From the HBD Archive
From: bickham@msc2.msc.cornell.edu (Scott Bickham)
Subject: Clarification on Jack's NA Beer
Date: 1992-04-22 15:50:50 GMT

>From: arf@ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling)
>Subject: Itsa Conspiracy

> 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.
>
> 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?

Jack,
This was not made clear to the other participants in the seminar or me,
so maybe Jean misunderstood the nature of the samples. I got the impression
from your HBD digest postings that you wanted an evaluation of your beers, as
well as an estimate of how effective your distillation process is. In either
aspect, lack of sanitation (albeit intentional) will destroy any accurate
measurement. For example, depending on the amount of oxygen available, lactic
acid bacteria will either metabolize ethanol or fermentable carbohydrates.
Acetic acid bacteria, which is common in beer dispense lines, uses ethanol
as its source of carbon. Thus the apparent alcohol content may or may not be
representative of the original, sterile beer.
Jean has not been intentionally procrastinating on the HPLC measurement
of the alcohol content; she is up for tenure at Cornell next month, so I'm
sure she will get back to this matter after that hellish procedure is finished.
And by the way, judging a beer that scored in the low 20's is not my idea of
fun. But thanks for pointing out that the taste and alcohol content was not
representative of your homebrews.

Cheers,
Scott

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