From the HBD Archive
From: Darryl Richman <>
Subject: re: 200 gallon batches
Date: 1989-07-26 15:21:46 GMT

From: "Allen J. Hainer" <>
"I was
"also surprise at how simular the proceedure was to what I do at home (except
"for the fact thYXt the beer was produced in 200 gallon batches). He was
"even brewing mostly from extract!

One other thing is that, because he is ordering his extract directly, he
can specify how the extract is mashed, and thereby control (albeit indirectly)
the level of fermentables in the extract. A positive movement in this arena
is the Home Brewery's private label ("Yellow Dog", I believe) extract.

"The extract he was using had grains
"mixed in which were all thrown into the boil. From the size of the coarse
"filters he was using, I would say that no more than a few pound of grains
"could be used per batch without having to empty them several times when the
"wort was transfered. He was able to remove all the tannins produced from
"boiling the grains by finer filters.

A few pounds of grain in a 200 gallon batch is practically nothing. Certainly
any flavors introduced by extraction of tannins would be sub-threshold.
Consider a 200 gallon batch of original gravity, say, 1.048 (a good best
bitter). If the extract was made from 2 row malt that yeilded 1.036 per
pound of grain per gallon of water, almost 270 lbs. of grain are needed.
Some tannins are extracted out of even the best sparging system, but many
of these combine with the hop resins during the boil and settle out as trub.
If you made a 5 gallon batch (to scale, which it probably wouldn't do
exactly), a few pounds of grain (say, 5) turn into 1/8 lb. I have
purposely overstated yields, so adding grains unnoticably to the boil
is probably limited even further. At such a level, color and some
strong flavors can be added subtly. But, *in general*, boiling grains
is a bad idea.

" Do most small brewpubs brew mainly from extract like this?

Most brewpubs do their own thing. The City of Angels, Crown City, Gorky's,
Grapvine Brewing, and Alpine Villiage (local LA brewpubs) all mash from
grain. On the other hand, I understand that the McMeniman's chain in
Portland work from extract.

" Is there a noticable difference in quality?

My only experience with an extract-brewing pub is two of the McMeniman's
(Cornelius Pass, Raleigh Hills) and their beers seemed acceptable to me,
although they were all a bit sweet and overly hopped. (No, I didn't get
to try Ruby Tuesday... I wasn't there on a Tuesday, I guess ;-). I have
had the same experience at mashing pubs as well.

" Of the winners from the AHA competition, are any/some/most from extract?

The AHA used to keep track of this, I think. The Maltose Falcons also did,
and until two years ago, the majority of winners in our contests were
definitely mashing. I don't know of late.

The emphasis on mashing v. extract is the wrong way (IMHO) to look at the
issue. Anyone can mash poorly and make a much bigger mess than with
extracts. But to brew a fine beer with extracts, you must know your
extract source, and know how and when to use it. That is why the AHA's
extract chart (from zymurgy a year or two ago) and Yellow Dog (which lists
ingredients, as percentages I think) are *good things*.

--Darryl Richman

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