HOMEBREW Digest #3869 Tue 19 February 2002

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  The worst thing you ever did to a batch... (ProfessorRoe)
  language ... ("Steve Alexander")
  re:Siphoning ("Ralph Davis")
  Diacetyl and the centre of brewing down under. (David Lamotte)
  Pot Cleaning ("Tom Byrnes")
  Boosting A PID TRIAC Output ("Steven Parfitt")
  Chill Box ("Tom Byrnes")
  self-starting or auto-siphon (Marc Sedam)
  stress down under (Alan Meeker)
  re: Siphoning ("Pete Calinski")
  Carbonate vs Bicarbonate ("Frank J. Russo")
  Tips for a non-sanctioned contest... ("Smith,Brian H")
  copper conical fermentor ("Milone, Gilbert")
  Re: Attenuation Issues? (Spencer W Thomas)
  hop substitution - Belgian strong ale ("Roy Strohl")
  Star San Sanitizer (Stephen Johnson)
  visiting Burradoo (Pat Casey)
  New Keg Cleaning (Al Klein)
  Stupid brewer tricks (Al Klein)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 01:13:15 EST From: ProfessorRoe at cs.com Subject: The worst thing you ever did to a batch... A while ago there was a thread about useless equipment. This is in a similar vein. The worst thing I ever did to a batch of beer was to leave a 5 gallon glass carboy full of CAP in secondary for almost two years. It was in a temp. controlled refrigerator, but... It was allowed to hit 80 degrees F plus for a while when the GFI outlet tripped. Then it was frozen to a thick slurry when... I forget why. The airlock ran out of water...lots of times. There was mold growing above the level of the beer on the inside of the neck of the carboy when I siphoned, primed and bottled this unfortunate brew. That was two months ago. The beer is drinkable, I suppose. It is dominated by "green apple" aroma and has a pronounced "Yeast bite." I took the remaining 36 bottles to the airport and gave it to my flying club. Pilots will drink anything, as long as it's free. JR. John Roe Laguna Hills, Ca www.MartialArtsAcademy.org www.sccollege.org/mroe Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 01:26:18 -0500 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: language ... Joel Plutchak writes ... >>> people dump on him not for using "fanciful" >>>language or winespeak, but for the descriptions themselves. >> >>An honest opinion, but I disagree. The comments against Mr.Klein >> encompass >>both bad descriptions but primarily his use of terms in describing beer. > > ... and then goes on to use a single example somebody else >contributed. Interesting debating technique. It only takes one counter-example to destroy your argument (that Klein bashing is ONLY related to the descriptive content). That's not a debating technique just a simple syllogism. If you'd like more examples (I cited 3 in my post, not 1) check the archives and find stuff like ... "He[Klein] is the beer world's answer to Robert Parker,[...] pretentious twaddle in describing [...] bright beams of raspberry and subtle nuances of horse-blanket and cat's pee". That Attack is completely based on the florid language and not the descriptive content. BTW "cat piss" is defined in one of Michael Broadbent's wine books as term relating to sauvignon blanc. Horse-blanket and raspberry are valid in a wine context too. We too should have better terms for describing flavors and aromas that arise in brewing. Of course my post only mentioned Mr.Klein as an example, in an aside. I don't know Klein's work and really don't care about his specific talent or lack thereof. What I do care about is that beer yokels are ridiculing folks for trying t introduce badly needed new descriptive terminology to brewing. If the guys descriptions are wrong or self-contradicting - OK off with his head. But at least lets learn from his attempt to expand the brewing lingo. I also posted an excellent description by Al Korzonas; his book is full of these and I've found no other collection of comparable descriptions for brewing aromas and flavors. Nothing close. Michael Jackson is also capable of launching into full-bore wine-speak. He describes my favorite Scotch, "Palate: Sherry, toffee, coconut, edible seaweed, grass, peat, brine. Very long flavor development. For such a big malt surprisingly gentle. Finish: Coconut, oily, long". You can guffaw and make jokes about the stains from the oily grass, but you are missing out on a subtle and powerful descriptive technique. === > [...] what I do[...] involves syntactic and semantic translation >of protocols and data (metadata, actually) between different >repositories. [...] In order for >people even within a discrete community to be able to communicate >clearly they need a shared language. What some have described as boring and >lifeless language used to describe beer (presumably by >BJCP judges in competition) is as close as we get to having a shared >language. [...] IMprofessionalO. Apparently your expertise does not coverage language theory or you'd realize language evolves to fit needs and we need better brewing and beer descriptions. The same sort of language extensions that apply to wine and whiskey would already be applied to beer by folks like M.Jackson if it would be heard by a receptive audience instead of being thoughtlessly rejected. We do need a shared language for communication - that is certainly true. The point of my post was that current language used to describe beer ingredient is inadequate. We lack vocabulary to describe common everyday brewing (and beer) flavors. It is not a matter of using our current terms better - we have no terms at all to describe common brewing flavors. >Adding in all kinds of descriptors that mean different >things to different people is a step in the wrong direction if we >want to foster clear communication. We will never achieve clear communication until we develop sufficient vocabulary to create descriptions which can distinguishing the clearly distinguishable flavors of beers and brewing ingredients. As a thought experiment imagine an HB friend calls you on the phone and tells you that he is in the middle of a brew session and has two unlabelled hops and he needs your help to distinguish which is which. If he tells you one is Saaz and the other is Centennial - two extremes - then we can probably help him over the phone. If he tells you it's Spalter vs Perle or H.Mittllelfruh vs Hersbrucker the job will be difficult. It's not that these hops are so similar - it's that we lack vocabulary to name the obvious differences without reaching for analogies. We do have a few dozen terms for finished beer flavor/aroma components , and I think that many chemical terms (DMS,diacetyl, acetaldehyde, ...) and ester descriptions and some of the others are pretty useful, which is why I am more concerned with ingredient descriptions. What we lack (unlike wine-lingo) is a means of expressing how these flavors fit together and appear on the palate It's almost as tho' HBers don't recognize the changes in emphasis that take place on the palate over a short time. There are a number of catch-all terms (mouthfeel, phenolic, fusely) that probably should fall into disuse in favor of more specific terms. Yes, adding new terms is a temporary disruption to the status quo - but the status quo isn't so wonderful that I wouldn't enjoy making it part of the distant past.. We do need a common language - but one capable of expressing what we can all clearly taste. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 03:24:10 -0500 From: "Ralph Davis" <rdavis77 at erols.com> Subject: re:Siphoning About siphoning, I just discovered those colored rubber caps for carboys with the 2 openings on top. To siphon into a carboy you merely put a racking cane through the one opening (it fits in air-tight), snap the cap on and give a mighty suck through the other opening in the cap. No contact at all to the beer, and the flow starts immediately. To rack siphon OUT of the carboy you merely reverse the vessels and give a mighty blow into the full carboy--again no contact or contamination of the beer... Works every time--just requires good lungs. To me using these is the most simple and easiest method going.... Ralph W. Davis Leesburg, Virginia [395.2, 121.8] Apparent Rennerian "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -Benjamin Franklin Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 21:47:04 +1100 From: David Lamotte <lamotted at ozemail.com.au> Subject: Diacetyl and the centre of brewing down under. I have been lurking quietly lately, not game to say anything that disagrees with Phil Yates in case he makes me drink any of his 'wedding' beer again. You see, even though Phil claims that he only recently brewed it, and then threw it away when it failed to reach his high standards - it did sound remarkedly similar in character to the beer that Phil always serves me whenever I visit. But, without the horror of THAT brew to restrain me, I can speak up again to fully agree with Phil on the reducing power of the DCL dry yeasts. My recent experience has been with SafAle yeast fermenting a 50 litre batch of 1070 gravity ale down to 1007 in 24 hours ! No this is not a misprint. I attribute this remarkable performance to using an aqequate pitching rate (4 x 11.5 gram packs) and good oxygenation. However the bad thing was that the hyperactivity of the yeast has resulted in the brew fermenting at least 10 degrees C above the 22 degree air temperature. Unfortunately, I cannot verify the presence of any Diacetyl character as the green beer is unapproachable due to the esters and fusel alcohols. Oh well, if it turns out to be undrinkable, I can always give it to my mate, Steve Taylor, to power his diesel Landcruiser with. At least it already smells the part. Now there is something else that I can agree with Phil on. The Oz Brewing Centre is definately in Bowral (a close suburb of Barradoo), and this is definately due to the influence of Wes Smith. From this Epicentre, Wes's influence has propagated to embrace the east coast from Canberra to as far north as Newcastle. Outside these lines, it is fiercely Kit 'n Kilo country. Now I know that there have been claims that the origin of the brewing map should be centred a lot further north. These claims are understandable when you consider that a Gold Fish also considers itself the highest form of life within the confines of its bowl - much to its error. And from what I hear about the tropical Queensland weather lately, the GoldFish's environment is just about as humid! Have fun, David Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 08:54:20 -0500 From: "Tom Byrnes" <kmstfb2 at exis.net> Subject: Pot Cleaning Thanks for all of the suggestions for cleaning my stainless pot. The soak in vinegar and water really did the trick and now my pot looks like new. Happy7 brewing Tom Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 09:00:32 -0500 From: "Steven Parfitt" <the_gimp98 at hotmail.com> Subject: Boosting A PID TRIAC Output I have hestiated to wade into this as what follows requires proper wiring and handling of high voltage and current capible of causing injuyr and death. Since we are presumably adults here I am posting this with the appropriate warning: If you are not familiar with proper procedures for working with line power, do not do this. Get someone with proper training to help you. Another way to use the PID controller, is to simply add another power triac on the appropriate heat sink to increase the power handling capacity. The heat sink and triac sould be isolated from exposure to water, human contact, etc. Simply take the two output lines from the triac output of the SSR, and conect a large triac to do the main power control. Place a 100 ohm 2W resistor from one output to the A2 terminal of the Boost Triac. From here, connect the A2 terminal to the line. Connect the other output of the SSR to the Gate of the Boost triac. Connect the A1 terminal of the Boost triac to the load. Connect the other side of the load to the return. Bad ascii graphics to follow: 100 Ohm 2W resistor - ---------/\/\/\/\/\/\---------+------------------------- | Line >From -------- PID \ / \ MONDO Power ------- TRIAC / | On Heat Sink - -------------------------+ | +-------/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/------ Load Return I can provide a pix, or word document with schematic for anyone who needs it. Steven Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 09:03:26 -0500 From: "Tom Byrnes" <kmstfb2 at exis.net> Subject: Chill Box I am looking for a way to temperature control my ales and maybe delve into a lager or two. Having wife problems with a second refrigerator. I saw this ice powered chill box on the net that could be taken down between brewing session. I am looking for feedback on this unit from users. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this kit and unit? Does it really hold temperature? What ranges have you gotten? Is this really a low cost alternative for the long term? Any other ideas. Thanks Tom Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 10:21:39 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: self-starting or auto-siphon The only warning to be made regarding these siphons is that they do not hold up well AT ALL to elevated temperatures. Anything beyond the temperature of cool wort may be stretching it, literally and figuratively. I watched mine melt rather quickly in mash-temp wort. Never bought another one because I know I'm too stupid to use it only in cool wort. Worked great when used properly, though. I'm from the land of mouth-induced siphoning. Sterile? No. Works? Yes. I suppose I *could* gargle with StarSan... Cheers! Marc - -- Marc Sedam Associate Director Office of Technology Development The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 308 Bynum Hall; CB# 4105 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4105 919.966.3929 (phone) 919.962.0646 (fax) OTD site : http://www.research.unc.edu/otd Monthly Seminar Info: http://www.research.unc.edu/otd/seminar/ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 10:25:34 -0500 From: Alan Meeker <ameeker at mail.jhmi.edu> Subject: stress down under Phil points out what would appear to be the easiest solution to his Coriolus diacetyl woes, namely inverting the carboy - Bad Idea, assuming this is a glass carboy manufactured in the Southern hemisphere. If so, then the spin glass lattice that set up during the annealing phase of the cooling process is specifically oriented for use down South. If you start running in the inverted configuration you run a high risk of shear-stress fractures! I still think that some sort of wind-powered turntable provides the best, most eco-friendly, solution to your problem. -Alan Meeker Lat: 39-10-31.300N Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 11:05:34 -0500 From: "Pete Calinski" <pjcalinski at adelphia.net> Subject: re: Siphoning I have to say that I siphon but I don't suck (at least as far as siphoning is concerned). I just: (a)fill the tube with liquid (b)put my thumb on the output end (c)put the input end in the source liquid (d)lower the output end below the input end and aim it at the destination pot (e)remove my thumb. Easier to do then describe. Now, I'm not worried about nasties in my chlorinated city water so I fill the tube with tap water. If you are concerned about using tap water, you can fill the tube with the liquid you are siphoning. (1)With nothing blocking the output end of the tube, put the input end in the liquid (2)slowly submerge the tube into the liquid making sure no air pockets form in the tube. The liquid in the tube should always be a little above the outside level. Remember high school science, liquids rise in a narrow container. (3)when the tube is a full as you can get it, put you thumb on the output In step 3, you don't have to fill the whole tube. Just enough so that, when you remove your thumb in step "e", the amount of liquid from the highest point of the tube to the output end exceeds the amount from the highest point to the input end. Works every time. Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY *********************************************************** *My goal: * Go through life and never drink the same beer twice. * (As long as it doesn't mean I have to skip a beer.) *********************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 11:29:36 -0500 From: "Frank J. Russo" <fjrusso at coastalnet.com> Subject: Carbonate vs Bicarbonate My home water tends to give me mashes with a PH below 5. (4.6-4.8). Recent water analysis showed carbonate level 0 and Bicarbonate level 209 ppm What does this mean for me? What do I do with the bicarbonate #? My water calculator does not contain input for bicarb. Do I treat it as though it were a carbonate? Frank Russo ATF Home Brew Club New Bern NC Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 11:43:10 -0600 From: "Smith,Brian H" <bhsmith at bogmil.gylrd.com> Subject: Tips for a non-sanctioned contest... Bob Hall asked: ...would like the input from others who may have organized a small, informal competition/exhibition ..... all tips and advice welcomed. Thanks in advance. Bob Hall, Napoleon, OH Bob, When I lived in Lake Charles, LA, I organized a beer tasting for the Little Theater. As part of this we had a homebrew contest. This was judged as a "People's Choice" affair. The Homebrewers brought the beer(s) they wanted to enter and the entry fee was the cost of admission to the tasting. The other participants would have a opportunity to taste their wares and vote for the one they thought was best. In the 6 years we did it this way, we had no complaints. Brian Smith Big Ring Brewery and Winery Bogalusa, La Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 13:41:03 -0500 From: "Milone, Gilbert" <gilbert.milone at uconn.edu> Subject: copper conical fermentor In my dreams of the ultimate brew system I was loooking into making a conical fermentor. I saw a copper one online at hbd.org and I wonder if that will lead to off flavors in the beer? Will the copper oxidize and be useless in a few years? -Gil milone Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 13:46:49 -0500 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Attenuation Issues? Paul asks "is my beer finished?" A forced fermentation test will help you decide what to do. It is entirely possible that 1.018 (70% attenuation) is the end of your fermentation. But to be sure: Take a sample of your beer into a sterile (well, sanitized, anyway) jar. Cover the jar with (sanitized) foil. Put the jar into a warm (80F is good) spot (above the fridge often works well for this). Leave it for a couple of days. Sniff and sample to make sure it didn't get infected. Measure the gravity. If it's no more than 2 points below 1018 then your fermentation is "finished." If it's dropped more than that, you may want to do something to get it to ferment further. =Spencer Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 14:29:13 -0500 From: "Roy Strohl" <lstrohl at mwc.edu> Subject: hop substitution - Belgian strong ale I have been unable to locate the plug or whole Styrian Goldings that I had planned to use in a (18D.) Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I would appreciate recommendations from anyone with experience in brewing this style. Thanks in advance. Roy Strohl Fredericksburg, VA (696.3 127.4 Rennerian) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 13:45:26 -0600 From: Stephen Johnson <Stephen.Johnson at vanderbilt.edu> Subject: Star San Sanitizer Nearly two months ago I asked whether anyone had any information of, or experience with the long-term storageability of 5 Star's phosphoric acid based sanitizer, Star San. In particular, I was concerned about it's possible reactivity to copper, as that is my final rinse step prior to storing my copper counterflow chiller. It was suggested by someone on the HomeBrew Digest that I aquire some pH strips and test the strength of the solution exposed to air for long periods of time. Well, I left approximately 2 cups of Star San solution (mixed according to the directions to provide a solution with a pH of 3) in a Pyrex 2 cup measuring cup and left it OPEN in my brewery for 8 weeks. Nearly half of the solution has evaporated during that time. I took weekly "readings" by dipping the end of a pH strip into the solution. The strips are calibrated by a range of colors, and provide a test for pH ranging from 2 to 12. Results: after 8 weeks, the solution still indicates a pH of 3 or less (my last reading may even have indicated a pH of 2). Although it is somewhat difficult to make a highly calibrated determination, I feel very confident in stating that the solution still provides the level of sanitation that the 5 Star people say if provides when first mixed according to directions. I still haven't heard from anyone as to whether this is a problem for copper reacting to the acid solution. Steve Johnson, President Music City Brewers Nashville, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 12:32:55 +1100 From: Pat Casey <patcasey at iprimus.com.au> Subject: visiting Burradoo Ray Kruse wrote about visiting Burradoo, "I must confess that I'd thought of a "Return to Burradoo", but having avoiding the Postal Authorities the first time, I'm hesitant to retry my luck" Did Ray post himself to Burradoo in a cardboard box? Pat Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 23:59:11 -0500 From: Al Klein <rukbat at optonline.net> Subject: New Keg Cleaning On Mon, 18 Feb 2002 00:10:06 -0500, in rec.crafts.brewing you wrote: >Brian M Dotlich asked: >I just got a brand new Corny keg and the inside of the keg smells rubbery >and oily. I am wondering what would be a suitable cleaning for a new Corny. >I was thinking maybe a nice long soak in hot PBW would do the trick, but I >didn't know if that would remove any oils from the manufacturing process. PBW (or OxyClean, which I'm suspecting more and more is the same stuff) will clean any oils or greases, almost on contact. The "long" soak probably needs to be all of 10 minutes. It definitely won't hurt the keg, so all you can lose is a few cents' worth of PBW. Shake well and let it sit for 5 minutes, then turn it over, shake well and let it sit for 5 minutes. Or you can let it sit overnight - there's no chlorine in PBW. - --- [Apparent Rennerian 567.7, 95.9] Al - rukbat at optonline dot net Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 23:59:17 -0500 From: Al Klein <rukbat at optonline.net> Subject: Stupid brewer tricks On Mon, 18 Feb 2002 00:10:06 -0500, in rec.crafts.brewing you wrote: >Gene said: >Take a look at www.simplesiphon.com. The only >thing missing is a device to filter out trub/yeast. Perhaps some of the >great minds of the HBD could invent one and sell it to the rest of us. Try a SS or copper "scrubbie". I'll sell you some for $10 each. :) Or you can get them in the supermarket for pennies. (I found a card of 12 small [large enough for the purpose] SS ones in a 99 cent store for 99 cents.) - --- [Apparent Rennerian 567.7, 95.9] Al - rukbat at optonline dot net Return to table of contents
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