HOMEBREW Digest #5117 Sun 31 December 2006

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  Bill Tobler & HERMS ("Bev D. Blackwood II")
  One other thing that's going to kill HBD.... ("Bev D. Blackwood II")
  Please comment on 'mash schedule' feature of brewing software (Bill Velek)
  RE: To HERMS or not to HERMS (Robert)
  Hacking an Optical Mouse for Liquid Level Measurement (Kevin Eggemeyer)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2006 00:18:47 -0600 From: "Bev D. Blackwood II" <bdb2 at bdb2.com> Subject: Bill Tobler & HERMS What Bill doesn't say is that he makes award winning beer with his system, and that's an endorsement on its own! I've judged Bill's beers and can certainly speak to his quality. Can you do the same? YMMV. But Bill does know what he's talking about! My .02 -BDB2 Bev D. Blackwood II Was-was-was-was-was-was-Waz Former Secondary Fermenter Former Competition Coordinator Former Brewsletter Editor (X3) Former Dixie Cup Coordinator The Foam Rangers http://www.foamrangers.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2006 00:26:59 -0600 From: "Bev D. Blackwood II" <bdb2 at bdb2.com> Subject: One other thing that's going to kill HBD.... (Oh wait.. I sent this without doing the conversion and it got rejected... silly me....) ;-P - --- Is the fact it rejects MIME encoded e-mails. Time for HBD to catch up to the modern world. I can post to my club e-mail list (volunteer moderated) without fear of rejection and same goes for AHA Tech- Talk. Last conversation I heard regarding HBD among the AHA folk was that it's dying a slow death... well, getting posts rejected regularly only speeds that process. I realize this is a volunteer effort, but technical currency is an essential element to being relevant. -BDB2 Bev D. Blackwood II Was-was-was-was-was-was-Waz Former Secondary Fermenter Former Competition Coordinator Former Brewsletter Editor (X3) Former Dixie Cup Coordinator The Foam Rangers http://www.foamrangers.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2006 11:40:46 -0600 From: Bill Velek <billvelek at alltel.net> Subject: Please comment on 'mash schedule' feature of brewing software Last October I purchased BeerToolsPro during it's initial release, but I have never used any other brewing software before so I didn't know what to expect. QUESTION: Does the 'mash schedule' in other programs have any effect upon what the program calculates as far as showing any impact whatsoever on attenuation, mouthfeel, and that sort of thing? If I mash the exact same recipe under two dramatically different schedules, I would expect to see some sort of difference reflected in the resulting beer; e.g., if I mash at 135F for a FULL hour, I would expect the beer to be more attenuated and therefore dryer, with less mouthfeel, and more alcoholic in flavor, whereas if I mash the same grist at 160F for maybe HALF an hour, I would expect more unfermentable dextrines resulting in lower attenuation, more mouthfeel, and less alcohol. While BeerToolPros will allow a user to customize a mash schedule and, in the process, calculate the amount and temperature of water to be added at each step, it does not show ANY difference at all in the effects on beer style; furthermore, it also has an 'Analysis' feature which supposedly reports the grams and calories of alcohol, carbs, and protein per serving ... but that appears to be completely unaffected by the mash schedule, too, which tells me that it is not accurate but rather that it just approximates the nutritional value based on some unknown 'average'. This has been my primary disappointment with BTP, but perhaps I have expected too much; however, the reason I expected all of this to work is some of the promotional language they use, such as: "BeerTools Pro is a software package for formulating beer recipes, FOR DESIGNING MASH SCHEDULES and for calculating other factors when brewing beer. It is simple enough for the beginner yet POWERFUL ENOUGH FOR THE PROFESSIONAL" (capitals are my emphasis). I don't know; maybe even 'professional' brewing software doesn't do what I was thinking this would do: predict how alterations to my mash schedule will affect my beer. So how does ProMash, BeerSmith, StrangeBrew, and any other brewing program out there react to changes in the mash schedule; do they adjust any calculations or give any indication at all? If it will help to discuss the matter, BeerToolsPro permits a user to set any factor in the mash -- thickness, strike temperature, time for each stage, and I guess just about as many steps as you want; it also takes into consideration the thermal mass and heat transfer rate of your equipment based on calibration steps the user performs. Other than my disappointment re the above, I am extremely pleased with BTP; I have no affiliation with the program or developers whatsoever. Thanks for any replies. Cheers. Bill Velek Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2006 14:59:29 -0800 From: Robert <home_brew at sbcglobal.net> Subject: RE: To HERMS or not to HERMS Bill, In your response to Mike you stated that you attached a PDF file with drawings, pictures and arrows of your system. Maybe it is a property or function of the list but I did not see an attachment. Could you email the PDF file to me. I am in the process of converting from extract to all grain brewing and am building a HERMS system using 3 half-barrel kegs, which will all be at the same elevation, similar to the Beer, Beer and More Beer B3-2100 brew sculpture. I have 2 Ranco temperature controllers and 2 Marsh mag drive pumps. My plan is to circulate water from the HLT through a stainless plate heat exchanger with one pump and wort from the mash/lauter tun with the other pump. The plate heat exchanger will also be used as a wort cooler. Heat source will be propane burners with one of the temperature controllers controlling a gas solenoid like the Beer, Beer and More Beer Digital Hot Liqour option. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Robert Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2006 20:38:09 -0800 From: Kevin Eggemeyer <keggemeyer at charter.net> Subject: Hacking an Optical Mouse for Liquid Level Measurement A question for the collective: Has anyone thought of or used a hacked optical mouse to measure liquid level in a tank? My idea is this... For my HLT, I would like to be able to measure the liquor level to within a reasonable degree of accuracy (say 0.1 gallon?) and have the controller (in my case a Javelin Stamp connected to a PC) open or close a solenoid valve to control the flow and give an on screen representation of the tank's level. The mechanical parts would include a 4 inch stainless float connected to a stem (a piece of stainless flat bar, or aluminum for weight considerations) that could also be used by an 'optical human' to measure the level. The stem's travel is controlled at two points, one at the tank lid and one above the tank lid to keep its travel vertical. The optical mouse parts sit well above the lid of the tank to avoid issues with steam (approx 6 inches above) and against the stem (which could be mistreated with a wire brush to add optical data marks). The mouse reads the travel of the float and communicates it to the PC. To 'zero' the system, the float is pulled against the lid of the tank and both mouse buttons are pushed, signaling the PC to clear the level reading and begin measuring from the zero point (or alternatively the measurement could be zeroed when the tank is empty and the float is against the bottom of the tank). As the float is lowered and raised, the PC keeps track of the position in much the same way it positions the pointer on the computer screen. This would, of course, require hacking the mouse driver software so that it is not recognized as the mouse. To make it even more complex... - I would use a wireless mouse (hacked to eliminate the battery charger). - I already have the temperature of the HLT to use for level correction due to expansion. Simple math for the PC, right? - If this works, I would like additional setups, one for the HLT, one for the grant, one for the boil kettle. (Sticking with Bill Tobler's comment, "For me, I would not have a HERMS unless I could automate it completely.") Any thoughts or ideas on how this might be done? Any collaborators out there? Kevin Eggemeyer O'Fallon, MO Return to table of contents
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