HOMEBREW Digest #4912 Fri 16 December 2005

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  Re: Brew Pot as Fermenter (Bob Tower)
  RE:Wort chillers: Shirron vs. Therminator? ("Sasha von_Rottweil")
  Quantitative "Clinitest" ("A.J deLange")
  Re: Brew Pot as Fermenter (Jeff Renner)
  My apologies to Steve Alexander, Doug Moyer, and anyone else I offended (Bill Velek)
  Mass flow meters ("Ken Anderson")
  Brewpot as fermenter ("Ken Anderson")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 22:24:51 -0800 From: Bob Tower <tower at cybermesa.com> Subject: Re: Brew Pot as Fermenter Stuart Lay of Royal, AR asked: > A question for the crowd: Does anyone use a brew pot as their primary > fermenter? What would be the disadvantages compared to traditional > fermenters? Yes, I use two kettles as my primary and secondary fermenters. I wanted stainless steel fermenters but couldn't part with the money for a conical. They work great! They only downside is sealing the lid. I've heard of people just leaving the lid on and calling it good (or even doing an open fermentation) but I was concerned about fruit flies getting in and general contamination. What I did to get a good seal was to take some siphon tubing and cut down the length of it. Then I pushed this onto the lip of the pot and put the lid on top. Then I took two plywood discs, drilled 8 holes around the perimeter of both discs, put one underneath the pot and the other on top. I placed threaded rods through the holes and with wing nuts and washers on the rods I can apply enough pressure for the tubing to form a perfect seal. I move the beer from one pot to the other with CO2 pressure and the seal will hold up to 10 PSI of pressure (I haven't gone beyond 10 PSI for fear of bulging out the pot). I installed stainless steel ball valves on both pots, placing the pickup on the primary a little off the bottom so as to leave the sediment behind and the pickup on the secondary just slightly off of the bottom to leave the paper thin layer of sediment behind without wasting too much beer. This is definitely a case of measure twice cut once! I also drilled holes in the lids for stoppers and airlocks. The beer is pumped in and out of the fermenters via the ball valves. Another advantage to the pots is that it's a snap to sanitize them. I simply fill them with enough water to submerge the hardware on the back end of the ball valves ( a coupler and a 90 degree elbow, both stainless steel of course), and boil for 15 minutes on my kitchen stove after which the excess water is drained out. Easy! Bob Tower / Los Angeles, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 10:10:11 +0000 From: "Sasha von_Rottweil" <sasharina at hotmail.com> Subject: RE:Wort chillers: Shirron vs. Therminator? >Subject: Wort chillers: Shirron vs. Therminator? Hi Mark, Look at Blichmann's website on the page where he compares the therminator and Shirron: http://www.blichmannengineering.com/Therminator/Comanother pointer, the petition.htm >The Shirron probably has about the same surface >area, though less efficiently-arranged than the Therminator. According the the above site the therminator has 6.5sq ft total surface area vs Shirron's 2.4 sq ft. I love my Therminator (no affiliation, satisfied customer, yaddi, yaddi...) however: Check out other sources as well. My method of comparing plate chillers is the plate surface area since I am not sure how manufacturers calculate their kW rating which is common here in Europe. Maybe somebody else can chime in with a better and more rigourous baseline method. I am currently in Germany so my observations may be off in the US but check out people that make solar water heaters or the industry that allows you to convert your diesel vehicle to run vegetable oil. They may have even cheaper plate heat exchangers. And nothing says that you can't hook two really cheap plate chillers in series if you get the same capabilities for less money. The company Alfa Laval may be another pointer, German ebay is full of plate heat exchangers from this company. While I couldn't compare the two plate chillers you mentioned I hope this helps. Cheers, Marty Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 12:42:56 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Quantitative "Clinitest" Clinitest is a quick and dirty way of determining that the reducing sugar level in beer isn't dropping anymore and that, therefore, fermentation is finished. It is a modification (and a clever one) of the Lane-Eynon (or similar gravimetric Munson-Walker) reducing sugar test which is quantitative and which can be done with simple laboratory equipment (flask, buret, burner) and reagents (Soxhelet's modification to Fehlings solution - copper sulfate, Rochelle salt, sodium hydroxide). In the test, beer from the buret is admitted to a flask containing boiling Fehlings solution until the blue (copper ion) color disappears then a couple of drops of methylene blue are added as a redox state indicator and additional beer added until the methylene blue is decolorized. The process is standardized against an inverted sucrose solution (glucose and fructose are reducing sugars). The test is a PITA to carry out but it does give a quantitative result. I don't think anyone uses it to measure fermentation progress but rather how complete fermentation is. The industry still uses specific gravity to measure progress and will probably continue to do so though they do have methods for measuring alcohol content in line (combination of IR absorbtion and velocity of sound measurement). A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 08:24:48 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jsrenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Brew Pot as Fermenter Stuart Lay <zzlay at yahoo.com> wrote from Royal, AR: > A question for the crowd: Does anyone use a brew pot as their primary > fermenter? What would be the disadvantages compared to traditional > fermenters? I have usually fermented ales in a ten gallon stock pot that I also use to heat my sparge water. Only trouble is, I ferment eight gallon batches, and vigorous fermentations tend to rise over the top. In the past I have made aluminum foil sideboards, but more recently I have been using an old style 15.5 gallon half barrel with the top cut off and the bung hole plugged. It's easy to sanitize either - I just boil a half gallon of water in them with a lid on. I have never worried about an air lock, so a loose lid isn't a problem for me. Jeff - --- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, jsrennerATumichDOTedu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 11:39:01 -0600 From: Bill Velek <billvelek at alltel.net> Subject: My apologies to Steve Alexander, Doug Moyer, and anyone else I offended In HBD#4910, Doug Moyer took me down a peg when he said: "Bill Velek takes it upon himself to limit other brewer's interests: ... Bill, if Steve Alexander feels that collecting data enhances his enjoyment of the hobby, then good for him. Why should he care if you, or others, are interested? It's not like his posts are preventing you from focusing on the parts of the hobby that interest you. Even if his data is completely useless, it is interesting to him (and probably at least one other). As such, it is just as valid as a frothy discussion of Clinitest.... There's plenty of room in this hobby for all sorts. Live and let live." Doug, I wasn't the only one who questioned Steve about taking hydrometer readings during fermentation, but because my questionning has apparently been interpreted by you as being somewhat arrogant, or somehow offense in some way, then I apologize to everyone who took it that way. I certainly didn't mean to be nasty. Actually, given that I readily concede that Steve knows a _WHOLE_ lot more about brewing and science than I'll probably _ever_ know, I was hoping that he would respond with something that _I_ could use on the _practical_ end for something other than perhaps just satisfying idle curiosity or his own somewhat unique interests. I think I've said before ... "whatever floats your boat". I don't try to impose my will or anyone, and I sure regret that I must have come across like that. I'm sorry. Cheers. http://tinyurl.com/7zpob is my 'Brewing Glossary' with photos and links! http://tinyurl.com/99s2l compares HomeBrewers Team stats w/ other teams. http://tinyurl.com/axuol moderated group (now 304 member) EXCLUSIVELY re equipment for craftbrewers and small breweries. Please visit. Bill Velek Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 15:02:48 -0500 From: "Ken Anderson" <kapna at adelphia.net> Subject: Mass flow meters Jeff Byers and Alan Meeker, I measure the CO2 flow rate periodically. Excel takes the present flow rate measurement, and the previous flow rate measurement, and calculates an average. That value then gets multiplied by the time interval between the present flow rate measurement and the previous flow rate measurement. So in effect, the area under the graph gets turned into a bunch of upright rectangles, which when added together give the total amount of CO2 produced. CO2 produced correlates to specific gravity, and these values are monitored throughout the fermentation. I think it could be called a sort of clumsy integration. Pretty cool though! The mass flow meter output is electrical. It contains a small heating element, over which the CO2 flows. A fraction of an inch downstream is a temperature sensor. What the temperature sensor reads hinges on how much heat the gas has picked up. If the flow rate is slow, it picks up more heat than if the flow rate is fast. The temperature sensor is able to measure this and convert it into a flow rate. Also pretty cool! It might be a bit late, but there was a guy on eBay with the best deals I'd ever seen on DOZENS of these meters. I don't know what he has left, but do an advanced search for the seller "auction-partner", then search for "mass flow" at his eBay store. One thing for sure. Corny as this sounds, once you monitor your brewing with a meter, you won't go back to an airlock. I'd feel blind if I did that now! ; ) Ken Anderson Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 15:40:18 -0500 From: "Ken Anderson" <kapna at adelphia.net> Subject: Brewpot as fermenter Stuart, I use my 15.5 gallon Sankes as boil kettles/fermenters. I boil, cool, pitch, aerate, cover, and ferment, all in the boil kettle, gunk on the bottom included! I do not transfer my beer (almost exclusively lagers) until the fermentation is completely finished. I use pellet hops, and am in no hurry to get the beer off the trub. Then it's to a conditioning vessel of some sort until it's ready to be kegged. My tasters (read that, buddies and family) and I are VERY pleased with the results. And I'm pleased with the ease of this method! Ken Anderson Return to table of contents
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