From the HBD Archive
Subject: A variety of topics...
Date: 1989-01-03 22:03:00 GMT

Hello, all!

I'm going to combine a whole bunch of things into one posting. This
constitutes fair warning...

MEDOC: There is most definitely a variety of wine by this name, but I've
never heard it applied to beer. As to ingredients, preparation, etc.: use
whatever malt you want (light, dark, DME, syrup). For hops, I would lean
towards Fuggles or Hallertauer, but then I usually like those hops. Northern
Brewer would be good for heavy bitterness, and for a very hoppy finish
American Cascades is always good. Mostly, though, a few words about the

DON'T USE "SUE BEE" or any other blended-to-death honey!! Go to a health food
store, or some other kind of store which sells raw honey in bulk, and use
that. The type of honey used will most definitely affect the final flavor.
Orange blossom and clover honeys are very mild and pleasant; others such as
gallberry are more acid but still delicious. One of the best honeys I ever
came across was some avocado honey a friend gave me! When adding honey to a
hot liquid, stir *constantly!* If the honey has a chance to hit the bottom of
a hot pot, it will caramelize and scorch. When cooking honey, a frothy scum
forms, which needs to be skimmed off. For this reason, you might want to
dissove the honey in some boiling water prior to adding the malt. Finally,
plan on aging your beer anywhere from 9 months to 2 years when using honey.
The structure of the sugar in honey almost inevitably requires a lengthy
period of aging.

SAKE: Am now trying to procure a recipe for Mr. Haberman.

SARAN WRAP/FOIL AND STERILITY: I have always assumed these products to be
relatively bacteria-free, and used them accordingly with no problems. I base
my assumption on the fact that both products are produced at high
temperatures, and are not of themselves suitable media for bacterial growth.

BOTTLE PROCUREMENT: If one checks the dumpsters behind popular bars on Friday
and Saturday nights between midnight and 2 AM or so, one can often salvage
both bottles and cardboard cases. It's kind of an icky way to get bottles,
but it _does_ work. Also good are some brands of soda bottles, especially
"IBC" brand's root beer and sarsaparilla bottles.

CRATES: Plastic milk crates, or better yet (but terribly rare now) the old
wooden ones, can be very useful for storing bottles. If necessary, a plywood
bottom can be added to prevent sagging. Other than that, everyone I know who
has wooden cases has built their own.

KEGS: I have read and been told that kegged homebrew tends to have problems
with yeast stir-up when tapped. I have avoided trying kegging on this basis.
Comments, anyone?

I thank one and all for their attention.

Cher Feinstein

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