HOMEBREW Digest #3870 Wed 20 February 2002

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  Siphon challenged ("Eric R. Lande")
  yet another pid answer ("Robert Humphrey")
  Re: Chill Box (Sherfey)
  Re: Siphoning (Steven S)
  language ("Joseph Marsh")
  Weissbier Yeasts (Rick)
  Ranco controller for boil; 1 gal "keg" ("Drew Avis")
  Re: Siphoning ("Jerry Sadowski")
  RE: Klein (Brian Lundeen)
  Thanks / Safale (Tony Barnsley)
  Re: Chill Box (alastair)
  re: Chill Box (Mark Lazzaretto)
  RE: Bottle Question ("Kristen Chester")
  Re: Chemical "Grades" ("Hall, Kevin")
  Re: Beer terminology (Denny Conn)
  Coriolus Diacetyl and stress down under (Beaverplt)
  Beer Language ("Phil Yates")
  action of campden tabs on chloramines ("Sedam, Marc")
  Odd Hop flavour? Santiam? ("John Fraser")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 01:01:48 -0500 From: "Eric R. Lande" <landeservices at juno.com> Subject: Siphon challenged In responding to Kevin Elsken's post on siphoning, Bob McDonald asks about other ideas for siphoning. First of all, Bob, I think this discussion should be on the Gadgeteers Digest. Lord knows it could use the activity. Anyway, back to siphoning. If I'm "challenged" at something I don't do it. I've given up on siphoning. I got a carboy cap and racking cane and use my CO2 bottle to push the beer to be racked up the racking cane and into the new carboy or keg. If you start off with the exit carboy above the recipient, after you start the flow it will act like a siphon in spite of itself. I do still siphon out of the kettle, but that will change when I add a drain. Hope that helps. Eric Lande Doylestown, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 05:25:41 -0600 From: "Robert Humphrey" <romeohotel at ev1.net> Subject: yet another pid answer If your controller can only handle 1 Amp, the simplest solution is to usea small mechanical contact relay, sometimes called an ice cube relay. There are several advantages to using one: they normally have 2 sets of contact which can be used in parallel to split the load, ( 10 amps per set + 20 amps), also, they plug into a base, so when the time comes to replace it you just plug in another one, no rewiring (All relays eventually go bad, even ssr's), lastly it can be controlled by your controller without any extra power supply or rewiring. There is one thing nobody has mentioned which may be a problem in any case, if you are really going to be pulling 20 amps you may have a problem finding an outlet that will handle it. Most houses use 15 amp cicuit breakers for most outlets. You may have to check your breaker box in your house to see if you have an outlet that will handle 20 amps. If you need further information, email me. Robert Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 07:03:29 -0500 From: Sherfey <sherf at warwick.net> Subject: Re: Chill Box Tom Byrnes asks about... I presume Tom is asking about the Son of Fermentation chiller I made one of these three or four years ago and have used it for nearly every beer I have made since then. I find that it can do everything from lagering in the summertime to fermenting Belgians at higher temps in the winter. Right now I have a Saison going at 76F and it is 50 in the basement. Just use ice bottles for chilling and hot water bottles for warming, and a temp controller that can do both. I use a Ranco controller that is available from several homebrew suppliers. I made mine big enough to hold two 7 gallon carboys and I made a plywood top that holds an 18 gallon SS sink I use for large open fermentations. Since you can get refrigerators for free, and controllers for less than $100 this may not be the most "cost-effective" route - that you will need to decide for yourself. There are limitations; 1) It can get tricky when the ambient temperature varies around the desired chiller temperature. The device operates best (most conveniently) when there is a consistent difference between ambient and fermentation temp. A temperature controlled refrigerator will experience the same problems. 2) Somebody needs to be there to change out the ice or hot water bottles when they lose temp. This can be a problem when you go away on business trips, but SWMBO's job description can be re-written and training provided to include this on the list of responsibilities. Extended family trips would be a problem. 3) Don't put it on a carpet you care about because it can sweat and leak. Maybe the kits don't do this.... For those who don't know what this thing is, search Google for "son of fermentation" to get to the website. In short, I recommend it. Hope this helps! David Sherfey Warwick, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 08:25:07 -0500 (EST) From: Steven S <steven at 403forbidden.net> Subject: Re: Siphoning Any oral siphon technique can contaminate your brew. The chances are slight with fermented wort but unfermented you are pushing it. FYI: a great source of "wild" yeast is the human mouth not to mention bacteria/germs/virii/god-knows-what. I bought a siphon starter, also called a autosiphon. pictured here: http://www.stpats.com/images/autosiphon.jpg Its a racking cane inside a larger plastic tube. A seal at the end of the racking cane forms a simple pump and a nice large protective at the cup keeps the hops/trub/yeast out of the assembly. No effort here at all, a quick pump or two and gravity takes over. Steven St.Laurent ::: steven at 403forbidden.net ::: 403forbidden.net [580.2, 181.4] Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 09:38:31 -0500 From: "Joseph Marsh" <josephmarsh62 at hotmail.com> Subject: language I guess I'll wade in on this too. I agree that a shared language of beer flavors and aromas is needed and I've seen score cards that don't tell you anything about the judges perception of your brew. The numbers with no comments are not really informative. OTOH overly florid language can be just as useless when it obscures the objective. Something to keep in mind when sampling is what went before. For instance, I was at an informal tasting of random beers last friday. We went from a Bells batch 4000 to a strong scots homebrew. The the Bells was salty with a lot of smoke and going to the scots right after we tasted a cider componant. Not bad but not appropreate to style. A little later after flushing out the taste of the Bells we went back to the strong scots and it had no cider flavor at all. More of a port wine note. The point is that we discussed the beers to arrive at common terms for the shared perception. Happy brewing Joe Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 06:48:57 -0800 (PST) From: Rick <ale_brewer at yahoo.com> Subject: Weissbier Yeasts First off, thanks to everyone for their help on the EasyMasher & FWH question I had a few weeks ago. I've got 10g of FWH'd Alt bubbling away in the fermenter. This time I have a question about Weizen yeasts. I plan to brew a lot of Weissbier this summer and have been using BrewTek's CL-920 yeast with good results except that I get too much attenuation (an apparent attentuation of 85.9%), leaving me with final gravities around 1.007-1.008. This has happened with both decoction and infusion mashed beers using different rest temps, so I'm tempted to rule out the mashing process. Has anyone else seen similar results with this yeast? I'm thinking of moving to another yeast, one with a good robust weizen character. Can any other Weizen lover suggest their favorite yeast? YKCO, White, Wyeast, YeastLab (do they still exist)? Has anyone used Wyeast #3638? It appears to have the characteristics I'm looking for. Rick Seibt Mentor, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 09:54:43 -0500 From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: Ranco controller for boil; 1 gal "keg" Greetings Brewers, two weird questions for today: 1) Inspired by Tony Verhlust's HERMS system (http://www.world.std.com/~verhulst/RIMS/rims.htm), I'm considering using a Ranco digital controller for the HLT/Kettle on a system I'm building. Dialing the temp for the mash-in and sparge water seems simple. What I'm wondering is how the Ranco would handle boiling temps. That is, is the temperature differential between a too-vigorous or boil-over boil and a normal, steady boil enough that the controller could maintain the steady boil? Has anyone tried this? 2) At a local scrapyard I found 1 gallon "corny" canisters - they are thick SS, have a single liquid out ball-lock fitting and a small gas in (not a fitting I've seen before, but it's threaded so could be adapted to something else). They appear to have been used for dispensing syrup - I picked up the chocolate one because it smelled the best. They're rated to 45 psi, which is well above the pressure I'd use them at, but well below the 130 psi most cornies are rated at. I was thinking it would make a very nice "cask" if I could fit a simple hand pump on the gas in, and maintained a lower pressure (like 10 psi) for carbonation. So what do y'all think, can I use this sucker for beer? $20 / ea seemed like a good price (and that's in Loonies). Drew Avis, Merrickville, Ontario ~ http://www.strangebrew.ca Happiness is not a circus clown rolling around in a big tractor tire so that his arms and legs form "spokes." Happiness is when he stops. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 09:17:37 -0600 From: "Jerry Sadowski" <jsadow1 at msn.com> Subject: Re: Siphoning Ralph Davis writes; >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. Homebrewers with a CO2 systems have taken this idea and improved upon it (isn't that the nature of HBers?). Instead of blowing or sucking on the other end, use CO2 to push the beer out of the carboy either into a secondary carboy or a keg. The CO2 assures no oxidation takes place. Just insert a 1/4" barb x flare fitting into the smaller teet (outside) and secure with a hose clamp. Hook up your CO2 line to the flare fitting. Or insert a barb adapter and a 1/4" flare coupling. Jerry Sadowski Crete, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 09:56:34 -0600 From: Brian Lundeen <blundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: RE: Klein Steve Alexander writes: > 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. Steve, in his kindness, has spared me the embarrassment of hypocrisy by not pointing out the above passage was written by the same person now defending Mr Klein, or at least his choice of language. I figure it's only a matter of time before someone outs me, so I had better confess and put my best politician's spin on my apparent flip-flop. When this topic started out, I did not expect this to turn into the serious discussion of terminology that it did, and my answer, to be blunt, was a bit flip and tongue in cheek. I was more or less taking a cheap shot at the "winies" through Klein. The fact is, I do not much care for Robert Parker or the Wine Spectator, although for reasons other than their descriptive terminology. Indeed, horse-blanket and cat's-pee are valid descriptors, and do a very good job of "putting the reader in the taster's nose", so to speak. I find Klein to be entertaining, and so far, nobody has demonstrated to my satisfaction that his choice of descriptors is inaccurate. One thing we learn in wine tasting, is that perception of tastes and aromas, and the analogies we use to describe them, are a very personal, subjective experience, and might not have any meaning to someone else. That does not make them wrong or invalid, it simply reflects one of the truths about communication. We are all very different people, with different experiences, and we muddle along as best we can given that limiting framework. This vilification of Klein is misguided, IMO. If in his own way, he gets people to expand their beer horizons, he has only done the beer culture good. As for Pat's comment about whether Klein ever finds a bad beer, I'm sure he does, although one would have to wonder what such a beer would taste like when he can find something good to say about Molson .5 non-alcoholic. Although, in fairness, I have never tasted M.5 so my negativity is based solely on unfounded assumptions. In any case, why would he put a bad beer in his calendar? I do not see his calendar as being an impartial review of all beers, simply a suggested drinking list. He's saying, here's 365 beers you've probably never heard of, why not hunt them down and give them a try? Nothing wrong with that. Cheers Brian Lundeen Having my world enriched daily by Bob Klein at [314,829] aka Winnipeg Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 16:20:35 -0000 From: Tony Barnsley <tony.barnsley at blackpool.gov.uk> Subject: Thanks / Safale Hi Oh great brewing collective :> Thanks to all those that pointed me to Ken's site, the information was duly passed along. I'd also like to thank AJ, and John Palmer for help explaining the different alkalinity conversion factors (even though my head still hurts!!! ;-> ) As a matter of reciprocating for the assistance I'd like to offer some (very unscientific oops!) observations about the performance of Safale, particularly in light of the comments from a couple of antipodean brewers. (These are really the collected comments from a number of contributors to the UK Homebrew List, myself included) S23 Works very quickly, and usually drops like a stone forming a very compact sediment. At warmer temperatures it really shifts, often as David has pointed out fermenting an entire batch in 24 hours. During the fermentation some wonderful fruity esters are produced. These are very controlled at the lower end of the temperature range, but at the warmer ). Like Phil, we have had a report of massive diacetyl production. IIRC the term used was "liquid butter" :> Again this was at the upper end of the fermentation range. I have always fermented Safale at 18C (AWT - Actual Wort Temp), it tends to stop working at 16C. Unfortunately the wonderful esters do not appear to carry over into the finished beer, if they did it would make a fantastic yeast for an ESB. People have also reported that it 'finishes high', which we on the UK Homebrew list have put down to a low initial wort oxygen concentration. With adequate aeration then its is more than capable of fully fermenting any wort. David suggests that he pitched a lot of yeast (4 by 11.5g packets), now this may be misleading. Ray Daniels states in 'Designing Great Beers' that he counted 20 Billion Cells per gram of dry yeast, we have information (direct from DCL) that the cell count for their brewing products is 10 Billion Cells per gram. I have found that it doesn't like high sulphate levels, particularly in combination with certain hops (Target springs to mind), producing an unpalatable (to me) bitterness. - -- Wassail! The Scurrilous Aleman (ICQ 46254361) Schwarzbad Lager Brauerei, Blackpool, Lancs, UK Rennerian Coordinates (I'm Not Lost! I'm A Man, I don't ask for directions) UK HOMEBREW - A Forum on Home Brewing in the UK Managed by home brewers for home brewers This message has been scanned by F-Secure Anti-Virus for Microsoft Exchange as part of the Council's e-mail and internet policy. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 08:30:47 -0800 (PST) From: alastair <alastair at odin.he.net> Subject: Re: Chill Box Tom Byrnes wrote regarding "Chill Boxes": I bought one of these during the summer to ferment ale. When it arrived, I unpacked it and my wife said "where is it?". I then had to explain that the styrofoam that arrived wasn't packing material, but the actual product. At $100, your wife may also be unimpressed, so you could just get the contoller and buy some foam panels from a hardware store (assembly instructions are available seperately). The chiller does work well, but you have to be carefull. If you try and force cool something, it will struggle and eat up a lot of ice. You have to make sure that what you put in there is pretty much chilled to the desired temperature before you start. The chiller will maintain a temperature of about 10 degrees below ambient. My basement is about 70 in the summer, so I can do ales down to 60. In the winter, the basement drops to 56, so I can get down to 46 and cover the whole lager range. It needs a couple of frozen two litre soda bottles which last 24-48 hours depending on fermentaion rate/temperature differential. I also use a vase filled with water and ice cubes which works just as well (if you have an ice maker in your existing freezer, this saves on keeping soda bottles frozen). After saying all that, I haven't used it in a couple of months since a friend gave me an old freezer. It's a good backup and gives me an excuse to brew even more :) Cheers, Alastair Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 08:34:32 -0800 (PST) From: Mark Lazzaretto <lazyz28 at yahoo.com> Subject: re: Chill Box I purchased a Coleman cooler that was large enough to fit my fermenter (7 gallon bucket, 6.5 gallon carboy) with the airlock on top (I took my bucket to the local sporting goods store with me). I stood the cooler on glued two 2" pieces of ABS pipe, 6" long onto the holes with caulk. The holes are near the top and bottom of the cooler when it is standing on end. I did the same thing to my beer refrigerator, drilling the holes at levels to correspond to the holes in the cooler. I then connected the ABS pipes together with flexible hose (I used 2" hose designed for sump pump systems) and the rubber sleeves with hose clamps. I mounted a computer fan on the inside of my refrigerator, covering the top hole from the inside. I ran the wiring through the ABS pipe setup to the inside of the Coleman cooler and connected it to an AC/Heater thermostat that I mounted inside the cooler. I hooked an AC adapter in circuit to the system. It sounds much more complicated than it really is. I set the temp on the thermostat. When the temp gets too hot in the cooler, the fan kicks on and blows cool air from the refrigerator into the cooler. The other line returns the warm air into the refrigerator from the cooler. I think I used the wiring schematic from Ken Schwartz's website for wiring the fan/thermostat/AC adaptor. I've used this setup for about 3 years and have had great luck. In the summer, my garage gets over 90 deg, but the cooler has no trouble keeping temps in the cooler down to ale fermenting temps. I keep my lager brewing to the cooler months, but I suppose I could still do one in the summer and not have a problem. The bonus to this system is the small footprint in my garage and the fact that I can easily unhook the pipes, cover them with a cap, and put the cooler away when I'm not using it. Email me with any questions. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 11:35:23 -0500 From: "Kristen Chester" <kristen at cambridge.com> Subject: RE: Bottle Question Joe Screnock wrote, regarding a "Bottle Question" >Before I do that, I'd rather find another cheap supplier of flip-top >bottles that is closer to home. In addition, I have a few bottles already >(Grolsch makes good birthday-christmas-valentine's presents) but >no good case to put them in. I just squeeze 'em in with my regular How does a free supplier sound to you, Joe? I've had great luck over the years simply finding a restaurant that carries these beers on their menu. I have an aversion to green bottles, so I tend to prefer the brown Fischer d'Alsace bottles. They are also a bit larger than Grolsch (at 24 oz.) which is convenient for bottling. I've found that restaurants are usually glad to save the empties for you, if you are willing to pick them up on a regular basis. (As a gesture of goodwill, I'll also have one or two at the bar when I pick the bottles up.) You might even be able to sweet talk them into saving the case boxes for you too. According to their website: http://www.fischerbeverages.com/distributors/illinois.html Fischer only has two distributors in you state. Call the one nearest you and ask whether there are any restaurants in your area that carry the beer. Hope this helps! Kristen Chester Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 11:45:45 -0500 From: "Hall, Kevin" <Kevin_Hall at bausch.com> Subject: Re: Chemical "Grades" Mark at mohrstrom at humphrey-products.com wrote: <<AJ mentions suitable chemical grades for brewing. Can anyone point me toward a description of the various chemical grades? I know that "USP" is fine for consumption (at least for those things intended for consumption), but how do "reagent", "laboratory", "industrial", and "toxic waste" grades rank?>> Chemical grades for use in making food or pharmaceutical products is broken down into a couple of categories. The highest is referred to as USP for United States Pharmacopoeia, or NF which stands for National Formulary; this is also maintained by the USP. This document and guidance body sets standards for all sorts of things relating to the manufacture of drug and medical device products. Chemicals referred to as USP or NF must maintain certain manufacturing controls, as well as levels of purity and/or impurity (as in only certain other chemical or microbiological items may also be there); that is so that when the chemical is used it should not adversely effect the final drug product. FCC (Food and Confections Compendium) is typically food grade, suitable for use in foods, candy, confections, nutritional supplements, or other human consumption products. One may also use USP in place of FCC, but it certainly is more expensive due to the significant manufacturing control requirements of drug type ingredients. From a strict purity standpoint, there is little distinction between these grades. Reagent grade is probably not less pure, in fact may be of greater overall purity, but there may be some reason that it is not suitable (generally speaking) for use in food or drugs. I would also include any chemical that may be referred to as CAS. They may contain small portions of objectionable compounds, such as benzene or toluene, etc. I would steer clear of reagent grade when looking to add anything that may end up in the wort. Reagent grade may be suitable as a non-content application such as cleaning, etc. When selecting any chemicals for use directly in brewing, choose USP, NF, or FCC. Price may end up being your final arbiter. I hope that someone finds this insightful. Cheers, Kevin EMAIL DISCLAIMER Please Note: The information contained in this message may be privileged and confidential, protected from disclosure, and/or intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, distribution, copying or other dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you received this communication in error, please immediately reply to the sender, delete the message and destroy all copies of it. Thank You Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 09:00:41 -0800 From: Denny Conn <denny at projectoneaudio.com> Subject: Re: Beer terminology To paraphrase somebody or other... "Writing about beer is like dancing about architecture" Just drink it... Denny Conn Eugene OR Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 12:28:47 -0800 (PST) From: Beaverplt <beaverplt at yahoo.com> Subject: Coriolus Diacetyl and stress down under After reading some of Alan Meeker's posts recently, I have definitely determined that I want to brew some of what he's been drinking lately. I wonder what he could do with a Framix Cohigulator. (Wired with 240 volts on the other side of the international date line naturally) ===== Jerry "Beaver" Pelt That's my story and I'm sticking to it Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 10:11:13 +1100 From: "Phil Yates" <yates at acenet.com.au> Subject: Beer Language Pat Casey asks: >Did Ray post himself to Burradoo in a cardboard box? No Pat, what Ray posted to Burradoo in a cardboard box was a vile smelling bottle of skunk oil which made itself known to all, long before it reached Burradoo. Ray did his best with the packaging but the odour was impossible to contain. That's why Ray is hiding from the postal authorities. All this came about because a couple of years ago I commented in here that the description of light struck beer as skunky, meant little to an Aussie who had never seen or smelt a skunk. Now I see Steve Alexander championing the cause for a better beer language. Well it's about time he finally got on to this. But I think we are going to have a bit to wade through. Steve says his mate Mick Broadbent considers cat piss as sauvignon blanc. Perhaps I should send a bottle of Oz cat piss to both Steve and Mick. Either they have very weird taste descriptions, just very weird taste preferences, or I am about to make my fortune exporting Oz cat piss to the States as sauvignon blanc! Maybe I should not have tipped my True Love Ale down the sink after all. I could have sent it to Mick Broadbent for appraisal and hopefully have received a glowing write up. Steve comments: >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. Well do we? The fact is that no one controls the evolution of language nor are they ever likely to. So just who is going to be deciding which descriptions are and are not acceptable? Perhaps Steve is just expressing his frustration with our inability to communicate with each other. I don't think it is a matter of needing a new vocabulary. Whatever you invented would soon be distorted anyway. If Steve is frustrated with communication problems, hell he ought to come on down here and try talking to my wife. The last time I told her the dinner tasted like cat's piss, she didn't see the humour in it at all! Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 20:01:24 -0500 From: "Sedam, Marc" <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: action of campden tabs on chloramines I searched the archives and found AJ's original post on the effect of campden tablets in reducing chloramines in water. The ratio was one tablet to 20 gallons. My question: Is the action instantaneous? How long does it take? Should I shake the carboy even if I dissolve the tablet in a few cups of water first? I'm brewing tomorrow (Wednesday) and would love an answer. Direct email is OK. Cheers! Marc Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 20:56:17 -0500 From: "John Fraser" <rims_brewing at hotmail.com> Subject: Odd Hop flavour? Santiam? I recently brewed an American Red Ale, see = http://rims-brewing.tripod.com/rims_brewing_recipe1.htm Anyway, after three days of fermenting, I pulled a sample to measure the = S.G. and noted that there was a very odd taste, kind of like wet cedar = almost, its really hard to describe to be honest. I am on the point of = liking the taste, but am not 100% sure! Anyway, there are 2oz of Santiam as the aroma hop. I have never brewed = with this hop before. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should = be looking for taste wise in this hop? John http://rims-brewing.tripod.com Return to table of contents
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