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HOMEBREW Digest #1571

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 · 14 Apr 2024

This file received at Sierra.Stanford.EDU  94/11/05 02:19:59 

HOMEBREW Digest #1571 Sat 05 November 1994

Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

Decoction Riddle, Pumpkin Ale! (Gary S. Kuyat)
Ah Chillin- The Kewl Whey! (COYOTE)
Cornelius Keg Source (Alec Saunders)
Manifold Venting/ G'nite Hops / BS-ing a storm! (COYOTE)
Copyright Discussion (Gregg_Weir#123#Notes#c#_Gregg_Weir#064#DCI#125#)
Water expanding ("pratte")
Solenoid Valves ("Joe Stone")
bulk extract quality question (Dan Sherman)
Free Refrig! (Brad Roach)
Do It Right ... Or Not At All (Richard A Childers)
Wort chillers, Cornelius kegs, CO2 tanks, regulators (I'll buy you a ewe!)
homemade crystal (Rich Hill)
Can you malt barley? (Mark A. Stevens)
Frugal Brewing Guide: Thank you HBD'ers! ("Robert W. Mech")
Water and carboys.... (dbrigham)
Idea's needed for cleaning bottle (Todd S. Taylor x4613)
My last word on propane cooking indoors ("CANNON_TOM")
a fermenting-time observation (RONALD DWELLE)
King Kooker Users-HELP (EKTSR)
Re: dried apricots (bio_hannan)
just curious (Stephanie Dolgoff)
Re: Belgium Here I Come! (Spencer.W.Thomas)

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Date: Thu, 3 Nov 94 12:28:06 EST
From: Gary S. Kuyat <>
Subject: Decoction Riddle, Pumpkin Ale!
Full-Name: Gary S. Kuyat

For some strange reason, everybody who talks about decoction mashing seems to
speak in riddles.

Q: What is the heaviest third of the mash?
A: The stiffest third!

Answers like this are in lots of books, and most people who have never actually
done a "triple decoction mash" answer like this 'cause they're not sure!

All we're talking about here is taking a strainer, and scooping up the GRAINS,
with just enough liquid to keep it from burning. You need to dough in first,
and you should let the mash sit for about 1/2 hour before your 1st decotion.
The grains will have absorbed liquid, and you really don't want much more
liquid than what's in the grain.

The reason you want to get mostly GRAIN in your 1st decoction is, when you boil
it, startches are released. This is the same reason that you DON'T want any
grain in the final decoction.

- -------

Regarding Pumpkin Ale... For this Halloween I made my "Pumpkinest Ale". What
is the secret to Pumpkinest?!? First off, 70% of my fermentables were from
pumpkin!!! Six row, with saaz hops baked to flavorlessness (for preservative).
I used canned Libby's pumpkin in the mush. (No typo, this was MUSH!) I had
to leave it in the oven at 150F for 9 hours to get conversion! I used a low
attenuating yeast to leave it sweet. To my shock, after a lively ferment, it
tasted like BEER in the secondary! Sure, you could taste some pumpkin in there,
but not like what I wanted... So, I bought a cheese pumpkin (the kind for pie,
not for Jackolanters), peeled and seeded it, and ran it through a juice machine
(like for carrot juice). I took the bright orange juice, and pressure cooked
it for 15 minutes, to kill it, and coagulate the starches. I cooled this, and
added it to the secondary. Some additional fermentation followed, and the final
result (after adding 1 gallon of juice) was MAJORLY PUMPKIN!

My advice to aspiring pumpkin brewers is:

1> Brew an english bitter, or best bitter, without the hops. Use saaz, baked
at 250F until crispy, in the boil for 30 minutes. No pumpkin in the mash. It's
a pain to work with, and I've never gotten GREAT results just using that.

2> Let it ferment out, and transfer to the secondary. Juice a fresh pumpkin-
canned is LAME. There is a BIG difference between fresh and canned, even in
pie! To the juice, add your pie spices, I use cinnamon, ginger and clove.
Pressure cook this for 15 minutes. Cool, and add to the secondary - 1 part
juice to 4 parts beer. Let it ferment out, and bottle keg or lager as is your

If you don't have a juicer, ask around. My mom had one from years ago, and I
wouldn't have known if I didn't ask. Every ten years or so "juicing" comes
into fashion, and then fades, 'cause it's a pain. If you can't get a pressure
cooker, boil - I guess, but pressure really clumps up the starches.

At our club meeting, more that one person said that I should serve my ale with
a squirt of whipped cream!

- --
-Gary "Pumpkin" Kuyat


Date: Thu, 03 Nov 1994 10:38:48 -0600 (MDT)
From: COYOTE <>
Subject: Ah Chillin- The Kewl Whey!

> Jimmy Fingerle email (internet):

>if I had the $$, I'd have a wine celler, a heat and
humidity chamber for my musclecar Buick, and a stabilized walk-in
refridgerator for lagering, another for fermenting, another for
serving British ales, another for...well, you get the picture.

* Ain't gonna cost me a whole lotta money! Well- at least I hope not.
I'm still working out details of my cooler/lagerer. But I'll give a little
preview. Once it's in place I'll post my copywrited plans to the hbd for
publication all over. But I'll insist upon the right to come and visit your
house to sample your beer if you use and implement my ideas!

Here's the basic plan in pseudo ascii. Please don your 3D glasses at this time

Ceiling. Joists running at you! Duck!
_______\_____\_____\_____\_____\____\_____\ Wall / Window
| | _ | | _
| | | | | | /| Hot air
| | / \ ----------- / vents
| | | | <--|Window air | outside
| | | | -->|Conditioner| cooler
| shelf | --- ----------- next to
|------------------------------------------- wall with window
| fan | fan | | to furnace room
| | | /\ | | next door
| | | | | |
| \/ | | | |
| | | |

The uprights and frame are gonna be studs, while the walls will be waferboard
with fiberglass and vapor barrier insulation. I've got some metal plates
with holes that I'll build into the shelf where the fans will sit.
I've also got some wire- fridge shelves which would work fine.
I want air to circulate from top to bottom but I also want to be able
to shut them off so the two halves (upper, lower) can be held
at different temperatures.
The fans are computer fans I've scavenged over the years.
The window air conditioner I got salvage for $5. Works FINE!
I bought a hunter airstat fridge controller. Right now it's serving
as the most expensive digital thermometer I've ever bought! (~$30)
The studs I'll buy. Figure...$2 by about a dozen.
The waver board I got scrap, the insulation was $6 for a roll, plastic-cheap.
I'll be walling off the back side of the conditioner to vent out of the
room into the rest of the basement. I had a door covered with metal on one
side. It's the base. Sitting on cinder blocks on a dirt floor.
It's a heavy door so I figure it'll be a good base support, and insulate well.
I'll put some big doors on the front so I can move carboys in and out.
It'll hold kegs upright, or laying down, and plenty of space for
cases and carboys. It's gonna be 5 feet long, and a bit more tall.
About 2.5 ft deep. Should give me plenty of room.

The furnace room sits now at a comfy 62-4. The dirt room has a vent to
the outside and is now a chilly 56. If I were to even just pull in outside
air I'd probably chill it right down. But I want something that'll work in
the summer too! But at least for now- the cooler shouldn't have to run
much at all to keep things at 40. If I put the sensor on top, the bottom
should stay even cooler- so I may not have to modify the airstat. ??

The garage is down to 40's but is still rather variable. Especially on
bru or laundry day! It can get quite warm.

I got my first lagers started, and with any luck I'll have this thrown
together enough to toss them in by the time they are ready for chillin!

Later Gator. I'll keep ya'll updated.

Oh- you can take off those silly glasses now! You look foolish!

John (The Coyote) Wyllie


Date: Wed, 2 Nov 94 22:52:59 PST
From: Alec Saunders <>
Subject: Cornelius Keg Source

Klaus Vogel writes:

"I am looking for an economical source for cornelius kegs.I am from
Canada and the local supplier charges $70 for the standard 20 litre
stainless steel type.This is just too much for my budget.On a related
topic,is there any mail order homebrew suppliers located in
Canada?The costs and hassels of cross border mailing makes it just
not worth it."

I recently bought a full kegging system from Spagnol's just outside
Vancouver in BC. It was cheaper for me to drive to Vancouver from
Seattle than to buy it locally -- I saved about $150 US. I don't have
a phone number handy for them, but they're in the book and they do mail order.



Date: Thu, 03 Nov 1994 11:20:11 -0600 (MDT)
From: COYOTE <>
Subject: Manifold Venting/ G'nite Hops / BS-ing a storm!

> From:
Subject: Re: Superior manifold design

> My manifold has a vent pipe. At first, I liked it, because it kept me
(I thought) from drawing wort from the grain bed too fast -- it starts
entraining ("sucking") air into the sweet wort.

> Now I don't like it because of the same reason. It's essentially
impossible to run the sparge from a 20lb mash (in a 10 gallon cooler)
slowly enough so that it doesn't entrain some air through the vent.
So I plug the end of the vent with a clamped bit of plastic tubing.

> Why not get rid of the vent all together? Because I use it to
underlet my mash infusions. I think I get better mixing this way, by
putting the hot stuff in at the bottom instead of the top.

* i kinda figure that the other way, since it's gonna flow
from top to bottom, if it goes in the top, the thick stuff comes out
the bottom, then get thinner later. I probably don't get temp
changes down in the bottom of my cooler, but oh well. Enough does.

* This is from an old post of fine. I've recently updated my system
and thought I'd share it again. As it all depends on VENTS.

old post....

Ok now to attempt some ASCI diagrams- I know they've been done

Top View: Side View:
IN>>> ------------------
|-------------------| | Sparge water sprinkles
|-------------------| Down|
T-up | |--> Tube|
|-------------------| | Manifold system
|-------------------| |--------------------|__Spigot

I think we need a verbal description here too. I have a 48qt
rectangular cooler. I removed the drain valve. Drilled a hole at
the opposite top. Collected suitable hardware for threaded
connections inside and outside the drain- attached a standard
garden hose faucet outside the cooler. The manifold is made
from 4 lengths of 3/8" tubing sawed through halfway (hack).
Connected with T-pieces and small pieces as needed. The middle
end pieces are T's. Drain side goes out, the opposite attaches
to the Down tube. A T at the tops of the down tube exits the
cooler through the hole drilled there, and also attaches to the
Sparge Tube. This tube extends across the top of the cooler,
and has holes drilled on both sides. The advantages of this tube
and T are that I can place a bucket w/spigot above the cooler
containing hot sparge water, and let it trickle onto the mash bed.
I can control the in-flow rate to match the out-flow rate. Constant
bed height. I can also remove the sparge tube, close that off and
underlet water into the bed- It is all within the cooler
so sprinkling does not cause heat loss.

What I suggest now after much use is that during sparging the vent
should be closed off completely so that air is not drawn into the
runoff- a possible source of HSA. Also seems to slow the sparge too much.
I tried clamping and plugging off the upper T of the manifold (IN-let).
I still got bubbles in my outflow. So I tried putting a copper cap on the
T at the bottom of the DOWN tube and basically removing the down tube.
I wasn't using the underletting ability anyway. Hell I even stopped using
the sprinkler attachment, and just pour sparge water into a saucepan or
colander sitting on the grainbed! If I ever put a spigot on a pot I'll
use it, but my sparge water was too hot for my plastic buckets.
I could still use the sparge sprinkler, but I have decided that I prefer
having the manifold closed off at the end to gain proper flow through
the grain bed.

New Side View:

IN>> --|--

cap _

Maybe Dick is right afterall. Simpler is better.


Just a hoppy note before I go. Put the bines to sleep yesterday.

It was a somber moment to snip the glory and thickness of vine.
But not all was of sorrowful loss, for alas there be new shoot buds
already formed along the base of the crown. Some above, and some below
ground. But most pretty red and purple rocket heads waiting to soar into
a new spring after their winters slumber. So I puffed up a pillow of peat,
and laid them to sleep with a blanket of straw strewn atop.
There they will sit awaiting to mark the end of the ski season.
And the beginning of new spring constructs in the Coyote's garden.
(trellises and arbors. Money, time, and the wife permitting!)

Brew On Hoppily!! John (The Coyote) Wyllie

Oh- about all the bs of late....I think if what's his name had said in
the initial offer of printing the HBD that it was a NOT FOR PROFIT effort
all the hoopla could'a been avoided. So just friggin' drop it now!

And who does what's all relevant. That's part of the joy of
internet- touching the whole country, the whole word. Plus there's
always mail order which makes it all relevant. Travel pulls us to brewpubs...
Just suck it up and hit fast forward if it's not something you prefer!

It never came up in public- but recently someone borrowed portions of the
Mead lovers version of the Cat's Meow (Bees Lees) for a publication.
He asked permisssion, and I figure I get my name in lights, and a copy of the
booklet (hell- it's only $4.95- he can't be making much!) then what the heck.
But basically- he was using our stuff, plus a bunch that he collected and
putting it in print for distribution. No biggee. If you want to save you
designs, ideas, thoughts, beliefs...from the public. Don't bring em here.
I don't like the idea of someone making money off of what should be free,
especially if I gave it to em. But there are enough free sources of access
to the hbd that I can't see any of us losing out.

Personally I wouldn't want to waste all the damned paper.
The crap that get spewed around here isn't worth it! A little here and
there, but not the whole entire thing. I don't need a printout of brewstores
in Jersey, but I know someone who could. So he can print it for himself!
I'll hang on to the portions of interest to me.

Well now I'm caught up on hbds. So I'm outa here. John.
But really-lets get back to business and keep email to email, and brew to brew!


Date: 03 Nov 94 07:34:49 GMT
Subject: Copyright Discussion

Greetings Fellow Brewers-

Just a suggestion here. Instead of discussing copyright law and how it applies
to your posts, do us all a favor. Do some research. Unless you are an
attorney whose practice specializes in Copyright Law and Intellectual Property
don't make some half-baked comment. You only look foolish and you are wasting
time on something that won't make your beer taste better. We all want to make
better beer and that is why we read the HBD. If you don't have something
constructive to add to making us all better HOMEBREWERS, keep your ego and
comments to yourself. If you feel you have a copyright that has been
infringed, get a lawyer and proceed. Until a violation has been made, there is
nothing to talk about. This is a forum for making better home brew, not gossipi
ng on law theory. Can we please get back to an open discussion on BREWING
PRACTICES, and leave the legal discussions out of this forum?

I know this post hasn't added to making a better homebrew but it is tedious to
continue to read the hackneyed legalese that has been posted. If you think
you have ideas, practices, knowledge that is worth copyrighting, please publish
them and do the homebrew world a favor. If you want to discuss homebrew
practices, you're in the right place. But please, quit whining about your
posts and having your copyrights violated. Don't post in a PUBLIC forum if you
have a worry about someone using your idea without your express written
permission. And to you wanna be lawyers, it's never too late to change careers
or majors. But until you know excactly what you're talking about, stick to home
brew discussion.


Date: Thu, 3 Nov 1994 14:44:16 EST
From: "pratte" <>
Subject: Water expanding

In today's post, MR_SPOCK correctly states that the boiling point of
water is increased and not decreased by the addition of sugars.
However, I would like to clarify something else he wrote. He said
that water expands when it is cooled down. Please note that this is
only true NEAR THE FREEZING POINT. Away from the freezing point
(4 C and higher), water expands with INCREASING temperature. A
perfect display of this is to fill your glass carboy to near the brim
with cool tap water. If you allow the water to warm to room
temperature (hopefully 10 C higher), you'll notice that the water
will overflow the carboy. Try it, science is fun.


- --------------------------
Dr. John M. Pratte
Clayton State College
- --------------------------


Date: Thu, 3 Nov 94 12:18:55 PST
Subject: Solenoid Valves

Jeff Berton and others have used solenoid valves to control the flow
of water/wort through their automated/semi-automated brewing systems.
Jeff mentioned that he uses a solenoid valve (in conjunction with a float
switch) to control the flow of sparge water. In addition to sparge flow
control, I would like to use a solenoid valve(s) to redirect the flow of
wort from the mash recirculating path to the boiling vessel (once the
mash is complete and sparging begins).

I'm interested in what types of solenoid valves people are using (make,
model, fittings, ...). I've visited a number of my local (San Jose, CA)
surplus shops looking for valves and I quickly realized that I had no
idea what type of valve I was looking for. Grainger offers a whole line
of solenoid valves, but they are all rather expensive. Brass valves seem
to be available with larger (>= 3/8") NPT fittings. Stainless valves are
only available in smaller (<= 1/4") NPT fittings. I hope to use a three-
way valve for the recirculating-path-to-boiling-vessel valve. Grainger
only offers smaller diameter three-way valves. If you have a source for
reasonably priced new valves (or even a surplus shop which I could access)
it would be greatly appreciated.

I realize this particular subject is rather specialized and probably not
of general interest to the brewing community as a whole so private e-mail
would be appreciated.



Date: Thu, 3 Nov 1994 13:19:08 -0800 (PST)
From: dsherman@sdcc3.UCSD.EDU (Dan Sherman)
Subject: bulk extract quality question

I am purely an extract brewer & recently have found some homebrew
supply shops near me which sell extract in bulk. I was wondering if
there is any appreciable differenct between the different brands of
bulk extract.

One store has: Alexander's Pale, Amber, and Dark
The other has: John Bull Pale, M&F Amber, and Australian (?) Dark
All are between $1.50-$1.70 per pound.

Does anyone have anything good or bad to say about any of these?
Should I be frequenting one shop more than the other?


On another note, I can't resist putting in my $.02 about the
publication of the HBD thread. As far as the HBD goes, I am much
more of a "learner" than a "teacher," so I contribute much less than
many others. IMHO, as long as someone is NOT making a profit from
distributing hard copies of the HBD, let them! What's the
difference between someone paying for an account to access HBD on
the internet and someone paying the cost of making an HBD hardcopy?

Dan Sherman


Date: Thu, 3 Nov 94 13:52:11 PST
From: (Brad Roach)
Subject: Free Refrig!

For those of you who live in Southern Calif and more specifically
Orange County, read on....

I need to give away soda pop vending machine that has been
converted to hold two 5 Gal. soda pop kegs and a 10 lb.
CO2 tank. I would like to say that the frig works fine, but
I think that the freon has leaked out. The compressor works
great but it doesn't get cold anymore.

You can reach me at

Brad Roach

PS. And keeping with the latest BrewHaHa

// ************************************************************
// Copywrite (c) 1994 by me
// ************************************************************


Date: Thu, 3 Nov 1994 18:48:32 -0800
From: (Richard A Childers)
Subject: Do It Right ... Or Not At All

A lot of people seem to want to smear anyone so foolish as to suggest that
the law may be relevant to determining a universally satisfactory answer.

With respect to copyright, what we're looking at is 500 to 1000 years of
collected experiences and distilled wisdom. Before we toss it out as out-
-worn rubbish, perhaps we should examine the consequences of ignoring it.

( I have personally seen two situations where people ignored the law, and
in both of those situations, the parties involved are still hurting ...
and it hasn't even reached court yet. They could have avoided a lot of
problems by consulting with professionals, instead of accepting advice
from uninformed amateurs with personal, social and political agendas. So
if I'm advising <> to approach this with caution, it's
not because I want to see him hurt ... it's because I don't want to see
him become legal cannon fodder for a bunch of uninformed, over-opinionated
people who don't understand the issues involved. )

Three cheers to those whom have articulated this understanding, by the way.


If I was going to publish the Home Brew Digest, here's how I would do it.

(1) Read the entire collected digest, developing categories
with which to describe the threads contained within. From
this we would be able to identify the range of topics.

(2) For each thread, locate each specific article and grade it
using a 1 to 10 scale or some such. Use this to filter out
those articles which are less acceptable. Software would
speed these steps up considerably, of course.

(3) Skim the top articles for each thread off the stack, and
begin reviewing them and contacting the authors.

- Some authors will want nothing to do with you. They go
into the bottom of the stack, as reserves.

- Some authors will want money. You either negotiate with
them or put them into another reserve stack, just
in case you can't find anyone better.

- Some will let you have their copyright, free. Most will
want something between ... and you'll want to get
a lawyer involved.

- The lawyer will do several things.

1 - S/He will verify if this is in the public
domain, as some wish to believe. ( :-)

2 - S/He will assist you in drafting a boilerplate
agreement ( probably copying it from a book and
charging you a few hundred $$ for it ) that'll
keep you out of trouble with the law.

3 - S/He will assist you in negotiating with the
few individual cases that don't fall into the
above-defined neat categories - the curmudgeons
and the wanna-be lawyers, like me. (-:

(4) Now you have assembled the beginnings of a book. You'll have
a lot of editing, a lot of proofreading, a lot of galleys to
examine and approve ... typesetting considerations ... layout
... photo-ready copies ... binding ... circulation ...

If you've gotten this far, you're a professional. The Home Brew Digest is in
good hands. And you have a good reason to charge for it ... you have added
some value to the contents and made it publically accessible.

If you haven't, you're probably in over your head, and should get out now.

But if you're going to do it ... at least, do it right.

- -- richard

"I gathered I wasn't very well liked. Somehow, the feeling pleased me."
_Nine Princes In Amber_, by Roger Zelazny

richard childers san francisco, california


Date: Thu, 03 Nov 1994 18:21:43 -0500 (EST)
From: I'll buy you a ewe! <STU_GJCARRIE@VAX1.ACS.JMU.EDU>
Subject: Wort chillers, Cornelius kegs, CO2 tanks, regulators

I just built a wort chiller (25 ft of 3/8 copper tube) that is the kind where
the beer goes in the tubing. A question: how do I start the syphon. As long
as the exit is lower than the wort entrance a siphon should work, right?
Should I gargle grain and suck the tube? That sounds weird...

Does anyone know where to get cheap Cornelius kegs? The cheapest I have found
is $40 which isn't very cheap to me right now...

A local place will give me a leased 20# CO2 tank for $11.50 + $35 a year. Each
refil within the year is another $11.50. Worth it? Or should I wait until I
can afford to buy one? Buy a smaller one? Any inexpensive sources?

Anyone know where to find inexpensive regulators? (Yes...I want to move on to
kegging ;)

Finally, does anyone have a temp controller for a RIMS serup that they really
dig? I am building one based off the Zymurgy article a few years back. An
RIMS system that is...I can't build the temp controller from the specs...

Umm...sorry about all those questions. Here's some real beer info. My low
extract mashing efforts seem to be over. The Cranberry Dopplebock I brewed
this weekend has an OG of 1.110 (!!) My mead wasn't that high! I'm sure it's
out of style and all, but I'm sure it will be yummy...I am using the Wyeast
Bavarian Weizen on it.

Thanks in advance for any help...

*********************** We gotta get on the road *****************************
* Gregg Carrier (aka Uncle Zany, the guy in the floppy green hat) *
* 332 Old S. High St. *
* Harrisonburg, VA 22801 (703) 434-8214 *
*************************** Destiny Unbound **********************************


Date: Thu, 3 Nov 1994 20:41:50 -0800
From: (Rich Hill)
Subject: homemade crystal


does anyone here know how to make crystal? I went to brew and my
cupboard was bare. Here in the high desert of Oregon that doesn't
just mean a trip to the store, it means mail order or a trip over
the hill (250 miles). thanks


Date: Thu, 3 Nov 94 23:55:20 EST
From: Mark A. Stevens <>
Subject: Can you malt barley?

Malting is not a simple process and you should not expect your
results to rival those of the commercial malt companies. That
said, it is possible to malt your own grains. As usual, if I've
made any mistakes here, my kind friends will point them out ;-)


First, you need to select raw barley that is suitable for brewing.
A professional maltster measures the amount of protein in the grain,
looks for suitable moisture content, etc. You, on the other hand,
can only gauge the quality of the grain by look and feel. Look for
large plump kernels of 2-row barley. You also want the kernels to
be of fairly consistent size to encourage a consistent germination
rate later.

Okay. You've got your barley, what next?

Well, you need to soak it in water. You want the water content of
the barley to get up to about 45%. This means that if you're malting
10 pounds of barley, you want it to weigh just over 14 pounds when
you're done. The soaking process will take you a minimum of 40 hours,
or at least two days. Historically, quality malts were soaked 65-72
hours [1]. During this time you need to change the water at least daily,
and preferably every 8 to 12 hours. You could also devise system whereby
the water is constantly but slowly drained while being replenished by
some type of slow sprayer. Nineteenth century maltsters changed the
water every 24 hours, but current practice is to sprinkle fresh water
over the grain constantly---which also allows the soaking time to be
reduced to the 40-45 hour range.

After your barley is soaked, you need to germinate it. The traditional
floor malting method should work fairly well for you. To do this,
spread your soaked barley on a clean floor to a depth of about
8 inches. The temperature in your germinating room should remain
consistent at about 60 degrees F. It will take about 8 to 15 days for
the barley to germinate. During this time, you will need to turn
and move the barley about every 12 to 24 hours. You should also
spray a light mist over it to keep it moist, though not wet. Note
that the time the barley takes to germinate properly can vary widely.
Less than 8 days is possible, though sometimes as much as 24 days
may be required.[1]

Examine the barley to see when germination is complete. You want
to look for the new growth stemming out from the end of the kernels
and up the back of the grain. This growth is called the "acrospire".
When the acrospire is roughly the same length as the kernel, the
malt is fully modified. If you let it grow longer than the kernel
size, the malt is said to be "over modified". If it is shorter than
the kernel size, the malt is "under modified".

Neither under nor over modified malt is desired. Undermodified malt
still has starch in the grain that could be converted to sugar. Overmodified
malt has already started consuming the sugars during the normal plant
growth cycle.

When the malt is fully modified, you need to "kiln" it. This is
a 2-step process: drying and curing. In the first step, you are
drying the malt at a low heat over a long period of time to drive
off the moisture. This is typically done at 90 to 100 degrees F with
constant air movement, and takes about 2 days. The grain is done
drying when the moisture content drops into the 4 to 5% range.

In the curing stage of kilning, the temperature is raised to 172 to
220 degrees F for another day and half to 2 days (in the 1880s, the
preferred temperature was 172, in the 20th century, the practice
changed to use 180-220 F).

If you are producing lighter colored pale ale malts, your malt is
now ready. However, if you want darker colored malts, you would
increase the temperature during the curing stage to produce what
are called "high kilned malts".

Some malt varieties would require some changes in the schedule.
For a black patent malt, you would roast the malt in a revolving
drum at over 400 degrees for one to two hours. For an amber
malt, you would increase the temperature during the last 14 hours
of drying time to about 140-150 degrees. To make a crystal malt,
you would take the germinated barley and heat it to 150-170
degrees for 2 hours with no ventilation, and then increase the
temperature to about 250 degrees F. [1,2]

[1] "Steeped in Tradition: The Malting Industry in England", by
Jonathan Brown, 1983, University of Reading Institute of
Agricultural History, Whiteknights.
[2] "Malting and Brewing Science, Volume I", by J.S. Hough et al.,
1982, Chapman and Hall, London and New York.


Date: Fri, 4 Nov 1994 01:07:50 -0600 (CST)
From: "Robert W. Mech" <>
Subject: Frugal Brewing Guide: Thank you HBD'ers!

I would just like to take a second and thank ALL of the people who have
responded with frugal Ideas on how to brew beer. The Guide is comming
along quite nicely. With all of the things I have gathered, anyone who
is looking to save money will benifit by this information. Just reading
it over *I* have already saved HUNDREDS of dollars (or soon will) by
using some of these ideas.


This guide is no where near finished, I should have a "first release"
done by this weekend. I would like to personaly thank those of you who
sent in ideas about purchasing hops, grains, malts, etc in bulk. Great

To keep you all up to date, we have frugal methods of obtaining/making
the following.

Mash/Lauter Tun's
Wort Coolers
Siphon Hoses

PLEASE keep them comming so I can add your ideas to this guide! The more
items I have the more I can help others by sharing ideas. Im
particularly looking for some of the following:

Grain Mills (Make your own, or buy alternative)
Yeast (make your own recipie)
Air Locks (Make your own/Buy Cheap)
Burners gas/electric (Make your own/Buy Cheap)
Filters (Make/Buy Cheap)
Air Pumps/Airation (Make/Buy Cheap)

Or if you have any other ideas on ways to save money on brewing by making
your own or buying in bulk.

PLEASE include phone numbers and/or addresses when recommending a place
to buy things in bulk or cheap.

Once again, Thanks, to all of you who have submitted your ideas!

Robert W. Mech -
Freelance IS Support / Administration / Programming
"If you want to get it done right, pay somone else to do it for you."


Date: Fri, 04 Nov 94 09:21:50 EST
Subject: Water and carboys....

Forgive me if this is general knowledge, I have done some reading
up, but I haven't found this info yet:

- where I reside (Columbia, MD) I do not trust the tap water
quality much (haven't tested it tho), I use a Britta for personal
drinking water and for formula for the baby. Well, at work we
just got a water cooler from Aqua Cool, and the water comes in
these nice 5 gallon plastic carboys. Would this quality water be
alright for homebrew? There is a label on the carboy:

sodium 1.5mg/liter calcium 22mg/l
lead 0.0mg/l magnesium 1mg/l
arsenic 0.0mg/l bicarbonate 35mg/l
nitrate 0.0mg/l chlorine 22mg/l
flouride 0.2mg/l sulfate 2mg/l
Total Dissolved Solids 84mg/l

in 'The New Joy of Home Brewing' concentrations are rated in
parts per million/billion - is there a conversion from mg/l?

- also, if I were able to get ahold of these plastic 5
gallon carboys, are they worthwhile as primary or secondary
fermenting vessels?

Thanx to one and all - Dana Brigham,


Date: Fri, 4 Nov 94 09:37:56 EST
From: (Todd S. Taylor x4613)
Subject: Idea's needed for cleaning bottle

I received a bunch of grolsh bottles that need cleaning. I need ideas
on how the clean these bottles without alot of work. I'm lazy. Will B-brite
work good in each bottle, if they sit for awhile? Any ideas would be
welcome. Thanks Todd


Date: Fri, 04 Nov 94 07:59:07 EST
From: "CANNON_TOM" <>
Subject: My last word on propane cooking indoors

I posted last week on the issue of using propane cookers
indoors. I want to thank all of the respondants
particularly for answering off-line on private E-Mail.
Saved valuable band width for more worthwhile discussions
:-). I got 28 responses which is exactly what I needed.
Comments were uniformly negative, as in don't do it under
any circumstances! Rational was on the order of:

1.) Propane sucks in large amounts of oxygen, on the order
of depleting an enclosed house of its total supply within an
hour. Massive amounts of ventilation required (more than a
few open windows) in order to resupply oxygen.

2.) Carbon Monoxide build-up after combustion is also life
threatening requiring serious ventilation (again, more than
a few open windows).

3.) Big burners are a fire hazard.

4.) Occasionally, you have propane leaks. Being a truly
orderless and colorless gas, this can lead to situtations
resulting in death.

5.) Propane is not the cleanest burning gas in the world
and could result in large soot stains on ceilings.

6.) Do you really want to risk a 15.5 gallon boilover
inside a house?

I think the bottom line can summerized by the fact that dead
brewers make bad beer, so why risk it. The volume of
responses is what's important here. The guys I brew with
can easily say "well I heard about some guy who uses his in
his kitchen and isn't dead yet" to which I can role up hard
copies of the responses and beat them senseless (hope this
doesn't violate any copyrights).

Again, thanks for the input. I started to thank you folks
personally, but I began to get overwhelmed by the numbers.
The time taken for the personal responses was really

Tom Cannon
DH Brewery
Fairfax/Annandale VA


Date: Fri, 04 Nov 94 09:50:06 EST
Subject: a fermenting-time observation

Up until last September, I had made a total of 31 batches of
all-grain, using a single-stage fermentor (carboy)--no primary / then
secondary. Because I was always getting some sludge in the bottom of
the carboy and because of G.Fix's notes on fermentor geometry and
other comments about open fermenting, I decided to try out the more
normal two-stage fermentor, doing a primary in a big open stainless
pot and then racking to a carboy for the secondary. I've done three
batches that way.

My observation--I am getting tremendously longer ferments. The first
batch took a total of 32 days to ferment out. The second batch,
started October 12, is still bubbling merrily away on November 4. The
third batch, started October 19, is still wild. This is three
different yeasts (california lager, american ale, canadian ale) in
three different types (steam, pale ale, dirty stout). I don't know yet
if there's any difference in the beers.


Date: Fri, 4 Nov 1994 09:55:58 -0500
Subject: King Kooker Users-HELP

To anyone with a King Kooker from Metal Fusion: I am confused as to which
model to order. My keg is approx. 14" diameter and ROUNDED on the bottom.
Seems the King Kooker models would all be a little unstable with a rounded
bottom keg. Could you please private E-mail me the model # of the King
Kooker you have and how stable it is?? TIA ! !
Stan White,
"The Way to BE is to DO"--Lau Tzu


Date: Fri, 4 Nov 1994 09:58:15 -0500
Subject: Re: dried apricots

Why not just use unsulfured (i.e. "organic") dried apricots from a health/
natural foods store?

Gary Hannan


Date: Fri, 4 Nov 1994 10:35:17 -0500 (EST)
From: Stephanie Dolgoff <dolgoff@GRAPHICS.CS.NYU.EDU>
Subject: just curious

I just want to see if this is the way to hook up with homebrew digest.


Date: Fri, 4 Nov 94 10:37:10 EST
Subject: Re: Belgium Here I Come!

Kimberly Carney comments that she was unable to buy Jackson's Belgian
beer book in the U.S. It is available if you know where to look.
Perhaps it was not when she was looking.

Jackson's _The Great Beers of Belgium_ is marketed in the US by
Vanberg Dewulf of Cooperstown, NY. You can mail-order it from them
(see Zymurgy for an ad, e.g.), or I believe you can get it from the
AHA by mail-order (probably costs more, though). My local homebrew
shop carries it, so you might want to check there first.

=Spencer in Ann Arbor, MI

End of HOMEBREW Digest #1571, 11/05/94

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