HOMEBREW Digest #832 Thu 27 February 1992

Digest #831 Digest #833

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Nuts in beer (Jan Isley)
  electric stovetop problem (Dick Dunn)
  Re: Homebrew Digest #829 (February 21, 1992) ("David J. Fiander")
  Hop growing (Daniel Roman)
  galena hops (Russ Gelinas)
  first batch ("richard t. barrett")
  Re: Invert sugar et al (Norm Pyle)
  Magic bottling wand (Paul Yatrou)
  CO2, pumps, lemon tastes and frig temps. (Bob Jones)
  Another blow-off question / digital thermometers? (Rich Lenihan)
  Electric Stoves, Dry Hopping (John Hartman)
  beer gone bad (sherwood)
  disclaimer (ZLPAJGN)
  Boiling on an electric stove (insulation) (Don Reid)
  Re: Yeast in the Secondary for a Framboise (Bob Devine  25-Feb-1992 1217)
  Electric Stoves & Propane (chris campanelli)
  blowoff/trub, Student's t, experiments (Marty Shearer)
  Blowoff/Trub, Student's t, Experiments
  Dave Line, invert sugar & saccharin (Tony Quince)
  Re: Foil under burner ("MR. DAVID HABERMAN")
  Hops, ginger, and heating elements (Tom Dimock)
  WYEAST BULLETIN--read this! (Jeff Frane)
  Kolsch vs Alt (Norm Hardy)
  Hard Cider (Shawn M Bilodeau)
  HBD down through history (krweiss)
  Lemons, ("Rad Equipment")
  Lemons,                               Time:8:36 AM     Date:2/25/92
  Kegging my first batch. (T2R)
  Malto-dextrin (GL862529)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 24 Feb 92 20:05:55 EST From: bagend!jan at gatech.edu (Jan Isley) Subject: Nuts in beer > From: Lee J. Slezak <slezakl at atlantis.CS.ORST.EDU> > Subject: Results of Hazel-Nuts in Beer > Most people seemed to think that due to the oils in the nuts that > I would have a problem with head retention. I did not think to test this with my almond beer because barbarian that I am, I drank them from the bottle. > Well I had no problem with head retention, but there was very > little if any of a hazel-nut like taste. It may have been a placebo effect, but I think in my brew, bottles with almonds in them tasted nuttier than those without. I put 3 almonds in each of 12 bottles in a 5 gallon batch of light brown ale. Finding an almond in the bottom of your bottle is tastier than finding a worm. :) - -- Do not suffer the company of fools || Jan Isley ...!gatech!bagend!jan Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha || jan at bagend.uucp (404)434-1335 Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Feb 92 03:25:35 MST (Tue) From: rcd at raven.eklektix.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: electric stovetop problem There is one definite problem I've seen with brewing on an electric stovetop with a big kettle: If the burner isn't flat enough (or pliable enough in the right direction) to be in good contact with the bottom of the kettle, it builds up way too much heat. Other folks have already noted this phenomenon; what I've seen that I haven't seen described is that you can get enough heat to take the temper out of the trivet-like metal widget which holds up the burner. It gets tired and sags, which gives less support to the burner element, which means it makes poorer contact with the bottom of the brewpot...[positive feedback loop on negative effect] I don't have the problem; I have a gas (sic) brewing...but I have seen this effect of destroying electric burners. --- Dick Dunn rcd at raven.eklektix.com -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado ...Simpler is better. Return to table of contents
---------- Date: Mon, 24 Feb 92 19:59:55 -0500 From: "David J. Fiander" <hpfcla.fc.hp.com!golem!davidf> Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #829 (February 21, 1992) >From: >Subject: 160 British Beers > >Des-- >Although I don't own Line or Harrison, I've read that Line's recipes >include many ingredients that we here in the states have great difficulty >in purchasing, for example Golden Syrup, Demerara Sugar and Invert Sugar. I think you picked the wrong examples (at least for the neighbourhood _I_ live in). Golden syrup is Corn Syrup, and Demerara Sugar can be found in the baking supplies section of the local chain grocery store. I would have some difficulty finding liquid invert, however. So if you have any problems finding ingredients, just do a little cross border shopping in Canada. - David Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 09:25:22 EST From: tix!roman at uunet.UU.NET (Daniel Roman) Subject: Hop growing I had a terrible experience last year attempting to grow hops. I bought some cuttings from an outfit in Oregon and when they arrived by UPS ground I immediately opened the box and stuck them in the ground. They looked kind of dried out and I was not relaxing. I waited weeks and nothing. I finally dug them up and all four were dead. Anybody know of a place on the east coast where I could buy some cuttings so that they would not have as much a chance of drying out before I get them? Anybody want to sell me some cuttings of their own? It's either that or try the same place again (they promised to "take care of me" because of what happened last year) except maybe have them next day air them at great expense. _____________________________________________________________________ Dan Roman Bergenfield, NJ Internet: roman_d at timplex.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1992 10:20:26 -0500 (EST) From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: galena hops Catamount Brewery Co. in VT uses Galena hops in a couple of their beers. I'm not sure which ones, but I seem to remember the Porter might be one. I think they're normally used as a more-or-less generic bittering hops. I was once asked if I had any connection to Galena hops. I don't. Russ *Gelinas* (close, but no cigar) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 10:17:15 EST From: "richard t. barrett" <RBARRETT at uga.cc.uga.edu> Subject: first batch hello: First I just wanted to thank everyone that sent me info on the '.Z' compressed files. Secondly, I would like to discuss my first batch of homebrew and get any commen ts on the way that I may improve.(Techniques, Ingredients..etc.) The technique that I used was by taking a can of M&F hopped malt extract(pilsne r), added it to 1.5 gal of H2O with corn sugar and brought this to a boil for 30-60 min. I then poured the wort into a 7 gal pail with 3.5 gal of cold water . I let it sit until it cooled to room temp and then put the yeast in.(RED STA R ALE). I put the lid on with the ferm. lock and let sit for 7 days. afterwar ds I mixed 3/4 cup dextrose with the 5 gal. batch bottled and let sit for 2 - 2 1/2 weeks. I refrigerated a few bottles and drank. It tasted weak and had a sweet-sour taste. It was well carbonated and had a big foamy head. Now if any of you could make some suggestions about my technique (pros and cons) and maybe diff. yeast and ingredients, it would be very helpful for my next go 'round. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 08:05:55 MST From: pyle at intellistor.com (Norm Pyle) Subject: Re: Invert sugar et al Desmond Mottram writes: >Golden Syrup? Don't you have *any* form of sugar syrup or cane syrup in >the States? What about Maple syrup, has anyone tried that? It won't taste >the same, but nor do different brands of golden syrup here. > >As for Demarara Sugar: molasses is *much* stronger flavoured, so you would >only want tiny amounts, 4oz or less, plus white sugar to make up the weight. >We have several varieties of brown sugar here, ranging from very light and >mild to very dark and strong flavoured. Line does not make it clear which >to use so experimentation is necessary, but that's part of the fun :-) Actually, there are many types and flavors of sugars and syrups here (read: we're not *totally* uncivilized) 8-). I can think of about a half dozen different types of dark and light sugars and syrups, but I don't know how they relate to Golden and Demarara. To quote an old movie: "What we have here, is a failure to communicate". and... Perhaps a supplement explaining what ingredients to substitute, unless someone *wants* to try to re-duplicate all known British beers - could be fun trying. You've hit the nail on the head. Ideally, some homebrewer who's lived in both the UK and the US for a few years would volunteer. Maybe a tall order but this person could do us all a great service. Cheers! Norm Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1992 11:59:55 -0500 (EST) From: YATROU at INRS-TELECOM.UQUEBEC.CA (Paul Yatrou) Subject: Magic bottling wand A couple of you were wondering about the use of bottling wands. Well there's a new magic bottling wand around (at least in my part of the world). I just used it recently to bottle a couple of batches and it works like a charm! It works along the lines of the spring-loaded bottling wand but *without* the spring. The idea is to let gravity close the valve instead of the force of a spring. The advantage is that you don't have to keep the tube pressed down inside the bottle you are filling but just let it rest there --- the valve will open. In the mean time you can cap the previous bottle while it's filling. When finished you simply pick up the tube and VOILA ... gravity closes the valve. If you think there's too much headspace you simply nudge the valve open on the inside of the bottle's neck to get a little more beer in there. Another nice thing about this wand is that it doesn't foam as much as the spring loaded one and it *doesn't* leak. Also if, in the middle of bottling, you want to stop the flow for a while (to answer the phone, put out a fire, open a bottle of homebrew, etc...) just clamp the wand with a clothes pin so that it rests inside the bottle without touching bottom -- gravity will close the valve. Now, that's some *gadget*. **Standard Disclaimer**: NO, I won't be making a million bucks out of this post; just thought I'd pass on the info. In fact I can't even remember the name of the dang thing. I'll find out what it's called and post it later. (BTW It's *not* PHils Philer either). Paul Yatrou. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1992 10:20 PDT From: Bob Jones <BJONES at NOVA.llnl.gov> Subject: CO2, pumps, lemon tastes and frig temps. I few random answers to recent questions : Keith Winter ask about the CO2 charts. These pressure/temps are for a saturated solution. So you apply the specified CO2 at the measured temp and shake, shake until no more CO2 goes into solution. This gives one the specified volumes of CO2 desired for a particular style beer. Now dispensing is a whole different topic, I am still learning in this area. DRCV006::Graham ask about pumps. I use, and recommend a magnetic drive pump. These are sold by several manufacturers. Little giant has a wide range of models for our purposes. Grangers is a good source for a local distributor. Jeff Rickel ask about lemon tastes in beer. Most bacteria are acid producers, Lactobacillus, pediococcus and acetobacter are all acidic acid producers. I would expect you have a very infected beer. Microscopic examination or gram staining would identify. Your nose is probably the best instrument for analysis you have and it worked. Now move on to the source of the bacterial infection. A few people have ask about modifying a frig. for better temp control. On most frigs, you can look closely at the thermostat and find a small hole for calibrating the thermostat. Pull the knob and look closely. You will see a small hole with a set screw behind it. Turn this tiny set screw one direction until the compressor kicks on. Now you know the other direction is warmer(usually the direction you want). Keep track of your turns(in case the experiments don't work) and monitor the frig temp everyday until you get the temp you want. Some thermostats still don't have enough range to get to the desired temp. In that case you need an external temp control. Happy Brewing, Bob Jones Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 92 18:08:15 EST From: rich at bedford.progress.COM (Rich Lenihan) Subject: Another blow-off question / digital thermometers? The recent "to blow-off or not to blow-off" debate has made me wonder if the answer to this question isn't dependent on the type of yeast being used. Except for my last batch, I have used a blow-off tube for the last year and have seen enough improvement in my beer to be a blow-off supporter. Of course, other variables have changed in that time as well. I recently purchased a 6.5 gallon carboy and used it for my last batch (no blow-off). I'll find out if my beer takes a turn for the worse. But back to my theory: I brew ales, exclusively. Since ale yeast is, by and large, top-fermenting, wouldn't there be less interaction between the yeast and the trub? Lager brewers (like Dave Miller) may find it more important to rack the beer off the trub while ale brewers may find it more beneficial to "skim" off the krausen via blow-off. Comments? On another subject: I recently brewed my first partial mash ale. Everything went fairly smooth except for temperature readings. I found my glass thermo- meter responded so slowly that I had to estimate when the mash was in the proper temp. range. Also, the thermometer I have contains mercury, which is one additive I'd like to keep out of my beer. So, can anyone out there recommend a good digital thermometer for less than $50 US? Thanks... -Rich Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 92 09:34:44 -0500 From: hartman at varian.varian.com (John Hartman) Subject: Electric Stoves, Dry Hopping Electric Stoves-- I've wrapped a packing blanket around my SS boiler while keeping a towel on the top while boiling. My pot is big enough to cover two burners--a big one and a little one--on my ordinary electric stove. While bringing worts to a boil very little heat appears to escape and as a result I routinely boil ten to twelve gallon batches. I have actually managed to boil FIFTEEN gallons using this technique. The boiling time for a ten gallon batch is about thirty minutes if I start with hot mash runoff. Of course the boil time is reduced by starting the boil early with the initial runnings and then adding the final runnings in piece-meal fashion. Dry Hopping-- In HBD 829 Tony points out several ways to dry hop, the last of which is to simply throw them in. I find that throwing them in gives the best results. Since the hops are not sterile and since the wort is most vulnerable right after chilling, I wait until the secondary for dry hopping. I have achieved good results in the secondary in anywhere from two to eleven days. Has anyone thrown dry hops into the fermenter AT PITCHING TIME? If you have I'd like to hear whether or not you've had any infections. Cheers, John Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 09:47:16 -0800 From: sherwood at adobe.com Subject: beer gone bad A friend of mine has had absolutely terrible luck lately with his beer making. After fifty or so batches with only two (easily explained) problems, he has had to dump 3 out of 4 of his last batches. The symptom is a horrible smell which carries somewhat into the taste. The closest thing we can come with is a sour smell fairly similar to milk which has clotted and gone bad. Definitely not appetizing. The smell starts mild, but then gets stronger as time goes on. It sounds like an infection to me, but he is careful about sanitizing everything that touches his beer. Stuff which may or may not be relevant: All of the batches which have gone bad have been all-grain. His successes were with extracts (with adjuncts). He has had several good all-grain batches, though, with identical procedure and recipie. He has fermented both in a SS keg (Bud) and in plastic buckets with identical results. He brews 15 gallons at a time, and so uses 3 fermenters when he uses plastic. When there has been a problem, all have gone bad (ie, never just one fermenter). He has had this problem with a variety of yeasts (Wyeast Irish, Munton&Fison ale, Wyeast British). Around this time he started using a homemade counterflow chiller which drops the temp to around 68F. He sanitizes the chiller well, letting a bleach solution soak in the coils for a while, then running boiling water through it to clear the lines. He has also had a lot of problems (but only very lately) with stuck fermentations. In fact, without exception the sour beers have ALL had stuck fermentations (though we were able to rescue one by repitching a Munton & Fison yeast. Obviously a stuck fermentation could give a competing yeast and/or bacteria a chance to grow, but why, suddenly, are all fermentations sticking? I had always heard that extract brews were more likely to stick; experience has shown exactly the opposite. We figured maybe the pitching temp was too cold so upped it to 90F (about where we had been pitching when he used an immersion chiller) for this last batch. We also 'fanned' the wort against the sides of the fermenters to try to ensure oxygenation. This batch started like gangbusters but seems to have stuck at 1030. Based on past experience we expect around 1018-1020. No sour smell this time, though. Fermentation temp has been fairly constant at 65F. (I ferment at 58F with no problems). There are no visible problems with the sour beers. Even after a month in the fermenter the beer appears perfectly normal (if you hold your nose). No visible growths, normal ring of trub around the surface. So anybody have any ideas? Before this string of problems there was NEVER a stuck fermentation. Never this sour, rotting odor. Geoff Sherwood Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 12:54 CST From: ZLPAJGN%LUCCPUA.bitnet at UICVM.UIC.EDU Subject: disclaimer Dear Brewers, In the last HBD (#831), Brian Gross made an excellent observation in response to my summarizations regerding blow-off v. fermentation lock methods. In that summary I suggested that the homebrewer take care not to replace the blow-off hose with a lock too soon. But, as Brian points out, the blow-off method is in fact a fermentation lock of sorts and need not be relpaced with a conventional lock at all. Thanks for the clarification. I'm still only just waiting for the birth of my "firstborn" and am quite new at this. As was quoted in the HBD #832 (?):"When I stop learning, someone put me to bed with a shovel!" (I get quite a kick out of some of these quotes!!) Anyway, Brian thanks again for pointing that out to me and the other new-comers to this craft; I know my next batch (which I plan to do using a blow- off hose/lock with) will be the better for it. My only remaining questios are, since I plan to use this method, and to let it ferment outside in the cold Chicago weather (actually, I'm going to keep the carboy in our closed-in back porch, and under a box to keep it from light) am I increasing the risks of infection this way? Especially when fermentation stops? And is there a risk of backwash from the tube in the event of a quick Chicago climate change? Thanks and Happy Brewing John Norton Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 10:59:51 pst From: Don Reid <donr at hpcvcab.cv.hp.com> Subject: Boiling on an electric stove (insulation) Full-Name: Don Reid The discussions here prompted me to try and insulating my brewpot. I have a 5 gallon stainless steel pot with lid and a standard electric stove. I got a sheet of closed cell foam (sold as a backpacking pad), and put a strip around the top of the pot. To reduce the chances of melting and/or fire, I left the bottom 4 inches above the bottom of the pot. I cut slots for the handle which also served to keep the foam from sliding down. Finally, I cut a circular piece to go on the lid. It worked well! I normally have to keep the stove at Med-Hi to maintain a boil, with the insulation, only Med-Low was neccesary. There was also no burned wort on the bottom of the pot. Don Reid Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 11:18:54 PST From: Bob Devine 25-Feb-1992 1217 <devine at cookie.enet.dec.com> Subject: Re: Yeast in the Secondary for a Framboise Lee Slezak asks: > should I pitch some champagne yeast in with the secondary > and the new raspberries? No, that should not be necessary. There is sufficient yeast still in suspension to ferment the raspberries. Be sure to carefully watch the fermenter so that the raspberry skins and seeds don't clog your fermentation lock. In a couple of days the skins and seeds should settle to the bottom of the carboy with general proteins and dead yeast. The trub will be a disgusting-looking reddish-brownish sludge. Racking once more will aid in cleaning the beer. [Style note: unless you are really making a Belgian lambic, it is not correct to call your raspberry ale a "framboise".] Bob Devine Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 11:30 CST From: akcs.chrisc at vpnet.chi.il.us (chris campanelli) Subject: Electric Stoves & Propane Hate 'em! I'd throw mine in Lake Michigan if I could lift the damn thing. I experienced similar problems: waiting for boils, discolored stainless pots, scorched wort rings. I purchased a Bruheat Boiler and found it was slower than my stove and the heating element kept encrusting itself due to my hard water. I finally decided to bite the bullet and go propane. I had intended to dismantle a hot water heater but once I discovered all the loose ends involved, welding a stand, finding someone with a welder, getting hoses, etc., I decided to buy a burner instead. No fuss, no muss. Although I'm sure there are more, I had discovered two. The first being something called a Kajun Kooker. I had read somewhere that this was 125,000 BTU but don't hold me to it. I talked to someone who owns one and he described it as a rocket engine in sheeps clothing. He was quite pleased. I don't recall the price. The second type I found, and ended up buying, was a 35,000 BTU burner. It set me back $59.95. All I needed was a propane tank (the Weber type) and picked on up a Sears for $20.00. Tank refills are $10.00 with an exchange. Since I have switched over to propane I haven't looked back. I get a rolling, and I mean ROLLING boil, in about 20 minutes. I later upgraded to SS kegs and luckily the kegs fit perfectly. Now I'm no longer tethered to the kitchen. I have since relocated to the basement where there is a work sink, and more importantly, a floor drain. My big problem now is boiling off too much volume. Eventually I will get around to using the house gas line to eliminate tank exchanges. The company is: Superb Gas Products Co. 423 South Church St. PO Box 99 Belleville, IL 62222 (618) 234-6169 PS. The type I purchased was 16-20E. They do mail free catalogs. PPS. I am in no way connected to this company . . . etc. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 11:40:10 -0800 From: Marty Shearer <marty at atmos.ogi.edu> Subject: blowoff/trub, Student's t, experiments Subject: Blowoff/Trub, Student's t, Experiments Mike and Al have been discussing blowoff versus trub removal (HBD 829, 830) and have proposed experiments to identify what effect (if any) various combinations of blowoff/trub removal might have. Al's proposed experiment seems especially appealling. But before you begin boiling wort, take a moment and consider how to run and evaluate the experiment. I've read many accounts of "A vs B" experiments in the digest. Some brewers make an experiment out of every batch, and have done so for 20 years!! I fear much of this effort is wasted by failing to recognize and allow for the varia- tion inherent in the brewing process. Will the changes you taste and smell be due to the amount of trub left over, the amount of beer blown off, or purely chance? And how can you find out without repeating the experiment many, many times? This was the type of problem faced by W.S. Gosset (a.k.a. Student) when he was working for Guinness. He was trying to correlate the behavior of beer produced at his experimental brewery with such things as the analysis of malt and hops, and brewing and storage temperatures. These were the days (1900s) when unsuccessful brews had to be drained into the Liffey. The analysis of experiments was so important to Guinness that Gosset spent a year in London studying under the great statistician Karl Pearson. Here Gosset invented Student's t statistic (Guinness refused to let him publish under his own name). Student's t led to Gosset corresponding with R.A. Fisher, who, inspired by Gosset (he also helped Fisher get his job at the Rothhamsted Experimental Station) went on to invent the design and analysis of experiments. Gosset was an influence on Fisher in ways most digest subscribers can understand: Fisher asked for guidance from Gosset about home brewing and what computing machine to buy. Gosset's home brewing advice is a little disappointing to me though: "less trouble to buy Guinness and let us do the work for you". Although it would be desirable to run the blowoff/trub experiments with one batch of wort, there are ways (invented by Fisher) of using two or more batches and getting a meaningful result. Any influence the trub or blowoff has on the beer will much easier to evaluate if your brewing process is in statistical control. Large uncontrolled factors in the process may overpower changes due to blowoff/trub. How much variation is there from one batch to another? How much variation is there within a batch? I seem to get bottle to bottle variation in my beer (and the differences aren't always bad). If you know how much variation occurs naturally in your brewing process, you'll be able to judge if blowoff/trub removal makes a significant difference in your beer. Al's experiment is a good one since it takes into account not only the influence of blowoff and trub removal independently but the interaction of both blowoff and trub removal. This is one of the advantages a designed experiment has over "one factor at a time" experiments. Another major advantage of designed experiments is that MANY more factors can be tested with a modest number of runs. For example, the main effects of seven factors can be evaluated with only eight experimental runs. Mike, no matter what the experiment shows, the worst that can happen is you'll end up with lots of beer. Contact me if you need someone to help drink it. Dave S. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 16:39:07 GMT From: tony at tag.co.uk (Tony Quince) Subject: Dave Line, invert sugar & saccharin Making Beers Like Those You Buy by Dave Line was the book that first got me into grain brewing & I can wholeheartedly recommend it. It contains some excellent recipes including a rheinheitsgebot (well, almost) Guinness which comes out as near as dammit to the real thing (has anybody out there worked out a cheap & easy method for bottle pressurization with nitrogen?) Invert sugar can be made in the comfort of your own kitchen by acid hydrolysis of normal (upright??????) sugar. This involves boiling a sugar solution with a small quantity of citric or tartaric acid for half an hour. I can't quite remember the quantities involved just now, but I have it written down at home and will post it tomorrow, if I remember. Line's recipes which call for saccharin tend to use only one tablet per gallon. Now maybe smoking Dutch shag tobacco at an alarming rate has somewhat desensitized my tastebuds, but this seems to me to be a negligable amount (try dissolving a teaspoon of sugar in a gallon of water and seeing if you can taste it). 'Nuff said? Tony Quince, TAG, UK. P.S. What's the similarity between Budweiser & making love in a canoe? Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Feb 92 09:07:00 PST From: "MR. DAVID HABERMAN" <HABERMAND at pl-edwards.af.mil> Subject: Re: Foil under burner Date sent: 25-FEB-1992 09:00:08.01 PST >For boiling in a large pot, would it be helpful to cover the stovetop >around the burner with a couple layers of aluminum foil? At our first meeting of the High Desert TRUBle Makers, Tony, the host, was making a batch of beer in the garage. He made a burner out of an old LP barbeque and had a piece of foil under it. He said that it cut the boil time down dramatically. I don't know what would happen on a regular stove. Re: Addition of more yeast in Framboise. The yeast in the fermentor are not dead, just hungry. When you add the rasberry puree, the added suger should revive the yeast and let them munch away. - David A. Haberman <habermand at pl-edwards.af.mil> Well they worked their will on John Barleycorn, but he lived to tell the tale. For they pour him out of an old brown jug, and they call him home brewed ale! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 15:51:01 EST From: Tom Dimock <RGG at CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu> Subject: Hops, ginger, and heating elements I've just returned from 2 weeks in the land of Red Stripe, Dragon Stout and other wonderful intoxicants and have been catching up on my digests, so some of this may be a little old. There were a number of posts about storing hops. The Zip-Loc and similar generic food storage bags that you buy in the grocery store are actually quite permeable, and herbs (of all sorts :-) ) stored in them in the freezer will freeze dry. This can be slowed down a great deal by double bagging. Cheap and very effective. Great Fermentations of Santa Rosa says in their ads that they are now shipping their hops in zip lock barrier bags, which should be MUCH better. I have an order in to them and will report what I think at some point in the future. Anyone have any experience with them (the bags, not GFoSR)? One person mentioned seeing ginger root in the chinese store and was wondering about using it in beer. Go for it! I'd recommend grating it before adding it to the boil. I have a heavy spiced beer which has a fair amount of ginger in it (recipe is not at hand), and it is pretty neat. I have built a boiler using two 4500 watt elements (yes, I know that I never finished my series of posts describing its construction - come soon mon...) and it really can make that electric meter spin! A post described using a similar setup in a plastic (!!) bucket, and said that it would boil six gallons in 4-5 minutes. Are you sure about those times? My calculations say 15-18, which agrees with what my boiler does. Another post described a heating element as 6000W, 240V, 9.6amps. Unless my mind is a lot more fried than I think, 9.6 amps at 240V is 2304W.... I know my 9000W boiler draws almost 40 amps. I use them that way to boil water, and then connect the two elements in series (2250W) for boiling the wort, which eliminates scorching. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 11:37 PST From: gummitch at techbook.com (Jeff Frane) Subject: WYEAST BULLETIN--read this! Brewers, I've just gotten off the phone with Dave Logsdon, head of WYeast Labs. They have finally managed to determine the cause of their recent packaging failures, and have begun to address the problem. Actually, Dave thought they were addressing the problem all along, but nothing they did seemed to work. After considerably back-tracking through the industrial trail they have determined that the failure could be traced to changes made by the oil company that makes the plastic their new packager is using! The resulting plastic is of an inferior quality and has structural weaknesses that have caused failures of about 10%. WYeast will be going back to its previous package supplier, but in the meantime, they will be packaging yeast WITHOUT STARTERS! The packages will include instructions on how to make a starter. For about one month, however, striking the package as per the old directions will accomplish nothing! Dave has been on the phone with his major retailers, and they feel this is the right way to go: people are interested in getting the yeast, and not having package failures, so the general feeling is that a little inconvenience now is preferable to not having any yeast at all. I will be getting WYeast's starter directions by FAX today so I can put together a new label. If there is interest, I will post them here. - --Jeff Frane Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 17:28:50 PST From: polstra!norm at uunet.UU.NET (Norm Hardy) Subject: Kolsch vs Alt Reading the literature of the beer styles will show the differences between the two styles, but from hands-on experience this is what I know: Both are top-fermented and both are cold-lagered after the primary ferment is done, down to 32f in most cases. The Alt (popular in Duesseldorf and Munster and a few other places) is dark, malty, and bitter with an almost citric taste in the bitterness. The Kolsch (only allowed to be brewed around Cologne) is very pale, moderately bitter, and moderately malty. Some of the locals praise it for its "softness" and claim it to be good for uneasy stomachs. It is also said to reduce gastronomical flatuance. Personally, I found the Kolsch to be boring. The Alt was more robust. While in Koln I ordered an occasional Kolsch but usually stuck to the always e excellent Pilsners. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 18:31:24 EST From: imagesys!smb at uu.psi.com (Shawn M Bilodeau) Subject: Hard Cider I apologize in advance for this not being specifically about beer, but I thought that if anyone knew the answer to this, they'd probably be reading this digest... Just how does one go about making REAL hard cider? That's real as in similar to the cider one can get in a British pub (as opposed to real hard - I don't really require that it have a high alcohol content). My step-daughter just got back from a semester of school (exchange student) in England. She's not a real beer drinker (although she is interested in trying the apple beer that I brewed recently), but she was very impressed by the sparkling hard cider that she could get at the local pub. I had a chance to try some of this at a transplanted British pub in Rochester, NY (The Old Toad), and liked it myself. After that I tried to make a batch of hard cider myself, based on a method that a fellow brewer and I worked out (in complete ignorance of how it should be done). I started with three gallons of (preservative-free) cider, which I brought to a boil in my brewpot. I let it boil covered for an hour, which brought the wort (well, maybe not wort, but I don't know what you would call boiled cider) down to about two and a half gallons. I dumped the wort into my primary fermenter, and let cool to pitching temperature (roughly 80 F), and pitched a packet of dry champagne yeast, added cover and air-lock, and left it alone for a week. At the end of the week I racked the cider to my bottling bucket, added 2/3 cup of corn sugar, and bottled. What went into the bottle was a very pale yellow liquid with little resemblence to cider, or even apple juice. The trub was a very dark rust red. The S.G. was 0.998 (and of course, I forgot to get an O.G. - very annoying!). I tried a bottle of it a week ago (this was nearly three weeks after bottling) and what I had was "firm" cider. There is almost no apple taste, and almost no color. There seems to be alcohol present, but I have no way of telling how much, other than the fact that I didn't get smashed on the single bottle. So, how do the British get such a deep yellow color out of their hard cider? Not to mention a much stronger apple flavor? The only thing that I have been able to think of is that I may need to start with more cider, and do a much longer boil, with cover removed. That should concentrate the essence of the apple before the fermentation, shouldn't it? I'd appreciate any help, suggestions, pointers, etc. that anyone can give me. I remember that someone mentioned having a book on making hard cider in a previous HBD - does anyone remember if a title was supplied? Thanks in advance for all of the help! +------------------------------------+ | Shawn M Bilodeau Shawn O'Dew | | smb at imagesys.com | +------------------------------------+ P.S - could someone please email me a copy of #831? The copy that we received was cut off at the start of the recipe for the Surprised Frog Lager. Thanks again! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1992 14:51:09 -0800 From: krweiss at ucdavis.edu Subject: HBD down through history In browsing through the UC library catalog, searching for keywords "beer" and "brewing" I found the following reference: Author: Wigglesworth, E. Title: The brewers' and liscensed victuallers' guide, containing upward of one hundred and thirty most valuable receipts for brewing ales, porter, and black beer, and the managing of brandy, rum, and gin, also for making cider, British compounds, cordials, beverages, vinegar, &c., &c., by E. Wigglesworth. Leeds [Eng.] Printed by T. W. Green [18--?] Description: 144 p. Subjects: Brewing. Any relation, Russ? :-) - ------------------------------------------- Ken Weiss krweiss at ucdavis.edu Computing Services 916/752-5554 U.C. Davis 916/752-9154 (fax) Davis, CA 95616 Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Feb 92 17:03:03 U From: "Rad Equipment" <rad_equipment at rad-mac1.ucsf.EDU> Subject: Lemons, Subject: Lemons, Time:8:36 AM Date:2/25/92 >Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1992 07:52:16 -0600 >From: rickel at cs.utexas.edu (Jeff Rickel) >Subject: Beer gone lemon > >I have had several commercial beers that somehow went bad and >developed a lemon flavor, as if someone dumped some lemonade in >them. On a similar but perhaps unrelated note, a few of my beers >have had a very subtle hint of a citrus flavor. What is the >origin of these flavors? If it makes a difference, I make >partial mash ales with dried yeast. > >Jeff This is a classic symptom of a an infection, probably pediococcus (sp?). Poor sanitation ANYWHERE in your brewing system, post-boil, can allow the infection to take hold. If it varries in the bottle, say some show signs of the infection but others do not, then you didn't clean all the bottles as well as you should have. If the entire batch is bad then the source could be anywhere. The only thing to do is scrub everything you can and sanitize as much as possible. The infection becomes more prominent with age as the bug consumes the residual sugars and produces the acid which gives the resulting liquid that citric character. BTW, this characteristic is desireable if you are brewing a Berliner Weisse, however you want to be able to control the bug and only get it into certain brews. It can easily become a "house characteristic" of your beers if you are not careful. Last fall I got an assortment of bottles (Black Bavarian, Oktoberfrst, Amber, and two wheats) from Sprecher Brewing in Milwaukee. Randy makes several traditional wheat beers and I believe his Milwaukee Weiss is in the style of the Berliner Weisse Aat least the ones I had tasted that way!). Alas, every bottle of the assortment had signs of infection! All the date codes indicated that the beers were from September, 91. I believe that Sprecher is having some of his beer brewed under contract now. Perhaps the problem is with the contract brewer... RW... Russ Wigglesworth CI$: 72300,61 |~~| UCSF Medical Center Internet: Rad Equipment at RadMac1.ucsf.edu |HB|\ Dept. of Radiology, Rm. C-324 Voice: 415-476-3668 / 474-8126 (H) |__|/ San Francisco, CA 94143-0628 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1992 01:02 EST From: T2R at ecl.psu.edu Subject: Kegging my first batch. This last weekend I kegged and forced carbonated a batch for the first time. The results were fantastic. Here's what I did: 1) Obtain a empty keg from distributor. I used a Rolling Rock 1/4 keg with a ball lock (I think the same kind as A-B or Coors). 2) Remove lock-valve assembly. (release any internal pressure first, unless you want a stinky beer shower) There is some kind of locking spring that can be carefully removed with a small screwdriver and a pair of needle nose pliers. Once this spring is removed the entire assembly lifts out. 3) Clean keg. I rinsed it a few times to get the worst of the stale beer out then hit it with a baking soda solution to remove the worst of the smell and such. I then sanitized it with a bleach soln. for 30 min. and finally rinsed it twice with boiling water. (oh, washed the valve also) 4) Fill keg. First I purged the keg with C02 and then I carefully siphoned the beer into it. (a amber ale) It was only a 5 gal. batch so there was some room left at the top of the keg. 5) Replace the valve. This was a real pain in the butt. There is a large O-ring, which seals between the valve and keg, that must be compressed to get the locking spring back in place. I managed to do it with a hoseclamp- gearpuller-1 1/8" socket combination. If there is a trick to replacing this valve will someone please post it or send it to me! 6) Carbonate Beer. I guesstimated the temp. of the beer to be about 45'F and used the "Digest C02 Chart"tm to figure the proper C02 pressure. I then inflated the beer to this pressure and let it sit for 10 min. at which time I shook the keg quite vigorously. I left the pressure on for about three hours, every quarter hour or so giving the keg a good shake. At the end of the three hours I could hear no more C02 bubbling in so I shut off the gas and let the whole thing sit over night. It did get down into the low 30's that night and I think this may have helped the C02 to dissolve better. I hit it again with some CO2 (and shook a little) about an hour before I served it (the next day), it took in a little gas but not as much as the day before. 7) Drink. Though the keg did foam a bit at first, the beer was excellent. The carbonation was just about right, maybe a hair under what I had wanted but this was my first time. I have no complaints about the bubble size, the beer held a creamy head to the end of the glass. Hope this helps. Tom Ricker (t2r at psuecl.psu.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 92 01:58 CST From: GL862529%PUCAL.bitnet at UICVM.UIC.EDU Subject: Malto-dextrin In TNCJOHB, Papazain again just slightly mentions malto-dextrin. In the latest batch that me and my brew partner brewed we wanted to use some, but we forgot to add it to the boil. So when we racked it to the secondary, we added a little water, sugar and malto-dextrin. Is(was) this a silly idea? We just couldn't stand to see the extra space in the carboy, so we figured cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of malto-dextrin, water and boil and don't worry. This brin gs up the point of how much malto-dextrin to use and when. Anybody with experience of malto-dextrin(I figure why even use it, brew part- ner said, If you got it use it.) and its advantages/disadvantages would be help- ful. We'll keep you posted on the results of our experience. Also: eisen at Kopf.HQ.Ileaf.COM(Carl West) wrote a while back: What causes a hop plant to set blossoms? Is it : The length of the vine? . . The Dow? Well Carl, it's the TAO(pronounced Dow) that causes hops to bloom! :) The TAO is nowhere to be found. Yet it nourishes and completes all things. Gregg Leonard Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #832, 02/27/92