From the HBD Archive
Subject: HB.DIG#195-Relaxation, sanitization, success, and crystal.
Date: 1989-07-06 15:55:24 GMT

Digest #195 contained several comments from contributors attesting to
the resiliency of homebrewing. Some quotes:

Steve Anthony said,
>an effective yet unobtrusive sanitization procedure for me. I realize that
>this is all very unscientific and that many might argue that my procedures
>aren't rigorous enough. However, I feel I'm getting good results (as I
>said, no spoilage to date, after 5-6 years of brewing). As always,

Chuck Ferguson said,
>appreciation of the rewards. A first-timer reading a newsgroup like
>this or conversing with an experienced homebrewer might get a
>distorted view of what is important in homebrewing. Experience
>homebrewers tend to delve into esoterica when discussing their art.

>I am talking from experience here. I first got interested in
>homebrewing when a fellow with whom I worked told me he had brewed
>before. He told me all about the process in great detail and I was
>baffled. He showed me a whole closet-full of equipment for

I really enjoyed these comments. In 1978, I got interested in home
brewing, so I picked up a copy of Fred Eckhart's "A Treatise on Lager
Beer". After reading it, I decided that homebrewing was too expensive,
too long, too detailed, and not worth the effort. It wasn't until 9
years later that by brother-in-law, a veteran homebrewer, set me
straight on just how easy and rewarding homebrewing was. Within a month
I was brewing better beer than I could buy in stores. I have never gotten
carried away with meticulous sanitization, never worried about yeast
not doing its thing, and so on and so on, after two years. The worst
thing that has happened in these two years has been a ruined batch of
cider from using Campden tablets.

I believe the most important things are to use good ingredients,
use enough time, take a certain amount of care with sanitizing, and
to enjoy the hobby. By "certain", I mean whatever works for YOU or ME.
Beer is a funny thing. It seems to take on attributes of its home,
almost the character of its brewer, something which has been mentioned
by both Papazain and Miller, and mentioned by my friends who home brew.
Once you work out a system, things seem to go right after that.

Finally, Gordon Hester asks about crystal malt:

>1- How do I go about crushing it? How crushed does it
>need to be?

>2- When do I add it to the wort? Some things I have seen

In the past, I have cracked the crystal malt with a rolling pin. Now,
I use my old grain mill. One shouldn't crush the grain to the point
that it powders. I derive its goodness by heating it to just below the
boiling point in a kettle, then straining it into the brew boiler.
Some of the books recommend skimming it off, but you should be careful
to get all the grain out before boiling to avoid tannins in the grain

[Florian Bell, Boonesborough, Oregon]

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