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HOMEBREW Digest #2692

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 · 14 Apr 2024

HOMEBREW Digest #2692		             Mon 20 April 1998 

Digest Janitor:
Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of
Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.

Cal Common Questions ("Ray Estrella")
malt pH ("Ray Estrella")
converting oxygen tank for co2 (JPullum127)
Carm's Harshness and Jeff's hops (Dave Williams)
Re: Finings (Robert Arguello)
One last Iodophor question. ("Hans E. Hansen")
Redhook ESB (michael rose)
Cat Vomit Steam Beer Recipe (Jim Bentson)
Thin *tasting* beer - Why, oh why? ("Hans E. Hansen")
Sunbeam Timer Thermometer (Ralph Link)
First Raspberry Wheat attempt ("Eric Bonney")
Standard reference on brewing. (Andrew J Marsh)
Liberty Ale Clone ("Capt. Marc Battreall")

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Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 22:58:45 -0500
From: "Ray Estrella" <>
Subject: Cal Common Questions

Hello to all,
Harold has some questions,

>1) I've had a Calif.. Common in my fridge in a corny (naturally
carbonated) for 5 months now. STILL CLOUDY!! But the weird
thing is that the 2 ft. length of hose between the corny and the
picnic tap (also in the fridge) does clear with time. I know, you'll
say it only looks clear because I'm looking through only 3/8 inch of
beer, but not so. Fill a glass with beer and the "new" beer now in
the hose is cloudy. Does this sound like good old protein haze?
Could the pelleted dry-hopping cause cloudiness in the beer?
>Why does the line clear, but not the keg?

Being the product of two, third generation Californians, I think that
means that I am 120 years old, I can answer this question, what was it?
Oh yeah, you have to much air(head) in it, you should have made a
Kansas Common. Of course, then you would have way to much DMS.
Seriously, a couple of things to look at. Being that you naturally (cool,
I like that) carbonated this brew means that you have plenty of yeast
sitting in your keg. If you kegged with a lot of residual sugars present
you may be the victim of over carbonation. Even if it is not overly
carbonated, you could have a lot of junk in the bottom of your keg.
It could clear faster in the tap-line, because it cools down much faster
than the keg will. As soon as you pull another pint, it gets stirred up.

>2) Could inadequate oxygenation of wort lead to a nasty flavor in
your beer that fades with lagering? All of my beers (including the batch
mentioned above) have a distinct harsh taste to them (some more than
others) that fades with time in the fridge. My beers always seem to
improve with lots of time. Even after a year in the fridge, they are still
improving. I can't describe the taste, other than by saying it's harsh.
I extract brew, and have done partial batch boils, full batch boils, liquid
yeast, dry yeast, no starter, three stage (half gallon) starters. The only
consistent "fault" I see in my method is that I do not aerate my beer
after pitching nearly as much as most preach (and practice). I just
shake the carboy for a while until it's good and foamy. I generally get
active fermentation within hours and am near final gravity in a few days.
Believe me, this is not a one batch thing, so I cannot blame it on a
specific set of ingredients or conditions. It does however, have me

I am probably the biggest aeration preacher in our club, but what you
describe, I do not think is an aeration problem. It sounds as though you
are making high gravity, high alcohol brews, with the possibility of a lot
of balancing hops. You do not say what you are brewing. If it is a 1.120
Barleywine with 95 IBU, give it a year or so, and that harshness may go
away. I had a Strong Scotch Ale that I almost threw away at 7 months
because I thought it was crappy. At 18 months it was a silver medal winner.

Ray Estrella Cottage Grove MN

****** Never Relax, Constantly Worry....have a better Homebrew ******


Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 23:29:42 -0500
From: "Ray Estrella" <>
Subject: malt pH

Hello to all,
Steve answers Paul,

>>1) Just how stupid was it to steep some black patent to acidify my
>> sparge? Was there enough grain to really make a PH difference?

>4 oz BP in 6# total grain bill is a pretty good percentage, you likely
>affected the color and the PH by a good margin. I estimate the color
>addition of the BP to be around 10 deg Lovibond - taking it from about
>3 to 13, very pale to above amberish. I'm no expert on PH though (not
>that I'm an expert on _any_ of this!), so I'll let someone else chime
>in here . . .

Well I am not an expert on pH, or PE, or PHDs, or any other P's, but...
4 oz. of black patent will definitely acidify the mash. My water pH
fluctuates about 3 points during the year, but I would expect at least
a 1.5 - 2. pH drop from that grain bill.
Where is A.J.? Help us Mr.. Wizard.

>>3) Not that it matters at this stage in my learning curve, but how
>> would I figure extraction rates from the given date (6 lbs.. assorted
>> grains yielding 12 quarts at 1.042 S.G.)?

>Everything matters at every stage of the learning curve - that's how
>you keep learning!

Steve, you should use that as a sig line. Maybe you will catch as much
sh#* as I do. Keep thinking,

Ray Estrella Cottage Grove MN

****** Never Relax, Constantly Worry....have a better Homebrew ******


Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 10:13:20 EDT
From: JPullum127 <>
Subject: converting oxygen tank for co2

I have a oxygen tank approx 18 inches high by 4 inch wide. which i would like
to use for c02 for kegging. will co2 regulators fit. what would i have to do
to make it practical and legal other than repainting. I'm sure there is a
color code for safety with medical gasses and the tank is engraved oxygen. I
have never kegged before but was recently given a number of cornelius kegs and
this seems too good to pass up. thanks


Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 09:53:20 -0400
From: (Dave Williams)
Subject: Carm's Harshness and Jeff's hops


There were several posts in response to Carm Salvatore's question on
harshness. Most thought that astringency was the source, but Jeff Renner
says it's hops:

>From: Jeff Renner <>

>Carm <> has a problem with harshness except
>in his lower hopped wheat beers.
>But here is a big clue:
>> 1 oz Chinook (12.5%) 60 min
>assuming 23% utilization, = 69 IBU
>> 1/4 oz Tettenang 20min
>assuming 5% alpha acid and 13% utilization, = 5 IBU
>> 1/4 oz Fuggles 10 min
>assuming 5% aa, 9% utilization = 2 IBU
>> 1/2 oz Cascade knock out
>So ignoring any contribution from the Cascades at knockout, you have 76 IBU
>bitterness! No wonder it's harsh!

I have to agree with Jeff for a couple of reasons. First, Carm is using
about the same amount of bittering hops as I use in some *10* gallon
batches. While my IBU calcs for Carm's additions aren't as high as Jeff's
(I get about 60 IBU's), they are still high enough to be perceived as harsh.
Second, the fact that Carm is not getting *any* break in the boil would seem
to indicate that he has *over* acidified his sparge water if anything. This
would reduce the likelyhood that harshness is from extracted tannins.

When I moved to all-grain, and full wort boils, my first few batches were
bitter to the point of harshness. I was using about the same amount of
bittering hops as I'd been using for 3 gallon concentrated extract boils.
When I reduced the hops to reflect the increased utilization in a full wort
boil, the harsh bitterness went away.

I also agree with Jeff that Chinook can have a harsh bitterness. I would
recommend switching to a lower alpha hop for bittering. I generally use a
finish hop variety like Cascade for bittering. At 5%-6% it doesn't take
an excessive amount to get a reasonable level of bitterness.

Dave Williams
Newberry, Florida


Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 08:14:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: Robert Arguello <>
Subject: Re: Finings

Bob Gould writes about fining a stout:

>I'm in the process of making a Papazian's Cuslomachree Stout (more or less)
> - grain + extract clone of Murphy's Irish Stout. Its in the primary now.
>I stupidly forgot to add irish moss during the boil and am wondering what
>to use in the secondary if anything.

I wouldn't worry overmuch about fining a stout. The dark color and near
opacity of the brew pretty much precludes the need for "clarity". I do use
kettle finings, (irish moss), for all of my beers, but primarily because I
find that the moss, (added at the beginning of the boil), helps the
formation of hot break. I too have occaisionally forgotten to use the IM,
but the beer came out fine in spite of that.

Bob goes on to ask......
>From what I've read PolyClar and/or
>Gelatin could be added when racking to the secondary. Is this correct, and
>is it really needed considering the darkness of the stuff. I haven't
>really seen a good discussion of effects of haze other than aesthetics. Is
>there an impact on flavor if I don't use any finings? Thanks in advance.

When I fine a light colored brew, I use Poly-Clar. I primary and secondary
as normal, then rack to tertiary on top of two teaspoons of Poly-Clar. I
leave the brew in tertiary for 5 days before racking to keg or bottling. If,
(please stress the IF), there is any flavor impact as a result of fining, it
would probably be a slight reduction in body. I have noticed no impact in
terms of flavor or aroma, your mileage may vary.
Robert Arguello "Life Begins At 35 IBU's"
Davis, CA


Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 10:25:53 -0700
From: "Hans E. Hansen" <>
Subject: One last Iodophor question.

First of all many thanks to all that contacted me about their
Iodophor experiences. I heard from both academics and the "I've
been doing it for 20 years" folks. Nothing beats the combination
of book learning and school-of-hard-knocks experience.

The concensus seems to be to not worry about rinsing if the
Iodophor concentration is reasonable. Some suggested rinsing
fermenters, however. Which brings up another question:

Should I choose to rinse something, what concentration of Iodophor
will sanitize water? I don't mean to make a sanitizing solution
for sanitizing objects, I just want to sanitize the water itself.
I have seen iodine (I know not what compound was actually involved)
tablets in survival kits, and they seem to work at a fairly low
concentration. Perhaps Iodophor in the 2 - 5 ppm range?

Thanks again.

Hans E. Hansen


Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 10:44:24 -0700
From: michael rose <>
Subject: Redhook ESB

Geoff Peake wrote,
>Not too long ago on the WWW bulletin board we had a fair amount of
>traffic regarding this brew. I emailed the redhook not long after that >and
>received this reply which spells it out pretty plainly:


I have heard that Redhook crash chills the fermentation early. This
prevents the yeast from absorbing the diacetyl.

- --
Michael Rose Riverside, CA


Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 17:13:58 -0400
From: Jim Bentson <>
Subject: Cat Vomit Steam Beer Recipe

Hi All

Here is one for the collective.

I have recently started a new company and as such have very little time for
brewing. Thus I must stick to a tight schedule when I do. My calendar was
open this weekend so I decided, this is it! I decided on an all-grain
California Common recipe, got a Wyeast 2112 smack pack and all the hops and
grains I needed. Went home, started the smack pack and the next day started
a one pint starter solution using extra pale dry malt extract, chilled it,
oxygenated it and pitched the yeast. At around 9 PM the starter was at full
krausen so I went to start the next two pints of starter to get to the 3
pints I pitch on brew-day.

I brought two pints of water to a boil and then after searching everywhere
for a bag of DME I was sure I had, realized that I only had 2/3 cup of
extract left and nowhere to get more at that time. Since this will give
around a 1020 starter I felt all was OK and mixed the DME into the two pints
of water, boiled for ten minutes, covered and allowed to cool.

Around 11PM I went to oxygenate this batch and pitch into the yeast starter.
I uncovered the pot and as I started to bubble the oxygen through the wort,
Sylvester, my large male cat hopped up on the counter to see what was going.
He sat there for a while watching with a VERY strange look on his face and
kept sniffing the starter and swallowing. And then, before I could react, HE

Well boys and girls, at this point I have two choices, The obvious ( and
sane ) choice is to dump the two pints of starter and pitch the one pint
that was ready. BUT I am out of extract. If I pitch the starter that I have
I will be past the peak krausen point where I like to be and also will be
pitching too small an amount for my liking. Since I am out of extract I
can't start more and I won't use corn sugar for a starter.

So I said to myself, "Self, I bet this is the same way that the
mega-breweries develop new recipes, so why not continue?." After all stomach
juices are mostly HCl in H20 and yeasties like acidity don't they?. So I
filtered the mess through a coffee filter and checked the residue for mice
feet ( there were none but there was a large hair ball). I took the liquid,
added more water and reboiled for twenty minutes. After it was chilled I
took a deep breath and tasted a spoonful. Hmm- it tastes the same as usual.

As I write this, the starter is happily fermenting towards full krausen and
will be pitched later today. I will keep all informed.

My main question is; what style of beer is this now??? Is it a candidate
for the Longshot Contest? If I enter it in a contest do I really have to
list all the ingredients? (For those interested in replicating the recipe,
use one tablespoon of Little Friskies Liver & Chicken + one inch hair
warmed to intestinal temperatures for about 2 hours. Allow to steep in the
sweet wort starter for about 2 minutes )

PS I challenge the AHA to use this recipe for Cat Vomit Steam Beer
UNALTERED in next year's MegaBrew Contest!!!!
Brian, are you up to the challenge?

Jim Bentson
Centerport NY


Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 15:49:03 -0700
From: "Hans E. Hansen" <>
Subject: Thin *tasting* beer - Why, oh why?

For some reason, nearly everything that I make has little flavor.
About the only flavor that comes thru are the hops, which is OK,
because I am quite a hop head.

Here are the details:
Because of practical considerations, I don't mash, making
everything with extract (usually dry) and specialty grains. I have
tried several different brands of extract (including Laaglanders),
and many different yeasts. I made a Bitter using 3 lbs crystal
malt/5 gals - no taste! Good color, but no flavor. The only beer
that tasted as it should was an Oktoberfest made with Bierkeller
Amber extract.
What is puzzling is that I am not getting excessive
attenuation. Most yeasts are giving me 70%-73%, with finishing
gravities ranging from 1.012 to 1.020.
I use a very large coarse bag for steeping the grains.
I usually have the brewshop crush the grains, but sometimes I
do it with a marble rolling pin. The water is first heated up to
170 deg. and then the bag is added. I soak for 1/2 hour (although
lately I have been pushing this to 40 min.), and occasionally knead
the bag with a wooden spoon to circulate the liquid thru the grains.
After the soak, the bag is removed (and lately sparged with a quart
or so of hot water - HSA be damned!), the extracts added, and the
pot topped up for a full volume boil. My various brews have had OG's
of anywhere from 1.035 to 1.060 depending upon style (is there an AHA
style for "Tastes like Water"?).
My water is quite soft (Hardness of 20, TDS: 40). I always
add salts as recommened by Brewer's Workshop. This usually includes
gypsum, some Epsom salts, some table salt.
Perhaps another clue is that the beers have virtually no head.
I get a normal amount of carbonation (in keg), but it pours out flat-
looking. This does not bother me, but it may give you that last
nugget of info that will help you solve the problem.
I use a lot of hops, and have been experimenting with FWH.
On the theory that my hop additions were overwhelming the malt, I
made a batch with greatly reduced hopping rate. Colored water.
(Actually it was a Bitter, so perhaps that should be 'coloured
If I can't solve this, at least I will be able to save a
lot of money by just making hop tea. It tastes the same as my beer.


Hans Hansen


Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 12:04:04 -0500
From: Ralph Link <>
Subject: Sunbeam Timer Thermometer

I recently received a Cabela's master spring catalogue. On page 300 of that
catalogue there is a Sumbeam Timer Thermometer. Has anyone in the
collective used this model and if you have what are your opinions? Is it
something that could be used in a three tier system? Is it accurate enough?
I appreciate any and all responses, private e-mail is fine or if anyone
else is interested postings in the HBD are great.
Thanks Ralph Link
"Warm beer and bread
They say it will raise the dead"


Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 13:32:30 -0400
From: "Eric Bonney" <>
Subject: First Raspberry Wheat attempt

Well I did my first raspberry wheat last night. I hope it turns out ok. I have
a few questions about the recipe and the procedures I used and wanted to see if
anyone could help.


6.6 lbs Muntons Wheat Extract
3 lbs Muntons Dry Malt Extract - Light
8 oz Malto-Dextrin
2 oz Hallertau Hops (bittering) 3.9% Alpha Acid
1 oz Saaz Haps (finishing) 3.6% Alpha Acid
1 tsp. Irish Moss
8 oz of Raspberry extract (LD Carlson)
Wyeast #3068 - Weihenstephan Wheat
** The hops were pellet hops

I brought 3 1/2 gallons of water to a boil, then added the wheat extract,
DME, and Malto-Dextrin. Brought this back to a boil and let boil for 15
minutes. Added bittering hops and boiled for 30 minutes. Added Irish Moss and
boiled for the last 15 minutes. Added the finishing hops and let stand covered
for 5 minutes. Used a submersion chiller to cool the wort to around 75 F and
dumped the whole lot into my 6.5 gallon plastic fermenter. Added the raspberry
extract and pitched the yeast.

Original gravity was about 1.083.

Now for the questions and comments:

1. I made huge mistake in the amount of water I boiled. I only have a
4 gallon kettle and well to say the least, I experienced my first boil
over. ::sigh:: What a mess! but alas, we kept going. Just kept a closer look
on the kettle.

2. I think the 8 oz of raspberry extract might have been a bit much,
but we will have to see.

3. After I was done cooling the wort, it had a tremendous amount of
trub, all I did was dump this into the fermenter. Is there a way I could have
removed this so as not to put it into the fermenter? Will this cause any
problems in my beer? After about 7 days I plan on racking it into a 5 gal.
carboy for about 14 days or so.

4. When using the pellet hops, is it ok to just put the pellets into
the wort as I did in this batch, or should I have used a hop sock? I used the
sock for the finishing hops.

5. Just an observation, but the o.g. seems a bit high, is it? With all
the pellet particles floating about didn't this skew the reading?

6. When I used the yeast, all I did was open the foil package and
dumped it into the wort, and mixed in. Somewhere I recall reading something
about preping the yeast in some way, or was that only if I was using dry yeast?

Thanks to any who wish to help with these, and if anyone has any suggestions
for the next batch I would love to hear them.

-Eric Bonney
Check out my home page at:
Prejudice is a learned trait, SO WHAT are YOU teaching YOUR children?!


Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 12:43:11 -0700
From: (Andrew J Marsh)
Subject: Standard reference on brewing.

I have recently started brewing all grain recipes and would like to buy a
good reference book to learn more about the process and different styles.
Any suggestions?

Private e-mail is fine.


Andrew Marsh
Victoria, B.C.


Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 21:00:11 -0400
From: "Capt. Marc Battreall" <>
Subject: Liberty Ale Clone

Hello All,
Got an enormous response for requests of my Liberty Ale clone that I am
so proud of. But a few things first: A few e-mail requests that I got
mentioned the yeast I spoke of. Please bear in mind, I never said that
this is in fact the yeast that Anchor Brewing Co. uses for their Liberty
Ale. I am not privy to that information. What I merely said was that
this is reportedly the same style or strain of yeast. That is no secret.
It is a Canadian Ale strain as reported by George Fix in his recent
book, An Analysis of Brewing Techniques. Read it for yourself.
Anyway, on to the recipe..........................

Recipe for Matecumbe India Pale Ale
6.0 US Gallons All Grain
WATER: Treated 10 Gal (6 tap + 4 Pure)
SALTS ADDED: Epsom - 10.3 gm, Gypsum - 12.9 gm, Calcium Chloride - .2
gm, Salt - 1.5 gm
Ions Desired: Ca 125, Na 25, Mg 31, Cl 40, SO4 360, CO3 33, Hardness
374, TDS 652
(Use whatever salts you need to achieve these numbers or close)
GRAINBILL: 11 lb Great Western 2 Row Malt
1 lb Briess 6 Row Malt
1 lb Briess Carapils Malt
1 lb Gambrinus Honey Malt (Bruhmalt)
1 lb Crystal Malt 40L
HOP SCHEDULE: 1 oz Cascade Hop Pellets (5.2% AA - boil 75 min)
1 oz Cascade Whole Hops (6.3% AA - boil 60 min)
1 oz Cascade Whole Hops (6.3% AA - boil 15 min)
.5 oz Cascade Whole Hops (dry hop in secondary)
Boil time should be 75 minutes or more adding 1 tsp of
Irish Moss Flakes for last 15 minutes.
YEAST: 750+ ml Yeastlab #A07 Canadian Ale Yeast Starter
FERMENTATION: At least 7-10 days at 66-68F and then 4-5 days in the
secondary after you
have added the dry hops and the fining agent of your
choice. You can
elect to skip the finings if you don't mind a cloudy beer,
which is imilar
to Liberty Ale afterall!
PRIMING: I use krausened beer with an added amount of yeast from the
original culture and add it to the keg and condition it for a few weeks.
You can choose any method.
PACKAGING: I prefer to keg my beer but with this batch I did both
kegging and bottling.
in my opinion the kegged version is better. I prime the bottles with
Primetabs (tm).
NOTES: You can alter most of the ingredients slightly but NOT THE
YEAST!! This is reportedly the same type that Anchor uses according to
George Fix et al. Not neccessarily from Yeastlab per se, but that
particular strain. I agree especially after trying this recipe with
assorted grains and hopping schedules. The info on the hops was acquired
from personal experiences (I drink alot of Liberty Ale!) and a recent
article in All About Beer magazine.This was the sixth attempt to clone
this beer which I love so much and I firmly believe that I can get no
closer. If you experiment with this anymore, please let me know how it
worked out for you.


- --
Captain Marc Battreall
Islamorada, Florida
Future site of "The BackCountry Brewhouse"

End of HOMEBREW Digest #2692, 04/20/98

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