HOMEBREW Digest #911 Fri 26 June 1992

Digest #910 Digest #912

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Priming Cherry beer (ingr!b11!mspe5!guy)
  Watneys, Gordon Beirch, Brew Clubs (CHUCK)
  Lager Question (SOMAK)
  bottling wands (zymurgy review and question) ("Spencer W. Thomas")
  oxidize,ants (Russ Gelinas)
  Re: English Bitters - Theaky's XB Anyone? (gkushmer)
  Sierra Nevada crib notes (Phillip Seitz)
  Low sparge yield (Gordon Baldwin)
  DMS vs DME (korz)
  Chilled Wort and Hop Pests (Bill Szymczak)
  Immersion Chiller usage! (Rick Myers)
  bugs  (Jay Hersh)
  cylinder vs. square  (Jay Hersh)
  Dry Yeast Update (Josh Grosse)
  Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Rick Larson)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 12:05:57 CDT From: ingr!ingr!b11!mspe5!guy at uunet.UU.NET Subject: Re: Priming Cherry beer Richard Goldstein writes: > I am calling on the collective wisdom of HBD. I made a cherry wheat > beer several weeks ago, and it will be time to prime soon. Someone on > the net gave me the very interesting idea of priming with cherry juice > or cherry jam to add a little more fruit essence/flavor. So now the > obvious question: > > How much? An interesting idea indeed but I'm not convinced that it would be practical. While this won't help you now, you might consider priming with saved gyle in the future. I have had great success doing this by following Papazian's guidelines for calculating the amount to save and not being too concerned with getting *exactly* that amount. It takes a bit longer to carbonate and condition but the end result is worth it to me. That way, you are just adding back a little of the same ingredients that went into the batch in question and nothing more. It would, in your case, have contained some of the cherry essence that was present in the brew from the start. This in combination with adding some "fruit essence" at bottling time, as Micah Millspaw suggested in his article on fruit beers, should be right on the mark. You might try to find some cherry essence to add and prime with corn sugar, DME, or honey for this batch. I recently made a Blackberry Ale using 8 pounds of blackberries which I primed with orange blossom honey and it turned out quite well. The blackberry aroma is there even without the addition of fruit essence. It also has a slight floral aroma from the use of Cascade hops and, I think, the honey. - -- Guy McConnell "Pour me full o' Guinness and I'll never more complain!" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 03:21:06 PDT From: CHUCK <UNDERWOOD at INTEL7.intel.com> Subject: Watneys, Gordon Beirch, Brew Clubs Hi all, Just wanted to repeat a post I saw earlier, if anyone has tried to duplicate a Watney's Red Barrel recipe, I (and a few other people) would sure be interested. Please send us what you got! Also just wanted to say I got out to the Mountain View, Ca area awhile back and got to visit The Tied House and the Gordon Beirch brewpubs in San Jose and Palo Alto. Yum! Sure wish we had a few of those down here in NM! Finally, thanks to all those who responded to my partial mash questions. Your help is forever appreciated. I'm ready to do one! Does anyone have any info on brew clubs in the Albuquerque area? I think there's one but forgot who to contact. What do you guys talk about in these things anyway. I'm kinda thinking about starting one, any help out there? Always thanks in advance, chuck Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 14:25 PDT From: SOMAK%FITKJES2.BITNET at SEARN.SUNET.SE Subject: Lager Question I made an all-grain batch and fermented it with Pilsen Wyeast. I wonder if the high FG (1012) is normal or is their something wrong in my mashing procedure. I used very pale malts and decoction mashing. OG was 1044. Can anybody answer? Markku Koivula Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 09:47:01 EDT From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <Spencer.W.Thomas at med.umich.edu> Subject: bottling wands (zymurgy review and question) The latest issue of zymurgy (Summer '92) had an article comparing three types of bottling wands. The author's primary consideration seemed to be the amount of oxidation potential each had. He liked Phils Philler the best because (1) the beer doesn't spray out the bottom (so no aeration at that end) and because (2) it left very little head room (so little oxidation potential at that end). My question: there was a discussion of Phils Philler in this list a while back (6 mo?) and I thought that the consensus was that the little air hole at the top (that allows for property 2 above) at least had the potential for introducing air into the beer as it flowed by (by Bernoulli's principle). Has anybody had any further thoughts on this or experiments to back it up or refute it? I'm currently using one with the valve at the bottom. I think it's the second kind he reviewed. There's a little "wand" sticking out that opens the valve whenver pressed up or to the side. This allows me to easily top off bottles by holding the wand against the (in)side of the neck of the bottle. But it does "spray" beer out the bottom. Still it's better than no bottling wand, by far. =Spencer W. Thomas HSITN, U of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 spencer.thomas at med.umich.edu 313-747-2778 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1992 9:53:38 -0400 (EDT) From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: oxidize,ants I knew there was more reason for not oxidizing hot wort than just because it will darken. What happens is that things such as melanoidins (sp?) get oxidized, which isn't a problem in itself, but as such they will not be able to reduce oxygen later on, and so the brew is more susceptable to the post-ferment oxidation which can impart off flavors. Thanks to all who reminded me. So, pouring hot wort into a hop-back is not the greatest idea. My plan now (at least until I get to read Kinney's Zymurgy article...amazing how great minds think alike ;-), is to pour boiling water into the plastic buckets/hop-back and let it sit while the wort is chilling as usual. The heat should sanitize the buckets. Then I can pour the cooled wort through the hop-back. No hot wort, no plastic nasties, and well-oxygenated wort as a by-product. One concern about your hot wort/hop-back/chill scheme, Kinney, is that the hops are not being used as a trub filter bed, at least not for the cold break material. But I guess that's the price you pay for all that great hop aroma that'll be extracted by the hot wort. Does Sierra Nevada hop-back with hot or cold wort? Re. ants on hops: Ants love aphids. They actually herd them, like cows. If you've got a lot of ants on your hops, you've probably got aphids. Has anyone used the California Common aka Steam beer yeast from Wyeast? A couple of pints of Anchor Steam last night has decided my next brew... Russ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 10:24:26 EDT From: gkushmer at Jade.Tufts.EDU Subject: Re: English Bitters - Theaky's XB Anyone? I too am one of the many who started brewing because of the want to get a decent pint of English Bitter. (That and I had this 'calling' to do so :). My favorite example of the style is an English ale made by Theakston's. These same people make Old Peculiar, which I know many of you have tasted. However, their Theakston's XB, available on tap mainly in Lancashire and York, is one of my favorite beers. It's hoppy, smooth, and just slightly creamy. Of course, I've come nowhere near duplicating it yet, but if anyone out there has some malt/hops/brewing tips on how I can get close to it then I am all ears. So far, my best results have come from 6 lbs of amber extract (don't mash yet, but I still brew :), a half lb. of crystal, a 1/4 lb. of roasted malt, and long-term dry-hopping. Cheers, - --gk ------------------- | 5,397 miles | | - to - | THE FIRST AMENDMENT states that members of re- | WALL DRUG | ligious groups, no matter how small or unpopular, | | shall have the right to hassle you in airports |WALL, SOUTH DAKOTA | | U.S.A. | -Dave Barry- ------------------- **Sign In Amsterdam** Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 14:11 GMT From: Phillip Seitz <0004531571 at mcimail.com> Subject: Sierra Nevada crib notes This past Tuesday and Wednesday the Brickskeller held its Sierra Nevada beer tasting, and it was definitely the place to be if you're one of those HBD mad-dog left-coast Death-by-IBUers. All the beers were on tap (except the Celebration Ale), and all were frighteningly fresh. How hoppy was it? Well, by the time we got to the Bigfoot all six of the hearty beerdrinkers at my table were chewing on the tablecloth and wiping their tongues on the carpet to try to cut through the impenetrable hop-oil coating in our mouths. I heard that after the open keg five people required first aid for bitterness burns and three were hospitalized for IBU overdoses. Must have been left- coasters. (And, no, I'm not from the Midwest.) Anyway, Sierra Nevada's sales manager Steve Harrison was in attendance, and shared the following information with us (please accept my apologies for the gaps--perhaps someone who was there on Wednesday can fill them in?): 1) All beers are made with 2-row klages malt. A single-temperature mash is done at 156 degrees. 2) SN uses open primary fermenters so they can recover their yeasts from the krausen. Harrison claimed they can usually reuse the yeast for 30-40 batches before it goes bonkers, though they've found that the yeast collected from Bigfoot and Celebration Ale is close to useless. 3) The beers: - --Summerfest (a lager). OG: 11.5 Balling, FG 2.7 Balling, using only 2-row klages. Hallertauer for finishing. - --SN Pale Ale. OG: 13 Balling, FG 3 Balling, using klages, crystal, and dextrin malts. Perle hops for bitterness, cascade for finishing. - --Pale Bock. Sorry, folks, I blew it. Must have been in the bathroom. - --Celebration Ale. OG: 16 Balling. Hop schedule usually includes Chinook in the boil, cascade for finishing, and centennial as a dry hop. However, Harrison says they're willing to change the recipe in accordance with availability of the hops most likely to hit people squarely between the eyes. - --SN Porter. OG: 14 Balling, FG: 4 Balling. Either Perle, centennial, or Hallertauer in the boil, with Tetnanger and Willamette in the finish. - --SN Stout. OG: 16 Balling, FG: 4 Balling. Chinook in the boil, cascade finish. Malts include black patent and chocolate, but NO roasted barley. (Hmmm. . .) - --Bigfoot. Must have been in the bathroom again (don't shoot!) Also served was the Richter Scale Ale from the San Andreas Brewing Co. in Hollister, CA. This is a cranberry ale, and our table agreed it had the best fruit flavor of any American commercial beer (not that there are a lot of choices). On the recommendation of Scott Leno (HBD 907) I also tried the Traquair. Good call, Scott. The beer is very richly malty, with a nearly silky mouth feel. Taste rather reminscent of Belgian triples (Rochefort comes to mind) but without the alchohol taste. VERY restrained carbonation (I'd say there were about six bubbles in the entire bottle.) Definitely an enormous, great beer. However, right-coasters not living near Washington might take some comfort in the fact that a small-business loan is required just to drink a bottle of this stuff: at $9.95 for an 11.2 ounce bottle this is vastly the most expensive beer I've ever consumed. At about $1.00 a sip you gotta wonder. Anyway, those frothing-at-the-mouth hop-crazed left-coasters wouldn't like it anyway. It's practically unhopped. So there. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 8:48:30 PDT From: Gordon Baldwin <hpubvwa.nsr.hp.com!sherpa2!gbaldwin> Subject: Low sparge yield I posted here about 2 months ago complaining about low yield. The general concensus was to slow down my sparge, and that helped, but I am still not up to where I think I should be. Here are the details: 8 lb klages .5 lb munich .5 lb crystal 1.5 oz cascade beginning of boil 1 oz fuggles middle of boil 1.5 oz saaz fininshing Wyeast German ale yeast. I use a one step infusion mash at 155 for 45 minutes. It looks like I get complete conversion testing with iodine. I tested before so I know what to look for when conversion was complete. I sparge with about 4 gallons ~170 water until it no longer tastes sweet, about 6 gallons. I sparge in the Zap-pap lauter tun (nested buckets with the inner bucket drilled with about a thousand holes.) Sparge now takes about 45 minutes to complete. The boil is for 1 hour and I boil the 6 gallons down to about 5. The starting gravity is 1.036 and finishing is 1.006. With 9 lb of grain I think I should be getting around 1.040. I just brewed a similar receipe using 12 lb of grain and I only got 1.042. My grind seems good, I get my grain from The Cellar in Setttle, (They are only about a mile from my house). They have a good roller mill there that I use, and they checked the grind and thought it looked fine. Any pointers to what I should try next would be greatly appreciated. - -- Gordon Baldwin ELDEC Corp sherpa2!gbaldwin at sunup.west.sun.com ...!hpubvwa!sherpa2!gbaldwin Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 11:31 CDT From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: DMS vs DME Whoa! Two people in the same issue refering to the extract which still has active enzymes as "DME." DME is the common acronym for Dried Malt Extract. Let's not confuse beginners here! Edme makes a product they call DMS which stands for Diastatic Malt Syrup and does have active enzymes. DMS is also an acronym for Dimethyl Sulfide which we all know as "that cooked-corn aroma." I know that Munton & Fison also makes a Diastatic Malt Syrup and they might even call it DME, but lets reserve the acronyms DME and DMS to Dried Malt Extract and Dimethyl Sulfide and spell out Diastatic Malt Syrup (or Extract) so there's no confusion. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 15:27:34 EDT From: bszymcz%ulysses at relay.nswc.navy.mil (Bill Szymczak) Subject: Chilled Wort and Hop Pests In HBD909 Steve Casagrande writes > From: smc at hotsc.att.com > Subject: Wort Chillers for Extract Brewers? > My current procedure is to boil only about 2 gallons of wort (from > extract/H20), adding hops/grains as necessary, and then dumping this > into the fermenter with 2-3 gallons of cold H20. The temperature drops > from boiling to pitching temperature instantly, and I can pitch right > away. There's no "cold break" that I can notice with this method; > I imagine the trub eventually precipitates out into the primary > yeast cake. Steve, I have also been an extract brewer for about one year, but have not had the experience that the temperature drops from boiling to piching instantly. Indeed, even if you mix 2 gallons of boiling wort at 212 degrees F to 3 gallons of ice cold water at 32 degrees F you get 5 gallons in the fermenter having a temperature of T = (2 * 212 + 3 * 32) / 5 = 104 degrees F. Piching at such temperatures can cause your yeast (even Wyeast) to do wierd stuff. Even worse, my cold tap water in the summer (in Maryland) is about 68 degrees F. I cool the ingredients in the fermenter by immersing the entire fermenter (covered) into a large container filled with ice water. This cools my brew down to pitching temperature (about 75 degrees F) in 40 to 75 minutes depending on the temperature of the tap water. However, I am planning to move on to all grain and am planning on building a wort-chiller using some of the excellent ideas that I've read in HBD. There has also been a lot of articles on hop pests recently. In HBD910 Ron Karwoski writes: > My hops have a couple of problems. I have only two plant growing > and I fear I may have lost them for the year. The tops of both plants > have been lost. On one, a few days of wicked storms weakened the plant > where it latched on to the twine I have hanging from a tree. I'll make > the twine tighter. I noticed the second top (just the top inch) was missing > about a week later and closer inspection revealed an army of ANTS! marching > up and down the twine. My question: Will these tops come back and the plants > resume climbing or are they stuck for the year? How do I get rid of the > ANTS!? Soap? No, ants will not harm your hop plants. Ants, however, are attracted to a secretion (honewdew) of aphids. If you look carefully, you should also be able to find aphids. In their nymph stage they are light green in color, with roundish bodies about one sixteenth to one eighth on an inch long, and are soft bodied (will squish easily if you touch them). They will change in time developing small wings and become darker in color. Two additional ways of controlling these pests are 1 Squish them between your fingers (they tend to cluster). 2 Mist them with water, then dust them with household flour. One problem with these methods and the other organic treatments of using rotenone, pyrethryn (sp?) or insecticidal soap is that each method is a direct contact method only, (rotenone breaks down quickly) and if you have bad aphid problems you may have to treat them almost every day. This is probably why Al Korz mentioned in HBD910 that Sevin worked better than Safer's soap for him. Sevin is not organic, and will last a few days so it is not needed as frequently. I myself try not to use inorganic compounds, but Sevin isn't too bad, and its the only thing I've found effective on Japanese beatles. (A friend of mine, who is a fanatical cat lover, dips his cat in a Sevin solution to rid it of fleas. He's so careful about the health of his cat that he'll take his cat to the vet whenever it sneezes!) Also, don't worry about losing the tops of the hop plants. Last week, while increasing the height of my hop trellis, I accidentally cut off the top of a hop plant. It now has grown two branches near the top and both are already over a foot long. Bill Szymczak Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 14:23:30 MDT From: Rick Myers <rcm at hpctdpe.col.hp.com> Subject: Immersion Chiller usage! Full-Name: Rick Myers In HBD #910 Bob Konigsberg writes: > I've been using an immersion chiller for a while now, and I don't feel > that they're too hard to clean. > > Prior to use, I run hot tap water (~180 F) through it from the tap for > about a minute (full 60 seconds) after it's hot at the far end at a > fairly high flow rate. Then I fill it (with a funnel) with a > Chlorinated TSP solution, and let it sit in there for about 30 minutes. > Then the hot water rinse is repeated again for another full minute. > The chiller is then stored with the copper tube left full of water. Er, ah, I don't really want to tell you this Bob, but you're not using your chiller correctly. There is no need to clean the inside of an immersion chiller...the cold water runs through it, and you dip the whole mess down inside your kettle. Thus, the name "immersion"...the only thing you need to clean is the OUTSIDE, not the inside. Don't feel bad, you're not the first person to do this, I heard some people even bought pre-manufactured ones, only to have to change all the fittings to get it to work like they thought it was supposed to. I'm posting this to the digest directly because there are more people than I realized doing this... Rick rcm at col.hp.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 18:44:26 EDT From: Jay Hersh <hersh at expo.lcs.mit.edu> Subject: bugs Hmmm, I saw a few aphids earlier in the season. for $6 I got a pint (1500 or so) lady bugs. Munch, crunch, chew, chew, no more aphids.... I also bought some Safer to be on the safe side :-) And some Japanese beetle traps, though I have yet to see any of these buggers :-) Another data point, but don't call me Mr. Data :-) JaH Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 18:49:44 EDT From: Jay Hersh <hersh at expo.lcs.mit.edu> Subject: cylinder vs. square I've used up to 12 pounds in my cylindircal cooler. It was real easy toget the 3/8 to 3/8 right angle compression fitting, 6 feet of copper tubing (coiled and slotted on the bottom) and the right angle 3/8 spigot (look under your sink, the oval knob kind you find in plumbing stores) in local hardware stores, all for under $10. I think the square cooler setup is a little more complicated, but I'm basing that on one rig I saw made with plastic tubing of some sort in a E shape.... Still it's probably no big deal. My preference for the cylindrical cooler holds since I brew 3 or 5 gallon batches. If you wanna brew bigger ones you'll surely need the rectangular coolers... JaH Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 21:47:20 EDT From: jdg at grex.ann-arbor.mi.us (Josh Grosse) Subject: Dry Yeast Update I've some news of interest to active dry yeast users and detractors, alike. First of all, some business news: o I can confirm the rumor that Whitbread is no longer producing dry yeast, production stopped earlier this year. o I can also tell you that Red Star has been out of the beer yeast production business since last year. I've once or twice seen the question, "Who makes the dry beer yeast that's private labelled by G.W. Kent?" Answer: Lallemand Inc., who are known for their 70+ strains of dry wine yeasts, usually under the "Lalvin" trade name. They now produce both a lager and an ale dry beer yeast, at plants in Canada and Denmark. This information comes from the owner of G.W. Kent Inc., a major brewing and vinting wholesale supplier, and the U.S. Agent for Lallemand. Some highlights from Lallemand marketing literature they shared with me: Until the 70's, the wine industry all used spontaneous fermentation. About that time, experimentation began on isolating single cell cultures that would provide individualized and consistent characteristics. Single cell strains were successfully isolated, but there were problems developing commercial cultures. This was due both to limited culture lifespan and short unpredictable grape harvest seasons. If you use dried yeast for brewing, you may be interested in these rehydration recommendations from Lallemand: "Three factors seem responsible for the effects of rehydration on subsequent activity. The first is a loss of cell constituents, which results in poor growth and activity. Secondly, improper rehydration creates a condition of poor dispersion of cells which results in clumping of cell groups thereby reducing the efficiency of oxygen and nutrient transfer to the cells. The net result, poor activity. Finally, the effect of "cold shock" can also be devastating. When dry yeast is added to cool must, water or wort, the viable cell count can drop by as much as 60%! Petite mutants can be formed which may produce off flavors. Although these mutants generally have a limited life during normal fermentation, their effect can be magnified because of the sluggish nature of the remaining recovering cells." Guidelines: o Use 5-10 times the amount of water to dry yeast. o Use water between 105-114 F. o Add yeast to water, not water to yeast, to avoid uneven rehydration. o Let the yeast sit for 5-10 minutes before stirring, and pitch within 30 minutes. o If your wort is over 50 F, gradually add small quantities of wort to the rehydrated yeast, in 5 or 10 minute intervals, to allow for temperature matching. o Rehydrate in water, not wort, due mainly to wort components that are lethal during the rehydration period, such as SO2 and hop components. In summary, Lallemand dry yeasts are selected for fermentation characteristics (as well as dehydration survivability), and they recommend rather more complicated rehydration procedures than the published homebrewing literature I've seen. It is possible that many of the off flavors I've had over the years of brewing with dry yeast came from improper pitching technique, such as opening the package and dumping the dry yeast directly into my wort. I hope you've found this information helpful. Disclaimer: I've never used Lallemand yeast, and for the last 18 months have been using nothing but liquid cultures. I don't plan to go back. - ----------------------------------------------------------------- Josh Grosse jdg at grex.ann-arbor.mi.us Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 21:13:27 CDT From: melkor!beren!rick at uunet.UU.NET (Rick Larson) Subject: Samuel Adams Boston Ale Does anyone have a recipe for Samuel Adams Boston Ale? I'm looking for an all-grain recipe to mimic this. The label says it the hops included Kent Golding, Fuggles, and Saaz. Any idea which is used for bittering, flavoring, and finishing? Thanks, rick - --- Rick Larson rick at adc.com, melkor!rick at cs.umn.edu ADC Telecommunications, Inc. ...!uunet!melkor!rick Minneapolis MN 55435 (612) 936-8288 Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #911, 06/26/92