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CCHBS News for March 2006

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  1. Recipe Specials for March
  2. Half-Gallon Growlers Back in Stock
  3. Try Wine for a Change
  4. New Immersion Chillers in Stock
  5. Spotlight on Technique – Cooling Your Wort

Recipe Specials for March

The Pacific Gravity style of the month for May is Bock. So while the weather is still cool, we're putting all our lager recipes on special, including a couple of new ones! These can all be brewed using traditional lager temperatures but they can also be brewed with ale yeast too.

Our featured recipe is a new creation of ours: Das Bock. It's a traditional Bavarian Bock, made with Munich Extract for that malty Bock flavor. Try it now for $30.

What's could be more appropriate than brewing a Marzen in March? Our My Favorite Marzen recipe is a fine example of this style and you won't have to wait until Oktoberfest to drink it! Brew it in March for $26.

Our second new recipe is a prize winner: If It's Tuesday This Must Be Stella. This is the recipe that gained Jon Porter a second place in the national extract beers competition. It's a European lager and definitely qualifies as easy drinking. Try it for $22 during March.

Addams Family Lager is a recipe that's been around for a little while It's a lot like an American lager from Boston – you know, the one whose owner buries his face in hops. Try one for $22 during March.

Half-Gallon Growlers Back in Stock

We've had trouble getting half-gallon amber growlers lately. We don't know if there's a shortage for some reason but prices have certainly gone up. We're pricing them at $7.95 each until the current stock runs out. After that we'll get a feeling for demand to see if it's worth re-stocking at these prices.

Try Wine For a Change

If you'd like to try something different, why not try wine? We have winemaking hardware kits in stock and always have "recipe" kits in stock for both a red and a white varietal wine.

New Immersion Chillers in Stock

We have a new supplier for immersion chillers. They're the same people who make them for Beer, Beer and More Beer and the design appears to be very efficient. If you've been looking for a way to reduce the time it takes to chill your wort to pitching temperature you should definitely take a look at these.

Spotlight on Technique – Chilling Your Wort

You're probably aware that it's good to chill your wort to pitching temperature as quickly as possible but do you know why? One important reason is to move the wort through its most vulnerable temperature range as quickly as possible. That's between 90-140F, when bacteria can most easily invade your wort and turn your beer into something nasty.

If you're brewing on the stove top it's usually suffiecent to use the kitchen sink to cool your brewput to the temperature where you can add cold water to bring the wort to pitching temperature. While stove top brewers can benefit from using a wort chiller, it's not strictly necessary.

Once you start boiling the full volume of your wort, however, a wort chiller is necessary. The brew pots are usually too big and the thermal mass are too large for a simple water bath to be effective. You'll need to get some help in the form of a wort chiller.

The simplest wort chiller to use is an immersion chiller. These are copper coils with hose attached to the ends. Water runs through the coil, colling the wort and carrying away excess heat. They're fairly inexpensive at $40-60 and don't require any modifications to your brew pot.

The other alternative is a counter-flow chiller These can range in cost from about $60 to hundreds of dollars, if you decide you must have one of the new all-copper models or a heat exchanger unit. They also require you to have a ball valve on your brew pot. This is necessary because the big advantage of a counter flow chiller is that your wort is not exposed to air as it passes through that temperature zone where it's most vulnerable. All the cooling is done within the cooler.
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