From the HBD Archive
Subject: Conference + Re: Technique/HighKrauesen/Dryhopping/MOREBEER
Date: 1992-06-15 17:13:00 GMT

Having just returned from the AHA National Conference, I'd like to comment
on a number of posts received while I was away. By the way, I strongly
urge everyone to try to attend the next Conference which will be held in
Portland, OR, next summer. Not only are there *barrels* of information
to be gained from the sessions (my favorites were the session on Yeast
by George Fix and the session on Brewing Lambics by Martin Lodahl and
Mike Sharp), but you also get to taste *hundreds* of homebrewed beers
while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with such brewing luminaries as Charlie
Papazian, George Fix, Dave Miller, Byron Burch, and Fred Eckhardt.

>From the matching faces with logins file: everyone is much younger in
person than they seem on the net. Given the amount of knowledge that
HBD members have, you would expect them to look like old, grey-haired
brewmasters. Not so. In addition, homebrewers are the friendliest
people in the world. Period. If you steped up to a homebrewer at the
conference who was pouring a vintage 1967 Thomas Hardy's Ale, and they
noticed your glass was empty, they would pour you some... nevermind that
they haven't even had a chance to read your nametag.

Chris writes:
> First, this is what I now do: the day or more before
>brewing I start Wyeast and eventually make a 750 ml starter with
>light dry malt extract (or sometimes I repitch from the secondary
>and avoid the starter) and I also boil 1.5 to 2.0 gallons of cold
>tap water (it's quite soft in Philadelphia) and then freeze in a
>block; on the brewing day I bring about 4.5 gallons of water to
>around 170x F., turn off the heat, add 6.6 lbs. NW malt extract
>syrup, stir to dissolve, start heating again and bring to a boil,
>add hops at one or more times, and boil for 60 to 90 minutes or
>until volume falls to about 3.5 gallons, cool from 212x F. to
>about 170x F. by putting the pot in a sink of cold water and then
>cool to yeast pitching temperature by adding the 1.5 to 2.0
>gallon block of ice, pitch yeast into the pot and let stand one
>to two hours, rack wort off of the settled trub into a carboy or
>plastic fermenter while waving the siphon hose to aerate the
>wort, fit a fermentation lock, ferment two to three days until
>kreusen falls and then rack to a carboy for a one to three week
>secondary fermentation, rack to a plastic fermenter with priming
>sugar (preboiled corn sugar), and then bottle. Sometimes I bring
>crystal malt or other specialty grains to 170x F. in the brewing
>pot and then skim it out before adding the malt extract syrup.
>Sometimes I treat my brewing water after the boil with Burton
>water salts (for pale ales) and sometimes I add .5 tsp. of Irish
>Moss at the end of the boil.

So far, you have excellent technique.

> Among the things I have considered doing to improve this
>technique are: (i) use an immersion wort chiller so that I could
>do a full boil instead of using the block of ice (this will help
>when I get ready for all grain, too),

Yes. I think this should be your first improvement. Note that
when you increase your boil volume to the full 5 to 6 gallons,
you will get better hop utilization due to the lower boil gravity,
so be careful. See the article by Jackie Rager (who I got to meet
and with whom I shared a Blueberry Porter provided by one of the New
York area homebrew clubs) in the Hops Special Issue of Zymurgy to
see what kind of change you can expect from your full boil.

>(ii) use a bottle of oxygen to aerate the wort before pitching,

I would call this overkill. Good aeration is enough. (Ironically,)
Alberta Rager will have an article in the Conference Transcripts
on aeration -- she suggests using a bubbler stone, an aquarium pump
and a 2micron inline filter for aeration, but I would leave this
improvement for later.

>(iii) use a 7 gallon carboy
>instead of a plastic fermenter for primary fermentation (where
>can one get a 7 gallon carboy?),

Even a 5 gallon carboy will help you keep things more sanitary than
plastic, but as noted by Darryl Richman recently, he's been using
an HDPE fermenter for years and has brewed prize-winning beers with it.

>(iv) use kegs of some sort
>rather than bottles (this would make life easier, I think, but
>shouldn't improve the beer) and

>(v) use a larger volume of starter, say one liter.

The difference between 750ml and 1 liter is minor. Personally,
I think that 750ml is enough if you pitch when the starter is most

Additional improvements:

- try adding specialy grains, like Crystal, Chocolate, Black Patent
(I simply crush them, put them in a grain bag, and suspend the
bag in the water as I bring it to 170F, then remove the grains.)
The grains will give your beer a more malty flavor and aroma
than just simply using extract.

- try some different malt extracts. I've found that Northwestern
Extract seems to give a high terminal gravity. Other extracts
give slightly different flavors too.

- Dryhop. Try 1 oz of Willamette or Goldings or Fuggles in the
secondary (the last 10 days before bottling). Try Liberty Ale
of Young's Special London Ale to see what dryhopping can do for
beer bouquet.

John writes:
>Whenever I use Wyeast, I prepare a 12oz starter. Timing when to pitch a
>starter has always been a mystery to me. The general recommendation is
>to pitch at high krauesen. The trouble is determining when high krauesen
>occurs. With my starters, I am lucky to get 1/8 inch of foam on top, and
>that is a best case! What sort of krauesen do you get, and at what point
>do you pitch the starter?

I think it may have to do with the low gravity of starters (I use 1018),
but high-krauesen is really, at best, 1/8 inch, sometimes none at all.
I know I wrote "high krauesen" in a hurry and I really hadn't thought-out
my post properly or explained myself thoroughly. Usually, I just time
the bubbles and scale down from a 5 gallon batch -- 1 bubble per 80 seconds
in a 16 ounce starter is (for practical purposes) 1 bubble per 2 seconds
in a 5 gallon batch. I consider anything aproaching 1 bubble per 2 minutes
to be "high krauesen" in a 16-32 ounce starter.

Sean writes:
>I'm bitting the dry-hop bullet. Sign me up, i want that awesome dry-hopped
>aroma. I ordered the ingredients for my latest batch and ordered a package
>of Hersbrucker compressed hop plugs. I brewed up my batch last night as
> 6lb Laaglander extra-pale DME
> 1lb corn sugar
> .5oz fuggles pellets a=4.0 (begging of boil)
> .5oz Willemette leaf a=4.2 ( @ 20 minutes)
> .5oz " " " ( @ 40 minutes)
> #1056 - American Ale
> OG = 1.060
>The boil was a full 6 gallons (in my shiny new 10gal ss brewkettle! ;-),
>yeilding 5 gallons after the boil. It's merrily fermenting away in the
>primary now.

I feel that you have underhopped. 1/2 oz of 4.0% Fuggles is quite low
for a 5 gallon batch of 1060 Ale. I would have used 1.5 ounces.

>So how much of the Hersbrucker (a = 2.6) do i throw in the secondary? Is
>there some rule-of-thumb for amount of malt (SG?), amount of bittering hops,
>and amount and/or alpha of the dryhop being used? Or is it as simple as
>just throw in 1oz at transfer to secondary?

I suggest 1 ounce for the last 10 days in the secondary. At first, the
dry hop bouquet may be overpowering (if that's possible, but I'm a hophead)
at first but will mellow out in a week or two. Note: I heard at the
conference, that Smartcaps(tm) will make your hop bouquet last much longer.
If this is true, then you may want to try Smartcaps and use 1/2 ounce of


<stuff deleted>
> Now they are chanting, MORE BEER! MORE BEER! MORE BEER!
<stuff deleted>

Sounded like "FREE BEER! FREE BEER! FREE BEER!" to me.


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