From the HBD Archive
From: arf@ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling)
Subject: Itsa Conspiracy
Date: 1992-04-21 16:39:00 GMT


To: Homebrew Digest
Fm: Jack Schmidling

>From: bickham@msc2.msc.cornell.edu (Scott Bickham)
>Subject: Jack Schmidling's NA Beer (very long!)

>Saturday, Jean Hunter ran a Dr. Beer seminar in which several Ithaca
Brewers' Union members were able to taste a standard beer that had
been doctored by adding food grade flavors or by fermentation/storage
conditions. After we had finished, we had the opportunity to taste
Jack Schmidling's NA homebrew, as well as Freeport NA "brew". My
analysis of these two NA beers appears below, along with a listing of
some of my judging qualifications.

>Jack's NA: The beer was in a clear Corona bottle, which enabled us to
see a small colony (about 1/4" in diameter) floating on the
surface of the liquid. Jean Hunter remarked that the colony
was there when she received the bottle in the mail. The color
was pale, however it was very cloudy. The bottle had been
refrigerated, so it could have been chill haze; however I didn't
let the beer warm up to test this hypothesis. The conditioning
level was similar to the Freeport. The aroma was faintly herbal,
but phenolics were also detectable. The taste was also herbal,
with some phenolic astringency in the finish. The flavor profile
of this brew lasted longer than the Freeport; however it seemed more
like an herbal tea than a beer. As for the alcohol level, Jean
has not yet checked this on the chromatograph, so the question
of distillation efficiency remains unanswered.

I am not sure if I should be just irritated or downright outraged at all
this.

After being accused of everything biggotry to being a charlatain, I sent Jean
some samples to be analyzed for alcoholic content on Mar 16. I also included
a complementary copy of "Brew It At Home" as a token of appreciation for her
help. I have sent mail to her three times since sending the samples and she
has declined to respond and this is the first feedback I have received.

There were four different samples, produced in different ways and none of
them were intended to represent anything other than samples for chemical
analysis. There was only one that I would even consider drinkable. One was
boiled to reduce the volume by 50% another was a blend of 4 different beers,
one was in a plastic bottle and none were aged or cleared prior to sending.

In the future, I will have a hard time taking criticism of my articles
seriously.

>Jack, I recommend that you be extra careful with sanitation, since more
microorganisms can exist at the lower alcohol level (as you are no doubt
already aware of).

As a matter of fact, I was no uninterested in anything but the alcoholic
content that I didn't even sanitize the bottles. I just rinsed and filled
them. I might have done a lot of things differently had I not been deceived
as to the purpose.

>Also, since your brew still contains isomerized-hop and sulphur compounds,
you are taking an unnecessary risk of photochemicaldamage by using clear
bottles. Hopefully the reason you sent this bottle to Jean is because you
are trying to get rid of it :-)

What you think of as a joke, is precisely why I used the clear bottles. They
are from Miller High Life and I only use them when I don't care what the beer
tastes like or when I can control the environment.

Now that you have all had your fun, is it asking to much to answer the only
question the samples were sent to address.

What is the alcohol content?

js


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