Steinbier (Stone Beer)

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Steinbier (Stone Beer)

Postby jdbooth » Thu Mar 14, 2002 8:41 pm

OK.. Sorry for dominating the Board with my question, but I am really into Homebrewing now and I dont usually take baby steps when I am into something.
I have been very interested in making a Stone beer ever since I first read about it. I have researched it and thank goodness I found more about it then I did Eisbock, which left me hanging and I had to kind of piece things together and have a few good people rescue me here and there. Perhaps I can again with this topic.
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My questions are:
1) Does it really matter whether or not I use beachwood for heating my rocks or will any hardwood do?
2) I found a source for Graywacke stone in varying sizes quaried for scientific use and kind of on the high side as costs go... especially for ROCKS! How much of an impact would it make to substitute Graywacke with a local sandstone?
3)In a failed attempt at trying to carmalize stones that were small enough to fit through the neck of my secondary fermenter (5gal carboy) the rocks couldn't sustain enough heat to carmalize. Is there a 5gal container I could use as a secondary fermenter that has a large enough opening to accept large stones and still be able to seal and vent with an airlock? (I know I shouldnt use a plastic bucket.)
4)I used a new deep fat fryer basket to remove my VERY VERY HOT stones from the fire , which I stoked with my huge shop vac in reverse, and it ruined the basket as well as my beer; imparting it with a metalic taste. What would you suggest I use to transfer my stones from the inferno to my brew pot?
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Thanks again for your time and I hope to one day be able to help others like you all have helped me.
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John Booth
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one other quick question...

Postby jdbooth » Thu Mar 14, 2002 9:19 pm

I know that Rauchenfels was the original mass producer of Steinbier but I am not sure what kind of beer it is. I found a recipe fore a stone beer and it used an Ale yeast (White Labs English Ale) Should a stone beer be an ale or a lager or does it not matter, and only a way in which to brew beer?
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Historical Steinbier...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Fri Mar 15, 2002 5:41 am

All beers produced by this method were ales because the technique greatly pre-dated the discovery of lager yeast. From the research I have done on this style, most of the grist compositions are reminiscent of Alts.

This technique originated prior to the ability to directly heat vessels and is traceable back to Sumeria where hot rock cooking was conceived.
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Steinbier Techniques...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Fri Mar 15, 2002 5:53 am

") Does it really matter whether or not I use beachwood for heating my rocks or will any hardwood do?"

Select a hardwood that has a very high burning temperature and is dense. Avoid any wood that has a high resin content or you will: 1) not get the rocks hot enough and 2) the use of the rocks will impart a creasote or solvent flavor to the beer.

"How much of an impact would it make to substitute Graywacke with a local sandstone? "

Being where I am, I cannot obtain Greywake, so I consulted the head of WVU's Geology department to find an indigenous stone to use. In general, you need to avoid almost all sedimentary rocks due to their tendancy to fracture combined with their easily being dissolved by acids (read: wort). The ONLY rock we found (that was surface accessible) that worked was Tuscarora Sandstone which has been highly compressed by downward forces combined with heat and were later uplifted by our plates shifting. All other stones were too dangerous to use because they exploded when heated. The best rock group to substitute with would be those that were created by volcanic activity since they are very dense and heating them is no problem. If you can give me the region in which you live, I have a rock strata chart that I can use to give you specific suggestions.

"Is there a 5gal container I could use as a secondary fermenter that has a large enough opening to accept large stones and still be able to seal and vent with an airlock? (I know I shouldnt use a plastic bucket."

Use a small metal trash can, a converted keg or a 10 gallon Cornelius cylinder.

"What would you suggest I use to transfer my stones from the inferno to my brew pot?"

I used welding tongs and full arm welding gloves, safety goggles and a fire retardant shirt and chaps. KEEP A FIRE EXTINGUISHER HANDY !
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Graywacke

Postby jdbooth » Fri Mar 15, 2002 8:07 am

I will by Graywacke from Ward's Natural Science Establishment, Inc. (www.wardsci.com)located out of Rochester, New York. And if youre interested there number is 1800 962 2660
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If I have not said so before now. Thank you very much you have been more then helpful to me.
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John
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Brick??

Postby andytv » Mon Mar 18, 2002 5:36 pm

I have had personal experience with heating sandstone and I wouldn't recommend it, if it doesn't explode while heating, then it will probably fracture while cooling. What about fire brick or other "fireplace/grill material". I'd talk to my local masonry contractor and ask what types of stone are suitable for thermally stressful applications.
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I have research and...

Postby jdbooth » Mon Mar 18, 2002 7:55 pm

I will say that I have been assured that Graywacke is probably one of the best choices. I even called Clemson and inquired about it... they are who refered me to the supplier I had mentioned earlier. It will swell under extremely high temperatures with little if any fracturing. I am sure some will especially if used more then once. I am not sure I can get them up to the 2000F that the commercial brewers do but When I stoked up that oak fire with my shop-vac in reverse it got hotter then any fire I ever got close to. Let us know what you find out about the fire brick... just curious.
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