HOMEBREW Digest #5150 Thu 22 February 2007

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  Upgraded BBS Software ("Scott D. Braker-Abene")
  Water Testing/pH ("A.J deLange")
  CFC ("Jay Spies")
  Re: Stirbars (Mark Johnson)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 20:17:56 -0800 (PST) From: "Scott D. Braker-Abene" <skotrat at yahoo.com> Subject: Upgraded BBS Software Hey Now, I have upgraded my Homebrew BBS Softare. I hope that it is faster and gathers more use... http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/webboard/index.php C'ya! -Scott "Mom... I can lick my armpit" - Lora Braker http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat - Skotrats Beer Page http://www.brewrats.org - BrewRats HomeBrew Club Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 13:44:04 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Water Testing/pH bobz asked if there is a kit for calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfate, bicarbonate and chlorine. In a word "No" but all these parameters can be checked with varying degrees of ease. The first two, calcium and magnesium, together comprise hardness and there are lots of hardness test kits on the market. In most an indicator is added to the sample (coloring it deep red) and then measured amounts of a chelating agent (EDTA) are added until all the Ca and Mg are captured at which point the color changes to bright blue. The amount of chelant is proportional to the total hardness. In many kits one can use a buffer to run the pH up to the point where Mg precipitates out as the hydroxide and then the hardness test is run but this time it only responds to calcium as the Mg is tied up. Redissolve the Mg and continue and the amount of Mg is measured. There are other ways to do this but the point is that Mg and Ca hardness can be separately determined. The hardness values are easily converted to actual amounts of the metal ions. Continuing to take them in order; sodium is a tough one. The most practical method (that I am aware of anyway) for brewers is an ion selective electrode. This is very like a pH electrode except that it responds to sodium ions (whereas a pH electrode responds to hydrogen ions). Use is similar. The electrode is calibrated in standard solutions and then the unknown is compared. The mV scale on most pH meters can be used. Laboratory instruments will read directly in Na+ concentration after calibration. Sodium ISE's are expensive, have limited lives and respond very, very slowly. They may be the most practical method but you have to want to know sodium pretty badly to invest the money and time they demand. Sulfate is another tough one. The simplest method involves adding barium chloride to the sample and then measuring the turbidity (an ordinary spectrophotometer or photometer will do) of the barium sulfate precipitate against calibration standards. There are other chemical methods involving color change as well. The barium method is cheap and dirty (barium is pretty nasty stuff) if you have a photometer for other tests. If you don't it is totally impractical though I suppose a visual comparison with the standards would get you into the ball park. Bicarbonate isn't tested for as such but alkalinity, which depends on bicarbonate, is. The procedure is very simple. An indicator (traditionally methyl orange) is added to 100 mL of sample or a pH meter is used and 0.1N acid is added until an end point of pH 4.3 is reached (color change in the indicator or pH meter reading). The alkalinity (expressed in milliequivalents per liter) is the number of mL of acid used. This is usually multiplied by 50 to give the reading "as calcium carbonate". If the pH of the starting sample was 8.3 or less all alkalinity is due to bicarbonate and thus the bicarbonate can be calculated from the alkalinity by multiplying the mEq/L by 61 (the gram molecular weight of bicarbonate). The procedure I just gave implies the old traditional buret and it can be done this way though there are now microburets (devices which dispense from a syringe whose plunger is depressed by a screw whose revolutions are counted) which simplify the process (especially clean up). There are also kits where the unit of dispense of the acid is the drop with each drop counting for 10 ppm as CaCO3, for example. Chorine is tested by adding DPD to the sample which is oxidized to Wurster's dye which is a characteristic magenta color. The depth of the color can be measured in a spectrophotometer or other photometer, visually compared to color patches printed on the kit box or compared to a color wheel. A twist on chlorine measurement is that many water suppliers now react the chlorine (or a portion of it) with ammonia to produce chloramine. The DPD test is not sensitive to cloramine so where it is suspected potassium iodide is added. Chloramine will oxidize this to iodine which reacts with DPD to form color. The developed color give the total chlorine and a second test without the iodide the free chlorine. The difference is the chloramine. One you left out is choride. The chemistry I use develops feric thiocyanate color from mercuric thiocyanate (which is nasty stuff) with the color measured in a photometer but there are other methods involving an indicator and titration with silver nitrate. So there's a rundown but where to get kits? The two major suppliers in the US seem to be Hach and Lamotte but also check Cole Parmer (they were the ones that had the non barium sulfate test). All have web sites and all have an assortment of kits ranging from simple drop count "total" kits through color wheel, color cube and digital titrator kits up to spectrophotometer chemistries. What you pay depends on how much accuracy you want and how many tests you buy. It isn't terribly expensive to get reasonably well set up but I wouldn't say it is cheap either. Second Question: When should pH be measured? Answer: At every step of the process i.e. at dough in, at the return of each decoction, at the beginning and end of the boil, in the fermenter, 12 - 24 hours after pitching (a sharp drop here is the first indication you'll get that the fermentation is off to a good start) and when you package the beer. Third Question: Reverse Osmosis water is just very soft water. In most cases it is too soft so that blending with 10-20% tap water to get some trace minerals into the liquor is often a good idea. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 09:54:37 -0500 From: "Jay Spies" <jayspies at citywidehomeloans.com> Subject: CFC Just thought I'd add my .02 to Matt's CFC dilemma.... If you have a pump, it makes the CFC and associated sanitation so much easier to deal with. I happen to have a single level system with 2 pumps, but this could work for anyone with a high-temp polysulfone pump. At the end of the boil, I use the wort pump to cycle just-off-the-heat wort at 200-odd degrees thru the CFC and back to the kettle for the better part of 10 or 15 minutes. While I'm doing this I add any flameout hops and the Bazooka screen I have in the kettle, hooked up to the outlet, tends to get all these (whole leaf - I'm with you, Joe) hops sucked down onto it, forming a giant filter bed of sorts. Once it's recirculated for a few minutes I turn on the cold water flow to the outside CFC loop and let it recirc with that setup for another 10 minutes or so. Getting this cold wort back to the hot kettle and recircing it, I think, really helps a lot of the break go out of solution, and since my whole hop filter bed is already set up onto the bazooka screen, the break settles there instead of inside my fermenter, which is the bane of many CFC users. As a bonus, I've found that my beers clear really fast, usually inside of a week, once I rack them out of primary into the serving keg. Once the brewday is done, I cycle cold water thru the CFC in reverse, and it tends to backflush any particulates out of the chiller. Since most of my system is hard-piped, and the CFC is bolted in place, I blow out the remaining water with CO2, and let it sit as is between batches. Once every 10 batches or so I'll cycle hot PBW thru the whole system, let it sit, then cycle it again backwards. Not much ever comes out, which is a good sign, I think. This system works for me, and I haven't had an infection yet in about 30 batches on this new system... Cheers! Jay Spies Head Mashtun Scraper Asinine Aleworks York, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 21:00:57 -0600 From: Mark Johnson <mkj at hughes.net> Subject: Re: Stirbars On 2/18/07 8:29 PM, "Scott Alfter" <scott at alfter.us> wrote: > Glyn wrote: >> Okay, I only want one or two, not ten. Anyone want to split an order? > > You might want to check eBay...you should be able to find several vendors > that'll sell one or two. I bought two stirbars and a "retrieval thingy" (a > magnet on the end of a stick, basically) for fishing them out. Shipping > shouldn't be much more than $3 or so. > >> What is the optimal size for half gallon and gallon jars? > > For a 1L Erlenmeyer flask, I use a stirbar about 2" in length. I've not used > anything larger yet. > > _/_ Scott Alfter > / v \ Visit the SNAFU website today! > (IIGS( http://www.nevadabrew.com/ Top-posting! > \_^_/ rm -rf /bin/laden >What's the most annoying thing on > Usenet? > > > You could order one from Austin Home Brew. About $3.49 each. They have flat rate shipping of $5.99. http://www.austinhomebrew.com/index.php Return to table of contents
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