HOMEBREW Digest #968 Mon 14 September 1992

Digest #967 Digest #969

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Sinking Dry hops in the Secondary  (aew)
  Wyeast Belgian (where's my bananas?) (Phillip Seitz)
  Re: Wyeast Belgian (Chimay) and banana ester (Aaron Birenboim)
  Hop Yields Revisited (Thomas P. Rush)
  Kriek (connell)
  some more stuff (HOGLE RICHARD A             )
  Sam Atoms recipe (BOB JONES)
  belgian malts, description and suppliers (Tony Babinec)
  Chicago Oktoberfests (Tony Babinec)
  additives (ZLPAJGN)
  ersatz baderbrau recipe (Tony Babinec)
  christmas beer (Bryan Gros)
  Attacking Briess malt (Guy D. McConnell)
  Hop yeild in N.W. Washington (Paul dArmond)
  Why Should I Buy a Grain Mill? (Richard Stueven)
  Corsendonk, Gammel Brygd (CW06GST)
  Scuttling hop bags (pmiller)
  Hopped malt extract syrup ("Stephen J. Vogelsang")
  Kegging beer in soda kegs (Carlo Fusco)
  Maintaining flames (the real kind) (pmiller)
  Breiss Malt (Brewing Chemist)
  Does the LAMBIC-LIST still exist? (Thomas G. Clark)
  Hop yields Midwest (with caveat) (korz)
  Xmas and bay area (David Klein)
  Listermann Sparger / Dry Hopping with pellets (Darren Evans-Young)
  Questions before I start... (Peter Nesbitt)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 08:25:20 -0400 From: aew at spitfire.unh.edu Subject: Sinking Dry hops in the Secondary In HBD 967 John Knight says: Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 08:25:19 -0400 Sender: aew X-Mts: smtp >Does anyone think I'd get more hop flavor if I could find >a way to submerge the hops rather than allowing them to float on top? >If so, how should I do this? Weight the bag down with something that will >not react with the beer (like what?)? Well, I haven't tried dry hopping (only brewed 7 batches so far) but it would seem logical that submerging the hops would help. Why not throw a few sanitized glass marbles in the bag with your hops? That should weight it down enough, not react with any beer stuff and fit through the neck of the carboy. -Al =============================================================================== Allan Wright Jr. | Pole-Vaulters Get a Natural High! | GO Celts! University of New Hampshire +-------------------------------------------------- Research Computing Center | You keep using that word. I do not think it means Internet: AEW at UNH.EDU | what you think it means. -The Princess Bride =============================================================================== Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 13:30 GMT From: Phillip Seitz <0004531571 at mcimail.com> Subject: Wyeast Belgian (where's my bananas?) While I don't want to be in the position of defending Wyeast's Belgian yeast strain, I'm fascinated by the reports we've been receiving about people smelling giant Chiquita bananas in their fermenters? Here I am, probably one of the few people here who WANTS large quantities of esters, and I get absolutely nothing! I previously posted a note on my first experience with Wyeast Belgian, and the batch referred to is now carbonating nicely and has a cognac-like flavor and aroma. No bananas. I can now offer a preliminary report on the second batch using this yeast. This is a 3-gallon partial mash which includes 1/2 pound of Belgian candy sugar as well as some glucose, with an OG of 1.076. I brewed this on Monday (Labor day), and racked it to a secondary on Wednesday. In fact, the stuff was practically done fermenting, and had a gravity of 1.013. Today (Friday) I'll actually be bottling it--four days after brewing. As I noted before, this yeast is an incredibly fast, effective fermenter, but even this surprised me. While my house in indisputibly warm (varies from 74 to 80 or so), I have another batch made with Wyeast European that's been in the secondary for two weeks and is still perking along. These are in the same room, so the difference in fermentation speed is obviously the yeast. Both batches were pitched in a 1-pint starter, by the way. As for batch #2--no bananas. Either I'm doing something wrong or doing something right. Anybody who want's to see what I'm doing is welcome to come over--these beers have so much alchohol that I'll never be able to drink it all myself. Finally, I can say that on Wednesday Bill Ridgely was over and tasted these beers, so I have a witness. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 08:06:58 MDT From: abirenbo at rigel.cel.scg.hac.com (Aaron Birenboim) Subject: Re: Wyeast Belgian (Chimay) and banana ester Bart Lipkins, lipkens at ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Bart Lipkens) mentioned that wyeast belgian produced banana esters at 80F, but no noticable banana flavor. I WANT banana flavor for a Paulaner Hefe-weizen knock-off. Does this mean that banana ester and banana flavor are from different yeast by-products? aaron  Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 10:23:50 -0400 From: trush at mhc.mtholyoke.edu (Thomas P. Rush) Subject: Hop Yields Revisited I am surprised by the amount of email received on the very informal report of my hop growing efforts. Thanks to all for yours concerns, advice and questions. I will try to address the above with one follow-up article since the volume of mail is so large. I agree with your suggestions that my sniffles were caused by a head cold or a high mold spore count during this rainy summer. I am an admitted "hophead" who has been getting high on bags of hops for years{as in ether sniffing ha-ha}. As to the question of vigorous growth for 1st year vines, I should tell you the almost total disaster I encounterd during the spring of 1991. I decided in LATE spring (May) to start a hop garden and purchased Mt. Hood, Chinook, and Tettnanger from my local suppler. Mt. Hood and Chinook never came up and Tettnanger struggled up about five feet. In desperation I visited a small winery in Hatfield Ma. who I knew had an established hop yard. He generously gave me growing off shoots of Cascade and Hallertauer which promptly grew to about 10 feet before the season ended. My conclusion, solution and suggestion(this has worked for me but your on your own) is: 1. Buy and plant your rhizomes in EARLY spring, prepare your soil this fall. 2. If your afraid of hard late frosts, start in large flower pots in sterilized potting medium. Its a pain but its worth it. 3. Follow the directions which come with the hops. I have purchased from Marysville Oast, MCC, and Freshops and they all sent large, healthy, well packed rhizomes. I believe temporary refrigeration shocks them back into dormancy, small shoots rot and the rhizomes gives up and rot as the cold spring turns hot. I built a Beach/Marysville Oast-type support system, it needs to be higher than its present 12 feet (100 feet long) but I don't have time to apply for a pilot's license. By far the most asked question is "How do you know when to pick?". Again, this works for me take it for what its worth. I think if I were a commercial grower I would develop ulcers, because I believe there is a very small "window" when hops peak in their potency. Crushing and smelling, in my opinion, play a very small part in deciding when to pick. When the lupulin glands rupture and the yellow powder is exposed your entering the critical phase, it is ripening and oxidizing at the same time. Coloration cannot be trusted since each variety matures with different shades of green. I put all my trust in the feel of a mature cone, it should be papery yet tight and springy not cold, damp and hard(immature). If the cones are wide open and turning brown(even slightly) you've overshot the picking. Err on the side of picking early, there is nothing worse than musty,cheesy old hops--at the most there is a five day window. On the other hand good home grown hops will beat commercial hops every time. Finally, the question of "Liberty" hops. According to Marysville oasts it is a triploid, aromatic Hallertau-AA5% developed by Al Haunold. Al also developed the virus-free Saazer clone for Anheiser-Busch. Its gaining in popularity around here. Hoppy Brewing...Tom Rush Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1992 09:53:24 EDT From: connell at vax.cord.edu Subject: Kriek Has anyone tried to produce a cherry-flavored beer by adding a Danish cherry wine to batch of already fermented beer? The basic idea is similar to the process by which port is made - a high alcohol distillate is added to a fermenting wine must. In the case of a cherry-flavored beer, I'd assume one would allow a low-hopped wort to ferment out and then add some as yet to be determined amount of the cherry wine. The main problem I would anticipate with this would be carbonation since any sizable addition of cherry wine would raise the alcohol level beyond the point at which ordinary yeast shuts down. Perhaps one could get around this problem by adding champagne yeast at bottling time, or by trying to brew a low alcohol beer into which to add the cherry wine (but this might produce a thin beer) or by mechanically carbonating in a keg. Any suggestions or experiences along these lines would be appreciated. Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Sep 92 10:50 EST From: HOGLE RICHARD A <HOGLE at CRDGW2.crd.ge.com> Subject: some more stuff Jim Buchman writes: Since your system is operates on a first-in first-out basis, I suggest that what you have is a queue, not a stack (which is first-in, last-out ;-) Well, actually, a queue with random re-prioritization, depending on my mood :-) On Kettles: I use a 5-gal Anodized aluminum pot - you know, the ones that are black. They're a bit cheaper than SS, but I got it as a gift so that wasn't a real concern. Works great. On Aged Beers: Just last nite I visited a brew partner of some years ago. He pulled out a couple of red bitters and steam beers we had brewed way back (can you believe it!) in January of 1988! The beers were excellent, with no off-flavors or aromas that my admittedly untrained senses could detect. They were also very nicely carbonated. These beers would never have been around my house this long (and I don't understand how they survived at his place either!, I'll have to have a talk with that boy). Just another data point. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1992 08:01 PDT From: BOB JONES <BJONES at NOVAX.llnl.gov> Subject: Sam Atoms recipe Here is a recipe for an amber lager that was recently requested. I call it Sam Atoms. This beer does not really fit any common style catagories except maybe American Pilsener. The bottom line is it was an excellent beer and I'll make it again some day. Batch size 10 gals 21# - pale malt (adjust to get specified OG) 2# - crystal malt (40l) added in mashout 1# - cara pils 1# - wheat malt 3oz - Tettanger (AA 4.5) 1oz - Perle (AA 7.6) 2oz - Cascade (for dry hop) 1t - Gypsum (in mash) 2t - irish moss (last 15 mins of boil) Wyeast 2206 lager yeast (repitch from previous batch) Mash schedule : Mash grains at 154 deg f for approx 60 mins mashout at 170 for 10 mins Hop Schedule: Boil 2oz Tettanger for 75 min Boil 1oz Tettanger for 50 min Add 1oz Perle at end of boil and steep for 10 mins Total boil time 90 mins OG 1054 FG 1016 Fermentation Schedule: 2 wks at 55 deg f Rack and dry hop with Cascade Lager for 2-3 wks at 45 deg f with dry hops Filtered, kegged and artificial CO2 to approx 2 vols This beer is a very close clone of Sam Adams. There is some sort of synergy between the cascade hops and kettle hops used here that is hard to explain. The flowery cascade nose is not present as you would expect. The nose is a more complex blend of malt and hops, sort of a spicy quality. I hope you all make as good a beer as this recipe made for me. Bob Jones Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 10:12:56 CDT From: tony at spss.com (Tony Babinec) Subject: belgian malts, description and suppliers George Fix's posting (welcome back, George!) and recent queries on availability lead me to re-post a summer posting on Belgian malts. I've modified it slightly to reflect new information. Also, I post it with the usual disclaimer about no commercial interests... De Wolf-Cosyns Maltings is one of Belgium's oldest and largest floor malting plants. They supply many of Belgium's lambic brewers along with more conventional breweries in Northern Europe. Only the finest European barley and wheat are used. The barley (all two-row) and wheat berries are larger than domestic malts. The dark grains are flavorful and not in the least harsh or astringent. Here is a listing of the available malts along with color ratings: Base Malts pale ale 3.5 - 4.5L pilsen 1.5 - 2 wheat 1.4 - 1.8 Color Malts Munich 7 - 8 Aromatic 23 - 28 Caramel Malts Caramel-Pils 5 - 10 Caravienne 15 - 30 CaraMunich 70 - 80 Special B 150 - 250 Roasted Malts Biscuit 23 - 33 Chocolate 450 - 550 Black Malt 700 - 800 Roasted Barley 700 - 800 Here are some comments on the malts. Note that Pierre Rajotte's Belgian Ale book mentions some of these. The color ratings given above differ a bit from those in Rajotte's book, but the ones listed above are from the supplier. The pilsner malt rivals the finest pilsner malt available. It should be used instead of U.S 2-row or 6-row for such styles as Trippels, wit beers, and various Specials. Note that George and Laurie Fix's Vienna book also argues that Pilsner malt should be the base malt for the Vienna-Marzen-Fest style. You might also use it in your best Pilsner. The Munich and Aromatic malts provide malt aroma, body, and color. The Aromatic is slightly darker than a dark Munich, and its name says it all so far as aroma and taste are concerned. The CaraPils (not to be confused with American Cara-Pils!), CaraVienne, and CaraMunich are basically very fine crystal malts comparable to 10L, 20L, and 80L crystal malts you might use. The Special B is a highly colored caramel malt that, in Rajotte's words, "...Gives a rich caramel-malt taste. It is used in Scotch ales and stouts brewed under license in Belgium. Darker Specials and Abbey beers at times use this type of caramel malt. Its effect is noticeable in beers, giving lots of additional body and coloring. Beers using Special B have more well-rounded malt character than beers colored with only candi sugar." Again, George Fix in his Vienna book argues for using the finest crystal malts to avoid astringency in the beer, especially for that style. Note from George Fix's posting his substitution of Cara-Vienne and Cara-Munich for the German and British crystal malts cited in his recipes. If I read him correctly, use Cara-Vienne in place of "German Light" and "British Crystal," and Cara-Munich in place of "German Dark." Question/challenge for George and Laurie Fix and anyone else: George and Laurie Fix settled on crystal malt as the coloring malt for Vienna beers in part due to dissatisfaction with available Vienna and Munich malts. Now, with Belgian Munich and Aromatic malts available, Vienna and Bock recipes ought to give these a try in addition to the crystal malts. At homebrew club meetings, those of us in the Chicago Beer Society have been able to sample these malts, as the local Siebel Institute's retail branch had them. NOTE, however, that Siebel Institute is not a supplier of these malts. Siebel has split into two parts, one of which handles the brewing courses, and the other of which supplies the commercial brewing industry. Here are a few suppliers: - Tim Norris, Chicago, IL 312-545-4004--Tim runs a basement homebrew shop. He suggests that homebrew clubs get a collective order together, but is willing to ship small orders. Tim also has a fax number: 312-545-0770. Address: 3717 N. Kenneth, Chicago, IL. Recent prices were: 50 pound bag $32.50 5 pound bag $ 3.75 1 pound bag $ 0.95 To these prices, add shipping and packaging, I assume. - North Brewery Supplies, Franklin, WI 414-761-1018--Brian North runs a basement homebrew shop located between Milwaukee and Kenosha. For those of you thinking of getting into kegging, Brian has all sorts of stuff, and can service and refurbish equipment. - Chicago Indoor Garden Supply, Streamwood, IL--Don't have their phone number, but their ad is in Zymurgy. Owner Dave Itel (Ittel?) runs a very complete homebrew and gardening shop. As of this writing, they either have the grains or will be getting them shortly. Rumor has it that Dave will be opening a shop in the 1800 N. Clybourn building, which also houses the Goose Island Brewery. This will be a boon to Chicago-area homebrewers, as that part of town is very accessible and there will be two reasons to visit! - Great Fermentations of Santa Rosa: I don't have their catalog with me, but I recall seeing some of the Belgian malts mentioned. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 10:22:25 CDT From: tony at spss.com (Tony Babinec) Subject: Chicago Oktoberfests The Berghoff Restaurant at State and Adams Sept. 16-19 serves Berghoff Light, Berghoff Dark, and lately, Berghoff Oktoberfest, along with various foods. The Midwest Brewers' Oktoberfest Sept. 25-27 hosted by the Goose Island Brewing Co., 1800 N Clybourn will feature over a dozen midwest microbreweries, $10 admission includes 6 tickets good for food and beverage. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 10:33 CDT From: ZLPAJGN%LUCCPUA.bitnet at UICVM.UIC.EDU Subject: additives Dear Brewers, Quite some time ago (maybe a few months) I purchased some ingredients that I never used. Actually, they're additives: Irish moss, yeast energisers and some gypsum. I don't really have a need to use any of these in my next batch (I'm planning to brew up a Weitzen - Papezian's recipe) except for the gypsum, which I plan to add to the distilled water I'll get from the grocery store (...unless I really shouldn't do this. My thought is that I can reduce the lime with distilled water, but maintain the "hardness" of the water with a small amount of gypsum. If I'm off on this point, please someone fill me in, 'cuz I'd hate to ruin a batch unnecessarily...especially when it's my first attempt with liquid yeast.) And that brings up another question. I've already received alot of very useful help and advise on how to use liquid yeast and make a starter. None of that advise, however, mentioned using a yeast energiser to boost it along. My feeling is that I don't need it. But I've got some (purchased a while back with the rest of the stuff) just sitting around... Should I toss some in, or leave it for when I brew a high-gravity something. Finally, about the irish moss. I have absolutely no planz to add any of this to my weitzen. I'm just wondering how to store it. Will this stuff get stale if not refridgerated/frozen like old hops? Or can I leave it in the un-opened, as yet unrefridgerated pouch indefinitely? Which brings me to my post-final question ;-) About the hops.... I have about an ounce each of pelletized and leaf hops that are about three months old, but I've keept them both refridgerated - later freezing them - but not in air-tight bags. Should I simply toss 'em out and get some that are fresher? I'm not planning to use them in my plans for the weitzen (I've already got fresher hops of a different variety), but I'm wondering if they're still worth keeping. Thanx for any and all direction. Cheers! John (always the novice, so don't flame me!) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 10:47:49 CDT From: tony at spss.com (Tony Babinec) Subject: ersatz baderbrau recipe Many German light lagers are brewed using only pale malts, and using a decoction mash. Most all-grain homebrewers, I assume, use an infusion mash. So, to get color, use some color malts. Baderbrau is certainly a pilsner, but its color is almost too dark for the style. Other than that, it's a fine beer. Here's a stab at a recipe: 8.5 pounds pilsner malt 1 pound light Munich malt 0.5 pounds crystal malt (40L) 2 oz Saaz (alpha 3.1) at 60 minutes until end of boil 1 oz Saaz at 30 minutes until end of boil 1 oz Saaz at 10 minutes until end of boil Wyeast Bavarian Lager yeast Conduct step infusion mash with starch conversion temperature around 152/3 degrees F. Comments: the grain bill assumes 70% extraction efficiency, and will produce about a 1.048 starting gravity. You might substitute 0.5 pounds U.S. cara-pils for an equal amount of pilsner malt if you desire a bit more body. The combination of Munich and crystal malt will make the beer gold to light amber in color. The Saaz hops, assuming the alpha acid rating of recent Crosby and Baker compressed foil packets, will produce an IBU rating of about 37. Pilsners, and Baderbrau in particular, are hoppy. Wyeast Bavarian lager yeast is said to be used by a lot of German commercial breweries, and will produce that German lager character. Overall, it is important to use good ingredients, conduct the primary fermentation at around 50 degrees F, and cold-condition the beer in secondary. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 08:48:33 PDT From: bgros at sensitivity.berkeley.edu (Bryan Gros) Subject: christmas beer My christmas beer has been sitting in the secondary for six days now. (Since Sept. 6). The OG was about 77, and now it is down to about 18. I tasted it last night and the spices were not very prevalent, it was not too bitter, but it was very alcoholic tasting. Will this mellow out between now and christmas? I decided to add some Cascade yesterday. How long should I let it sit now before bottling? I see many people let their barleywines sit for months in the secondary. I figure another week. What are the advantages and disadvantages of aging in the secondary versus the bottle? I saved some sparge runnings (SF = 33) to prime with. Charlie gives the formula in an appendix somewhere. Is this formula right? Any advice for a first-time krausener? Thanks. - Bryan Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 10:50:38 CDT From: guy at mspe5.b11.ingr.com (Guy D. McConnell) Subject: Attacking Briess malt This may be strictly coincidence but it occurred to me anyway. I wonder how much of this recent Briess malt bashing is related to their decision to stop selling directly to homebrewers. I seem to recall several posts of complaints about this decision. Just a thought. Re: "beatles and hops" from Russ Gelinas: The secret is out! If you listen (and more importantly, let your beer listen to) Beatles music while brewing, it increases hop utilization, brewing efficiency, and the quality of the end product. O.K., maybe not, but it sure makes *me* enjoy brewing even more. - -- Guy McConnell guy at mspe5.b11.ingr.com "Drinking homebrew from a wooden cup" Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1992 08:31:19 -0700 (PDT) From: Paul dArmond <paulf at henson.cc.wwu.edu> Subject: Hop yeild in N.W. Washington When people are reporting their yeilds, it would be very helpful to know how many plants they were harvesting. My pico-hopyard is two years old. I have only two varieties, Willamettes from Freshops (all two yrs old) and Cascades from a local garden and Freshops (three plantings). I have 21 plants in four rows, The rows are five feet apart and the plants spaced about three feet. This is too close, and if I was going to replant, I would space everything on a six or seven foot grid. I grow on 15-18 foot alder poles. All of the Willamettes could have used taller (20') poles, as they became very topheavy. The Cascades have not done as well, only three of the plants did as looking as good as the Willamettes, and the Cascade cones were uniformly smaller. The Willamettes yeilded 8 7/8 lbs and the Cascades gave 5 1/4 lbs. When we were picking the Willamettes, everyone got itchy red rashes on our forearms and back of the hands. It felt like the irritation you get from handling fiberglas insulation. It went away the next day, and nobody had a problem with the Cascades. I can't decide if it was from the little spines or some chemical irritant. No insecticides were used other than some soap spray in the late spring. One reason that homegrown hops may have more zip than commercial hops could come from the picking. The picking machines knock the stuffing out of the hops. They litterally rip the cones and leaves off the vines, and then bounce the cones on a series of sloping cloth belts to separate the cones from the leaf and stem trash. This may shake off a significant amount of the lupulins. It does come off the ripe hops fairly easily. I took extra precautions to capture the powder that came off of mine during dying and packing, and now have about a half ounce of yellow powder from each of the varieties. Has anyone every used the powder? I think I remember that the powder is 30 - 40% alpha acid, but I can't find the reference. Paul de Armond Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 09:51:16 PDT From: gak at wrs.com (Richard Stueven) Subject: Why Should I Buy a Grain Mill? I picked up twenty pounds of pale malt yesterday, and while I was waiting for them to grind it and bag it, I noticed a Corona mill for sale for $60. At first I thought, "that's not a whole lot of money", but then I tried to figure out how cost-effective it really is. I buy grains twenty or forty pounds at a time, for $0.64 per pound. For an extra $0.04 per pound, they grind the grain for me. So to get that Corona mill to pay for itself, it would take 1500 pounds of grain; three-quarters of a ton! At about eight pounds per batch, that's about 187 batches of beer, and at roughly thirty batches per year, I'm looking at over six years for a $60 investment to pay off. That doesn't strike me as very good economics. (Maybe $60 is too expensive...I don't know. Let's say for the sake of argument that I found one for $20. That still comes out to 500 pounds of grain, 62 batches, and two years to pay for itself.) Now I realize that many people aren't in that situation, and need to be able to grind their own. That's different. My question is: am I getting a good deal as it is, or am I overlooking something that would convince me to buy a grain mill? gak Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 13:53:06 EDT From: CW06GST <CW06GST%SJUMUSIC.bitnet at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> Subject: Corsendonk, Gammel Brygd Hello, Recently someone posted an article about Corsendonk saying that they thought it should have been poured down the drain. All I can say is that I have had many Corsendonks and have thoroughly enjoyed them; all except one. One time I was in a bar where I had drank Corsendonk before and found it be disgusting, with little chunks of nastiness in it and a foul taste. I returned it and ordered something else, but I have had Corsendonk since then and it has been delicious. Has anyone else had this problem? Anyway, sometimes you can't judge a beer from just one bottle. Also, on a totally different subject, my favorite beer in the whole world is a Swedish beer from the Falcon brewery called Gammel Brygd. Unfortunately I don't think it is available in the U.S. If anyone knows anything about this beer, how it is made, recipes, etc. please post. Thanks, Erik Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 13:06:32 CDT From: pmiller at mmm.com Subject: Scuttling hop bags Jonathon Knight asks: > Second question: I like to dry-hop in the secondary using leaf > hops tied up in a muslin bag. Does anyone think I'd get more hop > flavor if I could find a way to submerge the hops rather than > allowing them to float on top? If so, how should I do this? Weight > the bag down with something that will not react with the beer (like > what?)? How about marbles? They're glass (so they should sterilize easily), readily available, cheap, and they'll fit through the neck in a carboy. Phil Miller pmiller at mmm.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1992 14:52:15 -0400 (EDT) From: "Stephen J. Vogelsang" <sv0k+ at andrew.cmu.edu> Subject: Hopped malt extract syrup Howdy, I am a beginner homebrewer. For my first batch I basically did the following: Used 1 can (3.3 lbs) M&F Hopped amber malt extract + 1.5 lbs of M&F light DME. I boiled the extracts in water for 30 minutes then added 1/2 oz cascade hop pellets and boild another couple of minutes. Then I cooled the wort, added pre-boiled water to make 5 gallons (I think I actually only ended up with 4.25 gallons). I sanitized my fermenter (big plastic bucket w/lid), bottles, and everything else that touched the beer with a bleach soln. The beer had good carbonation after about 1 week in the bottles. The head is nice and creamy. I honestly don't like the stuff, but it's certainly not "undrinkable." It has a strong bitter taste that was not quite the right type of bitter. The beer was also not very well balanced. As a novice, I couldn't tell whether this bitter flavor was tainted by infection thus making it sour-bitter, or if it was just the type of bitter flavor the cascade hops and the hops used in the M&F extract are supposed to have. Before I begin my next brew, I have the following concerns: 1) What kind of hops are used in the M&F extract syrup? 2) I did not strain the hops out of the beer before fermentation, could this have caused the unbalanced bitter flavor? 3) Is it likely that i just don't like the taste of cascade hops? And, can someone tell me of a beer that uses cascade hops so that I can see if it has the same flavor as my beer? 4) In my next brew, should I add my own hops and use unhopped extract? note: unfortunately I already have another can of hopped extract. 5) Should I use a different kind of finishing hops, or no finishing hops? I'm not overly concerned about these issues since I figure that within 2-3 more batches I'll have adjusted the beer to my liking. I currently plan to do the following for my next batch. I'll use 1 can (3.3 lbs) of M&F hopped amber extract syrup (since I already have it), 3 lbs of M&F light DME, 1/2 lb of crystal malt. I also plan to use 1/2 oz of fuggles hops (hop plug) for finishing. I will add the hops after the boil, and remove them before I pitch the yeast. I'm also using whitbread yeast this time (can't remember off hand what yeast I used the last time). I will also try to be more sanitary (it took forever to cool the wort last time. This time I will probably buy a couple of bags of ice, and immerse the brew kettle in ice water to cool the wort.) I also went out and bought a 5 gallon carboy for fermenting. Actually, this leads to another concern. Is a 3/8" blow off tube sufficient? After all of the horror stories about exploding carboys, I'm somewhat concerned. Well, I just wanted to get some opinions and suggestions about my plans. I'm not terribly concerned. I'm sure all of you went through similar dilemas when you started and you somehow managed to figure them out. As we all know, practice makes perfect. Thanks, Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1992 15:09 EST From: Carlo Fusco <G1400023 at NICKEL.LAURENTIAN.CA> Subject: Kegging beer in soda kegs Hello to all, This is my second post to the digest. I had such a great response to my previous questions I do not feel scared to post anymore. First some background. I am on my 5th batch of beer. I am an extract brewer who is afraid of grains (I'm sure this will change). I now know how to use hops correctly (boil them in the wort, not seperately), and not to be so impatient when waiting for the bottled beer to carbonate fully. Face it, novices can't wait to taste the first fruits of their labours. Here is a question probably asked a thousand times. But, I have not been reading the digest long enough to hear the answer. I would like to try kegging my beer in soda kegs. There is a Coke bottling company only a few blocks from my apartment. I found out that I could get soda kegs from them by paying the $20 deposit. By the way, I am in Canada (specificly Sudbury in Norther Ontario) and I don't know if the soda kegs used here are different than in the US. I am pretty sure that the kegs are 3 gallons and made from aluminium. Here are my questions: 1) Do I have to do anything to the keg before using it, other than sanitize it? 2) If beer is left in the keg for any lenght of time will it take up a metal taste that you sometimes get from canned commercial beer? 3) What else would I need besides a CO2 tank, regulator, hose from regulator to keg, and a hose from keg to tap? Where can I get these things cheap in Canada? 4) Is there anything else I should know before trying this? (I seem to remember something about adding pressure to the keg to get a seal?) Thanks for any advice you can give. Also, thanks for the digest I am learning a great deal about homebrewing. Carlo Fusco g1400023 at nickel.laurentian.ca Biology Dept., Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 14:18:47 CDT From: pmiller at mmm.com Subject: Maintaining flames (the real kind) Greetings! I've been pondering the problem of the Monster Burners getting blown out easily when throttled down to idle. Here's a trick that's used to maintain secondary combustion in some funky hi-tech wood burning stoves: Wrap some high temperature wire (nichrome?) around your burner in such a way that a portion of the wire is suspended in the flame. Once the flame is lit, the wire glows red hot. If the flame is momentarily blown out, the hot wire will automatically re-ignite the gas. I've never tried this (and I don't know how well this technique works in wood burning stoves either), but it sounds like it should do the job. Any comments? Phil Miller pmiller at mmm.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1992 15:21:19 -0600 From: walter at lamar.ColoState.EDU (Brewing Chemist) Subject: Breiss Malt Just a some more information on the Breiss malt situation. John Jungers of Appleton Brewing Company (Adlerbrau) uses entirely ground Breiss malt with much success. In fact, his beers took _five_ medals at the GABF last fall. I have tasted all his beers and have never had a DMS experience. He makes some wonderful beers. If you are ever near Appleton, WI it is worth your effort to stop in. Live Long and Prosper, Brian J Walter |Science, like nature, must also be tamed| Relax, Chemistry Graduate Student|with a view towards its preservation. |Don't Worry Colorado State University |Given the same state of integrity, it | Have A walter at lamar.colostate.edu|will surely serve us well. -N. Peart | Homebrew! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 16:25:15 CDT From: tclar at baddog.cca.cr.rockwell.com (Thomas G. Clark) Subject: Does the LAMBIC-LIST still exist? I've been trying to get subscribed to the Lambic-list for a couple of weeks with no success. Does anyone know if it still exists? Has it moved? Any information will be appreciated. Feel free to E-mail your replies to save bandwidth. Thanks! Tom Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 16:25 CDT From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Hop yields Midwest (with caveat) These hop yields that people have been posting lately, are these pre- or post-drying? My four, 2nd-season plants had these yields after drying: Nugget -- 2 ounces Wilamette -- 1 ounce Hallertauer -- perhaps 1/4 ounce Hersbrucher -- perhaps 1/8 ounce These are not a good data point for the Midwest. My growing conditions are a lot less than they could be -- mostly because of #5 below. Here's why I suspect I got low yields for a 2nd season harvest: 1. Last year was a complete wash -- no harvest at all -- because I got an aphid infestation, which I wanted to avoid using pesticides on, so I prayed and prayed till the plants completely dried up, virtually leafless, less than 5 feet tall in late July. This year I blasted em with Sevin till I saw the beginnings of hop buds. From then on, no pesticides. 2. Last year I only gave the plants about a gallon each of water and no fertilizer at all. This year I give each plant 6.5 gallons of water via electronic-timered soaker hose each day and started giving them a blast of fertilizer once a week from June till the end of August. 3. I seem to have a severe Magnesium shortage in my soil. The oldest leaves begin to turn yellow between the veins, which spreads throughout the leaf, after which the leaf turns brown and whithers. I started giving each plant a tablespoonful of Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts -- see your neighborhood drug store for some BIG boxes of food-grade variety) weekly, and they stopped yellowing. However, I don't think that I should be needing so much of the stuff. My Argricultural Extension people were of no help -- I'm going to call some AG experts in the Pacific NW for hop info -- the people here in the Chicago area had no data on Humulus Lupulus. If I stop giving them the MgSO4, they begin yellowing again. I must have something in my soil that is blocking uptake of Magnesium. I will get a soil analysis before next year. 4. The Hallertauer and Hersbrucker were at the end of the soaker hose and the Wilamette and Nugget were at the beginning of it. The difference in size in July got me thinking and I rearranged the hose to put more loops around the far end hills and less on the near-end hills. The height of the plants almost evened out by the end of July, but they never quite got even in size of leaves, vines, etc. 5. And this is the big one: not enough light. My plants only get filtered sun from July onwards and it's too cold for them to start in March, so they don't grow as much as they could in July and August. I've got LOTS of 200 year old oaks and some very tall hickorys all over my lot and the hops just don't stand much of a chance. I've even considered grow lights! Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 16:27:04 PDT From: klein at physics.Berkeley.EDU (David Klein) Subject: Xmas and bay area WEll, since it seems that the topic of xmas brews has been breached, I though I would fan the flames and give my recipe from last year, for ideas of those who want. BEFORE i give it, I am interested in bay area brewing info, like clubs, for I am new to the area and want info. Could local brewers respond, and tell me the deal? Recipe: 2 # munich .25 # dextrin 1 # xtal 1 # 2 row toasted at 350 15 min 3/4 cup R barley 1/2 cup Bl patent low T mash (145) 4 hours 2 gal h20 with 2 t gypsum I didn't write down the sparge water amount... brought ~7 gal to boil, once at boil added 6 # aussie amber 3 bags of spicy duck spices (cinn., anise, fennel, fenubar, clove) 4 sticks cinn. 2 t crushed cardamon after 45 min (oh yea, I forgot 1 oz chinook at the beginning) another 1 oz chinook irish moss after 1 hour, turned off heat, added: 2 # dark honey zest of 5 oranges 2 t cloves 2 sticks cinn. 1.5 t allspice dash nutmeg 1.5 oz fresh grated ginger Use Wyeast Brav. ale OG 1.1 FG 1.028 secondary had 2 oz hops (did NOT write down the kind) 3/4 corn sugar to prime This won 2 awards (small pools though) I would recomend not using Chinook (this was my first time using them, and I discovered I did not like them) less oranges, more spicing. Unless you feel like boiling a long time or like wasting alot of your potential sparge, I would recoment at least using 3 lb of extract to bump the gravity. Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 19:24:39 CDT From: Darren Evans-Young <DARREN at ua1vm.ua.edu> Subject: Listermann Sparger / Dry Hopping with pellets On Thu, 10 Sep 92 12:03:03 cdt, "Knight,Jonathan G" <KNIGHTJ at AC.GRIN.EDU> asks about Listerman gadget & dry-hopping: Listsermann Sparger: I have a Listermann Sparger and am pleased with it. I'm sure Jack will chime in with his opinions. I tend to agree with what he has said before about it. I like the sparger but feel the sprinkling arm is unnecessary. I keep my water level at least 2" above the grain bed...sometimes as high as 4" if I get distracted. :-) It does allow the hot sparge water to enter the grain bucket gently. I take a full hour to sparge 7+ lbs of grain. My extract efficiently went up significantly when I sparged for an hour instead of 20 mins. The other thing I changed about it was replacing the hose clamps with a plastic inline tubing valve. It was far too difficult to adjust the flow rates with the standard hose clamps. With the inline tubing valves I got from Williams Brewing, I have absolute control over the flow rates. Dry Hopping with Pellets: I've heard somewhere that a brewer used marbles (easy to sanitize) to weigh down a muslin bag. Clarity problems with dry hopping with pellets? Quite the opposite. I dry hopped two German Pilsners with 1 oz Saaz pellets each. The hops break up and float so you have to gently swirl the carboy to get the hops to mix in the beer. The hop bits will float again. I do the carboy swirl at least twice a day for about a week. Eventually, more and more of the hops will sink. After a week of swirling, I let the carboy sit for another week. At the end of the two week period in the secondary, all the hops have sunk. The addition of the hops also helps clear my beer. It's almost crystal clear by this time too. When you siphon for bottling, place a sanitized muslin bag over the end of the racking tube to keep the hop bits out. This is necessary! The hop bits trap some CO2 underneath the sediment and as the weight of the beer is removed, the bubbles escape churning up the hop particles. I've been very happy dry hopping in this manner. Darren Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 92 05:06 GMT From: Peter Nesbitt <0005111312 at mcimail.com> Subject: Questions before I start... Hello all, I've been a beer drinker for around ten years, but have just been introduced to brew-pubs and micro-breweries since I moved to California last August. After visiting several brew-pubs in California, Oregon and Washington, my interest in attempting to make my own brew is pretty high. I've contemplated this venture for the last three months, and I am ready to take the plunge. The books available at my local library are late 1970 to early 1980 type books on brewing. Can some of you recommend a couple of good books/authors to start out with? I have about seven catalogs and price sheets fro various homebrew suppliers. Which suppliers do you recommend I use or not use? Name, number and address appreciated in case I do not have any info on/from them. What about these starter kits that are offered for sale? Is this an ok way to get started for my first few batche Looking forward to my first batch, and to asking intelligent questions about home brewing in the future! PNESBITT at MCIMAIL.COM Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #968, 09/14/92