From the HBD Archive
From: roberts%studguppy@LANL.GOV (Doug Roberts @ Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Subject: Sanitation and water
Date: 1989-11-15 15:53:02 GMT

The measures described by your friend Robert seem, well, phobic is the word
that pops to mind. I've never had contamination problems as you've described,
except for one time that I didn't clean all of my bottles thouroughly. I've
always had satisfactory results using either bleach or sodium metabisulfate.

On a related note: I watched a PBS show about a small British brew pub the
other night, adn it was a real eye-opener with respect to
sanitation/sterilization. The film showed the owner of the pub pitching yeast
WITH HIS BARE HANDS!. He scooped a double handful from an open barrel and
tossed it in the fermenter!

The extreme sterilization measures you described: repeatedly scrubbing your
hands with hexachlorophene, heating the carboys, boiling everything etc.
strike me as being completely unnecessary. I would, instead, suspect (as you
mentioned) your yeast.


Douglas Roberts |
Los Alamos National Laboratory |I can resist anything
Box 1663, MS F-602 | except temptation.
Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 | ...
(505)667-4569 |Oscar Wilde |

Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1989 11:53:44 EST
From: M. Strata Rose <strata@FENCHURCH.MIT.EDU>
Subject: first-timer wants help w/light ginger-ale

Hi folks! I'm a complete newbie at this, my only experience with home
brewing so far (if I may make so bold as to use the term for this!) has been
making root beer from yeast & commercial extract in my old college dorm days.
I'm planning on moving out to the Great NorthWet in the spring, and am going
to have a big going-away party. I'd very much like to have a light ginger
beer to celebrate with. Ever since having a home-brewed gingerale once, I'm
eager to create a particular kind of drink. It's like a very gingery
gingerale, with cinnamon & a little clove flavor, very low alcohol but enough
so that 3 or 4 bottles would map onto 2 or 3 bottles of good beer. I'll be
avoiding some of the typical problems in that I don't plan to rack it into
individual bottles. I'm quite positive we will go through a keg/carboy in
just no time at all, so the bottles are a bit superfluous!

So, 2 primary questions:

1) first and foremost, does anyone already have a recipe for the sort of brew
I described above, or the name of a brewing/recipe tome that does?

2) am I better off just borrowing a plastic Belmont Springs water carboy from
work and buying a fermentation lock, or do I need other stuff and would be
better off buying a beginning kit from somewhere (please supply the "where"
info, too!)

Thanks for any and all help. I must say, the signal to noise ratio of this
mailing list is impressive! I've picked up enough basics by osmosis in the
past month to feel comfortable attempting this. I'm planning on leaving
around March 1st, BTW, which seems like enough time to "mature" a low-alcohol
sweet-tasting spiced beer. Would be great if I had enough time to brew a
test batch beforehand, though!


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