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HOMEBREW Digest #643 Thu 23 May 1991

Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

iraq (mbharrington)
Breweries in Iraq (Mark.Nevar)
I don't mind, I don't have one (Russ Gelinas)
Friezland Ale (Pete Soper)
Re: brewpubs in iraq (william horne)
comments on "styrene" flavor (Michael Tighe)
Blueberry Mead Recipe, Styrene Flavors (hersh)
Re: styrene flavor in HB (Brian Bliss)
Re: Homebrew Digest #641 (May 21, 1991) (R. Bradley)
Brewpubs in Baghdad (S94TAYLO)
christmas ale (extract recipe's) (card)
Alcohol toxicity in common yeast strains (Kurt Swanson)
Judging: I Concur (Martin A. Lodahl)
Shipping reg's; anecdote ("FEINSTEIN")
ancient or just old wines/beers (was brewpubs in Iraq) (Rick Zucker)
general questions on various & sundry yeast (Stephen Russell)
AAUs v. HBUs, revisited (Darryl Richman)
Cider, the easy way (abirenbo)

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[Please do not send me requests for back issues]
Archives are available from [email protected]


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 02:01:20 PDT
From: [email protected]
Subject: iraq

I was under the impression that Iraq wasn't an Islamic state, as Iran
is. Of course, Moslems make up the majority, but there are approximately
800,000 Christians and even a few Jews. I remember reading in the paper
during the Persian Gulf conflict about Iraqi beer. Something about it
being stronger than American beer and our troops didn't like it all
that much. Too bad we couldn't start IPA again, except substitute Iraq
for India.

- --Mat
Matthew B. Harrington Internet: [email protected]
University of California at San Diego Recycle or Die.
Biophysics Think! It's not illegal yet.


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 06:23:47 mdt
From: [email protected]
Subject: Breweries in Iraq

In the April-May issue of World Beer Review, in the What's Brewing section,
there was a blurb that Iraq's only brewery, (name forgotten), a subsidiary
of Amstel, had to cease operations due to lack of grains and other fresh

Mark Nevar


Date: Wed, 22 May 1991 9:20:26 EDT
From: [email protected] (Russ Gelinas)
Subject: I don't mind, I don't have one

Uh, yeah, well it's probably a good thing I don't get over to Vermont
very often. The town *was* Brattleboro (not Burlington). The cloudy (but
not bad) beer *was* Otter Creek. And we've already covered the pale ale
thing. But I did have a good time, I think.....

Some bad news: What used to be a good bar near where the AHA conference
will be held is no longer as good. They had a reasonable good on-tap
selection (Bass, Sam Adams ale, and other stuff), but they changed the
bar around, made it smaller, and now only have American swill on tap.
A real shame. It's called The Boston Trading Co. Still a lively place,



Date: Wed, 22 May 91 10:51:55 EDT
From: Pete Soper
Subject: Friezland Ale

>From: Eric Rose
>Subject: Re: Drinking game (fwd)

>Dear homebrewians:

> This ditty appeared on a folklore discussion list. It's a wee bit
> lengthy, like all good drinking songs. Hope you enjoy it. I've no idea
> what the tune would be...

[ poem omitted ]

How about the tune of Dylan's "Idiot Wind"?

Well this was a surprise. I sent that poem to a few friends Saturday night
for their amusement and now on Wednesday morning it is in the digest as a
drinking song, complete with my name and a reference to my dear mother. I
can't decide what to think about this.


Date: Wed, 22 May 1991 09:09:41 MDT
From: [email protected] (william horne)
Subject: Re: brewpubs in iraq

} >I am headed to Baghdad in a few months, and was wondering if
} >anyone knew of any brewpubs in the area?

} Across town, try Saddam's Place.
} They have a very aggressive Western Imperial Stout, but the
} George Bush Bitter was a too astringent for my tastes.

Their ``Mother of all Beers'' is very good also.


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 11:19:46 EDT
From: [email protected] (Michael Tighe)
Subject: comments on "styrene" flavor

I am responding to the "styrene" mead flavor question that has been raised
here by a number of people. I'm a mead brewer, and I've had my share of
good and bad batches. Here's my $0.02.

I usually make mead with honey, fresh ginger and orange peel (or lemon
peel). My brew is highly praised and valued by my friends (they've actually
contemplated torture to get me to make it more often ๐Ÿ™‚ Some of my
friends make honey-based beers as well, using similar spices. The "styrene
flavor" is definitely NOT from the ingredients listed above, and I don't
think its possible that the flavor comes from the cooking vessels.

Here's my classification of the "bad things" that have happened to me
(and a few roommates who also brewed) and why I think they happened.

a) brew turned the color green during primary fermentation - I never even
sniffed (much less tasted) this one, but two different brewers in the
same house using different techniques had the same problem several times
in a two-year period. We assumed the house or water was cursed. In
truth, our yeast was probably contaminated, or the fermentation was run
way too warm.

b) bitter final product with soapy aftertaste - After consulting various
people, I figure this is the result of adding too much of the white
part of the orange peel. That is, the "white meat" of the orange
peel is very thick in some oranges and appears to be the source of
this flavor. Some people find this taste very horrible (chalk on a
steel chalkboard), whereas other people don't notice it. My guess
is that this is the cause of the "styrene" flavor being refered to
in other postings. My opinion is that the orange peel ingredient
adds the oils which are in the orange skin, and that is where a lot
of the aroma comes from. You can reduce the amount of white meat by
using a knife to cut the skin off the orange in thin slices rather
than peeling it off the orange.

c) formaldehyde flavor (or medicinal flavor) - This I usually associate with
some off-yeast getting into the brew. Then I made a batch that had this
really tart almost (but not quite) formaldehyde taste. I wasn't sure
it was worth saving, but I let some trusted friends taste it. Their
opinion was that it was GREAT - they like "dry" and I like "sweet", and
this particular brew had high alcohol content and was very dry.
This is the most subtle of the problems I've encountered. Apparently
I am not the best judge of my own brew - I've taken to trusting the
taste-buds of various different brewers when I have a questionable
batch. One person's brew is another's waste-water.

d) bitter-sour flavor - This is cause by bacteria getting into the brew.
I was clearly able to prove this to myself when I tasted another
brewer's product (he was a professional brewer) which he used as part
of a demo (brewery tour). His batch was definitely spoiled, although
you could still taste the separate elements of his experimental brew.
He called it "bacteria" spoilage, and it was the same taste of some
batches of mine that went bad.

I have never found any problems cooking my brew in either aluminum or
stainless steel - I've only used enamel once, so I can't really comment on
it, although I assume its just a cooking vessel so it has to work fine.
Most of my friends and I do fermentation in one of three kinds of
containers: stainless steel, glass or alcohol-grade plastic.

We did do an experiment once with a bottle of my brew - we held a taste-test
where the only varient was the drinking vessel. We tried glass, pewter,
aluminum, glazed clay, wood and horn. The best, universally, was glass.
All the others added off-aromas or dulled the taste of the mead. Second
best was glazed clay, so I now only drink from one of those two, and
prefer to brew and drink in glass. The pewter added the most flavor, and
it was a relatively bitter and astringent additive.

Good Luck, and may your yeast always have Zest!

Michael Tighe
Intermetrics Microsystems Software Inc.
Cambridge, MA 02138 (USA)
email: [email protected]


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 11:18:56 EDT
From: [email protected]
Subject: Blueberry Mead Recipe, Styrene Flavors

Straightforward, simple, In my memory one of the best Meads I've made, and the

For 5 gallons

12 lbs Wildflower Honey (got mine at an apiary in Troy, NY)
2 tsp gypsum or water crystals
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1oz Hallertauer Leaf hops
1 tblsp Irish Moss
2 lbs blueberries
2 pckg Red Star Pastuer Champagne yeast

Boil hops, yest nutrient, water crystals for 30 - 45 minutes. Add Irish Moss in
the last 15-30 minutes of the boil. Turn off the heat and add the honey and the
blueberries, steep at 180-190F for 15 minutes minimum (30 is ok too).

Pour the whole mixture to a bucket or Carbouy (if you have a wort chiller then
chill otherwise let it cool) add the yeast at the temperature recommended on
the packet (85-90F I think). Let it ferment. Rack the mead off the fruit after
6-7 days (you can actually let it go longer if you like) I fermented for 4 more
weeks in the secondary then bottled. Other people like to rack their meads at
3-4 week intervals and let it keep going in the carbouy. I don't think too much
fermentation went on after the first 4 weeks (I made this in July so it
fermented fast), so if you keepracking you'll basically be doing some of the
aging in the carbouy, otherwise it will age in the bottles.

This mead had a terrific rose color. It took over 8 months to really age, and
was fantastic after 2 years. It had a nice blueberry nose to it, and quite a


Was the ginger peeled?? I have made orange-cinnamon mead, no off flavors.
I have made ginger beers, again no styrene. I haven't mixed orange and ginger
but have tasted fruit specialty beers that have. They tasted fine.
If I had to make a guess I might guess that perhaps if you didn't peel the
ginger that these flavors came from the peel. I have never heard of this
particular off flavor arising before. I'll try polling Steve Stroud, my local
Organic chemistry consultant and coc-conspirator in Dr. Beer sessions. Perhaps
these poor souls can give us a better description of how the ingredients were
prepared, and the brewing process. This might help us some, otherwise maybe
you'll want to consider sending a bottle for diagnosis.



Date: Wed, 22 May 91 10:31:16 CDT
From: [email protected] (Brian Bliss)
Subject: Re: styrene flavor in HB

In digest #641 Cheryl Feinstein commented on a posting from digest #629,
in which Douglas Luce described making a small batch of mead with ginger,
tea, orange peel and honey. The resulting brew tasted strongly of styrene.

I, too, have a batch of orange ginger mead going. Its almost two months
old, and ready for bottling. I took a SG reading two days ago (1.000),
and tasted it. It was kind of nauseating. I used 6 oz. ginger and
5 lbs of oranges (half of which was probably peel). My guess is that
prepubescent orange ginger mead always tastes like styrene.

Let's both keep our fingers crossed and hope it improves with age.



Date: Wed, 22 May 91 10:53:59 CDT
From: [email protected] (R. Bradley)
Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #641 (May 21, 1991)

Merci beaucoup, Docteur Jean. Docteur Robert


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 12:20 EST
Subject: Brewpubs in Baghdad

There are brewpubs in Baghdad, but you'd never see Saddam in one. Why, do
you ask? 'Cause he can just stay at home and get bombed.
Al Taylor
Uniformed Services University
School of Medicine
Bethesda, Maryland


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 13:02:37 EDT
From: [email protected]
Subject: christmas ale (extract recipe's)

Any have any tried and true extract recipe's for CHRISTMAS ALE?

/Mal Card - [email protected]


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 12:36:48 CDT
From: [email protected] (Kurt Swanson)
Subject: Alcohol toxicity in common yeast strains

Yesterday I tasted the first bottle of my weizen batch, (extract, 2/3
wheat, 1/3 barley, OG 62, TG 20), and found it quite sweet. I was
wondering if there was a problem in that since OG was relatively high,
the high alcohol content killed off the yeast (WYeast 3056). I have
to believe that certain strains are better than others at surviving
certain levels of alcohol toxicity. Does anyone know of ball-park
figures (in terms of OG or %alcohol), for various yeasts?
- --
Kurt Swanson, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
Northwestern University. [email protected]


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 8:04:29 PDT
From: Martin A. Lodahl
Subject: Judging: I Concur

In HOMEBREW Digest #641, Pete Soper said:

> I got my judging sheets back ... the judging forms went a
>long way toward showing me all that was wrong with them. I take
> issue with a few comments (of course) but overall think the
> judging was *VASTLY* improved over last year and for these two
> beers was a great help to me for understanding some brewing
> mistakes. It was a real treat to open bottles of the beers in
> question and sip them, reading the forms and saying to myself
> "Yes, yes!, yes, maybe, yes, yes!", instead of "Say what? Which
> planet did these guys fly in from?" ๐Ÿ™‚

Well said (as usual), Pete! I did the same last night, reading and
sipping. I'd entered one that I knew damn well was out-of-category,
and EVERY judge picked up on it. Reading the forms, I even had some
"AHA! So THAT'S what that is!" experiences. For me, entering was
well worth the money!

= Martin A. Lodahl Pacific*Bell Staff Analyst =
= [email protected] Sacramento, CA 916.972.4821 =
= If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, =
= Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! ๐Ÿ˜Ž =


Date: 22 May 91 15:36:00 EDT
Subject: Shipping reg's; anecdote

Hi there!

Regarding the recent thread about shipping homebrew UPS, and the legalities of
such (and especially to the gentleman with legislative connections, who wants
to gather data): a couple of things occurred to me while thinking about the
postings I'd read.

First, my own experiences in having to do legal research came to mind. I
discovered long ago-- and *much* to my surprise-- that while much legislation
is written in Legalese, much is also written in Plain English. Thus, it's
worth one's while to go to a library and simply look up the requisite
statutes. The worst that can happen is that the stuff's in Legalese after

The other thing is to politely write such government agencies as the BATF and
request any literature they may have explaining their policies. Many
government bodies are image-conscious, and have all sorts of pamphlets and
things that they will cheerfully deluge you with. Often, these are helpful
sources of information.

Totally aside from the above: recently, a Czechoslovakian blacksmith (an
*extremely* talented and astute gentleman) visited my blacksmithing mentor,
who is his pen-pal. Iaroslav brought with him a number of bottles of *GEN-YEW
-WINE*, *homemade*, Moravian Slivovitz! Talk about quality hooch! After my
second shot, the only thing I could say was "Cowabunga!"

It seems that, since Iaroslav was not a state-approved artist (under the now-
defunct Communist regime), he needed to hold down a job to support his family.
Thus, he and his brother-in-law work at the local power plant, which is water
powered. The plant stands on an island in the middle of a river, and a good
chunk of it is covered with plum trees. Iaroslav and his brother-in-law
harvest approx. 1 metric *ton* of Moravian plums every year, with the
slivovitz the end result. They keep a still on the island, and double-distill
it, btw.

Another amusing side-effect for Iaroslav of not being a state-approved artist:
after the Communist Party fell, a New York gallery solicited some of his
work. Since Iaroslav wasn't listed as an artist, then it followed that what
he was shipping out wasn't necessarily art. So, he shipped his sculptures as
"scrap iron" to avoid certain bureaucratic entanglements! Think about it...

Yours in Carbonation,


"I wish to the Lord someone would figure out a way of makin' baskets out of
that ol' Kudzu vine; hit's 'bout to cover up Asheville!" -- Anon. NC woman

Cheryl Feinstein INTERNET: [email protected]
Gainesville, FL


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 13:22:25 PDT
From: [email protected] (Rick Zucker)
Subject: ancient or just old wines/beers (was brewpubs in Iraq)

>Date: Tue, 21 May 91 13:30:44 -0400
>From: [email protected] (James P. Buchman)
> stuff about five thousand year old wine
>This wine was definitely "mature" after aging for fifty centuries, but
>unfortunately it had dried out and was not drinkable. Does anyone know
>the record for the oldest wine that's still sloshing around in the bottle
>and theoretically drinkable? Last I heard, it was >2000 year old wine
>found in intact amphorae by Jaques Cousteau at the bottom of the Agean.
>He actually took a swig from one of the bottles and said it was pretty good.
>I didn't catch the archaeologist's name, but she says her next project
>is to discover the oldest beer.

Well, this is nothing close to these ages, but when I went on
a tour of the Guiness Brewery in Dublin, they had a letter or told a
story from some arctic/antarctic explorers. It seems these guys had
discovered a cache of supplies from an earlier expedition. Among the
supplies they found were three bottles of Guiness (I believe the supplies
had belong to a British expedition). They brought one bottle back and I
think they gave that bottle to the brewery. As for the other two, they
"were put to good use". ๐Ÿ™‚

Rick Noah Zucker
[email protected]


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 16:30:36 EDT
From: [email protected] (Stephen Russell)
Subject: general questions on various & sundry yeast

All right, I realize fully that this question
a) will add to the general ongoing flame, and
b) has been asked and maybe even answered before (in parts), BUT
this hasn't seemed to stop anyone else on this digest, so here goes!

What, in general, are your impressions of the various yeast strains and vari-
eties you have been using? The type of qualities I'm after are:

1) fruitiness in aroma and flavor
2) maltiness in aroma and flavor
3) other flavors/aromas, which may or may not be off flavors, like clove
4) temperature of usage, and how this affects flavor, attenuation, etc.
5) attenuation (how low is typical FG, and how does this vary w/ recipe?)
6) time until krausen, time of krausen
7) speed of fermentation (how long does it take to reach this FG?)
8) consistency
9) interactions among the above 8 items
10) anything else you feel to be of importance

I have the yeast issue of Zymurgy and I like it very much. However, I would
like more information from you most educated digest types (stand back as I
wipe my brown nose!!) as well as a larger sampling pool. Feel free to be as
simplistic or as detailed as you'd like, but specifics are helpful.

Please, please, *PLEASE* send me responses directly and I will try to make a
compendium of sorts and post it on the net (or distribute it individually, if
this method seems to be more appropriate) in a couple of weeks, if there is
sufficient response and sufficient interest. Of course, this could be biting
off more than I can chew....

As Dr. John would say, "here's mud in your eye",


[email protected]


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 11:16:49 -0700
From: [email protected] (Darryl Richman)
Subject: AAUs v. HBUs, revisited

I recently jumped into the discussion of the difference between AAUs
(as presented by Dave Line in his "Big Book of Brewing") and HBUs
(as given by Charlie Papazian). In that message, I indicated that
CP's HBUs were different and less useful than AAUs and, as a part of
the discussion, indicated that there was no real ripoff by CP of DL.

I wish to retract my previous statement.

I had opportunity to look back in the BBoB and discovered that AAUs
are not volume neutral; they require an accompanying volume to be of
any use. They are exactly the same as CP's HBUs.

In explanation of this goof (and as an attempt to extract my feet
from my mouth), I will tell you that I don't use either, and that
DL's explanation of AAUs involve working on a per gallon basis,
before expanding them to the 5 gallon batch size.

I'm sorry if I led anyone astray,

--Darryl Richman


Date: Wed, 22 May 91 14:47:09 MDT
From: [email protected]
Subject: Cider, the easy way

I have soem recipes for how to make cider from apples, but being a
beginner I was looking for an easier path. does anybody have a recipe
on how to make Hard-cider from regulat old un-pasturized apple
cider? I have heard that all you need to do is add yeast, but
I would like to know how much. also, if i wish to make a sparkling
cider, when shoudl i bottle it? and should I add sugar at any time?

thanks in advance for your replies

New Mailing List member (hopefully... I haven't heard anything)
aaron birenboim
abirenbo%[email protected]


End of HOMEBREW Digest #643, 05/23/91

  3 Responses to “Category : Various Text files
Archive   : HBD64X.ZIP
Filename : HBD643.TXT

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: