From the HBD Archive
From: John S. Watson <watson@ames.arc.nasa.gov>
Subject: Tragedy
Date: 1989-10-24 17:40:59 GMT

Hi Folks,

Yesterday, I awoke to a noise that was kind of like a loud pop.
Then there was this interesting sound, like a water fall.

And as I slowly became more conscious, I remembered that I made some
barley wine the day before. The horror, the HORROR!

So I raced to the kitchen to find my carboy spewing rawish wort
all over the place. It looks like about a gallon of the wort had blown out.

I guess I was lucky to be around when it happened, because I was
able to replace the discharge tube, and clean things up before it soaked
into the apartment below. I also added another gallon of spring water
to the carboy to replace the lost wort (risky, but I felt that since the
original spring water was ok, this would be also. Though the barley wine
would be weaker, 12 pounds of sugars as aposed to 15 at the start [see below],
it would still end up plenty strong. As of this morning the yeast
is still very active, so I didn't shock it or anything).

So the BIG question I have is, how do I prevent this tragic event from
happening again? Do I filter it better before it goes into a carboy?
What do you folks use? Cheescloth? Coffee filters?

Other questions that I've had lately:

1) Why does my specific gravity (measurements?) always come out
much lower than number given in the recipe?
For example, barley wine I made had (with 5 gallons water) contained:
12 pounds of California light malt extract syrup
2 pounds honey
0.5 pounds crystal malt
1.0 cup chocolate malt

With this amount of ingredients I'd expect a specific gravity of
over 1.100. But my reading at 70 degrees F was 1.056!
Lots of other times I've made worts which the s.p. comes out much
lower than that given in the recipe, 1.022 and I get 1.012,
or 1.042 and I get 1.032.
What gives? Bad hydrometer? Do different malts syrups contribute
differently to the s.p?

2) For yesterdays barley wine I used champagne yeast.
How will this effect the final flavor of the beer?

Thanks all,
John S. Watson

ARPA: watson@ames.arc.nasa.gov
UUCP: ...!ames!watson


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