From the HBD Archive
From: "I have a memory like a...what's that thing you strain spaghetti with?"
Subject: Hot and Cold Breaks
Date: 1989-10-23 23:44:00 GMT

Could someone post an explanation of what hot and cold breaks are?

I've made four batches of beer now, and know what to do. Now I'd like to
know a bit of the why so that the how will be better too.

To summarise:

My first batch was an Irish Stout. I used a stout kit, added three pounds
of corn sugar, and used 1 oz of Williamette hops to finish. I soaked
the bottles in too strong a chlorine solution, which resulted in random
beer bottles. Some of the stout was too bitter, some too sweet, and some
just right. Each of the bottles too a different amount of time to age.
I had some other symptoms similar to what has been described in this
digest before WRT too much chlorine. Basically, it inhibited the yeast.
Still, it wasn't too bad. Some of the bottles did ok.

My second batch was a ginger-honey beer, and that received really rave
reviews. It was an all-extract brew. I only have twelve bottles of it left.
I've been told that it will be really good in another couple of months, so
I've hidden them and will try them around Christmas.

(I used one pound of honey.) I forgot to take hydrometer readings on
this one (actually, I didn't have the time and didn't want to go to the
bother of risking contamination.) so I don't know it's percentage of
alcohol. I'd say about 6-9% by volume (Oklahoma only sells 3.2% by
volume in the grocery store). I drank a pint and a half of it at one
sitting and was somewhat buzzed and confused, so I tend to think it's
closer to 9% than 6%. I used the rest of the Williamette hops for
finishing. (1 1/2 oz or so). This was the batch where my
friend who was going to get grated ginger forgot to do so, and left
for out of town, so I rushed to my house (naturally, I had started the
batch before I checked for ginger) and got ground ginger and thunked in an
undetermined amount. When I bottled, the beer looked reddish brown
(rather like river water around here 8)).

The third batch is a spruce beer. Also an all-extract brew, I added some
spruce extract, added 3 pounds of dry dark malt extract, and used 2 oz.
Hallertauer hops in the boil. Added a tsp of Irish moss in the last 15
minutes. This batch really blew off lots of >gunk!<
(I suspect because I had lost my hops bag, so there were hop fragments,
but I really don't know) in the primary fermentation. Had a really
difficult time cleaning out the blowout hose (almost time to retire it).
I bottled it recently.

The fourth batch is an experiment based on the rave reviews and some
suggestions that I've received (namely, add a bit more fermentables).
It consists of a four pound can of Edme Traditional Ale kit, John Bull
Hopped Dark Extract, 2 oz. ginger, 1 1/2 pound honey, peels of four orange
peels (in the boil, due to a mixup in communications. This is one I had
my friend do because of time constraints), about 2 pounds corn sugar, and
2 oz. Hallertauer hops in the boil. I had meant to add the orange peels
for orange flavor, but on second thought, I think their bitter quality will
help offset the sweetness of the other ingredients. I also used a tsp of
Irish moss. Unfortunately, I had proofed the yeast with water that was
too hot, so I was greeted with no activity the next morning. I went to
my house, got a spare Edme yeast packet, microwaved a half cup of
water/sugar solution, cooled it down to 90 degrees, added the yeast and
then added that through the neck of the carboy. This morning, I notice
that fermentation has started, albeit a bit slowly (perhaps its the cool

- Ted
"It is more difficult to kill a fly with a sledgehammer than to do it with
a rolled knighthood scroll." -- ]ke Eldberg
Patrick T. Garvin / ptgarvin@uokmax.UUCP
in the Society: Padraig Cosfhota o Ulad / Barony of Namron, Ansteorra
Disclaimer: Fragile. Contents inflammable. Do not use near open flame.

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