From the HBD Archive
From: falk@Sun.COM (Ed Falk)
Subject: Re: Some Kiwi Questions
Date: 1990-01-17 19:24:33 GMT

>
> 1. Tell me, what is root beer?
> We don't get that over here; is it something like gingerbeer?

It's a soft drink, no alchohol. Similar to gingerbeer I guess (been
a while since I had it) but I like it better.

> 2. Can you get beer "kits" over there. (This essentially gets rid
> of all the hops work etc; you just add sugar, water and yeast
> {and whatever else you want, caramel, lactose etc} and
> let it ferment, then bottle it. That is extremely big
> over here. {I don't know anyone who works with hops})

Yes we have them. Lynn and I just started a Pilsner (roughly from
Papazian's recipe) which uses a beer kit as the base. We also make
a dark beer from a beer kit, but we don't like it. It uses 3 lb of
malt extract and 1.5 lb of corn sugar, which was way too much. Common
wisdom has it that the first thing you do when you buy a beer kit is
throw the directions away. Most of our beer kits are imported from
Britain.

Personally, I *like* the hops work etc. You get to tune the recipe the
way you like it. Besides, I like the smell of hops in the boil.

> 3. What's the viability of re-using yeast. Someone suggested I should
> save the crap out of the bottom of a brew and re-use it in the
> next brew. (I have nightmares about that sort of thing)

Me too, which is why I don't do it. However, I believe that if you're
careful to keep your brews from getting contaminated, you can safely do
this for about four generations.

> 4. What else could I use to sweeten a brew up?

Honey. Many kinds of starch sources (rice, wheat, etc.) as long as there's
still a fair bit of malted barley in the mash to provide enzymes.
I've decided that sugar sucks. I'm not even going to use it for priming
anymore.

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