HOMEBREW Digest #3545 Thu 01 February 2001

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  RE: gear reduction ("chuck duffney")
  Does anyone still floor-malt their Maris Otter? ("Benjy Edwards")
  Re: Bottling/headspace (Jacob Jacobsen)
  How to rack from primary fermentor ("Gregor")
  re: brew splitting (Stephen Neilsen)
  Determining Hop Varienties ("Jay Wirsig")
  Funky Pilsner aroma ("Jeff Beinhaur")
  old fridge (david.persenaire)
  Turning Still Mead into sparkling Mead (Bret Hedenkamp)
  Growing Hops (Doug Hurst)
  re: Capping on Foam (Kevin White)
  DH (Frank Tutzauer)
  Re: Rules of Thumb ("Jeffry D Luck")
  DH? - Re. Off-topic observation ("Jeffry D Luck")
  drilling enameled kettles ("Richard B. Dulany Jr.")
  Death and the HBD (IndSys, SalemVA)" <Douglas.Moyer at indsys.ge.com>
  Quality Microbrews in Raleigh Durham (You Bastards)
  Reggale and Dredhop Homebrew Competition ("John J. Allison")
  re: flow into counterflow ("C.D. Pritchard")
  Kettle volume indicator (Brian Lundeen)
  Figs and beer (or mead) (Eidsonbc)
  Fermenting in a 1/2 barrel ("Eric Ahrendt")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 01:30:10 -0800 From: "chuck duffney" <cduffney at mail.wesleyan.edu> Subject: RE: gear reduction actually if you were going ot use 2 pulleys/gears you would probably want one system to be 5:1 and the other to be 2:1. pulley/gear systems in series are multiplicative. 5x2=10. 5x5=25 which would end up give you a little over a 100rpm instead of just under 300. >>> Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 15:50:13 EST From: Epic8383 at aol.com Subject: Gear Reduction Ant Hayes asked how to turn his 300 rpm (max) roller mill with his 2880 rpm motor. It's almost a 10:1 reduction, so if you can find two pulleys whose diameters are 10:1 you'll be able to turn the mill at 288 rpm. The small pulley would go on the motor, the large one on the mill. It may not be practical to use such a setup due to the size differences, so you could do two sets of pulleys each 5:1. The small pulley goes on the motor, it's large partner gets attached to a shaft with the second small pulley which turns it's large partner on the mill. I use a variable speed hand drill, but it is difficult to hold a steady low rpm against the torque requirements of the mill. Eventually I'll go to a more permanent motorized setup. Gus Rappold Massapequa, New York Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 01:47:14 -0500 From: "Benjy Edwards" <rdbedwards at hotmail.com> Subject: Does anyone still floor-malt their Maris Otter? Hey everyone, I've been hearing some conflicting stuff lately on floor-malted English barley and hoped somebody could help out. I was under the impression that Beeston still floor-malted their Maris Otter (and perhaps other varieties such as Golden Promise, Halcyon, Chariot, etc.) but now I'm not so sure. My local homebrew shop owner said that Beeston's is now no longer floor-malting their Maris Otter and that he was planning to switch to another British maltster, someone whose name starts with an F, perhaps Forest or some such name? Can anyone confirm or deny this? Beeston's website has no email address, but I just wrote to Crisp to see if they still floor-malt their MO. Anybody know any other maltsters that might still cling to floor-malting? I searched the Digest and as late as May of last year there were favorable reports of Beeston's floor-malted MO. I just want to find some traditional floor-malted English barley! regards, Benjamin Edwards rdbedwards at hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 02:26:55 -0500 From: Jacob Jacobsen <brewer at cotse.com> Subject: Re: Bottling/headspace Quoting "Fred L. Johnson" <FLJohnson at worldnet.att.net>: > I read with interest Jacob Jacobsen's recent post to the HBD regarding > capping to minimize O2 in the headspace, but his experience is quite > different from mine. > Question: Is there foam in the headspace? I believe the floating is evidence of CO2 (from the priming corn sugar), which is forcing out the air, thus floating the cap. CO2 is, of course, heavier than air and thus the air is forced out as long as any remains in the bottle. At least, I read that in a couple of books and it seems to work (no oxidation to date). About foam: I bottled a batch yesterday using a new filler and had considerable foam in the neck. This surely was also due to the fact that the fermenter was just taken out of the fridge (68 F) and put on a table at room temp (80 F). This will surely force some CO2 out of solution as the beer warms. I presume this foam is mostly CO2 and just capped on it, thinking it was forcing the air out of the neck. However, I'm still in the learning mode (I guess everyone is, at one stage or another) and would seriously consider some contrary advice. Jake - ---------------- Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza. -- Dave Barry Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 10:30:49 +0100 From: "Gregor" <gregor at blinx.de> Subject: How to rack from primary fermentor Hello everybody, is is going to be my first posting on HBD. I read HBD already since a long time though. I have a simple question: How do you guys rack from your plastic fermenters? Do you siphon? That's what I do, because I am afraid that I would infect my beer by letting it flow through the plastic faucet. Or do you use the faucet? If so, how do you make sure that there are no nasties hidden in the faucets. Life would be much easier, if I could use the faucets, because they normally are placed just a few centimeters above the bottom of the vessel and would neatly leave the yeast cake and trub behind. And there is easy flow control. I do primary fermentations for lagers and secondary fermentation for all my beers in my cold basement, which is not that clean (Old, huge house with 25 tenants in Berlin). Thanks in advance Gregor Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 22:37:06 +1100 From: Stephen Neilsen <sneilsen at bigpond.net.au> Subject: re: brew splitting My experience, such as it is, indicates that splitting the brew period is filled with complications. I have had perhaps five ocassions where this has happened, genreally due to SHMBO screaming bitter somethings in my face On each occasion the split has been between the sparge and the boil. With one exception, the beer tasted like the local dog population had used my chiller as a hi tech (dog-wise) dunny, and I had not noticed the solidified results before plunging it into the boiler. The exception was a fairly high gravity attempt at Belgium style thingy , which, whilst I enjoy it, has been described as " a great stout improver" (oh, correctly). My answer to split brews is to double brew. Sven the Imposter Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 08:50:48 -0500 From: "Jay Wirsig" <Jay.Wirsig at can.dupont.com> Subject: Determining Hop Varienties Several years ago I purchased some hop rhizomes labelled Cascade, Tettenanger and Mt Hood. The rhizome labelled Tettenanger is doing the best and the one labeled Cascade the worst. Also I detect a grapefuitness when I brew with the Tett. I'm beginning to doubt the original labelling. I was wondering if anyone was aware of a lab or service that could confirm the hop varieties growing in my garden. >>Jay Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 09:32:24 -0500 From: "Jeff Beinhaur" <beinhaur at email.msn.com> Subject: Funky Pilsner aroma I have 10 gallons of a Bohemian Pilsner split into two kegs under CO2 that seem to have developed an odd aroma. This was an all-grain single decotion pilsner that loosely followed the recipe for Pilsner Urquell that was printed in Zymurgy not to long ago. Initial fermentation was done at approx. 48 degrees and secondary at a slightly higher temp. Initial gravity was 1.056 and final gravity was 1.010 although it took at least two months for this to get that low. The beer was kegged and dry hopped within the keg with 1 1/2 oz. of Saaz for each five gallon keg. They have been in the fridge at about 38 degrees for a little over weeks. I've been tasting samples over the last month and it always had a nice crisp taste with just the right level of maltiness. Over the last two days it seems to have developed what I think is an unusual aroma. SWMBO describes it as dirty socks but I suspect it to be a bit of a Sulpher smell (hard for me to tell on account of a bad cold). Any suggestions as to what's going on here? What should my next step be? Jeff Beinhaur, Camp Hill, PA Home of the Yellow Breeches Brewery Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 08:32:32 -0600 From: david.persenaire at abnamro.com Subject: old fridge Anybody with knowledge on old Philco fridges out there? This topic has probably been covered on the HBD sometime ago but I didn't run past it in my quick look through the archives so I thought I'd ask. I have an old Philco fridge (crica 1950's I'm guessing) I use for lagering and primary fermenting. I'm sure it is an energy hog but I love the big range in temperature it allows just by dialing the controller that was standard equipment. It is one of those models that has only three little ice tray shelves in the top center within the fridge cavity, therefore, no separate freezer. If I dial it just warmer than the defrost setting I can ferment at 50 degrees. Make a long story short I would like to put a tap handle on the side wall. Any chance of hitting any freon lines when I drill a hole to put the shank through? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 08:44:34 -0600 From: Bret Hedenkamp <hedenkamp at skw-inc.com> Subject: Turning Still Mead into sparkling Mead I made some Mead a few months ago that has been re-racked a few times with gel added in rack # 2 to help clarify it. The Mead is still a bit on the sweet side with an OG of 1.114 and an FG of 1.009. The FG has not moved in over a month ! Now I am wanting to divide my 4-gallon batch into a few bottles of Still Mead and the rest into Sparkling Mead. I was wondering if their is enough remaining yeast to just now add some fermentables back into the Mead that I want to turn into Sparkling - I saved some "green" honey apple cider mix that I originally fermented with. I used White Lab champagne yeast originally; should I purchase some more and use it for the bottle conditioning ? I guess my main question is how much and of what should products should I proceed with to get a very nice Champagne-like effervesence? Also as far as the Still Mead; I want to clear it out some more since I am done with the fermenting. There is some product that stops fermentation I believe (?) and would you recommend using the bentonite (or some other agent) to "glue" the yeast and remaining stuff to be stripped out onto the bottom of the bottle ? Thanks ======================================================== Bret A. Hedenkamp, E.I.T. GIS Analyst Shafer, Kline & Warren, Inc. Phone: 816-460-0333 hedenkamp at skw-inc.com ======================================================== Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 08:42:59 -0600 From: Doug Hurst <DougH at theshowdept.com> Subject: Growing Hops The recent discussion of hop growing started me thinking about growing hops myself. My problem is that I live in an apartment in the city and my backyard consists of cement blocks. I was wondering about the practicality of growing hops inside. I have a large east facing window that gets lots of sunlight in the morning. I'm thinking it might be possible to start a rhizome in a large pot and attach a string or other support from the pot to the ceiling. I can just imagine the the aroma of hops in full bloom filling my apartment. Has anyone else tried this? Would it work? How large would the pot need to be? Doug Hurst Chicago, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 10:14:40 -0500 From: Kevin White <kwhite at bcpl.net> Subject: re: Capping on Foam Fred L. Johnson <FLJohnson at worldnet.att.net> wrote: >Question: Is there foam in the headspace? If so, I don't >understand how this happens. I never see foaming when I >fill, especially after sitting for a few minutes. I >understand that some (many) commercial bottle filling >machines disturb the surface of the beer in the bottle with >a fine spray of water to generate foam just before the cap >is placed on the bottle and sealed. > >Would anyone out there care to describe a good way to cap on foam? I had the opportunity to walk down a bottling line at a large (nah, it was huge!) commercial brewery last fall. The bottling machines first purge the bottles with CO2, then fill via a dip tube that extends almost to the bottom of the bottle. The fill entry is turbulent, generating sufficient foam to overflow the bottle neck. Immediately after the dip tube is removed, the crown caps are placed and crimped, and then the capped bottle goes through a water spray to rinse away the overflow. Major differences between that process and the typical homebrewer: 1. Most homebrewers (myself included) do not have the equipment to purge bottles with CO2 prior to filling. Because the bottles contain oxygen during bottling, it behooves us to not oxygenate the beer with turbulent fill. Usually, some CO2 will come out of solution during homebrew bottling and displace some (if not all) of the air in the headspace. This is why some homebrewers let the filled bottle rest a few minutes with the cap in place before crimping. 2. Commercial beer is carbonated before bottling, so there's enough excess CO2 to cause foaming. Homebrew is usually bottle-conditioned, so there's insufficient CO2 to cause foaming when bottling. If, however, you are bottling carbonated homebrew, the excess CO2 will greatly limit oxygenation during bottling by simple displacement. Just crimp the cap over the foam; the foam will settle and recede, leaving CO2 in the headspace. Kevin White Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 12:14:52 -0500 (EST) From: Frank Tutzauer <comfrank at acsu.buffalo.edu> Subject: DH Danny says: >Here in the HBD, most of us refer to our spouses/spousal equivalents >as"SWMBO." >In the needlework group, you see references to "DH." So what the heck does it stand for? Dumb Head? Damn Husband? Doesn't Help? Daddy's Home? --frank Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 09:24:21 -0700 From: "Jeffry D Luck" <Jeffry.D.Luck at aexp.com> Subject: Re: Rules of Thumb Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was using a different 'minus sign' than the standard ANSI one. The formulas should be lbs sugar - 2 = Finished %ABV (ABV is Alcohol By Volume) (OG - FG) * 132 = %ABV (reads "Original Specific Gravity minus Final Specific Gravity) Jeff Luck Salt Lake City, UT USA Having a wonderful wine. Wish you were beer. (I hope this one works...) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 09:31:54 -0700 From: "Jeffry D Luck" <Jeffry.D.Luck at aexp.com> Subject: DH? - Re. Off-topic observation Ok, I'll bite. What does DH stand for? Jeff Luck Salt Lake City, UT USA Having a wonderful wine. Wish you were beer. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 10:49:21 -0700 From: "Richard B. Dulany Jr." <RDulany at co.el-paso.tx.us> Subject: drilling enameled kettles Greetings all, The recent thread about drilling enameled steel kettles left me a bit apprehensive about boring a hole in my own kettle. I even considered taking the kettle to the machine shop by my office rather than drilling it myself. But last night, after a few Dubbels, I decided to just drill the damned thing. I made an indention with a metal punch first so the drill bit wouldn't slide across the surface of the kettle. I liberally coated a 1/8 in. bit with household oil and easily drilled a pilot hole. Then, I put in the 3/8 in. bit and started drilling slowly. The punch and small drill bit had made a nice round indention in the kettle so the larger bit didn't slide around. I started off by drilling slowly with heavy pressure on the bit, but realized that would take all night. So I just increased the drill speed, put less pressure on the bit, and was through the kettle in less than 30 seconds. I didn't use any tape while drilling, but there was no chipping of any significance around the hole. I used a rat-tailed file and a brass-bristled brush to smooth the edge of the hole. In short, this job was much easier than the recent posts had led me to believe it would be. The most important thing was to use a good drill bit--I had a cobalt bit from a previous job--and lots of oil. Don't make this job more complicated than it is. Don't be a wuss about it. Just drill the damn hole. Let the drill bit do the work for you. Salud! Ricardo Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 14:01:56 -0500 From: "Moyer, Douglas (IndSys, SalemVA)" <Douglas.Moyer at indsys.ge.com> Subject: Death and the HBD While discussing advice regarding carbonation and headspace oxygen, Scott Snyder adds (parenthetically), "and I have passed on". Wow! It would appear that the HBD is available in the afterlife! I think Doc Pivo should be careful about his remarks concerning edicts from above--those postings of which he is so critical my be heavenly in origin after all! Brew on! Doug Moyer Salem, VA Star City Brewers Guild: http://hbd.org/starcity Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 11:20:27 -0800 (PST) From: You Bastards <dude_kennysdead at yahoo.com> Subject: Quality Microbrews in Raleigh Durham Hello All! I will be in Raleigh-Durham, NC later next month, and am very interested in finding some great brewpubs, micros, etc. in the general area. I would greatly appreciate any feedback regarding where to find the best beer, the best food, etc. I'm a newbie to the HBD, but after reading about 6 months worth of postings over a few weeks, I'm hooked! Thanks in advance, and keep up the great postings! brent Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 14:42:26 -0700 (MST) From: "John J. Allison" <john at joss.ucar.edu> Subject: Reggale and Dredhop Homebrew Competition 12th Annual Reggale and Dredhop Homebrew Competition Hop Barley and the Alers invite you to enter the 12th Annual Reggale and Dredhop Homebrew Competition to be held at The Falling Rock Tap House in Denver, Colorado. The competition will take place on March 17th, 2001, with judging from 9:00am to 5:00pm and an awards ceremony to follow at approximately 6:00pm. Potential judges, stewards, and other volunteers are encouraged to contact the competition organizers via email at dredhop at hopbarley.org. All experience levels are welcome. We will accept all homebrewed beer and mead (no cider). This competition is sanctioned by the AHA and the BJCP. Again this year, the Reggale and Dredhop will be a Qualifying Event for the Masters Championship of Amateur Brewing (MCAB). We will be using the BJCP style guidelines for entries. MCAB Qualifying Styles: BJCP Categories 1-20, ALL Subcategories. An entry shall consist of two (2) bottles, 10 to 22 ounce. An entry fee of five dollars ($5.00) per entry will be required. SPECIAL CATEGORY: Since this competition takes place on St. Patrick's Day, we are adding a special category. The beer(s) that best exemplify St. Patricks Day will be awarded ribbons or prizes. For this category only, no feedback or judging forms will be used or returned to the entrants. Beers will be judged solely on drinkability and popularity. Any green beer will be immediately discarded without being tasted or judged. Mark your entry form Category 00. Entries are to arrive between Monday, February 26th and 5:00 pm Friday March 9th 2001. Late entries will not be judged, but will be enjoyed by the competition staff. Mail entries or drop off: What's Brewin' 2860 Bluff St Boulder CO 80301 303-444-9433 Drop-off only: Homebrew Hut 555 Hwy 287, Unit I Broomfield CO 80020 303-460-1776 Falling Rock Taphouse 1919 Blake St Denver CO 80203 303-293-8338 Further information, including complete and detailed rules, is available at the competition website: http://hopbarley.org/dredhop/ You may also contact the competition director: Bob Kauffman, dredhop at hopbarley.org, 303-828-1237. Happy brewing and good luck! - -- John Allison, for the hopbarley net team: webmaster at hopbarley.org Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 19:04:51 From: "C.D. Pritchard" <cdp at chattanooga.net> Subject: re: flow into counterflow >Can I use a food grade plastic racking cane to transfer my wort into a >counterflow wort chiller? Will it stand up to the heat of the just boiled >wort? It depends... If it's one of those ubiquitous clear plastic racking canes, it'll get soft at boiling temp. Not soft enough to collapse, but enough to become about as flexible as clear vinyl tubing is at room temp. Something else to consider is that food grade plastics have an associated temp. spec. so, what's recognized as food-safe at, say, 160 degF, *may* not be at 212 degF. My SWAG is that the food-safe rating *may* be based on the mfg's strenght-wise max rated service temp.- i.e. why test for food safety at a temp. above the max. service temp. I've used a racking cane bent from 3/8" copper tubing to siphon just boiled wort out of a 8 gal. enamel pot (i.e. a kinda short cane). Tips: 1) Don't expect as fast a flow as you'd get with a room temp. fluid- the wort tends to form steam bubbles at the crook atop the cane which will slow the flow (the pressure is lowest there and the wort is at or very close to boiling temp.- that's also why 2) it's a good idea to keep the racking cane short). 3) The cane and attached flexible tubing can be sanitized by siphoning the boiling wort into a pyrex measuring cup until it's almost full then raising the cup so the flow reverses. Repeat in direct proportion to how anal you're feeling. >Will flexible food grade plastic tubing stand up to the heat of the >just boiled wort? It depends on the plastic- Norprene tubing is rated for 275 degF and "FDA" silicone tubing is available for even higher temps. Garden variety vinyl ("Tygon") has a max. rating of 160 degF, however, I use it with the current boiler/immersion w/o siphon. It mainly handles post immersion chilled wort but it and the port on the boiler it attachs to are sanitized via the method above. It gets real soft and will kink readily. Before using it with a brew, I passed alot of boiling water through it and tasted/smelled the cooled water to determine if it "plasticized" the water. I noticed no ill-affects on the water, later brewer or me and consider it OK safety-wise. YMMV as mine is starting to considering 3/8" ID Norprene is a reasonable $2.75/ft. at Moving Brews (http://www.movingbrews.com/catalog-tubing.html). c.d. pritchard cdp at chattanooga.net http://hbd.org/cdp/ http://chattanooga.net/~cdp/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 15:44:42 -0600 From: Brian Lundeen <blundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: Kettle volume indicator Oh, happy days. The new mail system is operational, the NetWit blockade has been dismantled, and the HBD has returned to its rightful place in my in-box. My new electric brew kettle arrived from Paddock Wood (who alas is out of the kettle business, likely from the experience of selling one to me) and this necessitated a trip down to Home Despot for a few needed plumbing and electrical supplies. As an aside to this, I have come to the conclusion that the best approach to take in HD is to ask two people exactly the same thing, and go with your gut feeling on the answer you think is correct. You might think you would want to ask a third person, as a tie-breaker, but the prospect of getting a third different answer would likely result in my forcible eviction from the premises. In any case, it's been a learning experience for someone like me who makes Frasier and Niles (in case you saw last night's auto repair class episode) look like absolute bodgers. I can now use words like bushing and ferrule intelligently in conversations (as opposed to just blurting out things like, President Bushing is a ferrule weasel) and armed with the confidence that I can wield a wrench without putting my eye out, have started to think about (dare I say it) modifying my brew kettle lid to accommodate a device for easily reading off the volume of wort in the kettle. As our German friends might say, ein Bierkessel-DatentrEgerstock (if that doesn't bring Alan out of lurking, I dare say nothing will). The device I envision would be a float that sits on the surface of the wort attached to a calibrated stick that protrudes through the lid. Yes, I would need to cut away a portion of the lid to allow adequate venting of steam, but this is a minor concern. Now if you want to reply with comments such as, "Why would you do this, when it would be much simpler to...", that's fine, I am quite open to alternate ideas. But assuming you think this is a workable concept, what suggestions would you have for constructing such a beast out of easily obtainable supplies. Please indicate if your solution will require welding or soldering or use of specialized tools as these ARE all things that would put my eye out, and I would be forced to rely on the kindness of my fellow brew club inhabitants. Cheers, Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 21:29:21 EST From: Eidsonbc at aol.com Subject: Figs and beer (or mead) Wondering if anyone has experience using fresh or partially dried figs in brewing beer or mead. Chris Eidson Birmingham, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 21:51:55 -0500 From: "Eric Ahrendt" <rock67 at peoplepc.com> Subject: Fermenting in a 1/2 barrel Though I don't do this, a friend of mine ferments in a 15.5 gallon Sanke. Someone mentioned that Sabco sells a 1/2 barrel fermenter which has a Corny top welded on. Oscar's solution is much easier. He simply cut a oval shaped hole in the top of the keg (removing the tap connection/dip tube assy) with an angle grinder I think. He sized this hole to fit the removable lid of the Corny. Apparently the curvature is close enough that it seals just fine. He then rigged up some sort of gas outlet using the relief valve. I'm planning on doing this myself as I can fit my skinny ass arm all the way to the bottom of a Corny for cleaning. Hope this helps! Eric Ahrendt Fremont, OH Return to table of contents
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