HOMEBREW Digest #976 Thu 24 September 1992

Digest #975 Digest #977

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  South African Homebrewers? (Fred Hoare)
  Another hop harvest data point (Scott Barrett)
  Clear/Green Bottles and Lightstruck Beer (Tom Strasser)
  Re: Help with first partial mash... and OG samples (Greg Troxel)
  Dry vs Wyeast (korz)
  London Ale Yeast (korz)
  Hydrometers (Alan_D._Thomson.LAX1B)
  Invert Sugar and other stuff (HULTINP)
  Solder (Thomas D. Feller)
  Homebrew Headaches (Mike Mahler)
  Seattle Info, 6 Month Primary (mccamljv)
  Need more kegs !!! (Bob Green)
  yards (Dave Gilbert)
  Beer Judge Study Guide (Chuck Cox)
  Thanks for the importing info (Brian Davis)
  Competition Level (C.R. Saikley)
  Re: headaches (David Van Iderstine)
  archive questions (Carlo Fusco)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 13:27:22+020 From: fred at dip1.ee.uct.ac.za (Fred Hoare) Subject: South African Homebrewers? I am interested in hearing from any people living in South Africa who are homebrewers. Frederick Hoare email: fred at dip1.ee.uct.ac.za Image Processing Laboratory Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering University of Cape Town, South Africa Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1992 14:39:11 -0500 From: adiron!scott at uunet.UU.NET (Scott Barrett) Subject: Another hop harvest data point First year Freshops rhizomes, planted in April in central New York. Variety Dried weight (oz) Comments ======== ======== ======== Cascade 3 1/2 Strong plant, nicely coned. Mt. Hood 6 Abondanza! Tettnanger 3/8 Good plant, sparsely coned. Willamette 2 1/4 Strong plant, sparsely coned. Chinook 2 3/4 Single vine, nicely coned. The Mt. Hood grew to about 17 feet, the others grew to 13 or 14 feet. All of the vines were healthy, though the Chinook was late to appear. All were grown up 20 foot cut saplings with all but 4 inches of each branch removed. Each sapling was tied to a 5' metal fence post that was driven 1 1/2 feet into the ground. There were a couple of ladder harvests for most varieties, followed ultimately by a lower-the-pole harvest. Some of the cones (Chinook particularly) were larger than my thumb -- it blew me away! There's nothing like pulling out a fresh bractiole and rubbing it against the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Wonderful aroma as you breath through your nose, followed by mouth-watering bitterness that washes down your throat. I'm hooked! I had some aphid problems on the Willamette, but no Japanese beetles. Some invisible beast was making the lower Cascade leaves look like Swiss cheese, though frequent inspections turned up no suspects. The only real annoyance was a thin, 1/2" long green worm that liked to bore through the cones of all varieties (avoiding the lupulin) and weave filmy weblike material. I was also able to find people in the area who grow (for mostly historical reasons) an unidentified variety of hops. I was able to harvest 19 ounces and some root stock. The hops are pretty bitter, but not very aromatic. My first guess at the variety is Clusters, since I've seen references to it being the predominant variety grown in the area (Madison County, NY) back when it was a flourishing hop farming region. There is also a resemblance to the photos shown in the Zymurgy hop issue and it seems to fit the highly analytical roof-of-the-mouth characteristic profile. If anyone would like to trade root stock or potted growing tips in the spring, please let me know by email. Any identification of my favorite pest is also welcomed. Two pounds of fresh hops in the freezer and looking forward to some IPAs (and other lupulomania), Scott Barrett scott at partech.com uunet!adiron!scott Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 10:13:35 EDT From: strasser at raj3.tn.cornell.edu (Tom Strasser) Subject: Clear/Green Bottles and Lightstruck Beer Before the discussion about clear or green bottles vs. brown gets off the ground I wanted to point everyone back to the discussion about 1 year ago here about these issues. For the most part the discussion centered around whether the lightstruck flaw in beer was caused by 520 nm light only or sub 500nm light (there are references claiming both of these to be the case, I believe the 520 nm reference was from the AHA conference transcripts in 88 or 89, and the <500nm reference was an article published by a Louisville(?) University publication entitled "The Photochemistry of Beer" which was written by some Belgians (if I rememeber right)). While perhaps this was left up to individual people to decide, one thing which was discussed was that for *either* case, brown bottles protected the beer much better than green or clear bottles. I direct people back to last November's HBD's to follow the discussion, but the result I contributed was a measurement of the relative transmission of various bottles as a function of wavelength. I will include the ascii graph again here (as it is likely the thing I spent the most time on ;-). The transmission looks like: Transmission 100%^ | ...................................... Sam Smith (clear) | + + | + + + | + + + 50%| + + Pil Urq (green) | * * Paulaner (brown) | * | * | * 0 |_____**********________________________________ UV Blue Green Yellow Orange Red Color 400 500 600 700 Wavelength(nm) The above are three individual bottle measurements, however I measured 2 or 3 different bottles from different breweries, both import and domestic, and found *very* similar behaviour to the above for bottles of the same color. You can see from the above transmission plot that the brown bottles transmit significantly less UV light than the clear or green ones (regardless of which region causes the lightstruck flaw). This would be the difference between brown and clear (or green) bottles. Another thing worth mentioning here is that in the wavelength regime of interest there is little difference between the green and clear bottles. Perhaps Dr. Fix might want to comment on the most important regimes on the above chart ;-). Auf ein neues, Tom Strasser...strasser at raj5.tn.cornell.edu...strasser at crnlmsc2.bitnet Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 11:41:02 EDT From: gdt at garlic.LCS.MIT.EDU (Greg Troxel) Subject: Re: Help with first partial mash... and OG samples I just did my second partial mash. While it isn't bottled yet, I feel that it was successful. I did a partial mash with 2 lbs pale ale malt, 2 lbs mild ale malt and 1 lb crystal, and got 20 pts/lb/gal extraction as a rough estimate (I didn't measure the volume very carefully). I think that my crush wasn't fine enough, and I think sparged way too fast. But I think I got significant character/body from this, as I mashed at 158 (intending to get a dextrinous wort). I was intending to make something that falls somewhere in between the styles between pale ale, Scotch Ale, and ESB (depending on my extraction and how dextrinous the wort was, which I knew I couldn't yet control precisely). This isn't bottled yet, but the bit I tasted when racking to secondary seemed good, as did the OG sample (more on this at the end). What I did: 5 gallon batch: 6.5 lbs light liquid extract 2 lbs pale ale malt 2 lbs mild ale malt 1 lb crystal a small amount of gypsum calculated to raise the Ca content of the 3 gal mash water to 60 ppm (from the 0 ppm it was from the tap). ~60 ibus bittering (~1.5 oz eroica 9.1% for 45 minutes at boil gravity of 1065) 2 oz cascade leaf at boil end 1.5 oz cascade leaf in secondary Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast (750 ml starter) I mashed the grains for 45 minutes at 158, and did starch tests. I got an OG of about 1065. 20 pts/lb/gal is 66% of what homebrewers can get (more or less - I'm not trying to pick a fight about theoretical maximums) when they basically do everything right (30 pts/lb/gal). I estimated that I would be between 33% of that (10) and 100% (30), and adjusted bittering for the middle, hoping I would get something reasonably balanced (according to my hophead tastes) either way. As far as your experience, I have a few comments: 1) if you used 3.3 lb (liquid??) DME and 1 lb malted wheat, and were supposed to get 1030, shouldn't you have had 3.3 lb * 35 pts/lb DME = 115 pts 1 lb wheat * 25 pts/lb = 25 pts 140 pts in 4 gallons = 1035 (you didn't give your batch size). in 5 gallons = 1028 (but I'll assume 5 gallons) I just guessed on the 25 pts/lb for wheat, but the point I am trying to make is that final gravity isn't overly sensitive to the wheat extraction efficiency. If the wheat gave you 0, then 115/4 is 1029 and 115/5 is 1023. So I think something else is wrong besides your mash if the gravity was 1015. Perhaps the wort was not uniform and you took a gravity reading from the top. 2) Another thing you should check is the mineral content and pH of your water. My water is extremely soft, and I added a small amount of gypsum (about 1 tsp/gallon, I think). My mash pH was 4.9, which is below the range usually quoted. Next time I won't add gypsum until taking a pH reading. If your water has bicarbonate hardness, though, your mash pH may have been too high. 3) I would recommend that you try another partial mash and plan it so that it will come out reasonably if your extraction rate is anywhere between 0 pts/lb/gal and 30 pts/lb/gal. A generic ale recipe with 6 lbs of extract, 1 lb of crystal, and trying to mash 2 lbs of pale malt, with the hopping rate adjusted for 15 pts/lb/gal extraction will give you something that will be good no matter what your extraction rate is, and you can then not worry while mashing. My first partial mash was like this and it is one of the best beers I've made (until the next one, of course :-). When I take a sample to measure the OG, I try to do so after agitating and aerating the cooled wort. I then place the sample in a clean small glass, and either dribble a small amount of the yeast starter into it, or have already added yeast before aeration/agitation. I then cover the glass with plastic wrap, and taste it after 4 or 5 days. I am quite careless with sanitation of the sample, and view it as an 'early-warning' system --- if that sample tastes infected after a few days, I'll try harder on other things, with any luck before I lose a batch. Greg Troxel <gdt at n1dam.lcs.mit.edu> Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 10:44 CDT From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Dry vs Wyeast I think Russ makes a good point: > The real topic is why Wyeast fermented beer might seem "watery" to >someone used to dry yeast ferments. I feel the reason is that the dry yeast >produces many of the components usually considered "harsh" - higher alcohols, >etc. The Wyeast-ferments produce less, leaving a cleaner, smoother brew (less >harsh). This smoothness can be perceived as "watery" when one is used to the >"bite" of the harsh components. I think this may be a very valid difference between dry and liquid yeasts. Perhaps the small numbers of wild yeasts present in dry yeast packets, produce some added complexity -- the bacterial problems I've encountered with dry yeasts keep me from going back, though. Flavor preferences *are* very dependent on what one is used to and this is why it's important to keep an open mind and keep tasting -- especially other brewer's homebrews - -- they tend to be farther "off the beaten path." By the way, I recently tried a batch made by a friend from a Cooper's Real Ale Kit with the dry yeast included. Excellent beer! I wonder if they sell the yeast that comes with the Cooper's kits separately -- it seems to be a good one, at least in terms of flavor cleanliness. I've got no data on bacterial counts for it, however. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 11:03 CDT From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: London Ale Yeast Mark asks about the attenuation of Wyeast London Ale yeast (#1028): >6.6#'s dark extract, 2 #'s brown sugar, and 1/2 # >crystal. I had an OG of 1.058, which seemed pretty >good. But I had an FG of 1.008 which seemed way too >low. I agree it's too low. What you got is 1 - (0.008/0.058) = 0.86 = 86% attenuation. That's too much attenuation compared to what I've been getting with #1028, namely 65% to 67%. The brown sugar is roughly 95% fermentable, so it's bringing down your FG, but IMHO, not all the way to 1.008. Perhaps it's an infection problem. I've found that dry yeast starts about twice as fast as Wyeast and thus the sanitation techniques that worked for dry yeast may be not good enough for Wyeast. Re-evaluate your techniques and spruce-up the weak links. Using a starter will shorten lag time and thus may give the yeast enough of an advantage on the bacteria to make them insignificant. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1992 09:25:46 PDT From: Alan_D._Thomson.LAX1B at xerox.com Subject: Hydrometers Maltose-mates, After about two years of brewing, I've decided to go all grain. The problem is that I have a vision problem making it VERY hard to read my (yet unused) hydrometer. While brewing extracts, this has not been much of a problem (in fact no problem at all), but what I've read about all grain brewin', it's necessary to read the big H (with very small lettering) to determine when the runoffs SG has dropped to a cretin point. Now to my point: How can I get an SG reading without "reading" a hydrometer? Now, I can't be the only HBDer in the dark? AT PS: Just to shed some light on the subject, I do have some vision (enough to get myself in trouble with C). But, not enough to read small print (phone books, newspapers, boring manuals, etc...) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1992 13:21 EDT From: HULTINP at QUCDN.QueensU.CA Subject: Invert Sugar and other stuff Hi there, this is my first posting to HBD. I am an all-mash homebrewer with about 7 years experience. My stuff comes out under the aegis of the "Brown Mouse Brewery" (strictly in fun!). Anyhow, in HBD #974, Bart Lipkens asks about INVERT SUGAR. Invert sugar is simply a mixture of glucose and fructose resulting from the hydrolysis of sucrose aka cane sugar aka table sugar. It is sometimes known as "high fructose corn sugar". A cheap and available substitute therefore is simply the ordinary corn sugar sold in homebrew stores, although invert sugar is somewhat sweeter. Invert sugar is NOT the same as table sugar, as a result of the hydrolysis step. Also in HBD #974, Peter Nesbitt asks about plastic carboys. I used plastic for several years with success, but discovered a big problem which has caused me to abandon this material. Plastic can be easily scratched during cleaning, and once scratched, can be next to impossible to sterilize due to bacteria getting hidden in deep grooves. I spent quite a while trying to locate the source of off flavours in a year-long series of brews, until I ditched the carboys and got glass ones. Stick to glass, the higher cost initially is worth the saved anguish of spoiled brew! Finally, Josh Grosse told about using a pump to recirculate during mashing. What sort of pump was this, and how did you protect it from clogging, and how was it cleaned for use? All the best to all out there. Phil Hultin. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 10:33:12 PDT From: thomasf at deschutes.ico.tek.com (Thomas D. Feller) Subject: Solder I have recently checked this out in some detail so I will offer some advice. Use a plumbing grade solder that has some silver in it (often called silver bearing). All modern plumbing solder is lead free, the make up for silver bearing solder is: 90% Tin 5% Silver 5% Antimony This type of solder is approved of use in drinking water systems both hot and cold and should safe in any brew use. In order to solder with this you have to make sure everything is very clean and you must use an approved flux. The flux but me designed for use with water pipe so it will wash away with water. You can get all this stuff for a plumbing supply store. If the make up of the solder is not printed on the package ask for a material safety sheet. These are required for most industrial materials. Hope this helps, Tom Feller Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 13:48:28 EDT From: mm at workgroup.com (Mike Mahler) Subject: Homebrew Headaches Yes, it's possible. If you are creating alot of ketones during your brewing, you could get some nasty headaches. Michael Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 16:03:00 -0400 From: mccamljv at ldpfi.dnet.dupont.com Subject: Seattle Info, 6 Month Primary Brew Brothers and Sisters, I'll be travelling to the Seattle area for a wedding at the end of Oct. I used to live there (Olympia), but that was 6 years ago and I'm sure things have changed. Could someone post here or e-mail to me directly a listing with all of the must see/go to Brewpubs/Micros in the Sea-Tac/Olympia area. I would greatly appriciate it. Thanks in advance. Wheat Beer with six(6) month Primary update: This is a follow up to a post I had a couple of issues ago where I told yawl about a wheat beer I brewed that had been in the primary for 6 months. Well I bottled a case worth (~2.25 gals.) and used the rest for fertilizer (as promised). Believe it or not, it is not too bad...The FG was 1.004 (OG 1.048) which is way too low, but overall it tasted like a wheat beer. I only siphoned out the top half of the carboy, maybe that had something to do with it ???? I was really expecting some pretty nasty stuff. Anyone out there with a similar experience??? Yours in Brewing Joel McCamley - "Constanly Relaxing, Not Worrying, and Having a Homebrew" - "Help!! I've fallen and I can't reach my homebrew." Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 14:22:08 MDT From: Bob Green <green at hpmtaa.lvld.hp.com> Subject: Need more kegs !!! Does anyone in Northern Colorado have any soda kegs they want to get rid of ? I just tapped my first kegged stout, and it's as close to a cask conditiond ale I've had this side of the pond. Bob "Bottles? We don't need no stinking bottles" Green Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 13:27:27 -0700 From: Dave Gilbert <solomon!dave at yoda.eecs.wsu.edu> Subject: yards So, does anyone out there have addresses or phone numbers of catalogs that carry those spiffy "yard" glasses? I saw some of them while trying out the SLO Brewery in San Louis Obispo(sp?), and decided that my glass collection was seriously suffering by not having any. Unfortunately my wife and cousins were in much to big of a hurry and the place was a little to busy for me to get a chance to ask the bartender where they get theirs. BTW, SLO's porter is very good and the food was good also. If only I'd had time to sit and try out their other brews (deep sigh of regret). Thanx in advance Dave Gilbert dave at aha.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 18:56:59 EDT From: chuck at synchro.com (Chuck Cox) Subject: Beer Judge Study Guide Howdy- As many of you probably know, I recently released the second edition of the Beer Judge Exam Study Guide. Since it is over 30k long, I decided not to post it to the digest. Thanks to the efforts of Stephen Hansen and Michael Hall, it has been been added to the HBD archives. The file name is 'beerjudgeguide'. See the digest header for details on accessing the archives. - -- Chuck Cox <chuck at synchro.com> In de hemel is geen bier, daarom drinken wij het hier. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 15:30:44 pdt From: Brian Davis <brian%mbf.uucp at ics.uci.edu> Subject: Thanks for the importing info I'd like to thank all of you who replied to my request for info on bringing beer home from Belgium. I didn't have nearly as much time in Belgium as I thought I would, so I didn't have a chance to tour any breweries or try any bars. But I did manage to bring back 13 liters of wonderful fluids. I had hoped for more. But I was traveling by train instead of car, so I couldn't buy more than I could carry. The customs guy at LAX raised his eyebrows when I told him how much beer I had, but he waved me through. When I started buying this stuff I got carried away and started picking up any bottle within reach. ( It was a wonderful feeling! ) I'm going to need some help figuring out what some of this stuff is. What I've got is: Chimay blue label, '91 and '92 ( couldn't buy only lambics! ) F. Boon Kriek Marriage Parfait F. Boon Lambic Marriage Parfait Cantillion Kriek Cantillion Gueze Cantillion Rose de Gambrinus Cantillion Gueze Vigneronne ( OK, I figured out what this was, lambic with raisins. But I've never seen a sensory profile for this stuff. What should I expect? ) *** Cantillion Bruocsella 1900 ( label says "old lambic", cork says 1992 ) *** Cantillion Brabantiae So, what are these last two? How long are these beers aged before they leave the brewery? To my questions, C.R. Saikley said: >The best place I found to purchase beer for carry-out is in Brussels. >It's called Biers Artisinals, and has a huge selection of beers and >glassware. I don't have the address handy, but can email it if desired. >If you go there, talk to the proprietor, Nasser Ektaferi. Nasser is >full of info about the Belgian beer scene, and enjoys meeting beer >freaks from other parts of the world. His recommendations were >excellent, and as I was leaving his store, he gave me a couple more >bottles of his favorites. Try doing that in the states! This was indeed the Mecca of the Belgian beer scene. I talked to a man who seemed to be the proprietor. I didn't get his name, but the sig on the receipt doesn't look at all like Nasser. Whoever it was had some very good news. He said that he was going to be in Los Angeles next week in order to work on opening a branch of Biers Artisinals there!! He was shaking a stack of federal paper work at me, and questioning me about why Americans are so stupid that they have to have warning labels on beer telling you that it will get you drunk. Just wait until he sees the paper work he'll have to do for California. He did give me a free bottle of some stuff named Delerium Tremens. Nasty kick in that bottle -- very alcoholic. They have cute t-shirts and glasses with their pink elephant logo. And later CR said: >A couple of folks have requested the address of Biers Artisanales in >Brussels, so here it is. > > Waverse Steenweg 174 > 1050 Brussels > Tel 02/512.17.88 > >The nearest subway stop is St. Gilles Of course being a bilingual country everything in Belgium has two names. The name of the street as it appears on their letterhead, the street signs and the Michelin map is Chaussee de Wavre. If your travel companion doesn't want to go to Belgium just to drink beer, don't dispair. When in Paris look up the Taverne de la Biere at 15 rue de Dunkerque. They are conveniently located across the street from Gare d'Nord. They have 109 beers from Belgium alone! ( 103 bottled, 6 on tap ) If you're really homesick, they even have Michelob for 38 Fr per bottle. I spent four evenings in this place, having about four beers per night. Not only was the beer always served in the proper glass style, the glass almost always had the brewer's logo on it. Their glassware storage room must be HUGE! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 19:19:33 PDT From: grumpy!cr at uunet.UU.NET (C.R. Saikley) Subject: Competition Level In HBD # 975, Al K. makes some good points about the merits of entering competitions. There was one point, however, that went off like a landmine in my mind when I read it. >Note that you >don't need to win 1st, 2nd or 3rd at the Nationals to win something -- if >you brew a beer that doesn't have an infection, you will probably get at >least a Bronze Certificate no matter what category you enter your beer in >- -- call it a pat-on-the-back. This will vary considerably depending on your location, size of competition, ability of other brewers in your area, etc. If you live in CA, this is definitely not true. Larger competitions generally have preliminaries, and infected brews don't make the cut. As a judge, it's not uncommon to be faced with 12 Pale Ales that are all free of infection. I've tasted many a good brew that finished 4th, 5th, 6th.... The overall quality of homebrewed beers has improved drastically over the last few years, which is a truly wonderful trend. Having a tougher time winning awards seems like a small price to pay. CR Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 22:49:49 EDT From: localhost!davevi at uunet.UU.NET (David Van Iderstine) Subject: Re: headaches I've had headaches periodically when I have a couple of homebrews as well. I find it a sort of forced moderation. Mine may be caused by other bad habits in concert with beer, like smoking. Does anyone know of homebrew contents specifically linked to headaches, besides (the obvious) alcohol? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1992 01:32 EST From: Carlo Fusco <G1400023 at NICKEL.LAURENTIAN.CA> Subject: archive questions Hello, I have just been looking through the archive for the homebrew digest. I found some files titled homebrewstax.sit.hqx. Are these files for the Macintosh? If yes, are they for HyperCard? What do they contain? How do I download them?(I tried downloading them using FTP binary to get them to the VAXand used Zmodem to get them to my Mac, then used Stuffit Classic to de'binhex them and unstuff them, but it did not work, the machine got caught in a loop)I guess all I want to know is: What are these files and how do I get them? Is there a list of abstracts for the entries in the archive? How do I use the archive? Thanks to all those who reply. Carlo Fusco g1400023 at nickel.laurentian.ca Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #976, 09/24/92