starter). I mixed up a cup of dry powdered malt, some sugar in a small jar and pitched the yeast when the mixture cooled. I was very cautious about sterizing everything, and covered the jar tightly with SaranWrap. The next morning the mixture had foamed (i.e. a froth was on top) and I assumed the yeast was off to a good start. Not so. I mixed up the batch in a plastic fermenter, pitched the starter and THREE! days later no CO2 was coming out! So this afternoon I removed the cover and peeked inside ... there was a lot of froth, so I stirred it. (By the way, I tasted the wort, and it tasted fine). I then replaced the top. A few hours later, CO2 is coming out strongly. What happened? It appears to me (the naive brewmaster) that the stirring was a strong catalyst to activating the CO2 production. Is stirring valuable? I sure didn't want to remove the cover for fear of contamination, but in retrospect, I think I did the right thing. Paul Perlmutter Return to table of contents
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