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Date: Saturday, 1 January 1994 03:00 est
From: homebrew-request at HPFCMI.FC.HP.COM (Verify address before sending)
Subject: Homebrew Digest #1313 (January 01, 1994)
To: homebrew at HPFCMI.FC.HP.COM
Errors-To: [email protected]
Precedence: bulk

HOMEBREW Digest #1313 Sat 01 January 1994

Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

Kegging Sparkling Water, Propane Cookers, Bulk Extract (Dan Wood)
Mead fermentation temperatures... (Steven Tollefsrud)
Water adjustments (Ed Oriordan)
Re: Beer King mini kegs (Peter Voelker)
Holiday Cheer (Aaron Morris)
Re: oven cleaning bottles (Alan B. Carlson)
Dishwashers -- my $.02 (Greg Kushmerek)
Is Steam A Dream ? ( was 'Dream Tun' ) (Conan)
Re: Carboys in Texas (Dave Shaver)
spruce (Michael Jorgenson 5-5891)

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Date: Thu, 30 Dec 93 09:37:13 CST
From: [email protected] (Dan Wood)
Subject: Kegging Sparkling Water, Propane Cookers, Bulk Extract

In preparing the justification for a kegging system, it occurred
to me that I may be able to exploit my wife's fondness for those
fruit flavored sparkling waters (e.g. Koala, Clearly Canadian).
Capability to "homebrew" these could certainly tip the scales in
my favor.

Does anyone out there have experience in making this stuff using a
kegging setup? Is sanitation and storage a problem? Does it have
to be kept refridgerated? Can it be bottled without a (expensive?)
counterpressure filler. TIA for any info.

On the propane burner issue, I thought I'd add my two cents. I use a
30K BTU "Camp Cooker". Admittedly, I lose the excitement of boiling
my wort in nanoseconds, however I feel that the fine control during the
boil and complete lack of scorching problems makes up for the delays.
It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to boil five gallons.

The Camp Cooker doesn't make any cool jet engine sounds though, more like
an old librarian quieting noisy patrons. I use it indoors, with a window
in the brewery wide open. No brain damamamamamamage so far so far so.

On bulk extract: Brent and I used to split up the pails of bulk extract.
Shoulda taped the sessions, could have made big $ on the home video shows.
Now we split up bags of dry extract. Much easier to handle. Breiss is
our current favorite. We've also tried M&F and Langlander. They were
more expensive, and the beer was no better than the Breiss batches. The
Langlander seems to contain some unfermentables: we consistently had
high FGs.

Happy new beers! Dan Wood, charter member,
Fox Valley Homebrew and Athletic Association


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 93 13:40:20 +0100
From: [email protected] (Steven Tollefsrud)
Subject: Mead fermentation temperatures...

Victor Grigorieff ([email protected]) writes:
> I live in the San Francisco Bay area, and have no trouble making ales and
> lagers in my cellar (about 55 degrees). I am about to emabrk on mead-making
> which (as I understand it) requires temperatures of 80 to 85 degrees.

Dick Dunn ([email protected]) replies:
> You don't need to be fermenting mead at anything like 80-85 degrees!
> It would probably give you fast fermentation, and yes, mead fermentation
> is sometimes very slow...but yeast at that temperature will produce off-tastes
> in mead just as they would in beer. Don't try to compensate for a naturally
> bucolic pace of fermentation by forcing it with higher temperature.

Right on, Dick! I had a mead brewing experience which perfectly demonstrated
the affect of too high fermentation temperature on the end product: I brewed
5 gallons using lavender honey I bought from a farm in Provence, and champagne
yeast. I split the batch into two 2.5 gal. portions, placing one in the coolest
room in the house (ale temps, 60-65 F), and putting the other on a shelf in
a warmer room where the temperature was a steady 85 F. The warmer mead finished
in about a week, while the cooler version took about three at its "naturally
bucolic pace". The difference in quality was remarkable! The cool one was like
nectar-of-the-gods: heavenly lavender bouquet, moderately sweet honey taste
with a lightly sparkling carbonation, and a satisfyingly clean finish. Perfect
as an aperitif or dessert wine. The warmly fermented mead, though it had the
flowery bouquet, was flat and so dry as to curl your toes, leaving a bitter
aftertaste. Seems the yeasties were in overdrive at 85 degrees, madly eating
everything in their path, and leaving nothing of the honey sugars but a memory
from the bouquet and a very high alcohol content. Sort of like a cheap dry
white wine. This difference in yeast attenuation is still evident even after a
year in the bottle: the cooler version hasn't lost its higher sugar content. I
only regret that I didn't make more at the lower temperature.

Steve Tollefsrud

e-mail: [email protected]


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 93 10:22:29 -0500
From: [email protected] (Ed Oriordan)
Subject: Water adjustments

Tom writes

>Any of you water guru's out there have any comments or suggestions on what if
>any treatment I should use? I am an extract brewer, and stick pretty much to
>Pilsners / Munich Light etc.

1 gram in 5 gals gives
Desired Yours Needed Gypsum Epsom Salt
Calcium ???? 51 _____ 12
Magnesium ???? 56 _____ 5.2
Sodium ???? 35 _____ 21
Sulfate ???? 59 _____ 29 20
Chloride ???? 58 _____ 32.1

I am by no means a guru, but have been researching this a lot lately.

You were correct in stating mg/l == ppm.

To use this chart you should look up in Papazians book what the water
levels should be for the style of beer you are using is. Fill this in the
Desired column. Subtract the value of Yours(this is your water values given).
The result will be pluged into the Needed column.
If you need say calcium, you can get that by adding Gypsum. For each one
gram of Gypsum you add 12 ppm Calcium, but you also add 29 ppm of Sulfate.
If you don't need sulfate, then you could be in 'trouble' if you use gypsum to
get the Calcium. To add magnesium and Sulfate use epsom salts. To add
sodium and chloride add non-iodine table salt.

Things to be careful of (or aware of)------
At low concentrations (< 30 ppm) Magnesium promotes dryness, at higher
numbers it imparts an astringency (as well as a somewhat laxative effect).
Magnesium is an essential yeast nutrient.
Magnesium is present in sufficient quantities from the malt (usually).
Sulfate also promotes dryness, but can give astringency as well, promotes
hop bitterness.
Calcium is useful in promoting a good break formation.
Sodium and Chloride in too high a concentration can cause a salty
taste (duh).
Gypsum is more soluable in cold water than hot (mix it with cold).
Don't base your additions on batch size, but on BOIL size.
I wouldn't recomend going over 1 tsp Epsom or .25 tsp Table salt per 5
gallon boil.
Gypsum and Epsom salts increase hardness also.
I wouldn't worry too much if you're brewing with extracts, as you have
no idea what is already in the extract (what if they used gypsum in the
mash to lower the pH?)

NOTE: A ballpark measurement if you don't have a gram scale is
1 tsp == 5 grams

Working just from memory, if you are brewing Pilsners I don't think you
need to do too much to your water. I think some values are gonna
be high and some will be low, and by the nature of adding the above stuff
you are gonna adjust 2 things at a time, which may put you in worse shape.

Sources: Zymurgy winter 1989, Pale Ale by Terry Foster(Good Book!),
Scotch Ale by Greg Noonan, Brewing Lager Beers by Greg Noonan,
The Complete Joy Of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian.

Ed O'


Date: 31 Dec 93 10:47:27 EST
From: Peter Voelker <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Beer King mini kegs

hey all! This is my first posting, so I hope it comes out all right. There
has been a lot of talk about the 5 liter mini kegs. I'd just like to add my
$.02 worth. I've been using these for about 3 batches so far, and am
DELIGHTED that I no longer have to bottle. These really has been no problems
with them so far, and I would highly recommend them to anyone who is
considering. About the overfoam on the first bottle, try bleeding off the
pressure from carbonating first, you'll see that it doesn't GUSH out after
that. I also only use just enough CO2 to dispense the beer.

- --Peter


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 93 11:02:27 EST
From: Aaron Morris
Subject: Holiday Cheer

I brewed two batches of Holiday Cheer for Christmas '92, bottled around
Thanksgiving, and received nothing but rave reviews from all who tasted
it. I use more like 2 lbs of honey, but follow the rest of the
recipe to a T. The spices were well balanced with no single spice being
clearly identifiable. This year I brewed three batches of Holiday Cheer
in early September, to give more time to age. Again, the results have
been excellent! Just shows to go you that it's all a matter of taste,
and Papzian touches on this in his description of the recipe when he
writes something to the effect of: as strange as this recipe may sound,
if you think you may like it, brew it. Well, I did and I'm glad!
Holiday Cheer has become part of the Christmas season and my friends
would disown me if I didn't brew it for the festivities! A micro on
the west coast (Pete's? Sierra Nevada?) had a Christmas Ale last year
that closely resembled Holiday Cheer, but I don't recall the name (I
only tasted it once at a micro brewery show). Anyway, I beg to differ
with those who don't care for the Holiday Cheer recipe and encourage
those who may be inclined to brew a batch. It doesn't have to be
Christmas to enjoy a Holiday Cheer!


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 93 16:38:50 CET
From: Alan B. Carlson
Subject: Re: oven cleaning bottles

Chris Evans writes in HBD 1312 in response to Jeff Frane's method
of sterilizing bottles in the oven:

> I've seen this mentioned before and I think I'll probably try it next time.
> Seeing as that I don't necessarily want to sterilze the bottles, what is
> the minimum temperature and time requiremnts be? 200F for 30 minutes? 350F
> for 90 minutes seems to be a little bit of overkill ๐Ÿ™‚

I sterilize my bottles in an oven set at 125C (appprox 260F) for 20-25
minutes and have had no problems with beer stored in these bottles. Like
Jeff Frane, I put aluminum foil over the mouth of each bottle. This
serves two purposes. The steam which builds up during the bottle
baking/sanitation phase stays in the bottles and is not distributed all
over the oven - which should increase the sanitation effectiveness. The
steam comes, of course, from the small amount of water I've left in the
bottles after having rinsing them. The second purpose of the foil is to
keep beasties out of the bottles while they cool and I transport my beer
to the bottling bucket, and while I bottle.

I would imagine that being "capped" in this manner, the bottles would
stay relatively sterilized for some time - maybe overnight. I haven't
chanced it, yet ๐Ÿ™‚

- ------------------------------------------------------------
Alan B. Carlson Phone: +46 31 772 10 73
University of Gothenburg Fax: +46 31 772 10 99
Department of Information Systems email: [email protected]
Holtermansgatan 1
S-412 96 Gothenburg
- ------------------------------------------------------------


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1993 11:43:06 -0500
From: [email protected] (Greg Kushmerek)
Subject: Dishwashers -- my $.02

I've been brewing for about three years now and while much of my
brewing technique has changes (kudos to this forum for some great
information between the flames ;-), my bottling practice is nearly the
same as it was when I made my first batch.

I clean my bottles with a jet-spray bottle washer within 48 hours of
when I plan to bottle, and keep them covered for that hiatus. Then I
put them in the dishwasher, labels and all (laziness that hasn't
caused any problems for me yet) for a rinse cycle with a heat dry.

I have had good success with this method. The heat treatment is
probably the most critical portion of this success. Even if the
sprayers don't get into the bottles, all that counts is that they are
standing "bottom-up" so that the steam can get in and kill anything
lurking in there.

One warning -- when heat treating the beer like this, don't
immediately take the hot bottles from the dishwasher and dump in
wort/beer to prime. Let the bottles cool a little first. I've winced
more than once as I've seen beer go "FIZZ" as I fill a hot bottle. I
don't know if it's actually affected the beer, but something about it
all just strikes me as wrong.


- --gk


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1993 09:16:38 -0800
From: [email protected] (Conan)
Subject: Is Steam A Dream ? ( was 'Dream Tun' )

"Date: Thu, 9 Dec 93 11:52:16 MST
From: [email protected] (Phil Duclos)
Subject: Dream tun

"I tried using steam to heat my mash tun last time and liked it a lot. I used
a carefully converted pressure cooker. The result was rapid, even heating
with a lot of convection in the liquid. I felt better about this method than
the direct flame method and consequently did little stirring. My false bottom
traps a gallon or so of liquid so I normally worry about carmelization. The
mash also wasn't diluted as is normally the case with hot water additions. I
use a keg for the mash/lauter tun but I suspect that this method would work
well with a coller setup too."

< description of setup omitted for brevity >

I see a new device here, folks.

If you've ever gotten serious about sterilization, then you've probably gone
out and bought yourself a pressure cooker. If you haven't, a pressure cooker
is a metal pot, usually about as tall as it is wide, with attachments that
let the lid be locked down onto the pot. Also distinguishing the pressure
cooker from an ordinary pot are two other details - a pressure valve ( that
is, a hole with a weight on top of it ) and a safety valve. The pressure
valve ( weight ) is calibrated such that its weight is just sufficient to
contain the desired pressure, and excess pressure lifts it and lets the
steam out ( surely these things haven't changed since the 1700s ). And the
safety valve is a piece of pressure-resistant metal or plastic that ruptures
at a predetermined stress point - one far below that of the cooker, itself.

Now that these prerequisites have been outlined, I'll note that many similar
devices exist, commercially, which make do _without_ safety valves ... such
as coffee makers, espresso machines in particular. I have a bottom-of-the-line
Krups espresso machine that relies upon a one-way valve that's triggered open
by predetermined pressure, with an optional manual output valve for steaming
milk ... but no safety. The water is contained in an aluminum block which is
electrically heated, and the capacity is such that, even when full, it heats
contained water fast enough that, once pressure is achieved and begins to
release through the safety valve, and into the ground coffee basket ... it
never loses pressure.

It seems a fairly straightforward process to cast a block of aluminum large
enough to hold enough water to heat and sparge a known volume of water and
grain(s) ... then cast that self-same container of the aforementioned known
volume directly atop or adjacent to the water tank, perhaps in the same
block of aluminum, to better utilize waste heat.

Or, perhaps something like a large old-style espresso pot could be designed,
where water sits below, is brought to a boil, and, as steam, driven through
the walls of an attached vessel, like a steam jacket, releasing pressure in
very small and angled pores throughout the wall, to help the mash slowly
rotate, kind of like directional retrorockets, except pointed inwards. (-:

This latter design would provide a sort of 'double boiler' effect, and it
would keep carmelization from happening, I believe.

Some people might object that one cannot add water after heat is applied and
pressure has built up. This is true ... but it is also true with my espresso
machine. I have determined, beforehand, how much water is required to heat
water, such that the output is precisely sufficient to heat a third of a large
cup of milk until it foams to the brim, such that what is left in the reserve
of steam, after passing through the ground coffee, is sufficient to fill the
aforementioned large mug to the brim. I suppose a calculus equation could be
determined but I found it with a few quick empty runs and refined it with one
or two real tests. This could be turned into a line on the inside of the
water container, on a commercial design ... or you could just be encouraged
to fill it all the way up, assured that this is beyond sufficient for all
possible combinations of materials you might choose to heat for long enough
to mash, cook, or pasteurize ( although that latter might require another
one of those pesky fitted pressure-cooker lids ).


"Please be careful with pressure cookers and high pressure steam - They are
dangerous! So be careful."

I thought about this a lot when I started tinkering with pressure cookers,
and I think a lot of the risks are overstated. OK, it's dangerous, or it
can be. But a good design can save one a lot of trouble, and most pressure
cookers seem to be designed reasonably intelligently. I mean, they are not
paticularly complicated machines ... basically, four components, and only
two of them are really moving parts ( the lid and the pressure valve ).

I'd probably drill another hole and add a pressure valve, purchased from
a scientific company or maybe harvested from an auto tire gauge, myself.
And maybe a second safety valve.

Jack, I think you could have a lot of fun with this idea. It's all yours,
and anyone else's who wants to use it and develop it. I have other fires
to tend to ...

- -- richard

"Think of it as evolution in action."

richard childers [email protected]


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1993 13:36:43 -0600
From: [email protected] (Dave Shaver)
Subject: Re: Carboys in Texas

[email protected] (Justin) asks:
> I once had the address of a place in San Antonio which offer
> 7 gal carboys at very reasonable prices.

I don't know about San Antonio, but Lynne O'Connor at St. Patrick's of
Texas in Austin has them pretty cheap---$11 each packed in a styrofoam
jacket. Her supply seems to be small but steady. You can send her
mail at [email protected]. Her number is 512/832-9045.

I have no connection to St. Pat's other than as a very satisfied

- Dave Shaver


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 93 16:54:54 CST
From: [email protected] (Michael Jorgenson 5-5891)
Subject: spruce

>Hello, this is my first venture into the world of E-mail and bulletin boards,
>so please have mercy.I have a question I hope someone may be able to help me
>with. I have been experimenting with brewing "Spruce Ales" lately and have had
>a terrible time getting good spruce flavor into my brew.
>I'm using the new growth from blue spruce which I harvest in quantity
>every spring. Now, when I use Mr.Papazians suggestions from TCJoHB and use
> ~ 4oz added at the beginniing of the boil, I seem to get no flavor out of
>my pickings at all. Doubling and tripling quanties didn't help much.

> Does anybody have any suggestions ?
> Also, has anyone else ever experimented with priming with honey ? If so,
>what quantities did you use. I had failed to notice that I had run out of
>corn sugar,and used honey out of despiration. The results were surprisingly
>good !
> Thanks for your help.
> Michael Jorgenson,507-255-7971


End of HOMEBREW Digest #1313, 01/01/94


  3 Responses to “Category : Various Text files
Archive   : HBD131X.ZIP
Filename : HBD1313

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