HOMEBREW Digest #4710 Fri 28 January 2005

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  RE: CFC cleaning summary ("Martin Brungard")
  Re: Water Softener (Jeff Renner)
  Water softeners ("A. J. delange")
  Wyeast 1007 (leavitdg)
  re: Beer in SoCal ("Chad Stevens")
  Dr. Michael Lewis on NPR, Bud VS. Miller (Philip J Wilcox)
  teel mag pumps ("dave holt")
  teel mag pumps ("dave holt")
  Phoenix/Scottsdale brewpubs ("Marc Sedam")
  residual sugar and glucometers ("Dave Burley")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 04:51:18 -0900 From: "Martin Brungard" <mabrungard at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: CFC cleaning summary The Gimp got it right regarding the use of Star-San. I really like that sanatizer, but there are right and wrong ways to use it. The Star-San website specifically says to avoid using this sanitizer on 'soft metals'. Copper is a soft metal. Unfortunately, I do have personal experience with storing a copper CFC filled with Star-San. I was appalled when I emptied my CFC and found visable evidence of metal erosion. The solution even had a tinge of blue in it. That's when I figured I should check the manufacturer's website. I wish I had done so earlier. I'm not sure what the proper storage should be, filled or empty, but I can definitely say that Star-San or any other acid-based cleaner or sanitizer should not be left in or on copper equipment. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 09:45:30 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Water Softener "Noah A. Bolmer" <noah at ocztechnology.com> writes from San Jose, California: >I don't know whether the outside hose water bypasses the softener or >not- any easy >way to check? Almost certainly the outside tap is not softened water. It would be very wasteful of salt to water your plants with softened water, and the sodium level in softened water would not do them any good. An easy way to check is to try lathering with soap. Try it inside with soft water, then do it again with the outside tap. You will find that softened water lathers much better and it is hard to rinse off all the slippery soap. With hard water, the slipperiness disappears quickly. You aren't actually rinsing off nearly as much soap, it just converts to insoluble calcium and magnesium soap, which is what makes bathtub ring. When doing this, be sure to use real soap like Ivory or Irish Spring or the like, not a synthetic detergent bar like Zest. A synthetic detergent works well in hard water, which is the whole reason for using it. >I have a fishtank and a hardness test, but I have no idea what that >would tell me in terms of >this situation. That would work, too. Hardness is typically measured in grains of hardness. Each grain of hardness is equivalent to 17.1 ppm of calcium hardness measured as calcium carbonate. What you really need to know is the actual ppm (or mg/l, same thing) of the major ions that are important in brewing and the total alkalinity. See a good brewing text such as John Palmer's How to brew, available online at http://www.howtobrew.com/ or in print at your HB shop. See especially http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15.html. Needless to say, you shouldn't brew with softened water. All of the important calcium ions have been removed and replaced with twice as many sodium ions, which aren't useful in brewing and can be a problem. You can find out what is in your water from your local municipal water authority. A quick google turns up yours: http://www.sjmuniwater.com/waterqualityreport.htm >Also, I have a reverse osmosis 2 stage system in the sink. Would I >be better off using that water and adjusting the chemistry every >time I brew beer? Seems that R/O filters could get expensive (I plan >on 10 gallon batches). That is an option, but, depending on your municipal water, you should be able to brew most styles by using it as is or by adding calcium chloride or gypsum (calcium sulfate) and/or pre-boiling it and decanting. R.O. water can be used to dilute your water if some ions are too high. >As an aside, anyone know how to operate an older water softener? >Basicially the only thing you can set is the >hardness which ranges from 1 to like 100 or something. You also set the >cycle time (time of day, not length of the >cycle). The previous owner had it set on 8, and the unit is filled with >what looks and smells like salt, tho it's clumped >together oddly. There is no manual, and no manual to be downloaded >online. I live in San Jose, CA but I'm not sure >what the local water chemistry is like. Your landlord ought to be able to help. He has some responsibility. The water authority can tell you how many grains of hardness your water has (or you can figure it out by dividing the ppm by 17.1) That's the number that you set on the softener. Presumably, the local water has 8 grains of hardness. Softener salt comes in different forms. I use salt that is large pellets about the size of the last digit of my pinky. Maybe that's what you're seeing. Good luck with the new brewery. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 15:43:49 +0100 From: "A. J. delange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Water softeners The typical home water softener is considered disastrous for brewing because it removes hardness (=good) without touching alkalinity (=bad) while introducing a fair amount of sodium (depending on how hard your water was to start with). One way to see if the outside hose bib goes through the softener or not is to trace the piping. Another is to use the fish tank hardness tester on the water from the bib and the water from a tap inside the house. If the bib water is appreciably harder than water from inside the house it has not been through the softener. The RO unit will clear out a lot, but not all, of the minerals. It will definitely change the chemistry enough that further investigation will be warranted and mineral supplementation will probably be required. Many water softeners have a bypass valve built into the unit and those that don't nearly always have bypass valves in the plumbing connected to them so that the unit can be serviced while water is still being supplied to the rest of the house. Good brewing water can often be obtained by operating these valves in the bypass configuration and then using the water from the tap (run for a few minutes to flush out the sodium laden stuff) or water from the tap diluted with RO water or DI water from the drugstore or wherever. To find out about the qualities of your water go to http://www.sjwater.com/quality/index.jsp and check the map to see what the source is for your neighborhood. Then go to the quality report to see about the mineral content of the source for your neighborhood. Note that there is no information about alkalinity - one of the two most important parameters for brewers. You should be able to buy an alkalinity test kit from the aquarium supply store or hardware store (or from www. hach.com or other suppliers on the internet). What you want is water where R = alkalinity - hardness/4 is less than 50 (ppm as CaCO3). Water softeners don't require much operation. The modern microprocessor controlled ones are set for a time at which you want regeneration to occur (usually in the wee smalls) and how hard the incoming water is. The unit then measures the amount of water drawn through it and when the corresponding amount of hardness removed (as calculated from the useage and the hardness value set) approaches the capacity of the resin it schedules regeneration for the following night. All the user needs to do is make sure the brine tank is full of salt. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 11:14:21 -0500 From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: Wyeast 1007 Is the German Ale yeast (Wyeast 1007) a blend of yeasts? I ask in that a week ago I started a light ale using that yeast, and it fermented real well, then slowed a day or so ago, then started up a little bit more vigorously again. My temperatures have been pretty steady, although at the high range (66 F). Could there be another yeast that has taken off, or is this just my imagination? Happy Brewing! ..Darrell (brewing a German Summer ale today,..pils malt bill, but German Ale yeast) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 09:23:33 -0800 From: "Chad Stevens" <zuvaruvi at cox.net> Subject: re: Beer in SoCal "I've been warned that southern California is a beer wasteland, but can anyone recommend a good brewpub or good beer bar? I'll be staying in Sherman Oaks but will be mobile and will probably be in West Hollywood at night...."--Quoth Neil. Neil, your source is seriously misinformed! Do a search on AleSmith, Ballast Point, Stone Brewing, Oggi's, Pizza Port...the list goes on...and you'll realize that Southern California is home to numerous GABF and World Beer Cup medal winners, brew pub of the year, micro of the year, home of the WBC every other year.... I'm tooting our collective horn now but you get the idea. >From Sherman Oaks head north (which is actually west) on the 101 to Westlake Blvd; about eight miles. Make a right, then your first left, there's a BJ's Brewpub on the right. Ask for Todd Stevens, my cousin, he'll take good care of you. When in West Hollywood, it's only a short trip down the 405 to Airport Blvd (as in LAX). The Sheraton Four Points Hotel on 98th & Airport is the home of "TH Brewster's," more Belgian beers than you can shake a stick at, and that's an airport bar! Search "Lucky Baldwin's" in Pasadena and you'll find they are having their Belgian beer fest February 12th-25th: http://www.beeradvocate.com/events/calendar.php?show=3959 They'll have 80 Belgians on tap; not to be missed. Anyway, this aught to get you started. Happy beer hunting! Chad Stevens QUAFF San Diego P.S. Did I mention AHA Homebrew Club of the year is in Southern California.... Speaking of which, those of you entering brews in America's Finest City Homebrew Competition (and there are quite a few of you, thank you), now's the time to think about carefully packing your entries and shipping them to AleSmith. Entries are due February 7th through 23rd. http://www.quaff.org/AFC2005/AFCHBC.html Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 14:08:13 -0500 From: Philip J Wilcox <pjwilcox at cmsenergy.com> Subject: Dr. Michael Lewis on NPR, Bud VS. Miller Hi, For those of you who weren't tuning in to National Public Radio Thursday 20-Jan, you missed a neat little spot. I caught it twice because I took the day off-- To brew beer, of course. Bock to the Future! Anyway, the good doctor set up a couple of triangle tests for the NPR staff and then they turned the tables on him and had him do it. Want to know which light beer Dr. Lewis liked better? Listen for yourself! http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4458771 Cheers! Phil Wilcox Poison Frog Home Brewer Prison City Brewers, Jackson, Michigan Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 12:45:17 -0700 From: "dave holt" <brewdave at hotmail.com> Subject: teel mag pumps Anyone know where to find replacement parts for Teel magnetic pumps? I need a new pump housing. The housing looks like is was chemically attacked and caused crazing (cracking). I can't find a local distributor and haven't had much luck finding replacement parts on the 'Net. My last resort would be use some food grade RTV to seal the leak. Thanks. Dave Holt Chandler, AZ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 13:25:06 -0700 From: "dave holt" <brewdave at hotmail.com> Subject: teel mag pumps I dug a little deeper and answered my own question regarding replacement parts for Teel pumps. Grainger carries Teel pumps. Calliing to the local store, they gave me an 800 number that is their Parts Ordering department. You can get a new pump housing for the 1P677A pump for $12. I kept this question in the queue because I know there are other brewers out there that you use Teel and may need parts. Dave Holt Chandler, AZ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 15:30:07 -0500 From: "Marc Sedam" <alechemist at bellsouth.net> Subject: Phoenix/Scottsdale brewpubs A friend of mine is headed to Phoenix in a month or so. Any recommendations for brewpubs? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 18:08:16 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: residual sugar and glucometers Brewsters: Bill Frazier writes: "Dave - Am I correct that any residule sucrose after fermentation will be inverted and exist as glucose and fructose? If this is correct do you believe you could use a glucometer to test for the glucose portion and then calculate residule sugar by multiplying the test result by an appropriate factor?" Yes I believe this to be the case that in a normal fermentation ( whatever that is) and if the sucrose has been there all the time, the yeast invertase will convert the sucrose to dextrose and fructose in equal amounts outside ( but right next to) the cell wall. I don't know the ceiling on the detection system, so I'd take normal concentration of beer and this beer diluted to say 1/2. If you are in the test range then the first result should be twice the second. I don't know about this test but with Clinitest you can vary the sensitivity of the test easily just by changing teh number of drops of beer. Remember that fructose will likely not be detected by these enzyme specific tests, but yeasts can still ferment it. If this test is in fact that specific, then you should only get the glucose portion and not the fructose, This would make this test unreliable in calculating the remaining fermentable sugars. You could guess that a factor of two would be the right number. One of the confounding factors ( and there are many here) is the fact that yeast may consume glucose at a different rate than fructose, and I seem to recall that a by-product of maltose digestion is glucose under certain circumstances, which would mean that a factor of two is possibly incorrect. Many of these tests are colorimetric and therefore not really useful in dark beers, I'd guess. I'd be interested if you have access to a glucometer ( I wouldn't run out and buy one) to hear your results. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
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