From the HBD Archive
From: jrs21 - John Simpson (jrs21@cas.bitnet) <>
Subject: What, me worry? Well... maybe.
Date: 1989-12-12 18:39:48 GMT

First, I'd like to thank everyone for the advice and
encouragement I received regarding Elbro Nerkte and
Papazian's stouts. I didn't get a chance to respond
to everyone who sent me email, this is my last week
at work (I'm a co-op) and they've been keeping me
pretty busy. If only they'd relax, not worry...

My batch of Elbro was bottled about a week ago, and
the results are less than awe inspiring. The biggest
problem is a nasty astringent/woody aftertaste. I
followed the rules and did not boil the grains, but I
see two possible culprits:

1) The strainer I was steeping them in was fairly coarse,
and about a tablespoon's worth of grain filtered through.
A lot of this went into the primary. (I used single stage.)

2) I raised the heat slowly, so the grain probably spent 5-10
minutes between 170 and 212 F.

Will the taste improve much with age? It's already gone from
an overpowering taste/aftertaste to a very annoying aftertaste.

I plan to steep my next grains in a separate pot and monitor
the temperature. How long is needed to extract the flavors
and characters without risking tannins?

Also, these beers have the 'old faithful' feature if opened
anywhere near room temperature (I discovered this while
wearing a white dress shirt :-( ) but when served ice cold
they don't have enough carbonation. This could be due to
variation between bottles and/or their age (~1 week). The
level of carbonation is actually pretty good for the first
15 minutes or so, but it goes flat quickly. I thought I
had kept things sanitary, and I can't taste any infection,
but it could be being overpowered by the tannins.

And now question about body. It doesn't have any. This is
partly my fault, because (as an experiment) I didn't add
the 4 tsp. (listed as optional) of gypsum. What sort of
character/body do gypsum and malto-dextrin add to beer?
I like my beer thick and sweet, but I don't want to over do
it the first time I use them.

Miscellaneous questions:

I used Wyeast #1338. Would it be safe to try to use the
sediment from one of these bottles as a starter for my
next batch?

My father travels to Germany fairly often and I'm trying
to convince him to bring me back some fresh German beers.
Would the bottles survive a transatlantic flight in an
unpressurized cargo hold? Will I have to settle for a
few bottles brought back in a carry on? Will he have to
declare them and pay duty? Any recommended brands?

Are there any homebrewer's clubs or brewpubs in the Dayton,
Ohio area? I'm going back to school there in a few weeks.
Anything in Cincinatti?

Are there any brands of extract that use artificial flavors
and/or colors? What about preservatives?

Thanks for putting up with (yet another) novice's questions.
This may be the last you hear from me for a while, because
at Univ. of Dayton we students aren't allowed to use bitnet
(I'm working on it). Thanks, Rob (and the rest of you), for
a great digest.

john (Until Dec. 15)

simpson$ (receiving only)

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