HOMEBREW Digest #3540 Fri 26 January 2001

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  CO2 and Headspace ("Bret Mayden")
  skunky beer (ensmingr)
  Re: hops to grow (Mark Kellums)
  hops to grow (Matthew Comstock)
  element thread (The Freemans)
  are Ultra hops gone? (Marc Sedam)
  RE: Florida Pubs & beer ("Donald D. Lake")
  Re: 10 gallon stovetop / HBD Database ("Drew Avis")
  soldering brass to copper ("Jim Bermingham")
  SS diffusion stone (Marc Sedam)
  Carbonating Kegs ("Jeff Beinhaur")
  Re: spruce tips (Spencer W Thomas)
  headspace and carbonation levels ("Alan Meeker")
  RE: drilling enamel pot, soldering brass to copper (LaBorde, Ronald)
  peristaltic priming ("steve lane")
  Re: natural gas burner ("Kurt Schweter")
  Re: Regarding Efforts in Georgia to Change Legal Beer Definition ("Mark Nelson")
  MCAB3 --url correction ("Dave Sapsis")
  Various things ("Peed, John")
  Glen's experimental results (IndSys, SalemVA)" <Douglas.Moyer at indsys.ge.com>
  Sh*tty WYeast follow up ("S. SNYDER")
  re: RIMS heating element question (John_E_Schnupp)
  Distilled water (Bryan Heit)
  My Drilled Enamel Kettle ("Marty Milewski")
  Bill's rocking burner (IndSys, SalemVA)" <Douglas.Moyer at indsys.ge.com>
  Doctoring Beers (Nathan Kanous)
  Better solder for copper (John Palmer)
  Amount of CO2 and heating element adapter ("Pete Calinski")
  Bottling a barleywine ("Dan Dewberry")
  Growing Hops?? (Ralph Link)
  Beer Situation in Florida ("Mark Tumarkin")
  Wups ... ("John R. Peed")
  splitting the brew day (BShotola)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 05:37:23 -0000 From: "Bret Mayden" <brmayden at hotmail.com> Subject: CO2 and Headspace As was pointed out by several readers, I confused many folks with the last sentence in my post that SHOULD have read: Both of the bottles with the smaller headspace produced a head about 50% bigger than the bottles with larger headspace. I apologize for the error. Bret Mayden brmayden at hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 01:18:49 -0500 From: ensmingr at twcny.rr.com Subject: skunky beer Greetings, WRT skunky beer, HBDr's with some background or interest in chemistry may want to look at: http://home.twcny.rr.com/geomanagement/ensmingr/menagerie.html#a07 http://home.twcny.rr.com/geomanagement/ensmingr/menagerie.html#a08 Also, Chapter 8 (Light and Beer) in "Life Under the Sun" discusses the sun-struck effect in some detail. See: http://www.yale.edu/yup/lifesun Cheerio! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 01:56:54 -0600 From: Mark Kellums <infidel at springnet1.com> Subject: Re: hops to grow Currently my main cropper is Ultra. The first time I planted it I was amazed at the amount of hops it put on for a hybrid noble typish hop. The aroma is quite fine and it's my main lager and German ale hop for the most part. I have twelve Ultra plants. They produced approximately one and three quarter pounds of dried hops last season. Next is Eroica. I have four of these plants. It's an extremely vigorous grower and hop producer. I like the bitterness and it's a fun hop to grow. It has a pungent fruity flavor and aroma. Really two plants would be plenty. I got nearly two pounds of dried hops last season. I also have three or four Cascades. They're the weed of the hop world. I'd say it's almost impossible not to get a good crop from Cascade. They produced well over two pounds last season and I got two crops from them. Two Chinooks. Very vigorous and good cone producer. Four Perle that I wasn't to impressed with. They didn't do all that well. At least in my back yard. I might just replace them. Others I've tried were Nugget, it has an awful bitterness IMO. Mt.Hood, poor producer. Tettnang, about three cones in three years. Goldings, just didn't want to grow. Maybe the heat was to much for it. Bullion, just to coarse for me. Galena, vigorous grower and good cone producer but I liked the Eroica better. Centennial, can't remember why that one got the boot. Oh yeah, Fuggles. I really liked that one but I just don't have room for now. All of my plants are grown on twine strung ten foot high. Of course YRMV. Mark Kellums Decatur Il. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 05:50:28 -0800 (PST) From: Matthew Comstock <mccomstock at yahoo.com> Subject: hops to grow Dave Clark started a discussion about hop varieties we grow. I can't wait until Spring. I've grown Chinook hops for two years. I started the rhizomes in a LARGE pot at the place I used to live and finally put it in the ground last fall at my new house. The plant grows great. Fast. I harvested about 1 - 2 oz of hops (dried) the first year. I dried the cones in a food dryer overnight using the lowest setting. I got about the same yield last year, but the move disturbed things. I like the flavor, aroma and bittering characterisctics of the Chinook strain, and I was pleased with my results. I think my hops tasted better than the pellets I've used. I look forward to starting at least one new plant this year (will you be carrying rhizomes this year, Dan? Anyone in Cincy want to start swapping Rhizomes?). I'd like to grow Cascades this year. I don't think I'll ever grow enough that I can stop buying hops completely, but I don't think that's the reason to start growing them, anyway. Its just dang cool to *watch* the bines grow! Matt in Cincinnati Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 08:16:11 -0600 From: The Freemans <potsus at Bellsouth.net> Subject: element thread Steve, On "the perfesser" I simply used a 1 inch stainless coupling (threaded from both ends to the center) cut in half. I then welded the fitting to the side of the Volrath over a hole that had been punched into the side. While there does not "appear" to be any taper, it is still a tapered fitting as far as I can find out. I have been using this setup for several years now and have had no problems. A little anti seize lube will help when you try to get the element out of the fitting at a later date for exchange. Use the rubber gasket provided. The elements that have the 4 bolt pattern can be adapted to a copper element manifold by using a matching plate soldered to the element tube. Bill Freeman aka Elder Rat K P Brewery - home of "the perfesser" http://www.brewrats.org/hwb/er Birmingham, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 09:20:06 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: are Ultra hops gone? I was just checking out my new B3 catalog (NAYY, but *what* a catalog) and noticed a mention that Ultra hops didn't seem to make it this year. Say it ain't so!!! I finally found an American hop I love in my lagers and it's gone? Anyone with contacts in the hop industry know what's going on? BTW, nothing like a homebrew catalog to remind you of all the things you don't have. :-) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 09:22:30 -0500 From: "Donald D. Lake" <dlake at gdi.net> Subject: RE: Florida Pubs & beer I must take exception to Gordon Strong's comments yesterday about Florida......There is nothing wrong with our voting system!....Punch card voting is good. It weeds out the stupid voters. In regards to the his opinion as to the quantity of quality brewpubs and microbreweries in Florida, I would agree with Mr Strong on our shortcomings and especially on his evaluation of the "Hops" chain. In my opinion, the best beer in the state of Florida is microbrewed in the Orlando International Airport of all places...."Shipyard Brewery"(homebased in Maine). They are on tap in the airport and other hard-to-find places in the Orlando area. My favorite is their flagship ale, "Old Thumper". Because of their pitiful marketing strategy, I would say Shipyard is the best kept secret in FL. If you happen to fly into Orlando(who doesn't), stop by and have a cool one and while you're at it ask for a tour. In spite of our percieved problems down here in Florida, at least we have electricity. So there! Don Lake Orlando, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 14:29:46 From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: 10 gallon stovetop / HBD Database In HBD #3538, Mike Spinelli asks about doing 10 gallon brews on the stove. I've tried this a couple of times with very good results. I've had to move indoors and abandon my three tier converted keg system while I finish the garage. In the meantime, I was doing 5 gallon batches, with the boil split between two 20qt pots. Then I had a wonderful idea, based on how I understand Brewhouse kits are made (these are wonderful kits, BTW): what if I did a concentrated wort boil, and then added water after chilling to bring the volume back to 10 gallons (40 litres, actually)? The method is basically this: Batch sparge, collecting 17 qts in each pot. The first pot is a high gravity beer, the second a normal gravity or small beer, depending on the amount of grain I'm mashing. Boil, watching very carefully for boil-overs in the first 20 minutes as there's not a lot of headspace in the pots. Chill and make up the volume to 20 litres in each carboy with boiled, cooled water. On my last batch I calculated ~83% efficiency for the first pot, ~66% efficiency for the second pot. On my first batch the beers were quite underhopped, which I figured was because the increased wort gravity decreased hop extraction. Adding 20% to the bittering hops seems to help counter this. On the HBD database: ok, I've got years 1998-2000 and 1990-93, and am filling in the gaps. It's going to be huge (probably between 150 and 200 megs) in dBase IV format - anyone want to host it and write a web interface supporting advanced searches? Drew Avis Merrickville, Ontario Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 08:36:29 -0600 From: "Jim Bermingham" <bermingham at antennaproducts.com> Subject: soldering brass to copper Bret Morrow ask if there is a better way to solder brass to copper than using 95% tin solder. Yes there is, "silver solder". You can get silver solder at your local welding supply house. You must use a torch instead of a soldering iron. The iron will not get hot enough. The silver solder is a wee bit more expensive. Hope this helps, Jim Bermingham Millsap, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 09:59:34 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: SS diffusion stone I've noticed that my SS diffusion stone seems to have stopped allowing gas through it. Does anyone know of a reason why this might happen or how I can fix it? I used to store it in Star-San in between uses...a hot PBW soak didn't seem to work great, but I ran out of the stuff before trying again. Cheers! Marc alechemist at unc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 09:42:42 -0500 From: "Jeff Beinhaur" <beinhaur at email.msn.com> Subject: Carbonating Kegs >I have to throw my $.02 in here. I use to pump the pressure up to 30 PSI and >shake the hell out of the keg, let it settle and the next day purge the >extra pressure and set to normal serving PSI of 14 (I'm using 6' of draft >line). > >This worked but I've found myself lately simply placing the keg in my >serving fridge applying the normal serving PSI to it and within a week or so >I have very acceptable carbonation levels. This obviously takes patience >which I know is tough when you have a brew that your anxious to try. In my >case, I have a chest freezer with an external thermostat as my serving >fridge. I have a three tap tower mount in the lid for serving and an extra >picnic tap coiled up inside as an extra. These draft lines are all of the >same length and the system is fairly well balanced. I'm normally have pale >ales, ESBs and Pilsners on tap and therefore the carbonation level works >pretty well for all of them. I currently have seven kegs in the fridge so >that certainly allows me to be a little more patient then some. > >So I guess the moral of my story is to make sure that your draft lines are >the correct length and be patient. > >Jeff Beinhaur, Camp Hill, PA >Home of the Yellow Breeches Brewery > > Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 10:19:29 -0500 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: spruce tips Patrick, A friend here makes great spruce beer by putting the spruce *in the mash*! It gives a very nice, subtle spruce flavor instead of knocking you over the head with it. And, you don't have to wait for spring when the nice soft new growth comes out. No, you can use the old, spiky stuff. Here's his message: =S Wayne, The attached recipe is what I used to make a killer Spruce Ale. This was a recipe and technique that I developed this last summer while doing a historic brew for our local Heritage Festival. This beer has a very rich malty character that works well with the spruce. I figured that the spruce tips would make a great grain bed in our wooden half barrel mash tun - and they did! I just did not use enough - the first batch I only used a few handfuls. The mash tun is a great place to use the spruce because it is never boiled. This pulls out a very desirable spruce character for both the flavor and aroma. The attached recipe uses 3/4 of a grocery bag of spruce tips (this years new growth - 3-4" long) When I make it again I will use a full grocery bag of tips. The spruce character seams to fade fairly quickly. I plan to visit the local xmas tree recycling center to see if I can find another blue spruce for a third batch. My wife is pretty up set that I keep picking tips off of her live trees. Mike O'Brien ProMash Recipe Printout Recipe : Spruced-up Frog Island Amber AHA Style and Style Guidelines - ------------------------------- 06-B American-style Ale, American Amber Ale Min OG: 1.044 Max OG: 1.056 Min IBU: 20 Max IBU: 40 Min Clr: 11 Max Clr: 18 Recipe Specifics - ---------------- Batch Size (GAL): 20.00 Wort Size (GAL): 20.00 Total Grain (LBS): 38.71 Anticipated OG: 1.062 Plato: 15.13 Anticipated SRM: 13.2 Anticipated IBU: 26.4 System Efficiency: 88.00 Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes Pre-Boil Amounts - ---------------- Evaporation Rate: 15.00 Percent Per Hour Pre-Boil Wort Size: 23.53 Gal Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.053 SG 12.98 Plato Formulas Used - ------------- SRM Color Formula Used: Morey Hop IBU Formula Used: Rager Additional Utilization Used For Plug Hops: 2 Additional Utilization Used For Pellet Hops: 10 Grain/Extract/Sugar Amount Name Origin Gravity Color - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 66.7 25.81 lbs. Mild Malt Great Britain 1.037 4 14.3 5.53 lbs. Crystal 60L America 1.034 60 14.3 5.53 lbs. Munich Malt Germany 1.037 8 4.8 1.84 lbs. Caramel Pils Malt Belgium 1.034 2 Hops Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2.00 oz. Centennial Pellet 10.50 24.4 60 min. 0.50 oz. Centennial Pellet 10.50 2.1 20 min. 0.50 oz. Centennial Pellet 10.50 0.0 0 min. Extras Amount Name Type Time - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 0.00 Oz Blue Spruce Spice 0 Days(fermenter) Yeast - ----- Danstar London Mash Schedule - ------------- Mash Name : Danstar London Total Grain LBS : 38.71 Grain Temp : 65.00 F Total Water QTS : 34.00 - Before Additional Infusions Total Water GAL : 8.50 Tun Thermal Mass : 0.00 Step Rest Start Stop Direct/ Infuse Infuse Infuse Step Name Time Time Temp Temp Infuse Temp Amount Ratio - ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Mashin 5 0 141 141 Infuse 158 34.00 0.88 rest 0 30 141 165 Direct --- ----- ---- Mashout 5 0 165 165 Direct --- ----- ---- Total Water QTS : 34.00 - After Additional Infusions Total Water GAL : 8.50 - After Additional Infusions All temperature measurements are degrees Fahrenheit. All infusion amounts are in quarts. Notes - ----- Blue Spruce went in the mash - about 4-6oz - large grocery bag lightly pack ed Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 10:00:01 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at mail.jhmi.edu> Subject: headspace and carbonation levels The question of the relationship between headspace volume and beer carbonation levels has come up again. This has been brought up a few times in the past but I have yet to see a clear and satisfying explanation for the phenomenon. What I and many others consistently observe is that headspace volume and carbonation levels seem to be positively correlated - in general, all other things being equal, the bigger the headspace the more highly carbonated the beer. Dan's explanation in the last digest seemed pretty close to what is probably going on but still seemed to lack something. I'm a biologist, not a physicist so I'm not too sure what the proper way to view this problem is. I do know that increasing concentrations of dissolved CO2 will inhibit fermentation activity of the yeast. I also know that the CO2 dissolved in the beer will be in equilibrium with that in the headspace and that as the CO2 pressure (partial pressure is more correct here I suppose) in the headspace increases, more CO2 will be forced to dissolve in solution. Here's the way I'm thinking about this situation then, At one extreme you could fill a bottle right to the top (zero headspace). Then, as the yeast ferment the priming sugar, CO2 generated dissolves in solution until it reaches the solubility limit. Since there is no headspace there is nowhere for additional CO2 to go but into solution. No real headspace can be created since the liquid is for all practical purposes incompressible. So, what we have here are yeast generating CO2 which has to go somewhere but it rapidly gets harder and harder for the solution to accept any more CO2. Perhaps this is why such a beer will tend to undercarbonate. The solution CO2 concentration rapidly increases to the point where further fermentation is inhibited. At the other extreme, let's say you leave plenty of headspace volume at bottling. Now the yeast start fermenting the priming sugar as in the case above and the CO2 generated dissolves in solution except that now, as the CO2 levels increase, there is another place for it to go - namely the headspace. This allows the yeast to continue fermenting because additional CO2 generated is not obliged to remain in solution, it can enter the headspace which, being a gas, is compressible and can serve as a reservoir for the CO2 generated by fermentation. At some point, the partial pressure of the CO2 in the headspace will, because it is in equilibrium with the dissolved CO2 in solution, build to such a level that there will be enough dissolved CO2 to inhibit the yeasts' fermentation. This idea of the headspace acting as a compressible CO2 reservoir "feels" like it might have merit but it also seems to have problems. At first glance, I don't see why the headspace would allow a greater amount of CO2 to be dissolved in solution if the inhibition of fermentation is the relevant no) the reaction would continue till the dissolved CO2 levels got high enough to inhibit fermentation, and this should be the same level of carbonation in both cases thus the final beer should be equally well-carbonated but this is not what is observed. Of course, I'm ignoring plenty, including the possible effect of headspace /pressure/ on the yeast, the effect of equilibria between dissolved CO2 and chemical species such as the various forms of carbonate in solution (which in turn may also have pH effects), and kinetics (think of CO2 bubbling as you open and pour a beer into a glass, the solution is obviously supersaturated and the CO2 gas wants to escape yet it doesn't degas all at once, it does so slowly over time as bubbles are nucleated). Perhaps Dan or Steve or others of a more physical-bent than I can comment... -Alan Meeker Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 09:42:38 -0600 From: rlabor at lsuhsc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: drilling enamel pot, soldering brass to copper >From: "Bret Morrow" <bretmorrow at hotmail.com> >I said 'almost finished' because I have got a small >leak on 1 of the 3 valves. My question is there a better solder for >copper/brass connections than the usual 95% tin solder? More details are >better! You need the lead free solder available at your hardware store in plumbing area. The trick to get a good leak free assembly is to use the flux that comes with the solder, use plenty of flux on both pieces (these pieces should be shinny bright by using sandpaper or emory cloth before you apply the flux. If you reuse your fittings, after disassembly, heat the fitting to melt the solder, then wipe all the solder buildup off using a large dry rag. That's how my plumber does it. Now you can clean, sand, and reuse the fittings, and they will be able to be fitted together again because you have wiped off most of the solder buildup. ............. Yet another post on drilling enamel pots: Never done it, but it won't stop me from speculating! One more thing that may work would be to use some grinding compound (like well, valve grinding compound, etc..), then build a small plastic or wooden well, the size of the hole, then put the well over the spot, and use a blunt tip rubber rod as a grinding bit into the compound and grind away until you reach metal. Then do the same on the other side. Now as I think about it - just use a dremel tool with a small grinding bit and do the entire job!!!!!! Ron La Borde Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsuhsc.edu http://hbd.org/rlaborde Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 10:28:21 -0600 From: "steve lane" <tbirdusa at hotmail.com> Subject: peristaltic priming Just picked up 2 peristaltic pumps with all electronics sealed in a stainless box for $5 at a scrap metal yard. They had about 30 more but I figured a brewery that looked like a heart lung machine may scare off my fellow brewing mates so I passed on them. The heads are set up to accept 1/4" flexible tubing. Do these pumps need to be primed? Any cautions or words of wisdom when using these. Thought I would use 1 to circulate iodophor through my CF chiller while the boil is going on and the other to........ ? I read that people had used these in their homebrew setups but what for? I have a RIMs with mag drive pump so I don't need them there. What are some good uses for these pumps. I may go buy a few more if I can come up with a good reason.... I was thinking, pump driven circulation instead of stir plate for starters. Maybe a stir system for my electric HLT? Maybe a whirlpooler for the boiler? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 11:25:58 -0500 From: "Kurt Schweter" <KSchweter at smgfoodlb.com> Subject: Re: natural gas burner if your are looking for a burner that truly rocks beer, beer, and more beer I bought the "200,000" btu natural gas burner from them--- be afraid !!!!! Regan can answer just about every question on equipment you could have ( usual disclamer - bla bla bla ) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 11:31:04 -0500 From: "Mark Nelson" <menelson at mindspring.com> Subject: Re: Regarding Efforts in Georgia to Change Legal Beer Definition To anyone who wants to watch the status of our effort, you can check www.beerinfo.com/worldclassbeer for updates. Most recently, actually as of yesterday, our bill has been introduced. It is House Bill 224. You can see HB 224 at http://www.legis.state.ga.us/Legis/2001_02/sum/hb224.htm Mark Nelson Georgians for World-Class Beer Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 09:24:12 -0800 From: "Dave Sapsis" <dsapsis at earthlink.net> Subject: MCAB3 --url correction Good folks, My bad. (thanks to Nathan K for pointing this out) The correct url for the MCAB 3 event is: www.bayareamashers.org/mcab3 - --dave sapsis, sacramento Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 12:27:23 -0500 From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> Subject: Various things N.P. Lansing asks if perhaps my crystal malt was old. Nope, it's fresh, and I've used it for a few other brews without problem. Everyone is seizing in the "diacetyl" taste that I described in my mash hopped beer, but again, I think it was a flavor associated with mash hopping. Obviously, the only way to find out is to try it again. I'm not anxious to try it again, but eventually I will. I need to figure out a way to do a simple, small batch mash. Robert Ellia asks what "clear" means in the context of recirculating the first runnings. The only way it will ever be anywhere near as clear as finished beer is if you recirculate it for several minutes in a RIMS setup. For standard first runnings recirculation, "clear" is a subjective decision. "Clearer than it started out" is generally a good stopping point. Most methods of manual recirculation involve a certain amount of risk of aeration, as well as disturbing the grain bed, so it's counter-productive to try to get really clear runnings. Once you get the really coarse junk recirculated, the runnings will get very clear quickly, as the sparge goes along. I've stayed out of the hole-in-the-enamel pot saga, but basically I think this is a bad idea, as the enamel is bound to chip like crazy, whether you punch it drill it, or whatever. You might try drilling a somewhat undersized hole and then using a rotary grinding tool to try to "sneak up" on the actual hole size you want. I think I used this method successfully once for a water bath pot. I gave up on enamel pots for brewing though. The slightest ding will crack the enamel and expose the metal, and you don't want the wort to come into contact with the metal. John Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 12:43:37 -0500 From: "Moyer, Douglas (IndSys, SalemVA)" <Douglas.Moyer at indsys.ge.com> Subject: Glen's experimental results First, Glen A. Pannicke writes: "It wasn't until recently that I disproved the common belief that you will grow hair on your palms if you play with it too much. WRONG! You will develop callouses - not grow hair." And later (in the same message), he reveals: "I should be distilled, sterile and more expensive per gallon than gasoline." So, is the sterility a result of your experimentation as well? And, why should you be distilled? Are you too dilute? Certainly if you are productive in the "per gallon" range.... Brew on! Doug Moyer Salem, VA Star City Brewers Guild: http://hbd.org/starcity Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 12:46:13 -0500 From: "S. SNYDER" <SSNYDER at LBGHQ.com> Subject: Sh*tty WYeast follow up First of all, Thanks for the multitude of replies. Although I didn't get a clear consensus, it seems there are a couple of reasons why the yeast may not have taken off: Too high a gravity for the Imperator, OG 1.072, and it's a lager. Wyeast does indicate that a starter should be made for "high gravity" yeasts over 1.050 or for older yeast (they don't say what old is except for a "best buy" listing). The Pilsner Urquell is also a lager. They say nothing about making a starter for a lager. All in all, I'm am just sick of companies from around the world and from all over the product spectrum promising something that isn't all together true. Not completely false, just not completely true. Sure the tube is pitchable, (in the garbage, DOH!) but I can also pitch a widget into my wort, it doesn't mean it's gonna do anything. I repeat, the high gravity and lager smack packs I've used before never did this to me!! I'm going to give this one more try with a Spaten Lager recipe (as I already bought it before the Imperator fiasco), but this time I will make a starter and see what happens. Then it's back to smack packs or Whitelabs. Again, thanks to the 30+ replies and all the help over this past year. Scott Snyder Trumbull, CT ssnyder at lbghq.com Rotten Rotti Brewing Company Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 09:41:00 -0800 From: John_E_Schnupp at amat.com Subject: re: RIMS heating element question -Steve asks: >Many hot water heating elements (in the US anyway) have a male threaded >attachment point. This threading appears to match that of 1 inch (FIP) >standard used in copper fitting, but lacking the taper. For this reason >the heating element won't nicely screw into a 1" copper FIP fitting. > >Should I buy a 1" IP tap or die to resize one or the other - or is there a >simpler solution that I am missing ? I found this to be the case as well with the threads. I don't know if you've priced 1" taps but be prepared to spend some $$$. The larger the size the higher the cost. Seems like it's more like an exponential relationship. Pipe taper threads are "supposed" to be water tight but I've never seen it. I've always had to use teflon tape or other thread sealer. Straight threads will not get tighter as taper threads do. Does this make any sense? I'm trying to think of a technical way to explain it but I can't. On taper threads the teflon with get crushed in the threads and make the seal. On straight threads the seal is created with some sort of gasket. I used a 1" NPT fitting and a heater element with 1" straight threads. When selecting the NPT fitting, I tried several. They are not all exactly the same. Some will allow the heater to the threaded further than others. Select the one that allows the heater threads to be threaded into the NPT fitting the most. I then made a gasket out of the thickest rubber gasket material I could find. I started with an oring but it didn't seal as well as the flat material. I thing what I used was about 1/4" thick. John Schnupp, N3CNL Dirty Laundry Homebrewery Georgia, VT 95 XLH 1200 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 10:45:52 -0700 From: Bryan Heit <bjheit at ucalgary.ca> Subject: Distilled water I've noticed lately that there have been several questions about the purity of distilled water. About two months ago a local TV company did a report on the advantages/disadvantages of buying distilled water. They had a lab test several commercial brands of distilled water, and what the labs found were disturbing. All tested brands had higher bacterial counts then what our tap water has, and a few brads had bacteria counts that were close to, or higher then what's considered safe by the local health board. Moral of the story: boil all water, even if its "pure" distilled water. Bryan Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 11:52:19 -0600 From: "Marty Milewski" <mmilewski at mlpusa.com> Subject: My Drilled Enamel Kettle I would like to first off thank everyone for responding to my request for input on drilling enamel, there seemed to be great interest in this so I thought I would post the process I used and the final results... I needed one 7/8" hole to accommodate a 1/2" nipple...this hole is used for spigot and Thermometer (similar to the new setup used on 'Sabco's Universal Kettle' - check it out). FYI - 1/2" into ball valve 3/8" out 1. Put duct tape on both sides of pot. 2. Marked location. 3. Indented location with punch. 4. Drilled small pilot hole (used penetrating oil while drilling at high speed with little force). 5. Used the inner drill bit of a hole saw to enlarge pilot hole (penetrating oil/high speed/little force). 6. Scorched both the inner and outer sides of enamel with the drill hole saw (penetrating oil/high speed/little force). 7. With lots of patience, started drilling from the outside in, and finished drilling from the inside out with drill hole saw (penetrating oil/high speed/little force). 8. Slowly removed duct tape. 9. Vary carefully debured edges with very fine round file. The tricks to succeeding are: step six, oil cooling, lots of patience, and a keeping a homebrew within arms reach. Everything worked like a dream, no chipping. Maybe I just got lucky. Both the inner and outer sides of the hole have a 1 7/8 inch OD gasket and two 1 7/8 inch OD SS washers, which means even if minor chipping had occurred it was very well covered by the gaskets. I even tried out the whole setup by boiling 7 gal of water, no leaking anywhere. I am more worried about chipping occurring around the handle interior area than I am about the spigot hole. I hope this helps other wanting to do the same thing and save a little $$$, e-mail me direct if you have any ?'s. I knew my ME degree would payoff sooner or later. Prost, Marty Milewski E-mail: mmilewski at mlpusa.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 13:05:01 -0500 From: "Moyer, Douglas (IndSys, SalemVA)" <Douglas.Moyer at indsys.ge.com> Subject: Bill's rocking burner The Elder Rat (AKA Bill Freeman), while discussing the NG burner setup on "the perfesser", confesses: "This burner rocks...." Bill, I strongly suggest that you stabilize your burner. Boiling wort precariously balanced seems a recipe for disaster. Not only are you risking serious burns if it capsizes, you might loose a batch of wort! Sure, I understand that you probably have every intention of shoring up your rickety system sooner or later, but don't put it off any longer. If you always dance at the edge of the abyss, don't be surprised if you fall within! <grin> Brew on! Doug Moyer Salem, VA Star City Brewers Guild: http://hbd.org/starcity Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 13:05:17 -0600 From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> Subject: Doctoring Beers Hi All, I'm involved in a group studying for the BJCP exam. We've got the BJCP study guide which lists some ways to doctor beers for common flavors. What is missing, is doctoring beers with salts like gypsum, epsom, calcium chloride, sodium chloride and such. Does anybody know where I can get some suggestions for doctoring beers with salt solutions for us to see what happens to flavor with various water salts? Thanks. nathan in madison, wi Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 11:57:30 -0800 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at gte.net> Subject: Better solder for copper Brett asks if there is a better solder for copper and brass than the 95%tin Silver plumbing solder everyone uses. No, there isn't. But if you have a leak in a joint, it is not the solder's fault, it is the joint preparation and the flux. For best results, buff the surfaces with a nonmetallic abrasive until shiny and then apply an even coating of flux. Tin one or both of the parts with solder, fit them up, and then reheat, with more solder if necessary, to make the joint. As in welding, good fit makes for the best joints. Bad fit leads to gaps and leaks. Hope this helps, John - -- John Palmer Palmer House Brewery and Smithy http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer How To Brew - the online book http://www.howtobrew.com Let there be Peace on Earth. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 15:28:49 -0500 From: "Pete Calinski" <pjcalinski at adelphia.net> Subject: Amount of CO2 and heating element adapter Steve Alexander said: > > I, Al Korzonas and others did some experiments on this a long while back in > the HBD. It appears that the overfilled bottles either undercarbonate or > at least carbonate much more slowly. Altho' not directly measured, there > are very clear signs that the underfilled beers (not just the headspace) had > more carbonation (by taste and post pour fizz). Filling the headspace w/ > CO2 (eliminating most O2) before capping had no impact on the result. > > I think that shortly after reaching saturation of 1atm of CO2 , bubbles move > CO2 into the headspace , and in the overfill case, the headpressure quickly > becomes high enough to slow or stop fermentation. The head CO2 should go > back into solution and reduce the head pressure and allow more fermentation, > but this could take time and so slow the carbonation. This explanation is > just a guess and a handwaving argument with some holes, but the phenomena is > quite real and reproducible. > I propose a "speriment". Make a 3 liter sugar/yeast solution. Get two 2 liter PET soda bottles and install tire valves (schrader valves) in the tops. Put 2 liters of the solution in one bottle and 1 liter in the other. Ferment. When fermentation is complete, use a tire pressure gauge to measure the pressure in each. I suggested 2 liter containers so that the volume of the pressure gauge and leakage when taking the reading would have negligible effect. What would be a good SG for the solution? I believe we want to ensure that the yeast doesn't run out of sugar before it reaches "final" pressure while at the same time not over pressuring the soda bottles. > --- > > OK RIMSers - a question. > > Many hot water heating elements (in the US anyway) have a male threaded > attachment point. This threading appears to match that of 1 inch (FIP) > standard used in copper fitting, but lacking the taper. For this reason > the heating element won't nicely screw into a 1" copper FIP fitting. > > Should I buy a 1" IP tap or die to resize one or the other - or is there a > simpler solution that I am missing ? Two possibilities depending on your application. Some places sell a plate that allows you to adapt a water heater that takes the "square plate" type element to take the screw in type. This would give you the female threads you need. Then you have to figure out how to adapt the square plate to your application. You state that you want to screw into copper. I once wanted to screw it into something softer like PVC. I made a "tap" from a piece of 1 inch (ID) black pipe. I cut 4 notches out of it so it looked like a tap. You need to do this because a tap cuts threads by pushing out the material ahead of it into the notches. Just some ideas that could help you along. Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY 0^45'49.1" North, 5^7'9.5" East of Jeff Renner (using his 12/28/00 Lat/Long). Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 16:53:21 -0600 From: "Dan Dewberry" <dandew at netzero.net> Subject: Bottling a barleywine We're going to bottle an English-style barleywine (5.5 gal) Saturday that has been in the secondary for about 5 months. We are thinking that we need to add some dry yeast to make sure it carbonates in the bottle. We are thinking of using Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast(10 grams). Any ideas as to whether this is necessary or not? Should we add the whole package of yeast....or less? Joelle & Dan Dewberry The DewBrewers in Austin, Texas p.s. Thanks again to the BURPers in DC for a great time at the Spirit of Belgium a couple of weeks ago. Shop online without a credit card http://www.rocketcash.com RocketCash, a NetZero subsidiary Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 16:52:57 -0600 From: Ralph Link <rlink15 at home.com> Subject: Growing Hops?? Hello Collective Can anyone give me the minimum requirements for successfully growing hops. for example number of degree days. Soil conditions (acidic alkaline etc.) Best exposure (sun, shade, etc.) Insect control. Or should I just forget about trying to grow them in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada aprox. 49 degrees North of the equator. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 19:57:17 -0500 From: "Mark Tumarkin" <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Beer Situation in Florida After trashing the beer scene in Florida, Gordon Strong gets really vicious: "If you're trying to find decent places to drink, I'd first try ww.pubcrawler.com and see if they have any suggestions. But set your expectations low in Florida. They seem to take beer about as seriously as counting." We take our beer much more seriously than our counting, in fact some of us take the beer till we can't count anymore. Just kidding, Gordon, you do have a point. Good beer can be hard to find in Florida. There are a number of good brewpubs and microbreweries in Florida, but far fewer than there should be. Florida is still somewhat of a beer wasteland. Maybe that's why we homebrew. Unfortunately, due to restrictive state laws that only allow beer to be sold in a few package sizes (these allowed sizes don't include 22oz or any metric packaging), the selection in our beer stores is also much more limited than we'd like. There have been several attempts to get the law changed. Last year we came close but it was shot down at the last moment. This year the chances look much better. The leader of the opposition was the Speaker of the House, Thrasher. He is no longer in the legislature this session. Also the A-B lobby is not fighting it as openly and strongly. The chances look pretty good but it's going to be quite a fight to get it passed. Probably the best place to track info on our battle is the web site of the North Florida Brewers League (the Tallahassee homebrew club). Check it out at http://www.nfbl.org/BottleBill.htm They have links with the legislators email addresses so that you can easily write by clicking an address and then pasting in your letter urging the legislators to vote for the change. We have a long way to go, so if you live in Fl, please write and/or call your legislators. Write early, write often and urge everyone you know to do the same. The other site to follow is Online Sunshine, the Fl state govt site at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Welcome/index.cfm There's also talk of trying to get a Growler law passed to help the good brew pubs that we do have - but that's a whole nother issue. We have set up an email list on the HBD server called Florida Brewers List to help establish better communication among the Florida brewers (including both homebrewers and professional brewers). I feel that this list will be helpful in the fight to change the bottle law, but will also help in many other ways to build the brewing community in Fl. If you live in Fl and would like to subscribe to the list, send me an email and I'll send you directions on how to subscribe. Mark Tumarkin Gainesville, Fl Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 23:50:49 -0500 From: "John R. Peed" <jpeed at gar.net> Subject: Wups ... I have a confession to make about the mash hopped brew I've been discussing: I used Nottingham dry yeast on that one, not 1056. What happened was that I pitched the 1056 yeast into a 6 1/2 gallon carboy, racked the beer onto it and oxygenated it. Picked up the carboy, turned to go inside, and the neck of the carboy slipped out of my top hand. Needless to say, once 50 pounds of liquid in a glass container gets loose from your grip, you're not going to recover it. So I bailed and it self-destructed on the concrete patio. After liberally exercising my right to free speech, I realized that there was still some beer left in the boil pot. So I racked the remaining couple of gallons into a 3 gallon carboy and pitched it with the rehydrated dry yeast. A thorough check of my notes confirms this. Now, as for dry yeast: I had two recent batches fail to start within 12 hours using liquid yeast, so I pitched them both with dry yeast to get them going. Both turned out very rough, and I feel sure the culprit is fusel alcohols, and I can only assume that's from the dry yeast. Now there's this mash hopped batch with a different problem. Needless to say, I need to try the mash hopping thing again. And, in fairness, I need to do a couple of oversized batches and split them between liquid and dry yeast. As it stands now though, I'm not a fan of dry yeast. I guess my juy's still out on mash hopping. John Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001 00:07:20 EST From: BShotola at aol.com Subject: splitting the brew day Hello Folks, With my busy schedule, I tend to do more extract ferments than all grain. I would be more inclined to grain brew if I could do it in two stints. I picture doing the mash and sparge on one morning, then putting the lid on the brewpot and storing it in the cooler until later in the week, when I could then start with the boil. The ease of extracts, the beauty of grains. Anybody tried this? Bob Shotola Yamhill, Oregon Return to table of contents
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