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HOMEBREW Digest #1040 Thu 24 December 1992

Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

Subpoena--a modest proposal (BOKENKAM)
Raisin Stout? (Greg_Habel)
lawyers (J. Fingerle)
Pub requests / beer from near-beer (Ed Hitchcock)
food grade buckets, subpoena (James Dipalma)
Re: Proposed Standards for Pub Crawling ("Spencer W. Thomas")
useful info ( Todd Vafiades)
Zymurgy in plastic (Rick Myers)
Re: ...Pub [email protected] (Michael L. Hall)
Re: Proposed Standards for Pub Crawling (Arthur Delano)
Reports, Temp, N-A (Jack Schmidling)
yeast culturing (J. Fingerle)
Pub Crawls and phonebooks (Richard Childers)
RE: Extract Rates (Darryl Richman)
Pub Info..... (whg)

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Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 05:33:41 EST
From: [email protected]
Subject: Subpoena--a modest proposal

In addition to boycotting SA ("Boston Beer" (c)) products, I
would like to suggest that all microbreweries and homebrewers
henceforth print the words "Boston beer" on all of their labels,
perhaps in the form of a stylized motto, such as "Sic Transit
Boston Beer" or "Sic Semper Boston Beers." (I'll wager that
others can think of equally pertinent mottoes. What about
something in German, for example?) Who knows? It could become
an American tradition, like freedom of speech. (Got that, mole-

modestly, Stephen R. Bokenkamp (as with Ahmed, where I live
there is no real beer--except in my basement {thanks all! and
happy holidays!!})


Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 09:14:32 est
From: [email protected]
Subject: Raisin Stout?

I am getting together with a fellow brewer during the Xmas season.
He has suggested using raisins in a sweet stout recipe. Has anyone
ever attempted using raisins in any of their beers? How should they
be added, prepared, and when? Have a nice holiday season fellow
HBDers! Greg H.


Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 09:13:38 EST
From: [email protected] (J. Fingerle)
Subject: lawyers

[email protected] (Chuck Cox) expectorates:

>I am considering adding something like "Starve a lawyer -
>Boycott Sam Adams Beer", I would like to hear your suggestions.

Starving's too good for them, I say a pre-emptive strike on all
lawyers! Love him or hate him, VP Quayle hit the nail on the head:

I paraphase:

We lead the world in lawyers per capita. We have an EIGHT to one
advantage per capita compared to the number two country. AND THAT'S

Yes, folks, that's far too many. Whew! Just had to get that out of me!
- --
name: Jimmy What's wrong here: A child can get a
email: [email protected] condom from the school nurse anytime but
-or- [email protected] needs parental permission to get an aspirin


Date: 23 Dec 1992 10:19:17 -0400
From: Ed Hitchcock
Subject: Pub requests / beer from near-beer

I disagree with Richard Childers. If I go somewhere, I do not want to
check out every pub in the town, and the locals frequently drink swill, so
they are not a good source of information. A two line request for good pubs or
microbreweries does not tie up the net, nor use up a lot of space in the HBD.
As long as replies are mailed, what's the problem?

*** *** *** ***

Ahmed B. M. Shuraim asked about making beer from non-alcoholic beer.
There are two kinds on non-alcoholic beer: de-alcoholized and malt
beverage. The first is regular or light beer which has had the alcohol
removed, but there is still typically .5% alcohol left. Malt beverages are
unfermented beer, are quite sweet, and contain no alcohol. If you have these,
you can add yeast and it will ferment to beer. Brewer's yeast is of course
preferred. Baker's yeast will make something vaguely like beer, but it
won't taste very good. If this process is illegal where you live, I do not
aprove of breaking the law.



Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 10:05:55 EST
From: [email protected] (James Dipalma)
Subject: food grade buckets, subpoena

Hi All,

Last week, I related an experience with a bad batch of beer, and
asked for help identifying the cause. One of the problems I
suspected was the use of non-food grade buckets for a lauter tun.
Many thanks to Greg Wageman for providing the following information:

The acronym you're probably thinking of is "HDPE", which stands for
"High Density PolyEthylene", which can indeed be a food-grade plastic.
I don't believe it is required that this abbreviation appear, but it is
one of the standard recyling codes, along with triangular "cycle of
arrows" containing a code number (in this case, "2" for HDPE).

Needless to say, there are numerous other types of food-grade plastic,
including LDPE (Low Density PolyEthylene, often used in plastic milk
cartons) and PETE (PolyEthylene TErephthalate, used in 2-liter soda
bottles, amongst other things).

The important thing is that the manufacturer state that the plastic is
"food-grade", because they can (and often do) add dyes and chemicals
(additional "plasticizers" and softeners) to what would otherwise be
food-grade plastic. These are not "food-grade" because the additives
are not chemically stable and can be leached out of the plastic under
the right conditions (e.g. sufficient heat and/or pH)

I think the only way to be sure is if a) the item was originally used
to contain food or potable beverage or b) if purchased new and empty,
the label specifically indicates that it can be used for food storage.
Personally I wouldn't use anything that didn't meet one of these
qualifications. (I know, for example, that some household cleaning
products are packaged in plastic bottles that have the recycling code
on them; I wouldn't consider them food grade by any means!)

Disclaimer: I'm not a chemist by any means, I've picked up the above
information from various sources including local nature museums that
promote recycling.

The buckets I used for the lauter tun were purchased in a hardware
store and do not have "HPDE" or the triangular cycle of arrows with
the "2" inside. I believe they are not food grade.
The moral here is make absolutely sure buckets used for brewing are
food-grade. That said, anybody know a source for 3-4 gallon food-grade
buckets? 🙂


I also wanted to take this opportunity to publicly express my
support for Chuck Cox and his position, as stated in the last HBD.

>I'm never going to drink a Sam Adams product
>again, not if its the only decent beer in an airport bar, not even if
>its free. Yes, I'll drink Bud or water instead of Sam Adams.

I totally agree, except that I can't distinguish between Bud and

>Obviously one of Koch's drones is reading the net for him:

Obviously, so here's a message: if you really want to improve the
wealth and stature of your company, then stop your litigious ways, and
start spending your money on improving the quality and variety of your
product, instead of wasting it on idiotic lawsuits.



Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 10:17:38 EST
From: "Spencer W. Thomas"
Subject: Re: Proposed Standards for Pub Crawling

Richard Childers suggests using the phone book instead of the HBD to
find brewpubs when travelling. While this is a good idea, in my
experience you get a lot information from the HBD than you would ever
get from a phone book.

1) You get personal feedback on the qualities of the various
establishments. This was critical for me on a recent trip to the Left
Coast, as it let me skip a couple of places I might otherwise have
wasted time on.

2) You can find out before you get there what the options are. This
is important when you're trying to squeeze a little pubbing into a
business trip.

3) You may get offers of pub-crawling companions. I spent a pleasant
Saturday evening in the company of a fellow HBDer and friends that
would have otherwise been spent in solitary contemplation of the
bottom of a glass (well, several glasses, actually).

4) You may find out about possibilities outside the "phone book" area.
Again, on my trip to Berkeley, I got info on pubs from SF (and south)
to Mendocino and Hopland, as well as in the Berkeley-Oakland area.

5) Phone books are published once a year, brewpubs seem to come and go
faster than that sometimes.

That said, I don't want everyone to take this as a "green light" to
flood the HBD with requests. If you know you'll be going somewhere in
the near future, you can watch the HBD for suggestions (there was a
nice review of some SF-and-south pubs in today's issue), and you can
scan the archives (see the HBD header for information on how to get
stuff from the archives). Tom Kaltenbach's thread program (in the
archives, for PC and Unix) makes it really easy to scan back issues
for a particular topic.

Also, when responding to a request for brewpub information, please
send personal mail. If the requestor receives good stuff, he or she
can then summarize it to the list. This will do more than "banning"
requests to keep the S/N ratio high. After all, a request is usually
about 1 or 2 lines long, and doesn't take up much space (barring
page-long signature files).

=Spencer W. Thomas | Info Tech and Networking, B1911 CFOB, 0704
"Genome Informatician" | Univ of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
[email protected] | 313-747-2778, FAX 313-764-4133


Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 12:15:52 EST
From: [email protected] ( Todd Vafiades)
Subject: useful info

a little quasi-flame action... hold on to your heat sinks:

In direct response to Mr. Childers complaint about individuals asking
the HBD about recommended brewpubs in a given area they are bound for...

Maybe I don't understand the purpose for the existence of the HBD but
let me give you my best guess:

The HBD is a forum within which individuals can share information, ask
questions and give advice on ANY home-brew related practice or issue.

I feel sorry for Mr. Childers in that he finds it necessary to attempt
to "lower the noise level" by insinuating that questions relative to
recommended brew-pubs are superfluous. I personally have asked the big
"question" before and I received a wealth of information relative to
the greater bay area brew-pubs. On my trip, I gained tons of insight as
to the practices and semi-secrets observed by different brewers, not to
mention just the sheer joy of the experience of visiting those brew-pubs
that others in the HBD have recommended. This is supposed to be fun, right?
Why not attempt to use some advice from fellow HBDers to allow a higher
percentage of great-pubs-visited rather than wasting time through trial-and-

Furthermore, "what's a phone book? duhhh, I don't know how to use one, duhh"
Come on, Mr Childers, are you serious? Do you really think this? This is a
rather sad commentary on your perception of the real world, isn't it? ... And
if you are so tired and bored of people asking perfectly legitimate questions,
perhaps you need to take some time off for a little r&r. (Unless you're being
sarcastic, in which case... never mind, but your posting seemed quite serious).

I usually don't become involved with these sorts of flameish rebuttles
but I think that Mr. Childers is just plain wrong on this one and he
needs to understand that his perception of the usefullness of the HBD
may not correlate well with that of others!

There now, with that said,

I'll be heading to Austin, TX in the near future and I'd really appreciate
any input on the best places (brew-pubs or good taverns) to visit. If you
don't wish to belabor the HBD with your response than please feel free
to email me directly. By the way, Celis is my first and foremost target
and if any of you have visited there already, it would be great to hear
from you.

happy brewpub hopping & learning, Todd ;^)


Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 10:23:28 MST
From: Rick Myers
Subject: Zymurgy in plastic

> Date: 22 Dec 1992 9:10 EST
> From: [email protected] (adietz)
> Subject: Zymurgy utility
> (and as long as I'm griping, heh heh) Is anyone besides me
> ticked off that the magazine arrived sealed in plastic?

Ticked off? No, I'm GLAD they decided to do something right...I
was tired of having the postal service rip my Zymurgy to shreds before
I could read it. It now arrives in perfect condition.

(Oh, I know - you wanted it in glass. :-))
- --
Rick Myers [email protected]
Information Technology Specialist
Network Test Division
Colorado Springs, CO


Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 10:57:02 MST
From: [email protected] (Michael L. Hall)
Subject: Re: ...Pub [email protected]

I agree with Richard Chillers that there is too much noise on the HBD
concerning questions like "Where do I go in city X for a good beer?".
He suggested that everyone consult the local phone book. While this is
a good last resort, there are some other, far superior, choices.

First, there are a couple of books:

1. A book by Pat Baker called something like "A Guide to Pubs".
(Cost: about $4.00) It is an older book that came out before
much of the recent revival in brewpubs.

2. Books by Steve Johnson called "On Tap" (~$15) and "The On Tap
Companion" (~$10), published by the World Beer Review people.
These are great books, with a separate page for each brewpub
listing info about what kind of place it is (e.g. kind of
food, kind of music, atmosphere, list of beers served). The

Companion book was put out a year or so after the first book,
because there were so many new brewpubs. Maybe they'll put out
another one soon.

All of these are available from the AHA, and probably from your favorite
homebrew mailorder place. I've heard that there is a similar book put out
by CAMRA for British pubs (check old HBDs for more info).

Then, there is a pretty extensive list that is available by anon ftp
from (the archive for the HBD). Once connected, the
file is in "/pub/homebrew/publist.Z". The list was put together by John
R. Mellby ([email protected]) and is quite complete. It
contains listings by *country*, state, and city. The U.S. has the most
listings, but there are a surprising number of entries from around the
rest of the world. I usually just print out the pages corresponding to
the part of the world my upcoming trip will take me to.

I am not related to anybody mentioned, but I must admit to being very
grateful to them for making my travels that much more enjoyable.

Mike Hall
[email protected]


Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 13:43:30 EST
From: Arthur Delano
Subject: Re: Proposed Standards for Pub Crawling

Richard Childers writes:

]I would like to ask everyone who is about to go *somewhere* and feels it
]is appropriate to ask everyone in the entire Net, if they 'know of any
]good pubs in ' ... please don't.
]May I suggest an alternative.
[alternatives deleted]

Since the Internet is seen by many as the source where all information
resides (or can be accessed quickly), it's easy for people to think
that any information can be gathered with an email message. But doing
so costs time and energy from the person who has to look the stuff up,
which doesn't always seem fair.

Therefore, for hard copy and then for electronic copy, in a very rough
best-to-worst order, the following are all good ways to learn where
brewpubs are (relevant to the U.S. and Canada especially):

1> Phonebooks. Your community library has many shelf-feet of phone-
books from every major city in the U.S. and Canada. If the city
you need isn't represented, there is always (destination area code)
555-1212 for information. (I've found that some large corporations
also have libraries and/or a massive collection of phonebooks, with at
least one directory for every city in which a branch office resides).

2> Other books. There is at least one brewpub guide available, although
the title and author's name escapes me now. There is also Michael
Jackson's _Pocket Guide to Beer_, which might not be definitive about
brewpubs in the U.S. (after all, the latest edition is 2 years old),
but there are enough listed to start on, and it is fun to read. In
Britain, there is the CAMRA guide.

3> Magazines. There are titles for beer drinkers and brewpub operators,
both of which have reviews and announcements of recent openings.
Ask your local newsstand for _All About Beer_, _The Celebrator_
(for the west coast), or others.

4> The online brewpubs directory, archived and sometimes posted on Somebody is compiling a list of brewpubs in the U.S.
and Canada, and is soliciting additions and comments. I'm sorry
that i can't provide access data; ask on (since i don't
travel, i don't keep close taps, er, tabs on listings about other

5> Technically speaking, this is the newsgroup in which
questions about brewpubs belong, but a lot of sites have restricted
or no access to alt. groups. (between you, me, and the other
x0,000 readers, i think the noise level on is awful high;
keep a killfile handy).

6> Other mailing lists. Some email mailing lists are dedicated to
beer-related activities in regional areas; ask around.

7> rec.crafts.brewing. Not the appropriate newsgroup, but close if one
doesn't have access to, the advantage here being that a
reader can simply list out article headers and decide on what to read
from it.

8> A somewhat appropriate newsgroup, and ignore the
folks who tell you to take your post to

9> The Homebrew Digest. Heck, i just skim past the requests i see, with
minimal time wasted. If the Earnest Seeker were to keep his question
down to a couple lines, it would be even easier to skip past for those
who wouldn't be able to help. Those who can help don't need to know
the circumstances of the visit, they only need when and where the
Seeker will be.

Those who reply to a question about finding brewpubs ought to do so
by email; a cluster of well-meaning souls can thin the content of the
HBD (and newsgroups) by posting narrowly specific information. On the
other hand, i enjoy reading reviews and comments on brewpubs in trip
reports, because they have information useful to a broader variety of
readers, and are fun to read.



Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 11:59 CST
From: [email protected] (Jack Schmidling)
Subject: Reports, Temp, N-A

>From: Richard Childers
>Subject: Proposed Standards for Pub Crawling

>It's getting tired and boring....

Amen! Although the questions are harmless, it's the answers that are tedious
and should be restricted to email.

> (4) go home and _then_ tell everyone about it.

Even then, I would suggest it be limited to the quality of the beer. There
are other fora for ambience and food discussions.

While I am at it, we had dinner at the Berghoff in Chicago last week and
tasted their Weisbier and Porter.

Never having tasted Weisbier before, I can only say it was interesting but I
have no idea why it is so popular with homebrewers. There was nothing at all
memorable about it.

The Porter tasted a bit heavy and strong for a Porter, but what do I know?
Again, nothing memorable other than being able to get something besides Bud
at a restaraunt.

>From: [email protected] (Randall Holt)

>This is the first winter I've brewed in, and I'm a little disappointed
to find that my basement hovers at a steady 52-55 degrees F.

I think you are in too much of a hurry. That is just about the ideal
temperature for all-purpose brewing.

I would suggest that you just make sure you have an adequate starter volume
and allow 24 to 48 hrs for fermentation to get underway. By heating up the
wort you do nothing to improve the quality of the beer.

>Can anyone think of major disadvantages other than monopolizing the utility
sink all winter long?

I can't think of a good reason to do it.

>I'll let you know how it turns out.

My guess is, it will be the best ale you ever made.

>From: Ahmed B. M. Shuraim

> I have been told that one can make real beer from non-alcoholic beer by
adding some sugar and baking yeast.

You will make nothing but n-a with a little more a in it but any resemblence
to "real beer" is beyond the technology.

Most n-a (American made) was made from lousy beer in the first place and is
beyond repair.

I suggest you read on and find out how to make real beer in the first place.

>P.S. Where I live, there is no real beer.

Can't tell where you live, but that is a common problem that has driven most
of us to make our own. Although good beer is becoming more available, once
you get hooked on hombrewing, you won't care anymore.



Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 14:53:39 EST
From: [email protected] (J. Fingerle)
Subject: yeast culturing

Well, I'll probably be reposting this 'cus it'll be in the
Christmas eve digest and I'd assume a few folks won't see it.

In any event, I have been receiving responses on yeast culturing
from a variety of people (THANKS!) but no one ever mentioned
culturing from the 'sludge' at the bottom of the primary or
secondary. If you can use the dregs of 2 or 3 bottles to culture,
it seems to me that it would be much easier
to simply save the sludge from a primary and use it several ounces at
a time to start a culture.

That way you'd be getting first generation yeast when you needed
it, without having to worry about drinking several bottles just
to get your raw material (not that I find that a hardship.)

No one has mentioned this, so I'm this valid?

- --
name: Jimmy What's wrong here: A child can get a
email: [email protected] condom from the school nurse anytime but
-or- [email protected] needs parental permission to get an aspirin

P.S. Enjoy the holidays! (The politically correct way of saying
'Merry Christmas'!


Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 15:10:32 PST
From: Richard Childers
Subject: Pub Crawls and phonebooks

"The HBD is a forum within which individuals can share information, ask
questions and give advice on ANY home-brew related practice or issue."

We agree.

"I feel sorry for Mr. Childers ..."

Call me Richard, if it doesn't blunt the edge of your Bic-sized flame.

" ... in that he finds it necessary to attempt
to "lower the noise level" ..."

Try, 'raise the quality'.

" ... by insinuating that questions relative to
recommended brew-pubs are superfluous. I personally have asked the big
"question" before ..."

In other words, you are taking this personally and are not free of bias.

"Why not attempt to use some advice from fellow HBDers to allow a higher
percentage of great-pubs-visited rather than wasting time through trial-and-

Because trial-and-error is how the people whom you are asking got _their_

"Come on, Mr Childers, are you serious? Do you really think this? This is a
rather sad commentary on your perception of the real world, isn't it?"

Maybe. It might be holiday stress, and all my fault, entirely. I am ready
to deal with that possibility, and thank all those whom advised me to relax.

It might be all the geniuses getting ready to go visit their friends and,
eager to impress them with a superficial knowledge of their locale, demand
this information from a world-wide audience.

"... if you are so tired and bored of people asking perfectly legitimate
questions ..."

I don't believe it's been established yet that these are legitimate.

"I'll be heading to Austin, TX in the near future and I'd really appreciate
any input on the best places (brew-pubs or good taverns) to visit."

When I get questions like this I pull out the phone book and look up the
addresses and phone numbers. Why can't you ?

- -- richard

- -- richard childers [email protected] 1 415 506 2411
oracle data center -- unix systems & network administration

"If Life is a drama, then, surely, the hardest parts go to the most skillful."


Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 15:29:41 PST
From: Darryl Richman
Subject: RE: Extract Rates

[email protected] (Tom Leith MIR/ERL 362-6965) writes:
> [...] You want to know pH, total hardness, calcium
> content, and sodium content. You can also go to your local aquarium
shop and
> buy test kits to tell you pH and total hardness. These are the two
main things
> to know, and pH is far-and-away the more important. In fact, if you
just get a

I'd like to make a couple points about what Tom has said.

In fact, the pH of your water is not terribly important. If you have
soft water, the pH could be anywhere, but since there is nothing in the
water to buffer it, even a small amount of an acid substance will
acidify the water. On the other hand, if you have a substantial amount
of carbonates, this will give a mild alkalinity to the water
_and_buffer_it_ strongly. In this case, the acid formed by the grist
and any free calcium may not be enough to overcome the buffering. Even
if it is overcome, when you lauter, you are removing most of the
acidity with the wort. If you sparge with more of this alkaline,
buffered water, whatever acidity remains will be rapidly overcome.

It is the pH of the mash, both during mashing and lautering, that is
important. This is because, during mashing, the diastatic enzymes work
best in an acid environment; and while lautering, tannins are more
easily released from the grain husks in an alkaline environment.

Some have recommended acidifying sparge water with acid. This is not
necessary if your water is not buffered with carbonates. My experience
with Los Angeles water, at about 120ppm hardness, most of it not from
carbonates, was that I could sparge with as much as half a gallon of
(untreated) water per pound of grist and the outflow would never rise
above pH 5.8.

Another point is that dark malts, crystal and roasted, are all more
acidic than pale malt. If you are making a dark beer, the mash will be
more acidic, and will tend to stay more acidic. Historically, dark
beers come from places with high carbonate water (London, Dublin, Munich...).

> ALL of the water you use for brewing should be boiled before use. If
you fill

There is no need to boil all your water before you brew. If your water
comes with a lot of chlorine, an activated charcoal filter will remove
it. You need only boil and decant your water if you have a lot of
carbonates. If this is the case, another technique to lower the
carbonate concentration (along with everything else) is to cut your tap
water with distilled water.

> This is all covered in great detail in Dave Miller's _The Complete
Handbook of
> Homebrewing_. I reccommend this book most highly. There's enough theory to

So, the bottom line is, contact your water supplier and get an analysis
(they will send it to you for free, generally). Measure the pH of your
mash after doughing in, and while sparging. I agree, Miller's book is
a great source of information. If you're on a well or other private
source and don't want to pay for testing, read Noonan's article in the
conference transcripts two years back.

--Darryl Richman


Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 08:53:08 CST
From: [email protected]
Subject: Pub Info.....

This is not a flame but.....

This is a public formum, people ask for info and other people get it.
I skip most of the article that begin with "anybody know of a good pub in ...."
but once in a while I reply if I do know. And you know what, in a couple of
weeks I'll be going to Indy, and I'll probably ask for some recommendations.
I know that people have recommended something before but I don't remember and I
don't save every work written here.

If you don't want to read something, don't skip it, chill out.


Walter Gude || [email protected]


Date: Wed, 23 Dec 92 09:27:45 CST
From: [email protected]

Warning: The following is pure conjecture!

>The beer appeared to have developed a small amount of
carbonation already (!?!), and foamed slightly with every bottle I
filled. Considering the batch was still pretty cold from being in the
fridge (about 40F)

I'm not sure this is all that unusual. Of times an ale (especially if the
gravity is still reletively high) with seem to be lightly carbonated in the
carboy. Now add to this that the beer was cold, increassing it's ablity to
hold carbonation. As you rack and fill the bottles the liquid will warm and
the carbonation it used to be able to hold comes out of the solution. Does
this sound plausible? Unless your talking huge amounts of carbonation coming
out I wouldn't start throwing out those bottles yet.

Walter Gude || [email protected]


End of HOMEBREW Digest #1040, 12/24/92

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