HOMEBREW Digest #1080 Thu 18 February 1993
FORUM ON BEER, HOMEBREWING, AND RELATED ISSUES
Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator
HELP! Can bottle carbonation take a long time? (Peter Maxwell)
Change of e-mail address ("Robert Haddad" )
Questions From a Newer-Brewer About 2 Stage Fermentation (Markham R. Elliott)
The results are in! (Chuck Coronella)
Re: New additions to the HBD Archives. ("Stephen Hansen")
Kicking Dead Horse for Better Extraction (Steven Tollefsrud)
Oxygenating Mashes (Joseph Nathan Hall)
Maltmill Kudos (7226 Lacroix)
Re: Dry Hopping ("John DeCarlo")
Re: aeration ("John DeCarlo")
Lager Dry Hopping?, etc from 1079 (Ulick Stafford)
Birmingham Brewing Tour (part II) (Guy McConnell)
Length of carboy aging. (RANDY OLINGER 3-0784 [544-2N-1])
re:ale vs lager yeasts (Jim Busch)
re:ale vs lager yeasts (Jim Busch)
re: Great beers from Dock Street!! (Jim Busch)
irish ale (Tony Babinec)
dry hopping and bottle conditioning (cush)
Wild Yeast Media (George J Fix)
Wyeast data point (Andrius Tamulis)
Re: Adams Family BBC Product Suggestions (Drew Lawson)
Fermenters (George J Fix)
Meeting with Pierre Celis ("Bob Jones")
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Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1993 14:06:43 -0800 (PST)
From: Peter Maxwell
Subject: HELP! Can bottle carbonation take a long time?
I have a problem with my latest batch regarding virtually no bottle
carbonation. Before going further, here are the specifics of the brew:
3 gallon batch (so you'll have to extrapolate to get 5G equivalents)
the boil -
3.5 lbs John Bull light extract syrup in 1.5 gallons water
1.23 oz Willamette for 45 mins
0.35 oz Willamette for 20 mins
(this batch frothed over when I threw in the hops 🙁 so not knowing how
much I lost I added another 0.25 oz)
After boiling I chilled it to 70 degrees (in about 10 minutes using my wort
chiller), let the trub settle for 30 minutes, syphoned into a 5 gallon glass
carboy, added water to make up to 3 gallons and pitched the yeast (WYEAST
1056 which I'd made into a 1 pint starter).
OG = 1.036
After 5 days at 68 degrees it was transferred into a secondary with an
SG of 1.007.
After 1 week in the secondary it was bottled with FG = 1.006.
This was looking great! I wanted a light, dry beer.
1/2 cup corn sugar was boiled in some water, poured into a carboy and the
secondary siphoned into it. Bottling was done from this mixture. At the
time of bottling I noticed it was particularly clear - almost all suspended
cloudiness had fallen to the bottom of the secondary.
4 days later, after storing at 68, there is virtually no carbonation. The
cap hissed a very little on opening, but the beer tastes REALLY flat,
subjectively only marginally, if any, more than there was when it was bottled.
What is going on here? Should I wait longer? If the yeast has mostly all
settled out in the secondary, does this mean a longer than normal
conditioning time? Is it possible to have too little yeast in the bottles
to effectively condition them?
In an experiment I have "modified" three bottles but would like comments as
to whether this is the right thing to do or not:
add 1/4 teaspoon extra sugar directly
add 1/16 teaspoon (roughly measured) of dried yeast directly
put 1/4 teaspoon of dried yeast in 25 ml water to rehydrate and pour 5 ml of
slurry into a bottle
The dried yeast I used was Munton & Fison (happened to have a packet in the
Any advice would be greatly appreicated. I REALLY don't want to throw this
batch out as it tastes great, but do want it carbonated.
Date: 16 Feb 93 17:17:18 EDT
From: "Robert Haddad"
Subject: Change of e-mail address
Please excuse the impersonal nature of this message; It is being sent
to all four or five of my friends, to let you know that my email
address has changed:
🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁
Old: [email protected] 🙁 🙁 BAD, REMOVE, OLD, YUCKY!!! 🙁 🙁
:- ( :- ( :- ( :- (
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
New: [email protected] 🙂 GOOD, KEEP, NEW AND IMPROVED 🙂 🙂
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 93 22:20:53 GMT
From: [email protected] (Markham R. Elliott)
Subject: Questions From a Newer-Brewer About 2 Stage Fermentation
I write as a relative new-brewer and extract user, I have a
few questions to pose to the readership after having read the past
three months of the HBD and C. Papazian's TNCJoHB.
This past weekend I finally aquired a second 5 gallon glass
carboy. After three successful single-stage extract brewings, I
feel comfortable enough to take what I feel is the next step up the
brewing ladder: Doing a two-stage fermentation. Additionally,
this will be my first go at using no sugar in the process, except
for what appears to be the standard use of 3/4 cup for priming.
As I understand the procedure, after the respiration phase has
completed, and the blow-off tube has cleared, I am to siphon the
fermenting brew into the secondary fermentation vessel (with as
little aeration of the liquid as possible), leaving behind whatever
sediment is on the bottom of the primary vessel.
Questions at this point:
1.) Must the transfer to the secondary be done immediately, or
is there a safe window of a day or two? Obviously the transfer
doesn't have to be done at all, but ... I am trying to make a
2.) How important is it not to aerate the wort during the
transfer from primary to secondary.
3.) By leaving behind the sediment, won't there be a
tremendous (significant) amount of viable yeast left behind? My
observations of the fermentation process show that the CO2 rises
from the precipitate at the bottom of the carboy, not from the
material in suspension.
Now, all my primings to this point have been by adding a
measured amount of corn sugar to each bottle, then filling the
bottle, capping, conditioning ... enjoying (er, sort of). Hey,
what can I say, I followed the directions that came with the
extract, and those supplied with the microbrewery kit ... how was
I to know. Beat me, whip me, make me write bad checks! I'm trying
to reform myself.
If I understand the literature, about 3/4 cup of sugar/sugar
equivalent should be boiled in water or sterile wort, then added to
the contents of the secondary, cooled to the temperature of the
remaining 5 gal liquid (is it still called wort at this stage?),
bottled and conditioned as usual.
It would seem that if I add anything to the remianing 5 gal
liquid in the secondary, and mix, all the precipitate will go back
into suspension and consequently be bottled. If I don't mix, what
will be bottled will not be consistantly primed. I was under the
impression that one of the advantages of doing a two-stage
fermentation was to eliminate as much particulate from the bottled
product as possible.
1.) What am I missing here? Do I accept putting all the
precipitate back into suspension and into the bottles, or,
2.) Is there a method of mixing the priming sugar/equivalent
without disturbing the junk in the secondary?
3.) Noting that the 3/4 cup is not carved in stein, if I
substitute dry malt extract for corn sugar, do I use the same 3/4
cup? What if I substitute liquid extract?
4.) Lastly, if I use (for conversation sake) a 3 pound can of
a hopped liquid extract, and want to use dry malt extract (instead
of a second un-hopped can of liquid or [gasp!] sugar) to finish
off the ingredient list, what would be a reasonable amount of DME
be to use as a baseline starting point for future experimentation?
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 93 15:36 MTS
From: Chuck Coronella
Subject: The results are in!
The results of a survey of the HBD readership are in! As you may recall, I
recently submitted a note to the HBD (about a week and a half ago) inviting
everyone to mail me with a desriptor of their brewing level. What a
response!! By 10 a.m., I'd received more than 100 responses! Thanks to all
for participating. (And what a talkative crowd! Sorry that I couldn't answer
The admittedly inadequately simple categories from which I asked people to
choose were as follows:
All Grain if you rarely use extract for your brewing, other than
for yeast culturing,
Intermediate if you do some mashing, partial mashing, some yeast
culturing, etc., but you don't consider yourself very
Extract if you are relatively new to the brewing process, haven't
tried mashing, or in general, consider yourself to be on
the steepest part of the learning curve.
The tallies are as follows:
All Grain: 55
I'd like to make a few comments regarding the survey.
Categorization: Obviously, as stated above, a categarization of only three
simple slots describes the multidimensional brewer only crudely. Some people
have _never_ brewed with extract; some have brewed for ten or more years with
extract only. And so on. I wanted to conduct this poll only to convince
novice brewers that they really should use the HBD, not to annoy readers by
forcing them to categorize themselves. Enough said!
Statistical Discussion: The results to this poll are most likely not truly
representative of the entire HBD readership. I can think of several readers
who regularly post in the HBD who didn't reply. I'm sure that more than 191
people read the HBD. And I suspect that the tone of my original message might
have motivated those on the steepest part of the learning curve to reply,
skewing the results. Also, bravado or modesty might cause people to describe
Use of the HBD: I did all this for one simple reason. I want new brewers to
feel free to use the HBD as a valuable resource for talking with experienced
brewers for the purpose of improving their brewing, as I did. Several
beginners told me that they were certainly intimidated from asking questions.
The HBD has got to be the greatest resource available; use it. From my
results, a _significant_ fraction of the readership brews extract only.
You're not alone!
A few commented that they're annoyed by such questions as "How do you brew
beer?" Obviously, questions like this are inappropriate, but this doesn't
mean that all discussion should be on the level of comparitive mashing
methods. So, use the HBD, but use it wisely.
So there you have it. An incomplete, inadequate survey of the HBD readership.
That's my contribution to brewing science for now. (But with a Ph.D. in
chemical engineering, I should be able to do better than that!)
P.S. For those who must know, I have never tried mashing. I use extracts and
specialty grains (and fruits and spices too, yumm!) Maybe someday when I get
a regular job (and a house with a basement).
P.P.S. Our damn mailer is still giving us problems; my apologies if this
shows up twice.
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 93 15:28:56 -0800
From: "Stephen Hansen"
Subject: Re: New additions to the HBD Archives.
In message <[email protected]> I write:
> I have placed the perl script written by Alan Edwards for computing
> IBUs as a function of AAU, ounces, and boil time in the archives in
> programs/iso.pl (listserv users send "get homebrew iso.pl"). See
> Homebrew Digest #1073 (February 09, 1993) for more information.
Due to line noise that occured somewhere between my brain and my
fingers the IBU calculation script was called iso.pl instead of ibu.pl.
I have renamed it to ibu.pl. I'll leave a link under the old name for
a few days.
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 09:45:46 +0100
From: steve_T%[email protected] (Steven Tollefsrud)
Subject: Kicking Dead Horse for Better Extraction
(that NAG-ging question)
I know that this poor dead horse has been kicked
so many times that it's beginning to seem a bit sadistic,
and I, for one, am starting to tire from all the debate
between advocates of extract brewing and proponents of
all grain brewing, but I felt I might offer just one more
whack at the old quivering nag.
There has been a lot of blatant arrogance expressed by some
all-grain brewers, some implying that extract brewers are
not in the same league, likening extract brewing to mindless
just-add-water cake-mixing, or, even more ridiculous, that
extract is analogous to instant coffee! This has left the
extract brewer feeling ridiculed in a forum intended to be
shared and enjoyed by all home-brewers.
While it was refreshing to see a few all-grain brewers come to
the defense of the extract brewer, I have yet to see one come
out in favor of extract brewing over all-grain brewing.
Maybe, then, all-grain brewing produces a brew of such vast
superiority over extract brewing that it justifies all the time,
expense and complexity. But this isn't always so, is it?
More than a few extract beers have beat out their all-grain
competitors in brew contests. If I were an all-grain brewer
who had made all the investment in equipment and time, I too would
find it difficult to admit, afterward, that it wasn't worth it.
Malt is only one contributor to what makes a good beer, and whether
that one ingredient is extracted from the grain in your kitchen
or at a factory is less significant to the quality of the final
product than what is contributed by the flavor and aroma of
the hops selected, the quantity and quality of the grain added
during the boil, the quality and purity of the water, the subtle
differences between yeasts, or the variations resulting from how
the fermenting was conducted (temperature, secondary fermenter,
sterilization, etc.). Far from being mindless instant cake-mix
brewing, there are more than enough ways of varying the other
contibutors to the formation of beer, intentionally or accidently,
to keep an extract brewer happily experimenting for years.
One of the most common reasons given by all-grain advocates for
making the plunge is for greater control over what goes into
the beer. But I have seen so much space in HBD used up discussing
problems of inconsistancy in all-grain results from one extraction
to the next as to make me shy away from having such "control"
at least until I've got bored with fiddling around with all
the other inputs that can be varied. Being an engineer by
profession, one of the attractions of homebrewing for me is
scientifically experimenting with the brewing process and
understanding how changes in the inputs or process affect
the (hopefully) tasty result. Using a good quality extract
is one way of controlling one of the inputs when I'm interested
in understanding the contibutions of another. How can you
tell the subtle difference a new hop might make when your
grain extract rate or unfermentable content is varying 10%
from one batch to the next?
It's nice to know that when I've become bored with all the
permutations possible in extract brewing, there is still a
whole new world of grain extraction waiting to be explored.
In the mean time, I'd like to feel good about my hobby
and not be belittled by those all-grain mashers who would
make us extract brewers think that we are not really worthy
to call ourselves beer brewers.
e-mail: [email protected]
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 01:34:57 EST
From: [email protected] (Joseph Nathan Hall)
Subject: Oxygenating Mashes
What with all the hooplah about HSA, I thought the passage on
p. 277 of Malting & Brewing Science might be of interest:
... Additions of hydrogen peroxide or charcoal to the mash or
charcoal to the sweet wort also reduce polyphenol levels .
Oxygenating mashes, made with uncured or lightly cured malts,
also reduces the wort anthocyanogen levels, probably through
oxidations catalyzed by polyphenol oxidase, and can result in
beers with enhanced shelf lives . The low levels of
anthocyanogens found in worts from mashes of green malt may also
be due to their destruction by some enzyme-catalysed oxidative
mechanism possibly using oxygen from air entrained in the mash....
Am I to take this to mean that the effects of aeration, at least
in the mash, vary depending upon the color of the mash? Perhaps some
aeration is even GOOD in the case of light-colored worts? In any
event, polyphenols are one thing and melanoidins are another.
I would rather have a hazy beer than a stale one. There is also
obviously the question of whether any of this applies to fully
================O Fortuna, velut Luna, statu variabilis================
uunet!joebloe!joseph (609) 273-8200 day joseph%[email protected]
2102 Ryan's Run East Rt 38 & 41 Maple Shade NJ 08052
Copyright 1993 by Joseph N. Hall. Permission granted to copy and
redistribute freely over USENET and by email. Commercial use prohibited.
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 05:19:31 MST
From: [email protected] (7226 Lacroix)
Subject: Maltmill Kudos
After reading Al's post this morning, I just had to respond. A
couple of months ago, I posted some favorable remarks about the MM. Shortly
thereafter, I received E-mail from one of our resident brewgods lambasting me
for my opinion. I made a few humble offerings to said brewgod and we resolved
the more important issues (like those about my heritage) and both got on with
the rest of our lives. It was refreshing to see someone else who isn't
afraid to voice their opinions on the net. After all fellas, these are only
opinions...chill already. P.S. I still think the MM is the best mill for
HBers....so there ;-)....BTW, all of the blah blah disclaimers apply.
Primitive Brewing P.P.S. Al, get ready for some interesting E-mail!
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 08:35:57 EST
From: "John DeCarlo"
Subject: Re: Dry Hopping
From: Raymond Taylor (Actually Carl Eidbo)
> I have Dry Hopped several batches, with good results, but
>the hops effect on fermentation is what I can't figure out. Each
>time I have Dry Hopped (I have always used pellets), seemingly
>dead fermentation restarts, and continues slowly for quite some
>time. (This is not to be confused with the rapid release of
>dissolved CO2 that can occur soon after the addition of the
> I have a list of possibilities I have thought of, and would
>like to get the HBD's opinions on them:
>3. The Hops provide a matrix for the yeast to attach to, and be
> more exposed to the wort. (Similar to Beechwood?)
Hmmm. Interesting. May have some truth to it.
>5. YOUR ideas here: ______________________________.
I believe it is fairly well-known that items in the fermenter like hops
(especially hop pellets) provide nucleation sites for CO2 production/
release. This can easily account for more bubbling than expected for a
week or more (in my experience, anyway).
I have never seen an lower-than-expected terminal S.G., though, from dry
hopping, but if you have there might be other reasons, such as somehow
rousing the yeast or possibly adding oxygen that the yeast used.
Fidonet: 1:109/131 Internet: [email protected]
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 09:07:55 EST
From: "John DeCarlo"
Subject: Re: aeration
From: [email protected] (J. Williamson)
> First, wort aeration. On reading beginner's books I get the impres-
>sion that I should boil up my extract, grains, etc in my brewpot, and then
>pour the wort through a strainer into my primary, pitch the yeast, seal and
>leave alone. Through this forum and from other sources I've learned that
>the yeast needs oxygen to reproduce therefore the wort should be shaken,
>stirred vigorously just before or after pitching. What is the experts'
>advice? Do I leave the wort alone or not?
Well, first of all, you should *cool* the wort before pouring into the
primary, to avoid oxidation (HSA) that occurs very quickly at such high
Otherwise, pouring wort from a height, through a funnel with a strainer on
it, into a fermenter causes *lots* of splashing and aeration in my house.
I can't imagine that shaking or stirring the wort afterwards would do
anywhere near as good a job of aeration.
Fidonet: 1:109/131 Internet: [email protected]
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 09:31:57 EST
From: Ulick Stafford
Subject: Lager Dry Hopping?, etc from 1079
It is nice to see that posting has caught up. Hopefully it'll
stay that way. Anyway, one post that struck me was John Sullivan's
asking about lager brewing. Generally rack to secondary (lager
vessel) once the froth dies down in the primary. Minor temperature
fluctuations will make little difference, but you shouldn't have
anything too significent in a basement, but the dry hopping question
got me thinking. Traditionally (i.e. Germany, Bohemia) lager
finishing hops are added at the end of the boil, although reading
George Fix's Brewing Science book last night he mentioned that
dry hopping may also be better for lagers. I wonder when would be best -
perhaps the whole lager, or add after krausen dies and let them sit in the
primary for the second week prior to lagering? I am not a fan of dry hopping
as I have had trouble clearing dry hopped beers, but my stema beer that never
cleared tasted just like Anchor. Anyone anyclearing suggestions
that are Reinheitsgebot?
Rob Thomas mentions keeping a strong ale for culturing bacteria low
samples. However, strong beers tend to affect yeast too. My preference
especially now that I have a pH meter is to acid wash yeast and culture
out to totally eliminate bacteria without worrying about mutants.
Norm Pyle considers Miller to be a lager book. I dispute that. It is a
good introductory text on producing many basic beers with typical American
Malts. Noonan, dispite being error riddled, is a lager book. It covers
the essential of lager brewing much better. Hell, Miller recommends priming
with corn sugar. What is Miller's Continental Pilsener book like?
Michael Galloway mentioned how his homebrew store recommended he increase
his grain bill. Good advice, especially for a first all grain batch. I
finally got a Milleresque yield in my last batch. I mashed 12Ib of grain
(10 pilsener, 1 each of Munich and Carapils) for my 14B Dortmunder (6 gallons
or so), expecting my usual 30 point yield. It ended up as 16.5 (out of
AHA style range 🙂 ), a yield of 33. But I carefully doughed in, left
for an extra long protein rest as I desperately sought acid (I had hardened
the water with baking soda and gypsum wasan't cutting it), held the thick
decoction for an extra 10 minutes in the 140-150 range, and held the main
saccarification an extra 10 minutes while I ate my supper. What was the
key factor? Who knows? Will I be back to 30 for my next batch? 25 is
a nice conservative target. You should do better, but tales of first mashes
are usually disappointed because people end up with light beers because
they expected too much.
Al Korz doubts the existence of an Irish Red Ale as a distinct style. I
tend to agree. While Irish ale are less hopped than those of the South
of England they are not significently different from Northern English or
Scottish ales. But the AHA aslready has so many styles of that type
that I think are practically indistinguishable, what's another? Being
Irish I get used to the abuse of that word in the US. The football team
here at ND are called the Fighting Irish. That's a howl. Then there is
Irish Spring soap and everyone seems to think Corned beef and cabbage is
a dish eaten in Ireland. So what if Coor's abuse the term with their
Irish Red Lager. You have as much chance of finding Corned beef and cabbage
in Ireland as Irish Red Lager (right now I'm pissing myself laughing :-).
'Heineken!?! ... F#$% that [email protected]&* ... | Ulick Stafford, Dept of Chem. Eng.
Pabst Blue Ribbon!' | Notre Dame IN 46556
| [email protected]
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 8:37:50 CST
From: [email protected] (Guy McConnell)
Subject: Birmingham Brewing Tour (part II)
Birmingham Brewing Tour, part II:
The tour started with John telling us that they use exclusively Briess
malts in all their beers. The Red Ale originally had some of the Belgian
caramel malt in it but John has since changed that over to domestic caramel
from Briess. He said that the Belgian malts, while good, were no better than
the domestic malts and that he has had excellent results with Briess, both the
people and the product. John said that he felt that American beer should be
made with American malt. He likes the idea of keeping the jobs and business
in the U.S., particularly since the price, and the resulting beer, is right.
They also use only Yakima Valley hops with the exception of using some imported
Hallertauer in the lager.
We started at the grain mill, a rather small unit for a brewery but keeping
with their philosophy of starting small and building up if necessary. He said
that they'd likely replace it with a larger unit some time but, for now, it
fills their needs. The grain is poured into a large hopper (it looked large
enough to handle at least 100 lbs of grain at a time) in the floor above the
mill (on the same level as the access ports on the mash tun and boiler). From
there the grain is moved up to the mash tun through a semi-flexible plastic
hose with an "auger-like" device in it. The mash tun is steam jacketed and
has a capacity of 30 bbl. They put ~1500 pounds (dry weight) of grain in for
a batch, meeting the incoming grain with a stream of hot water as it goes into
the tun. After filling, they do a 20 minute recirculation to make sure the
mash water is "turned over" well and the temperature is uniform. The steam
jacket is not sufficient to mash on its own but rather acts as an insulator to
keep the heat in. The mash is a single step infusion (forgot to ask what temp
and if they mash out). They then drain the tun through the false bottom and
sparge the grains. The liquor then is pumped into the kettle for a 1.5 hour
boil with hop additions done at various intervals by hand. After the boil the
sweet wort is pumped into a settling tank in such a fashion as to create a
whirlpool and the trub and break material from the kettle is allowed to settle
out into a cone on the bottom. They allow it a 20 minute "rest" here before
pumping it through a counter-current heat exchanger into a 60 bbl unitank
fermentor. The hot water from the heat exchanger is then reused in the brewing
of a second 30 bbl batch to fill up the fermentor. The beer is fermented for
4 - 5 days followed by a 2 week aging period for the ales and 3 weeks for the
lager. The beer is naturally carbonated by sealing up the fermentor at a
predetermined gravity (and kraeusening the lager) followed by dropping the
temperature to 32^F to settle out most of the yeast and to mature the flavor.
The finished beer is then pumped through a plate and frame depth filtration
matrix into a bright beer tank. There the carbonation level is checked and
adjusted if necessary. The beer then goes into kegs or to the bottling line.
Their current "comfortable" capacity is 6,000 bbl a year but they could do
"considerably more" if need be. Right now, there are just three brewers and
John said that a 60 hour week was a "welcome break".
Part III (the final installment) tomorrow...
Guy McConnell [email protected]
"All I need is a pint a day"
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1993 08:48:41 -0600
From: [email protected] (RANDY OLINGER 3-0784 [544-2N-1])
Subject: Length of carboy aging.
Question here. Let me preface this by saying that I am not worried.
How long can a batch stay in the carboy (after racking once) before
bottling? Any stories out there of amazing feats like 6 month storage?
I used Wyeast American Ale and it was a slow starter, and even slower
finisher, but the FG is around 1009. Due to lack of time it has been
basically ignored. I don't want to say exactly how long it has sat, but
lets just pretend its around, oh, 3 months. Do I have another month?
Will my yeast stay dormant that long? I'm in no rush to bottle since
I have quite a stock built up. I was kind of hoping that I'd have my
kegging system ready for this batch......
Any ideas, please respond to [email protected]
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 10:15:03 EST
From: Jim Busch
Subject: re:ale vs lager yeasts
Some of this is true and some needs clarification. One of the points
being missed here is that chemical substances resulting from bacteria
are detectable in the finished beer at levels as small as several parts
per BILLION (ppb)! Another important issue is that while a yeast rich en-
vironmnet will reduce pH and eliminate oxygen, this will not occur for
several hours into the ferment. The yeast must transition from the res-
piration phase into the "active fermentation" phase for these conditions
to be relevent. By the time this occurs, your bacteria could have easily
produced a few ppb of nasties that can carry over into the finished
product. The source for bacteria in the fermenter is often from the
yeast slurry/starter that was pitched, and thus the bacteria can
get a small foothold in your beer prior to active yeast fermentation.
This is one of the reasons Dr. Fix was pointing out the importance of
being able to determine gross percentages of bacteria in your pitching
yeast. I would also point out that the flavor profile of the bacteria
excrement is quite foul (even at a few ppb).
Also, most brewers would never suggest reusing yeast from a beer of
such high OG (1.085). This level of alcohol could definetly lead to
pour yeast performance and/or mutation problems. In general, a OG of
1.050 or less is optimum for yeast propagation.
PS: Just a nit here but boiling != sterilizing. It does mean sanitizing,
and that is all we care about as long as we have bacteria free (negligable)
starters. This is another reason many people pressure cook thier yeast
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 10:16:13 EST
From: Jim Busch
Subject: re:ale vs lager yeasts
Pardon my missed subject line on the last post.....
Joe comments on his ale/lager yeast experiment. A very good and
interesting test. I would just point out that the Sierra ale yeast
that you used is about the "cleanest" ale yeast I have ever used. Also
much of the flavor profiles you will create will be dependent on your
fermentation technique. For example, the SNPA at 65F is about perfect
temp for the ale ferment. In fact, variations from 60-70 will not
effect the outcome nearly as much as variations of 3-6F will in your
lager batch. Also 50-53 is the "American" approach to brewing lagers.
Many Bavarian braumeisters never let the lager primary rise above 48F.
Not that it will be "bad", just different, and since this is partly
a experiment on "cleanliness" of lager vs ale it could be significant.
After primary ferment is complete, try a diacetyl rest at 42-44F for
2-3 days. Then drop the temp 2F per day until it gets to 31F. Lager
here for 4-6 weeks and the beer should be excellent.
Sounds like a great test, except the ale will be 2 months old when the
lager is ready! Should be fine and tasty though. Too bad Im not near
Boulder,I would definetly take you up on the blind test offer.
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 10:17:51 EST
From: Jim Busch
Subject: re: Great beers from Dock Street!!
Wow, three posts in one day, I must be ahead at work!
Joseph Hall pointed out that Dock Street in Philly has a new brewmaster.
What great news! Strange how right after I read a rather heated debate
between Lou Ferrell, of Dock Street, and Ron Barchet, of Old Dominion,
on the pros/cons of Decoction mashing, Lou leaves Dock Street! I had
to laugh about the issue in the DC brews paper, Barley Corn, since lou
was belittling the significance of decoction mashing when he was brewing
some of the thinnest weakest micro beers in the nation. This was not
just my opinion, several professional brewers have reported the same
feedback. Is it true that Lou is opening a micro in the Philly area?
There is nothing that disappoints me more than to travel to a craft brewery
and discover that the products are so mediocre. It is a benefit to
the entrepenurial spirit of america that anyone can be a professional
brewer without specific training or national certification. It can also
result in poor beer quality. I am not trying to bash homebrewers who
turn pro, and I do believe Lou has been trained at a reputable US brewing
school, but it is not for everyone. I do believe there is a place for
well trained brewmasters in the US even though the US Immigration service
doesnt agree. I'll never forget hearing that the fantastic brewmaster
at Sudwerks was sent home by the INS for awhile because "we have brewers
in america" , glad he's back and speaking at the next microbrewers
I look forward to a wonderful pint of cask Dock Street when I get to philly
for the next Dead shows!
Obligatory positive comment: Stoudts products have just arrived on tap
in the MD area. I dont even think the brewmaster (Tom) is "formally"
trained, but he sure makes some outstanding beers! The Export/gold was
an amazing "session" beer at 4% V/V with rich malty/hop notes. The
Mardi Gras Bock was also outstanding, hiding the alcohol very well while
maintaining a rich maltiness. Both of these Stoudts get a solid 4.2/5.0.
Bigfoot, SNPA, SA Doppel and three Stoudts beers on tap all in one
weekend, we've come a long way in MD!!!!
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 9:41:23 CST
From: [email protected] (Tony Babinec)
Subject: irish ale
Roger Protz's "European Beer Almanac" gives the following information
for Smithwick's Kilkenny Ale:
Ingredients. Pale ale and roasted malt (roasted barley?). Challenger,
Fuggles, Goldings, Northdown, and Northern Brewer hops to 32.5 IBUs.
Infusion mash. Top-fermenting yeast.
Nose. Malt aroma with pear-drop esters.
Palate. Light malty palate, dry finish with some fruit and hop notes.
Comments. The use of roast malt gives the beer a rich copper color
and a pleasing fruity appeal.
It seems that Irish ale is brewed somewhat in the Scottish style, that
is, malt-accented. Estery yeast and warm fermentation temperatures
could be used. Diacetyl flavor note is okay. Beer should be less-hopped
than bitter or pale ale equivalent. Color can be gotten from 2 ounces
of roasted barley, or 4 ounces of Special B.
I, too, remember that Coors' Killian's Red was an ale and then became a
lager. This was probably because Coors decided to "tone down" the flavor
profile. In the Chicago market, radio commercials mention "Killian's Red,"
absent an ale or lager designation, and leave it at that.
Another American Irish ale is Dempsey's--still brewed by Huber?--which
likewise is not much like the original.
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 9:48:59 CST
From: [email protected]
Subject: dry hopping and bottle conditioning
I have observed that every single brew that I have dry-hopped has ended
up with, apparently, a higher carbonation level in the bottle compared
to non-dry-hopped brews with the same amount of priming sugar. The result
is brews with a nice-healthy head. Not necessarily gushers....but one DOES
need to pour somewhat quickly after cracking the cap!
Has anyone else noticed this effect? Any guesses as to the cause?
There has been some discussion lately about apparent slow fermentation in
the secondary following dry-hopping. The two possibile causes that have been
proposed are 1) the hops act as nucleation sites for dissolved CO2, and
2) bacterial contamination on the hops. Any thoughts as to which of these
two causes the higher bottle conditioning? (I am still not convinced that
some bacteria, or more likely wild yeast, are not carried in on the hops).
> Cush Hamlen|[email protected]
> Minnesota Supercomputer Center, Inc.|612/626-0263
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 94 10:12:45 -0600
From: [email protected] (George J Fix)
Subject: Wild Yeast Media
>Have you (or anyone else out there) tried Lin's wild yeast
>medium? I think it contains crystal violet as a culture yeast
>inhibitor, allowing wild yeasts to grow (or rather, to grow
>better). Is it better-worse-same-faster than cupric sulfate?
>The 8th Edition of the ASBC Methods of Analysis contains a
>section on this media, so I assume that it has some utility
>and some brewery is using it. Of course if a well funded
>individual has the ASBC MOA maybe they could respond. The
> media is available from Siebel.
The ASBC's MOA is worth its weight in gold. Often I am asked by homebrewers
with aspirations to go into the commercial arena, which of the books on brewing
science should be studied. I have always given a prompt response to forget
about brewing science, and to get a copy of MOA and start practicing their
The detection of wild yeast is a very special problem. All of the known
media including Lin's will not only surpress culture yeast, but selected
nonculture yeast as well. We are currently working with 10 different media,
including 5 developed at Siebel using a crystal violet base. If one were to
do plates using all 10, then likely one would be able to pick up at least
95% of nonculture strains in pitching yeast. This, however, is not a feasible
proposition. I consider it a triumph just to get pub brewers to do a crude
and simple test like HLP to check for bacteria! The work at Cornell may
hopefully change this situation.
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 11:12:29 EST
From: Andrius Tamulis
Subject: Wyeast data point
I have a tale to tell of my first experience with liquid yeast.
Having expended my entire stock of dry yeast, and deciding that my mashing
technique has progressed enough to warrent the expense, I decided to buy
a packet of WYeast for the batch of beer I was planning. I went to the
local homebrew supply store, bought a foil packet labeled 1098 (or something
like that) and 2 oz. of hops, and went home. At this point, insanity,
or perhaps pure stupidity overtook me. I tossed the entire purchase into
I ate dinner, watched some TV, and thought about my schedule, deciding that
I would brew in 2 days, and so realized that I had to start the yeast. THen
it hit me - YOU AREN'T SUPPOSED TO FREEZE YEAST!! I ran to the freezer,
grabbed the foil packet, and felt it. The liquid inside was slushy, and
there was at least one part that was frozen.
I started warming the package against my skin as soon as I realized what had
happened, and when it had reached a proper temp., I broke that inner-seal
thingy and hoped. Well, the package swelled in less than the 2 days that
were suggested (this was last weekend, the date on the pack was Dec 6),
and the beer is bubbling nicely.
Just another story to keep people from worrying about yeast mistakes,
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 08:19:25 PST
From: [email protected] (Drew Lawson)
Subject: Re: Adams Family BBC Product Suggestions
> and on the Adams Family Theme; "Pugsley Pale Ale"
> "Lurch Lambic", "Mortica Marzen", "Uncle Fester Fest Bier"
I had been thinking more of a "Morticia Very Pale Ale"
Drew Lawson If you're not part of the solution,
[email protected] you're part of the precipitate
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 94 10:07:46 -0600
From: [email protected] (George J Fix)
>I have been using a 15.5 gal Sanke keg as a fermenter for the past 18 months or
>so. I have been quite happy with the results. I have not modified the keg
>except to remove the valve assembly. I can put 13 gallons of bitter wort in it
>without a blowoff hose and not worry about overflow. To sanitize, I scrub the
>interior with my regular carboy brush, inspecting with a small mirror and
>flashlight. Very little grunge has stuck to the walls of the keg. I then rinse
>with boiling water, about 3 or 4 gallons. I roll the keg around on its side
>with the boiling water in it for about 15 minutes. The keg is emptied and
>stored with some foil over the opening. Prior to filling the fermenter with new
>wort I rinse it again with the same amount of boiling water as before, rolling
>again for 15 minutes. I have not had any infection problems.
>George Fix uses pony kegs for fermenters. There is some study which says that
>the proportions of ponies are perfect for the task. Perhaps he'll chime in with
>comments of his own.
De Clerck (who else!) was the one who did the most fundamental work on fermenter
geometry. His results are briefly summarized on page 414 of his book. Actually,
his references provide more detail. His ideal fermenter is a shallow one like
that used at Anchor. Subsequent work has focused on the depth to surface area
ratio. This usually gets expressed as the ratio of depth to a characteristic
horizontal dimension. This number is very small for Anchor's fermenter, which
De Clerck felt was highly desirable. It has been my experience that as long as
that ratio is not much greater than 1.0, then effects due to fermenter geometry
will not be significant. With a 1/2 bbl. keg filled to 75-80% capacity, you are
doing just fine. My main interest in using kegs as fermenters is they permit
a closed system of beer transfer from fermenters to storage tanks via CO2
pressure. I still consider this a more important issue than geometry.
As Russ and Darryl Richman have correctly pointed out, boiling water is a
natural and effective sterilant. Many small scale German brewers would not
touch chlorine or iodophor with a "10 foot pole" due to a hypersensitivity
to chemical residues in beer. In the past, it was either boiling water or
vinegar for those folks. It should be noted, however, that peracetic acid
has found widespread acceptance there, primarily because its residues are
totally natural to beer. However and alas, this stuff is explosive (as been
previously noted in HBD). It seems like there are no 100% safe sterilants,
and this is an area where a "cowboy brewing style" does not find application.
Care and attention to detail is needed by all no matter what sanitation
procedure is being used.
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 08:41:38 PST
From: "Bob Jones"
Subject: Meeting with Pierre Celis
I had the honor of meeting Pierre Celis last night at Lyon's Brewery Depot.
Pierre is on a world wind tour through Calif. micros. What a nice guy! I got
to pick his brain and share a few brews with him for about an hour. I
brought along a light lager for our consumption. He took a whiff and said
"no problems here", he liked it! He had many photos of his new brewery and
lots of photos of Hogarden brewery in Belgium. We did speak about brewing
techniques, I ask many questions and he was very open with answers. What a
evening for the memory bank!
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1080, 02/18/93