HOMEBREW Digest #2646 Wed 25 February 1998

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		Digest Janitor: janitor@hbd.org
		Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of 
		Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.
				URL: http://www.oeonline.com

  Club Survey Results et all...(Phil Wilcox) (TheTHP)
  Plastic Primary (davisrm)
  Basic Electricity (LaBorde, Ronald)
  Aluminum/Infusions/Flatulence/Beer Hunt (James Tomlinson)
  Amps / Shocked Brewers / Conditioning / LP gas ("Frederick J. Wills")
  SRM? or Lovibond ("Frederick J. Wills")
  Malt flavor question (Tony Zara)
  brewing with water filters (smurman)
  Pickles and cloudy beer (Mark Garthwaite)
  Converting to RIMS (Lcllamas)
  5l Mini kegs (Alpinessj)
  European malts. (Andy Walsh)
  Filtration ("Mark S. Johnston")
  Re: 5L Party Kegs (Jim Graham)
  my best batch to date...  Ye' Olde English Pale (Jim Graham)
  Carbonation after bulk conditioning ("Brian McHenry")
  Circuits 101 ("Steve Alexander")
  Heater Elements ("Chris A. Smith")
  Carbon Filters (MAB)
  Mash Water Calculations (mwmccaw)
  re: carbon filters (Tom Lombardo)
  Chem E's, MEs and EE/Concical Fermenters (James Tomlinson)
  Calcium sulfate mg/kg ("Dennis W. Jay, Ph.D., DABCC")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 15:45:36 EST From: TheTHP at aol.com Subject: Club Survey Results et all...(Phil Wilcox) Hi all, Here are the club survey results as promised. Only 18 clubs rang in here are the results. # of Members: Total 905+ Mean 50.3 (41.8 if you toss out the 2 highest & lowest) Median 40, Mode (who really cares what the Modal value is???) Do you meet at a Brew pub? 5 Do you meet at a Brew shop? 3 Do you meet at another Public establishment? 4 Do you meet at a members house? 6 Does the location change monthly? 7 Do you meet at another Private establishment? 1 The spreadsheet is in Excel 4.0 (Mac) if anyone is interested just email me. If I had it to do over again I'd also ask for the day of the week and an estimate of the ratio of All-grain to extract brewers in the club. And for that matter the same ratio of HBDers? Just curious. Many thanks to all that took the time to post to me. - ------- I made my dad proud by installing the propane system into my 2-tier brewing rack Saturday (Yep, Marty Tippon's web page spawned another one...thanks!) then continued to the trend by making my grandfather proud by brewing Jeff Renners McGinty's Irish-American ale recipe on my new burners. (insert big testosterone grin here;<) I used Chinook rather than Cluster and the unwashed but restarted Wyeast Irish dregs from my pervious porter...so we'll see how it comes out for the March Meeting... - ------------- This brings me to my next series of questions: Pumps--What are you 1/2 barrel gadgeteers using? Why? And do you like them? Mash Screens: What are the requirements? What spec's are yours? Most that I have seen have supports underneath them that are at least 2" high. This puts between 1.5 and 2 gal of liquor "under" the screen. Why so much? The discussion I had with a professional brewery designer indicated that he would build a 1/2 barrel system with screens that fit the contoured curve of the keg as close to the bottom of the keg as possible. Not that I can think up an easy way of doing that, but does anybody see anything wrong with the theory? My idea so far is to build flat supports with curved bottoms and have the screen(s) fit flush with the top of the curve. Comments? - ------------ I saw a reference to an Anheuser-Busch Black & Tan Porter has anybody ever SEEN this animal? Much less fork out the $$ to A&B to actually taste the critter? - ------------ And finally what do you call the feeling you get when you receive your score sheets and realize that your 40.5 combined score didn't take home a medal? Phil Wilcox Poison Frog Home Brewery Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 14:01:19 -0700 From: davisrm at cadvision.com Subject: Plastic Primary In HBD#2642 Vachom <MVachow at newman.k12.la.us> wrote >Don't use it, lessn' of course you want pickle tastin' beer. Get a new >clean one and even then you should probably retire plastic fermenters >every 5-10 batches--use 'em to soak bottle labels off, store grains, I have to disagree with the 5-10 batch reference. Why? When I started brewing in January of 1990 I purchased a used (don't know how many times) open plastic primary that had been used for winemaking. Sometime later I purchased two more, also used. My next batch of beer will be number 160 and every one has been made in one of those three containers. I have also made quite a few batches of mead in them but I don't keep count. In addition to this I generally make wine about 6 times a year in the very same vessels. If I had followed the 5-10 batch guideline I would have 'retired' 20-45 primary fermenters by now! If I experience a problem that may be due to the wear and tear these fermenters have been subjected to I will toss them in a second but not without good reason. > Kevin TenBrink wrote; >Secondly, I think the last English Unit of measure that home brewers and >beer drinkers the world over will be the most reluctant to relinquish is >the pint. Inviting a friend over for a few 400 milliliters of ale does >not have quite the same ring to it. In the recent discussions of measures the system in use in the U.S. has been referred to as the 'English' system a few times. I find this confusing since the English or Imperial system has the 20oz. pint, 40oz. quart, and 160oz. gallon. The American system uses the dinky 16oz. pint 32oz. quart, etc. Does anyone know when and why this change was made? And why is this system still referred to as English? Here in Canada, where we have been trying to use metric measurement for some time now, if you order a 'pint' of beer you generally get a half litre. This somewhere in between the .473 litre (US) and .568 litre (Imp) pints. In Canada at least, we have already lost this cherished measure. Perhaps it has also been lost in the US since it appears that a pint has never been a 'pint' there.:) Randy Davis Calgary Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 15:10:35 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: Basic Electricity >From: Sully <sully at drunkenbastards.org> >Subject: Heater Elements >I always thought that >Watts = Volts x Amps >Which leads me to think that if you cut voltage in half, and feed the >same amperage, you'll cut the wattage in half. Am I missing something >here? I hereby disclaim any knowledge of the workings of electricity; >the stuff causes me shocking experiences. I'm just hoping that >everything I know isn't wrong. Well not everything, I hope :>) What you also need is the fact that the Amps will be less also, for you need to consider that: I = E/R So that the resistance of the element divided into the 120 voltage gives half the amps. Get it? (half the volts and also half the amps), so that now when you use your formula Watts = Volts x Amps you get one fourth the power. >From: "Joe K. Chang" <jkchang at U.Arizona.EDU> >Subject: 240V vs. 120V >The major difference/advantage between using 240V over 120V is the amount >of amps. A 120V motor drawing 30 amps will only pull 15 amps on a 240V >circut. I would rather get zapped by 15 amps than 30 amps any day... If >you want to run a 240V GFI circut, you can pick up a GFI circut breaker >at a spa shop for about 100 bucks..... Uh, now Joe, you SHOULD forget everything you know :>) Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 16:19:53 -0500 From: James Tomlinson <red_beards at compuserve.com> Subject: Aluminum/Infusions/Flatulence/Beer Hunt In HBD2642 Kyle Druey Wrote about Aluminum pots and better heat transfer proterties. >>As it turns out, aluminum conducts heat something like 5 times better than stainless steel, and is about 1/2 the cost.<< Actually, Pulling out the trust old Heat Transfer book, at 300 K (A little over room temp). Material Heat Transfer coef Copper 401 Watts/meter*Deg K Aluminum 237 Watts/meter*Deg K ANSI 304 14.9 Watts/meter*Deg K (A Common Stainless Steel) And finally (And surprisingly) Silver 429 Watts/meter*Deg K So, Aluminum is more like 16 times better. Copper is about 27 times as good. Plainly, copper and Aluminum make much better cooking/brewing materials than stainless. >From a storage standpoint, insulating and preventing reactions while fermenting, stainless might be better. Glass is actually fairly close at 1.38 W/m*K. ********************************************************************** My original message didn't post, so I have received a couple of HBDs since, one of which states that Stainless is better due to its low Heat Transfer properties. <sigh>. Samuel Mize wrote in HBD2643(among other things): >> - It conducts heat better, so it loses heat to the environment faster, so you need to add more heat to maintain a boil (energy costs money).<< Simply, no. While the heat transfer rate from the Boiling pot to air would be greater through the sides of the vessle, it would be more than compensated by the additioal transfer of heat from the heat source. Even at the same output setting. The heat making it into the boiler depends on the temperature the bottom is heated to minus the temperature of the inside of the boiler, times the heat tranfer coeffcient. With Stainless, to get the same heat transfer, you need about 16 times the temperature difference. This means that you have to use a higher flame and more of it will be wasted to atmosphere and never make it to your beer. If the case Sam was making were true, high temperature plastic would make the best stove top pots since thier insulation properties would be even better. Uhhhhhh, no. His other observations: >> - It reacts poorly to clean-in-place (CIP) chemicals.<< Not sure about this one. It does react poorly to Sodium Hydroxide. >> - It needs a layer of oxidization to neutralize it, otherwise it puts a taste into the beer. This is easy to maintain at home-brewing scale, more of a pain on a commercial scale.<< No, Aluminum will form its oxide layer faster than you can clean it off. Its why it needs special attention to weld. >> - It's softer, so more prone to damage.<< No Argument here. This may be the primary reason. ********************************************************************** Also in HBD2642, Lars Bjornstad wrote about having good results with first infusion calculations, then problems with the subsequent calculation. One question for you: What is your altitude ? I live at 930 ft (285 m) above sea level. My Boiling point for water is 210 F (99 C). This may not seem like much, but it can severly mess up the equations. The first infusion is done at a known temp and mass. Also, what did you use for the thermal mass of your mash tun in terms of lbs of water ? You can calculate this by adding 3-4 gallons of water at a known temperature to the mash tun at room temp (and knowing that temp as well). Mw = Mass Water Mt = Mass Tun (In terms of Equiv Mass Water) Twb = Temp Water Before Twa = Temp Water After Tamb = Temp Ambient (Temp of cooler before) Mt = Mw * (Twb - Twa) / (Twa - Tamb) ********************************************************************** Wayne Kozun Wrote about flatulance from Homebrew. If you have The Home Brewers companion, I think almost an entire chapter or Appendix is devoted to that topic. Try Activated charcoal underwear. ********************************************************************** Finally, new stuff: I Posted a message a week or two back on asking for help for my oxidized beer, no reply, but an update: Only about 1 bottle in 6 is oxidized. This leads me to believe it was a bottling problem and I've modified my technique to lessen splashing in the bottle. The only problem is that I play beer hunt every day.....(Dang, found it....) - -- James Tomlinson Give a man a beer, and he wastes an hour. But teach a man how to brew, and he wastes a lifetime! Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 16:53:15 -0500 From: "Frederick J. Wills" <Frederick_Wills at compuserve.com> Subject: Amps / Shocked Brewers / Conditioning / LP gas <<From: Sully <sully at drunkenbastards.org>>> Interesting group you're in there... <g> <<This goes back a few years, but I always thought that Watts = Volts x Amps Which leads me to think that if you cut voltage in half, and feed the same amperage, you'll cut the wattage in half.>> You are correct sir! However you might also remember that Mr. Ohm said, "Current = Volts / Resistance". Since the resistance of the heating element is the *only* constant, when you reduce the voltage in half, as a consequence, you also get half the current, hence 1/4th the power! ***************** On a similar vein... <<From: "Joe K. Chang" <jkchang at U.Arizona.EDU> The major difference/advantage between using 240V over 120V is the amount of amps. A 120V motor drawing 30 amps will only pull 15 amps on a 240V circuit. I would rather get zapped by 15 amps than 30 amps any day...>> Buzzzz! Wrong answer. For one thing, you'd probably be electrocuted either way. 15 amps is WAY too much. You are (or I am) merely a fixed value resistor in the eyes of the scurrilous free electron. The amperage drawn by a motor is of no consequence when you become the conductor of choice, unless you are able to somehow include the motor in your discharge path to ground (standing on the motor while brewing comes to mind<g>). The current through your body is a function of the voltage applied and resistance that your body presents at that moment in time. (i.e.; feet on wet concrete, sweating, grasping ground rod in other hand) This means that a 240 Volt potential (to ground) would produce twice the current through you and would be twice as likely to cause cardiac arrest and electrocution. By the time that the circuit breaker trips at 15 or 20 amps you are long gone. That's the idea behind the relatively quick GFCI breakers. It will trip as soon as ANY current is determined to have returned via any path other than the neutral wire. (Tangential trivia note: To have been electrocuted, you *have* to be dead!) Now, to really confuse the issue, homes in the US do not have 240V lines. They are actually 2 separate 120V phases which provide 240V line to line! Each separate phase is still 120 Volts to ground or neutral. Since this is the potential to which you and I as brewers would be subjected in a mishap, you can see that it is actually no more or less dangerous to brew with a (properly GFCI protected) 240V set-up than a 120V one. **************************** <<From: Paul n Shelley <pracko at earthlink.net> What I don't understand, and have NEVER been able to achieve, is successful natural carbonation of a beer after it has been in a primary and/or secondary for longer than about two weeks. Usually the yeast has completely autolysed by this point and can no longer reproduce due to the alcohol content. Has anyone been successful at bottle conditioning their beers after a long (14-20 day) fermentation without use of additional yeast?>> Yes, that long and a lot longer. I recently made a batch of ale that was in primary 2 weeks and a secondary for 6 weeks that carbonated in the bottle after 2-3 weeks. It has very little yeast sediment in the bottle so there didn't seem to be much yeast suspended at bottling but carbonation is just what I was looking for. Could you be temperature shocking your yeast at some point in your process? Two weeks is a very short total fermentation period IMO. ************************** Thanks to all for the public & private replies regarding propane use indoors. The current discussions about "all electric" brewing is a most interesting and timely discussion to follow my query... Anyone want to buy a slightly used propane burner?<g> Just kidding, but I will be saving it for milder weather use. Cheers to all, Fred Wills Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 16:53:10 -0500 From: "Frederick J. Wills" <Frederick_Wills at compuserve.com> Subject: SRM? or Lovibond KennyEddy, In a recent HBD posted the following table: SRM MCU HCU Color Commercial Example (SRM Color) 1-10 1-10 1-16 Pale to L. Amber Bud (2), Molson Export (4), Bass (10) 8-12 11-20 12-20 Amber to D. Amber 11-15 21-30 19-25 D. Amber to Copper 14-17 31-40 24-30 Copper Michelob Dark (17) 17-20 41-50 29-38 L. Brown to Brown 20-30 50-85 38-46 Brown to Black Salvator (21) >30 >85 >60 Opaque Most Stouts and Porters Are the "typical" values that you poted in SRM or Lovibond? The reason that I ask is that I have been under the impression that these are in fact Lovibond numbers (ie the 17 commonly used for Michelob Dark) and not SRM. You might recall some previous discussion in BT to the effect that Michelob Dark actually measures 28 - 30 SRM if one uses an accurate enough instrument to measure it. If you have information to the contrary please let me know as this is one of my areas of personal interest. Interestingly, when questioned about this same issue (not by me) Dr. George Fix replied that in the original Michelob Dark experiments, although he did use the term "SRM" he meant to say "degrees L". <paraphrasing here> He felt (as do many others) that optical measurement scales such as Lovibond are the only valid ones in homebrewing. We don't have the fancy shmancy instruments so why bother talking in those terms? I can see that point... Fred Wills Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 15:52:04 -0600 From: Tony Zara <tzara at ncsbn.org> Subject: Malt flavor question I have been lurking for some time now and want to commend all those contributors who make this forum the best place for getting relevant brewing information and taking me from rookie kit brewer to newbie all-grainer. I would like to have the wisdom of the collective describe for me the flavor differences between Pilsner malt (German and/or Belgian) and regular U.S. 2-row. I understand that the continental Pils malts may be less modified (suggesting the need for a protein rest), but I am looking for descriptive flavor differences from those with experience. For example, if I brew a pilsner-style using U.S. 2-row, what will I be adding to and/or losing from the resultant beer? Thanks in advance, Tony Zara, Palatine, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 14:52:41 -0800 From: smurman at best.com Subject: brewing with water filters My water supply will be switching to cloramines, and I'm considering getting a water filter for brewing, aquariums, etc. I'd be getting an activated carbon w/ silver, and an ion exchange system. From reading the HBD, I gather that this will remove just about all of the mineral content of my brew water, so that I'll need to adjust the water using brewing salts. I know many of you out there do this, or similar, and I was hoping to get some feedback before I go ahead. I'm planning on using a shooters reloading scale for measurements, so I should be able to be pretty accurate. Is it necessary to make mineral adjustments for every brew? Will I have to raise the pH of my mash after the fact using CaCO3 (major PITA), or will things "work themselves to the correct pH range"? After treatment, I think the water pH will be around 5.2-5.5 (down from 9.0). I know there are a number of javascript and other water treatment web pages out there, but rather than emulate a certain cities water profile, I'd rather adjust the water depending on the beer style. For instance, if brewing a snappy hoppy beer, I'd like to emphasize the sulfates. Do any guidelines like this exist? I also do my step mashing by using boiling water additions. Do I have to worry about precipitating the minerals I just added, or is this only a problem if I let the water sit after boiling. In general, I'm wondering how it works, how much of a pain is it, what are the gotchas I'll have to watch out for, etc. Any help would be appreciated. Mostly I'll be working from web pages, and the water treatment section in Noonan's NBLB. This could potentially radically alter my brews, so I'd like to understand pretty well what I'm going to be doing beforehand. TIA SM Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 17:03:43 -0600 (CST) From: Mark Garthwaite <mgarth at primate.wisc.edu> Subject: Pickles and cloudy beer When I started brewing I was using a retired pickle bucket as a primary fermenter. I remember that there was still a slight odor of pickles but I never had a batch of beer that tasted like them. Incidentally, after six years of brewing I'm still using the same old bucket and I'm getting better beer every time. I'm with Carl on the cloudy beer!! Something tells me that beer wasn't meant to be crystal clear. Besides, I find myself swirling the contents of a New Glarus Zwickel to get the dregs into my glass. Mmmmm!! -Mark Garthwaite Madison, WI Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 18:34:38 EST From: Lcllamas at aol.com Subject: Converting to RIMS I have been all grain brewing for 12 years and utilizing a 3 tier 15 gal. Capacity gravity feed system for the last 7. I am ready for something a little easier now especially when considering grain bills of 30 lbs. plus with the associated liquid. I became re-enthused on the RIMS method after reading the articles in the Jan./Feb. 98 issue of Brewing Techniques. With my current 2 stainless steel 17.5 gal. pots and 1 stainless steel 22.5 gal. boiler with 3 large capacity gas fired heaters, I have a fairly large amount of money tied up and therefore would like to utilize this with a RIMS set up. I would like to hear any suggestions or trials others have had in using gas fired heating with RIMS or a combination of the seemingly standard electric heat chamber along with gas. Thanks, Larry Crumrine Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 18:50:24 EST From: Alpinessj at aol.com Subject: 5l Mini kegs Mike Piersimoni asks about carbonation in 5l mini-kegs; I normally prime these at half the rate I would for a normal bottled beer. If I'm going to bottle a batch (which I do if I don't want to hold up my 5 gallon kegs for a long period) I will make up my priming solution (typically 3/4 cup corn sugar in 2 cups water for a 5 gallon batch), but only add 1/2 of this to the bottling bucket. I fill up the 5l keg, add the rest of the priming solution, then bottle the rest. I use The Carbonator connected to my C02 tank to dispense the beer. You only need 5-7 psi pressure. This way I don't have to worry about the C02 cartridges. However, if going on a canoeing or camping trip I find the cartridges are quite useful as opposed to lugging around a C02 tank. I also find the kegs are good for English type ales, as you get a "cask-conditioned" feel from them. As for which is better, cornies or mini-kegs, that depends on your situation. It is obviously easier to just rack your beer into a 5 gallon keg and carbonate. However, if you don't have the space for the 5 gallon kegs and you want your beer to be more portable, the 5l kegs may be an option. Cheers, Scott Jackson The Jackson Backyard Brewery, Denver, CO Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 12:11:15 -0800 From: Andy Walsh <awalsh at crl.com.au> Subject: European malts. Hi. Some of us in Sydney, Australia are contemplating importing European malts for homebrewing. Australian 2 row lager malt is of acceptable quality, but English pale malt is unavailable, and some of the local caramel malts and darker malts are a bit questionable. So we are looking at getting a range of these. Possibly 1000-2000kg English pale and a mixed 1000kg of German dark malts. We are looking at the Weyermann range of dark malts. The trouble is, they make a few! Do any readers have any experience with their range, and can they recommend any in particular? I also wonder about English pale malt. Alexis seems the modern choice; Maris Otter the traditional one. What is the HBD wisdom on their relative merits when malted as a pale ale malt? Does anyone have any experience in importing such malt? Which maltster should I contact for export in this sort of quantity? Finally, any Australian readers interested in this, please email me with malts you might be interested in and quantities. Pricing is not yet finalised, but it may be 50% more than what you pay now. Road freight is another problem in this country: ideas are appreciated. Andy in Sydney. PS. Thanks to Jon Bovard for kick-starting this thing... Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 20:16:45 -0500 From: "Mark S. Johnston" <msjohnst at talon.net> Subject: Filtration I've started to look at filtering, and wanted to poll the collective. I've done some info gathering over time, but I still have a few questions: 1. I plan on using a 5 micron, spiral wound poly filter in a "home water filter" housing. My first concern is sanitation. How do I sanatize this? Chlorine is obviously out. And I'm not sure that I'd trust my old standby iodophor much more on a porous plastic filter. I don't trust some of the commercial sanitizers like B-brite and One Step without an iodophor rinse. So I'm in a bit of a quandry. Can anyone shed some experience here? 2. Is the 5 micron size sufficient for good yeast filtration? I believe that from some previous discussions both here and in various publications, I came to the conclusion that this was the optimal size for what I have in mind, which is sediment free beer. But I don't want Zima! TIA. - -- "If a man is not a liberal at eighteen, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is thirty, he has no mind." - Winston Churchill Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 19:51:48 -0600 From: Jim Graham <jim at n5ial.gnt.com> Subject: Re: 5L Party Kegs In HBD #2643, From: "Gregg Soh" <greggos at hotmail.com> writes: > Seeing as how there has been interest in the party keg system and > wanting to know more about it myself See my previous post for my experiences with the 5L mini-kegs.... They were great for a little while, but then the problems started...and then they got worse, and worse, and worse, and ...... > However, I've noticed that St.Patrick's of Texas advertises the > party keg with suggestions that they may either be carbonated using > priming sugar(less of course) or a co2 cylinder. Do they know something > we don't? First off, I don't know the exact answer to that---they may even be selling stronger 5L kegs.... What I do know is that, as you've noticed, the general consensus is that you cannot force carbonate in a mini-keg. Having seen what happens to them when the pressure gets too high (in this case, the beer wasn't quite finished fermenting...oops!), I can tell you now that, if I were still using the (IMHO) worthless things, I certainly wouldn't *DARE* try to force carbonate in them! If you want to force carbonate, there's a better way (again, IMHO).... I won't repeat the text from my last post a few days ago here (if you can't find it in the archives, e-mail me and I'll dredge it up), but basically, you want to use PET bottles and a carbonator cap. You can make a carbonator cap with a PET bottle cap, a drill, and a replacement tire valve stem (oh, and a hose to hook up it all to your CO2 line). > Secondly, I was wondering if the taps can be removed mid-keg, > without finishing so that you can tap a different keg and return later. I tried this a few times, with mixed results. Basically, I would not recommend it (flat beer and oxidation come to mind as two good reasons not to do this). Again, IMHO, the PET bottles are a better alternative. Of course, you have to have the CO2 bottle (probably about $60 used for a 5 lb tank) and a regulator ($40 or so from Rapids). Oh, one more comment on the 5L kegs.... If you do decide to use them, buy a *METAL* dip tube and toss the plastic one into the scrap/spares bucket. God help you if one of those dip tubes breaks while you're tapping a keg.... I just found out about that tonight, while trying to tap one for the purpose of tossing the (bad) beer and the keg out. The dip tube snapped at the threads, and in the second or so before I got my hand cupped over it to direct the beer into the sink, I had a stream of beer shooting up to the roof, and from there, all over the place (and all over me!). WHAT A MESS! Later, --jim PS: Today I bought a beer fridge for my Cornelius kegs. I'm still using a picnic faucet for now, and I still only have one keg, but this will all change soon enough.... When it's all finished, I'll have two Cornelius kegs on tap, with taps mounted in the door (or the side---I haven't decided on that one yet) of the fridge. :-) - -- 73 DE N5IAL (/4) MiSTie #49997 < Running Linux 2.0.21 > jim at n5ial.gnt.net || j.graham at ieee.org ICBM / Hurricane: 30.39735N 86.60439W === Do not look into waveguide with remaining eye === Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 21:03:32 -0600 From: Jim Graham <jim at n5ial.gnt.com> Subject: my best batch to date... Ye' Olde English Pale I've been meaning to post this since I tapped the keg from this batch.... This is, IMHO, the best batch of homebrew I've ever brewed. It's a nice pale ale, smooth, very quaffable (sp?), and one that I'll definitely be brewing again (in fact, as soon as I can get more of the Special Roast, it's time!). Comments on possible enhancements to the recipe are, of course, most welcome. It's great as it is, but I don't know any brewer (homebrewer or professional) who isn't ready to try to improve on an already great beer..... The comments on the brew included here are a summary of the more detailed notes I took, btw. If anyone wants the more complete version, I suppose I could type it up. Anyways, here's the summary of my notes: Ye' Olde English Pale Grains: 12 pounds Briess 2-row 1 pound Briess Cara-pils 6 ounces (brand?) Cara-Munich 4 ounces Briess Special Roast Hops: 1 ounce East Kent Goldings (5.1% AA) for 60 minutes 1 ounce East Kent Goldings (5.1% AA) for 30 minutes 1 ounce Fuggles (3.7% AA) for 30 minutes 1 ounce Fuggles (3.7% AA) at end of boil Irish moss (1 tsp) added at 20 minutes until end of boil Yeast: 1.75 ounce (one flat-pack) Wyeast 1056 (no starter), and the next morning, when it didn't seem to be starting fast enough (it was...I've just been having problems, due to, as I now know, inadequate aeration of the wort), one packet of dry ale yeast. In the end, the Wyeast 1056 won, but not by much---the dry yeast was still working, too. I can't complain about the results, though! Mash temp: 156 degrees F, for about 90 minutes. Sparged 9 gallons, boiled down to 6.25 gallons (about 2.5 hours from start of boil). Original gravity: 1.056 (1 Feb 98) 1.015 (10 Feb 98) ... racked to secondary Final gravity: 1.015 (14 Feb 98) ... crash-cooled 15 Feb 98 ... kegged/force carbonated Mmmmmmm, beeeerrrrr...... Later, --jim PS: My %yield on this batch was a bit low (56.4%) compared to normal (60%, plus or minus 2%, i.e., about 75% efficiency), but then, I'm still very new to the world of all-grain brewing. And considering the fact that Briess 2-row only costs me $22 per 50 lb bag (through the local homebrew club), combined with the fact that I can boil down to the target OG (1.055 in this case)...... :-) - -- 73 DE N5IAL (/4) MiSTie #49997 < Running Linux 2.0.21 > jim at n5ial.gnt.net || j.graham at ieee.org ICBM / Hurricane: 30.39735N 86.60439W === Do not look into waveguide with remaining eye === Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 16:34:39 -0500 From: "Brian McHenry" <tbncentralus at email.msn.com> Subject: Carbonation after bulk conditioning Paul n Shelley <pracko at earthlink.net> wrote: <snip> << What I don't understand, and have NEVER been able to achieve, is successful natural carbonation of a beer after it has been in a primary and/or secondary for longer than about two weeks.>> It will take longer for bulk-conditioned beers to carbonate than those which are bottled soon after secondary fermentation ends. I use DME to prime, so it usuallly takes about 3-4 weeks for the carbonation to reach the desired level. . << Usually the yeast has completely autolysed by this point and can no longer reproduce due to the alcohol content. >> I also use a high-volume yeast starter of at least .5 gallon and up to 1 gallon (in which case I just pitch the slurry not the wort). This may prevent autolysis, although IMHO the practical occurence of this effect is highly overrated by the literature sources ("the sky is falling... your yeast are autolysing.."). Alcohol tolerance is addressed by selection of an appropriate strain for that beer's expected abv (OG and TG). <<Has anyone been successful at bottle conditioning their beers after a long (14-20 day) fermentation without use of additional yeast?>> I almost always bulk condition my beers in the carboy for at least 2-3 weeks during secondary fermentation. I've never had problems bottle-conditioning even after extended bulking of up to 2 months. I've never had to use additional yeast even though by that time, the beers are really clear. I don't use fining agents to force clear the beer, so I suspect that there are still plenty of yeast in suspension to do the job of carbonation. Another possibility is that during racking, enough yeast get inadvertantly sucked back up into the priming tank to ensure successful carbonation. <<Why do recipes call for such a lengthy secondary fermentation when corn sugar is being used as a primer? I can see the benefits of conditioning a beer in the secondary for a long time, but that's only if you have a CO2 tank to force carbonate it with. Cheers, Paul>> I can't quantify why bulk conditioning improves the flavor of a beer, I can only relate my experience which suggests that it has a positive influence on the beer. Bulk conditioning allows for *natural* clearing of the beers as opposed to using fining agents. I assume that this has something to do with retaining some of the suspended (collodial?) materials which contribute to the character of the beer. A quick fix fining is probably not so selective and may strip the beer of some of its character. I don't see the discrimination between bottled versus kegged beer though. I see it the other way around. If I was going to keg, I'd fine and filter the puppy shortly after secondary since I know I'm going to force carbonate anyway. You are assuming that all bulk-conditioned beers HAVE to be force carbonated. That is clearly not the case. If you really are having trouble with your bulk-conditioned beers, try adding yeast nutrient and swirling the carboy a day or two before bottling. This may help revitalize your yeast, especially if you are using nutrient-poor extracts in your beers. Of course, all of the other steps to ensure good fermentation should be followed (aeration, appropriate temps., etc.). JMTCW, Brian - -- Bushido Brewing Co. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 00:51:33 -0500 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Circuits 101 Sully writes ... >Subject: Heater Elements > >Ken >Schwartz said that "Running a load on half the voltage QUARTERS the >power." and offered Power = Voltage-Squared/Resistance as the proof. > >This goes back a few years, but I always thought that > >Watts = Volts x Amps > >Which leads me to think that if you cut voltage in half, and feed the >same amperage, you'll cut the wattage in half. Am I missing something >here? Yes. Watts = Volts x Amps, but if you cut the voltage in half across a pure resistive load, the current will also be cut in half. I = V / R. Of course a heating element isn't a pure resistive load, since the resistance value of the heating element is temperature dependent. For RIMS purposes we can ignore this. Joe K. Chang >Subject: 240V vs. 120V > >The major difference/advantage between using 240V over 120V is the amount >of amps. A 120V motor drawing 30 amps will only pull 15 amps on a 240V >circut. I would rather get zapped by 15 amps than 30 amps any day ... Doesn't work that way Joe. A few milliamps are sufficient to disrupt carbon based brewing lifeforms, but in order to get these few milliamps to flow you need need rather high voltages and/or good electrical contact. The 15 or 30 amps can be induced to flow thru the motors copper windings but you, the electrocuted experimenter, are in parallel not series with the motor. You feel the 120/240 volts. The current thru the parallel motor circuit is irrelevent to your demise. - -- 240v does tingle a bit more than 120v, but aside from that both can be dangerous and should be protected with a GFCI when used in combination with humans and water. The big advantage of 240v over 120v is that the power circuits can use 1/2 the copper since the current required is 1/2. As a rule of thumb, you should consider switching to 240v in household applications when you get up around 25-30 amps at 120vac. 30 amps, regardless of voltage, requires 10 gauge copper wire where I live, pretty standard stuff. 60 amps requires 4 gauge wire which is quite pricey and somewhat difficult to work with. Also note that driving a 4500W load from a 120v circuit (in the US homes get a 240v centertaped single phase transformer drop) may create an unacceptable current load on one (120v) side of your circuit which could cause your breakers to pop while brewing. This problem is only half as bad when you go to 240v. Steve Alexander Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 15:37:17 +1300 From: "Chris A. Smith" <casmith at metro.telecom.samsung.co.kr> Subject: Heater Elements Well, let me confuse things a little more. A lot of people here came up with the "correct" answer for the power equation for an ideal resistance P = V^2/R which means that if half the applied voltage you'll get one-fourth the power. This assumes that the resistance of the heating element is CONSTANT, which it probably is not. Resistance is generally a function of temperature, so as the temperature of the heating element goes up so will the resistance. I'm no expert on heating elements - maybe they are designed to maintain a constant resistance over a wide temperature range - but before I'd bet my precious beer on it I'd check with the manufacturer to get a R vs t curve for the element. Or, better yet, add some feedback to the system in the form of a thermostat ... maybe you could scavenge a bimetallic switch from an old iron or something. (But maybe that is what you were trying to avoid.) Otherwise, you might characterize the element yourself using a DMM. - -- Chris A. Smith Document Center Infrastructure Networks Division Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Seoul, Korea Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 08:44:56 -0500 From: MAB <mabrooks at erols.com> Subject: Carbon Filters From: Andrew Quinzani <quinzani at mdc.net> Subject: Carbon Filters >Louis Gordon asks: >"If I use an activated carbon filter to remove chloramines, will italso >remove minerals that I need to be adding back with brewing salts." Do not use carbon filters, While it may filter out undesired taste it harbors some things that will kill the yeast. I talked to a water filter company severl months ago as I work in a bakery and asked about carbon filters. I forgot exactly what it was that was in the carbon but I was told that it would effectively kill any yeast. Andrew, I dont know what the topic of the conversation was but perhaps if you ran the yeast through the carbon it would "kill" (probably just remove) the yeast. Otherwise, it is perfectly safe to use carbon filtration (at the proper flow rate) to remove Chloramines/Chlorine from brew water. Regards, Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 08:32:52 -0600 (CST) From: mwmccaw at ix.netcom.com Subject: Mash Water Calculations It seems to me that the thing being missed here is the specific heat of the water added in the first infusion. This would explain why the first addition temperature is correct, but the second is quite low. Any exothermic reactions ("heat of slaking") caused by adding water to malt are so small as to be trivial - to prove this, add a quart of room temp water to a pound of malt and stick your hand in the resulting porridge - as Little Red Riding Hood would say: "Too Cold!" The thermal inertia of the mash tun has to be considered, but it is being factored in if your original addition results in the correct temperature. Add the thermal inertia of the weight of water used in the original infusion, and I bet the temp will come out right. Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 05:35:55 -0600 From: TomL at ednet.rvc.cc.il.us (Tom Lombardo) Subject: re: carbon filters >From: Andrew Quinzani <quinzani at mdc.net> >Subject: Carbon Filters > >Do not use carbon filters, While it may filter out undesired taste it >harbors some things that will kill the yeast. I talked to a water filter >company severl months ago as I work in a bakery and asked about carbon >filters. I forgot exactly what it was that was in the carbon but I was >told that it would effectively kill any yeast. > I've been using an undersink carbon filter for over 5 years now, and my yeast is plenty active. You're not putting the yeast through the carbon, just the H2O. The carbon doesn't leach into the water - don't you think you'd taste it? Tom (in Rockford IL) > Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 10:01:06 -0500 From: James Tomlinson <red_beards at compuserve.com> Subject: Chem E's, MEs and EE/Concical Fermenters David Harsh (Chemical Engineer, phd) wrote about sparging and way too many others wrote about ohms laws. What we need here is a _whole_ lot more Chemical Engineers and Mechanical Engineers. How is it that so many Electrical Engineers end up brewing ? Oh well, on with the brewing question. Has anyone had success "welding" plastics, ala PVC style ? I am considering trying to make a concical fermenter out of an old plastic water carboy and a large plastic funnel. I plan to add a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch ball valve on the bottom afterwards. - -- James Tomlinson (ME) Give a man a beer, and he wastes an hour. But teach a man how to brew, and he wastes a lifetime! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 09:30:23 -0600 From: "Dennis W. Jay, Ph.D., DABCC" <djay at jaycs.com> Subject: Calcium sulfate mg/kg In reply to what Stephen J. Van der Hoven wrote on Mon, 23 Feb 1998: In your explanation of mg/kg vs. ppm, I see nothing wrong with the calculation format you have presented, but I think a couple of things need to be corrected. 1 U.S. gal H2O = 3.785 kg assuming H2O weighs 1 g/mL. The figure you quoted is for British or imperial gallons. Naturally occurring calcium sulfate contains 2 waters of hydration so that the formula weight is 172 g/mol. Using these values to calculate: For calcium -- 1 g CaSO4.2H20 x (40 g Ca/172 g CaSO4.2H2O) x (1000 mg/g) = 233 mg 233 mg/3.785 kg = 61.6 mg/kg For sulfate -- 1 g CaSO4.2H2O x (96 g SO4/172 g CaSO4.2H2O) x (1000 mg/g) = 558 mg 558 mg/3.785 kg = 147 mg/kg - -- Jay Clinical Services Clinical Laboratory Software & Consulting 303 Market Street 573-834-2112 (Office and voice mail) P.O. Box 111 573-834-2113 (FAX) Berger, MO 63014 http://www.jaycs.com e-mail: djay at jaycs.com Return to table of contents
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