HOMEBREW Digest #5149 Wed 21 February 2007

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  chiller infection ("melanchthon")
  Re: Infection and wort chillers ("David Houseman")
  Re:  Infections and Wort Chillers ("Formanek, Joe")
  Chilling Infection--an argument for immersion? ("Brian  Pic...")
  sterilizing CFC (Nathaniel Lansing)
  more chiller/infection (Matt)
  convoluted copper chiller (Matt)
  Water and Ph ("Robert Zukosky")
  Espresso Stout ("Brian Dougan")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 07:36:54 -0500 From: "melanchthon" <rhayader at bellsouth.net> Subject: chiller infection >Alexander Wrote: >Matt (somewhere in Colorado) thoroughly investigated an infection problem he was >having. The evidence he has helps him designate his counterflow chiller as the >infecting culprit. >Perhaps too simple an idea but... Could you try using an immersion chiller for a >batch or two? Not that they're necessarily easier to clean, of course. I have to differ a bit on the cleaning aspect. I have an immersion chiller used over 70 times and I simply hose it off when done. I sanitize it by dropping it into my kettle 5 minutes before the end of the boil. I agree wholeheartedly with Alexander's advice, however. Find a cheap online supply store and get 50' coil of copper tubing (25' if you're doing 5gal batches) and use some quick clamps and vinyl tubing along with the pump I'm assuming you already use for cooling the wort. Run off the hottest water down the drain at first then use the reservoir where the pump resides to recycle the water and add ice to it when it gets around 100F and it will cool right down where you wish. Agitate during cooling for maximum effect, but don't aerate... You may even find it so much easier to work with that you switch. The prospect of cleaning a counterflow always daunted me! Good luck! Chris Hart Dungshovelerson & Son's Brewery 1000 NW 51st Terrace Gainesville, FL 32605 (352) 339-0324 Rhayader at bellsouth.net Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 08:12:52 -0500 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Infection and wort chillers Placing a CFC in the oven for 350o for an hour won't necessarily heat the interior surfaces of the chiller sufficient to sanitize it. The gap between the inner and outer coils of acts as an insulator. Placing the CFC into boiling water won't be as effective as expected either because the air in the chiller also acts as an insulator. I've used a CFC for about 5 years without an infection (knock on wood). During my boil of the wort, I boil 5 gallons of water in my HLT and run that though the chiller without trying to cool it. This has been very effective at sanitizing the inside of the chiller. After chilling wort I boil and run another 5 gallons of boiling water through the chiller. By running boiling water through the chiller the inner surface is getting to the desired temperature. I cap the ends with aluminum foil to prevent insects from crawling inside. At least once a year I cycle hot PBW water through the chiller, rinse with cool water and then let iodophor soak in the coil. All I can say is that this works for me. David Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 08:24:21 -0600 From: "Formanek, Joe" <Jformanek at griffithlaboratories.com> Subject: Re: Infections and Wort Chillers Greetings!! Folks like Matt from Colorado, etc. have written about infections in counterflow chillers. Just as another data point, I have been using a counterflow that I constructed ~15 years ago or so using the garden hose/copper tube construction style. I have not had an infection in the 300 or so batches that I could ascribe to the counterflow. I agree that you need to keep the hops out of the counterflow - I just have an Easymasher screen over the inlet end of the chiller - no problems there! Sanitation is critical, but not too difficult. I store the chiller filled with a dilute PBW solution made from filtered tap water (FTW) between uses. On brew day, I rinse out the chiller with FTW, then put on the Easymasher screen and run boiling water through the chiller intermittently over an hour or so. After a final flush with boiling water, I place it in the kettle, run a little boiling wort through it before turning on the chill water, then use it as it was intended to chill that wort quickly down to pitching temp. After chilling, I rinse the chiller out with straight tap water, remove and clean off the Easymasher screen, rinse that out with FTW, and run the dilute BBrite solution through it until I see that it's filled. I then cap the ends, and voila! When you rinse out the PBW solution, you do see that there is a little greenish tint to the solution coming from the chiller. Oh well! Losing a few copper ions here and there. Hasn't impacted the beer yet! Since we are also talking hops and screens, there have been questions in the past regarding dryhopping and how to handle the hops in the secondary. Personally, I just place the hops in the secondary loose and let them float around. Of course they tend to float to the surface - I agitate the fermenter daily to get the hops back down into the brew. Seems to work great!! I then use a fine copper screen on the end of my Auto Siphon to separate out the beer from the hops when racking to the bottling carboy. Very little waste. Of course, with using these screens, I am limited to using whole hops instead of pellets, 'cause the powder remaining after those little pellet buggers go into solution really tend to bung up the screens. Yes, I know you can vortex, etc. but why worry about that if you don't have to? Personally, I believe fresh whole hops give you a better product anyway, but that's another story. Brew on!! Cheers!! Joe Formanek Midwest Regional Rep - BJCP http://www.bjcp.org Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 10:34:30 -0500 From: "Brian Pic..." <bpicke at gmail.com> Subject: Chilling Infection--an argument for immersion? That was a very intersting discussion about the infected CF chiller. Immersion chilling is the way to go I think, and my HB club friends agree. As long as you are brewing less than 20 gallons or so, it's just easier (just hose it off at the end) and there is virtually no risk of infection. I like to keep the chiller small enough to fit completely under the surface, so that I can GENTLY stir the chiller to eliminate any boundary layers without aerating the wort untill it gets down below 80F (where it's slow to chill but you can really stir with the chiller which helps a lot). Also, some space between the coils helps--not necessarily the biggest, baddest chiller chills the best because some of them really trap wort inside or outside the coil. Being able to stir the chiller just a bit negates the need for a whirlpool chiller, IMHO. Have fun brewing, - --Brian P. (Muncie, Indiana) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 10:52:38 -0500 From: Nathaniel Lansing <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: sterilizing CFC If you are giving it an hour at 350F that definitely isn't enough. The hidden/internal areas must be 350 for the hour, so it probably would take 2 hours to get sterilization. Beer stone build up can harbor wort-trolls so I use alternating, boiling water rinse (internal), Star-San (r), PBW (r). Pain in the butt for sure but so is a tainted batch. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 08:13:51 -0800 (PST) From: Matt <baumssl27 at yahoo.com> Subject: more chiller/infection Thanks to everyone who responded to my post both on and off the board. Fred Johnson rightly points out that I didn't mention how I cleaned my chiller, post-brewing. We used to "clean" it by simply running a couple gallons of hot (150F) water through it. Then we'd get all the water out and let it air dry. We knew this wasn't truly cleaning it, but thought at the time that nothing could survive the oven anyway. Fred has success cleaning with NaOH and HCl. I should hope so! We will definitely start cleaning the revised chiller similarly--but I think we'll substitute PBW for the NaOH, and Star San for the HCl. Dave Lewinnek points out that air-copper heat exchange is not good. We had thought of this, and would preheat the chiller with the oven, give it an extra half hour to get hot, and then give it an hour after that. Still I think there is something to what Dave says. Any residual water in the chiller (particularly in the outer tube which does not dry well) would do a great job of preventing some areas from hitting the target temp. As for why we got infections even when the chiller was boiled (and also entirely filled with boiling water, by the way), maybe if there is a sufficient deposit of infected goo then the goo in the middle may remain dry--hence subject only to 20 minutes of dry heat at boiling temps, which clearly won't cut it. Several people recommended immersion chillers. I'd definitely go that route if my summer water was colder, or if I felt like owning/cleaning a pump that could be used to whirlpool the wort at the same time it was chilled. Not in a small apartment. (Though stove top simplicity has its advantages... 5G of all-grain takes us 3.5 hours, including cleaning.) Anyway, counterflow seems like the way to go when you have to get within just a couple degrees of your tap water. Again, thanks for the comments. The chiller mods are almost done (more below) and I think that by first making it cleanable, and then actually cleaning it, there are a vast array of sanitizing methods that will get the job done. Looking forward to good beer again, Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 08:45:35 -0800 (PST) From: Matt <baumssl27 at yahoo.com> Subject: convoluted copper chiller When modifying my copper chiller, a thought occurred. Why not turn it into a convoluted chiller? The obvious quick/dirty solution (probably already thought of by someone) is to take a pair of pliers and deform the inner copper tubing in a pattern you think will give more turbulent flow (I used light, alternating 90-degree pinches). Preferably before you actually feed it into antoher piece of tubing and bend it into a coil. What if you already made a copper-in-copper chiller and bent it into a nice coil? Well, if you are like me then you are dumb enough to cut the outer tubing every 120 degrees and carefully slide each piece off the coil. Then modify the inner coil as decribed. Then be amazed as you are actually still able (with some effort...) to slide those 20 lengths of outer tubing back where they belong and solder them in with straight couplings. A couple of Prima Pils will help. When finished, the chiller will look like something the Germans stole from West Flanders in 1916 to melt into shell casings, but which was refused at the foundry on account of its questionable copper-to-solder ratio. But the inside surface of the inner copper tube will still be pristine, and hopefully not too many of those couplings will leak the first time you test them. Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 14:01:24 -0500 From: "Robert Zukosky" <zukoskyrobert at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Water and Ph I want to increase my knowledge of brewing water and adjustments for styles. I do not trust the water dept tests as these are compilations and averages. I want to test at the point of usage (my tap). I use Detroit water so adjustments have not been a priority. It has been suggested that water test kits are available at aquarium stores. The ones I have seen test for many things that are not needed for brew water. Is there a kit that will test for calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfate, bicarbonate and chlorine? The principals of KISS should be applied. Please help one who slept thru chemistry class. Second question - When should Ph be tested or during what stages of the brewing process should Ph be tested and adjusted? What concerns does water from reverse osmosis present? bobz - -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.5.441 / Virus Database: 268.18.3/694 - Release Date: 2/20/2007 1:44 PM Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 15:00:58 -0500 From: "Brian Dougan" <dougan.brian at gmail.com> Subject: Espresso Stout Greetings, After reading through the archives and piecing together various tidbits of information I wanted to run my approach for an Espresso Stout by all of you, the readers, and elicit any feedback that may fill in any gaps in my thinking. I plan to brew my base stout as usual (by the time this posts, it will be in primary). After secondary, the plan is to keg the batch (5 gal.). I am planning to brew and add the espresso at this point. I am going with 10 shots of espresso made from Sulawesi-Kalosi, described as "...A rare coffee with unusual depth and complexity. Rich, full body with a hint of nutty earthiness. It exhibits a rich, full body; moderate, well-balanced acidity; and a multidimensional aromatic character with prominent herbal, nutty, and pleasantly sweet woody notes." The questions are; does 10 shots seem too little, too much or just right for a 5 gallon batch? Would it be best to chill the espresso to same temp. as the stout coming out of secondary before adding it to the keg or just go straight from the espresso maker to the keg? Any other thoughts, pearls of wisdom, or tidbits that could be helpful? As always, thanks. -Brian Return to table of contents
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