HOMEBREW Digest #5366 Thu 10 July 2008

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  Re: New to Homebrewing ("Daniel Chappell")
  Chloramine and Campden Tablets ("A.J deLange")
  Hops for Donation/Trade (Pete Limosani)
  Re: Oxidation of Frozen Liquid? (Glyn and Mary)
  Re: A Trick for the Conical ("Dave Larsen")
  keg cleaning (drsmith)
  Re: Software and Equipment (Joe Brandt)
  bottle or keg (Nick Trubov)
  re: New to Homebrewing & Souring a Witbier ("jeff_ri")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 06:50:53 -0400 From: "Daniel Chappell" <daniel.chappell at gmail.com> Subject: Re: New to Homebrewing All, Thanks everyone for your responses (both on here and via private email)! It amazes me how willing everyone is to share the knowledge they've gained and the opinions they've formed over their brewing time. You guys have been infinitely more helpful than any homebrewing forum in which I've posted! I was reading the very end of the last post in the previous HBD (mentioned cleaning conicals v. carboys), and an excellent point was raised: you can't get your hands inside a carboy to scrub it, and it seem to me that a carboy brush is a rather inefficient mechanism for cleaning. I'm curious to know whether or not cleaning a conical is really that easy: despite having a zillion little parts to sanitize, I'd think that'd involve making a big batch of Star San, tossing the stuff you want to sanitize in, and then giving it a few minutes to sit. It seems easier to do that than to spend a bunch of time scrubbing away to get that *one* spot with a carboy brush. I'm not too concerned (at the moment) about being able to do a secondary fermentation in the same vessel or harvest yeast a lot more easily; I'm told that both are often-cited benefits of a conical, but that many people intend to use those features when they get a conical and then never quite get around to it. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, right? :) I'd love to hear what you guys think. Daniel Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 08:27:33 -0400 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Chloramine and Campden Tablets Dr. Wizzard is quite correct: Campden tablets are a fine way of removing chloramine (and chlorine) from water though as I noted in an earlier post my homebrew supplier has reported that he and one of his customers had problems with batches of beer which they blamed on the use of Campden tablets. Polling readers of HBD showed that many dechlorinate by this method as a matter of course and have been doing so for years. Thus we dismiss the problems these 2 brewers encountered as most likely to have been caused by something else. The reaction of momochloramine with bisulfite goes as S2O5-- + 2 H2NCl + 3H2O --> 2SO4-- + 2H+ + 2Cl- + 2NH4+ IOW the sulfite is oxidized to sulfate and the chloramine reduced to chloride and ammonium ions. Thus mash sulfate is increased slightly while the yeast will consume the ammonium (frequently an ingredient in packaged yeast nutrients). The details of the stoichimetry can be found in my old BT article at http://ajdel.wetnewf.org:81/ but roughly speaking 1 Campden tablet should be sufficient to treat 20 gallons of water chlorinated/chloraminated to 3 mg/L which is typical of most supplies. In this case your nose is a good enough instrument for determining a proper (if not the exact) dose. If, after treatment, you can smell chlorine, more bisulfite is needed. If, after treatment, you smell sulfur dioxide, you have added too much bisulfite. Use a little less next time but a bit of excess at the levels being discussed here won't hurt a bit. So if your goal is to dechlorinate/dechloraminate AND deoxygenate then observe that it takes 2 Campden tablets per 5 gallons to get the oxygen out and 1/4 Campden tablet (per 5 gallons) to get the chlorine/chloramine at the normal maximum level of 3 mg/L. Thus if you dose with 2 tablets per 5 gallons you will certainly get all the chlorine/chloramine and most of the oxygen. Add the extra quarter tablet if you like. Note that there is no reason to deoxygenate mash, sparge or kettle makeup water. It is important to deoxygenate water used to dilute beer after fermentation and before bottling. In the case of the experiment I reported on yesterday chlorine and chloramie were not part of the equation as the water was drawn from a well and is thus, happily devoid of either. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 10:24:54 -0400 From: Pete Limosani <peteLimo at comcast.net> Subject: Hops for Donation/Trade Fellow Brewers, Last fall, when I learned of the upcoming hops crisis, I bought a number of Cascade plugs at my two local HBSs. I have 15 oz left and will only use 3 oz before my backyard vines are ready to harvest. So, I have 12 oz that will go unused. They have been in the freezer since I bought them in October 2007, but they are not vacuum sealed. The HBS packaged them in 1.5 oz baggies that are twist tied, so they are not labelled as to the crop year either. The aroma is not great, but it's Ok. My Pale Ales have been good, but not as good as last year as far as that circusy Cascade aroma is concerned, but the bitterness has been fine. They are labelled 5.5% AA. I am happy to donate them to anyone who's unable to get Cascade in plug form. Toward the end of the summer, my Cascade vines will get harvested (this is their second year here and, man, they outgrew my 20 foot trellis before the summer solstice!). I am anticipating more yield than I will need for the next year. So, I'm wondering if any hop growers out there would like to trade some home-grown Columbus, Chinook, Tettnang, Fuggles, others for some Cascade from my vine? Please send me a note if you are interested in the Cascade plugs or in trading some home-grown hops. Thanks. /Pete/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 08:45:24 -0700 (PDT) From: Glyn and Mary <graininfuser at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Oxidation of Frozen Liquid? >I could sanitize a 12 oz. beer bottle and fill it with the8 oz. of leftover >concentrate, cap and refreeze. I would think a heavy duty freezer bag would be better than a bottle. The bottle may break when the liquid is re-frozen. Oxidation I will leave for someone else. Glyn So. Middle TN Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 09:07:55 -0700 From: "Dave Larsen" <hunahpu at gmail.com> Subject: Re: A Trick for the Conical > When it becomes time to drain, simply open the bottom valve and go to > it. At time, however, the first drainings may be quite sluggish like peanut > butter. This is where the tubing comes in handy. With the bottom closed > and top open squeeze the tubing like milking a cow. This forces yeast in > the tube upward into the upper valve, thus helping to break up the peanut > butter. If that doesn't work, you can always take the lid off and poke > around with a piece of welding rod (or coat hanger) to break up the sludge. > Once that is accomplished, slowly begin draining. I find that adding a little pressure is a whole lot easier. What I do is take off the airlock, put a pressure hose connected to a CO2 canister in its place, and add 1 or 2 lbs of pressure. This is just enough to get the "peanut butter," as you called it, to push slowly out the hose connected to the bottom dump valve. You have to be careful as it will start moving a whole lot quicker near the end of dumping. I've had quite a mess on my hands on more than one occasion. This works with a Blichmann Ferminator because when you close the bottom dump valve, it simply pops the bung off rather than building up pressure in the conical. The Ferminator also has a emergency pressure relief valve, in case the bung is on too tight. I'm not so sure about other brands of conicals, like B3. I've read that using pressure to perform a bottom dump is not uncommon in commercial settings as well. If it is good enough for the big boys, it is good enough for me. I've never had to fish around in my conical with a coat hanger. That sounds problematic to me. The less things that come in contact with the beer, the happier I am. I also use pressure to rack my beer into a keg after it is done. This works really well, and I don't have to move the fermenter out of my refrigerator to a countertop to gravity feed, stirring up the remaining yeast. Dave Tucson, AZ http://hunahpu.blogspot.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 13:22:54 -0400 From: drsmith <hbd at aperature.org> Subject: keg cleaning > The downside is that you can't open them up for cleaning without > some difficulty (or a special spring compressor tool) which means > that they must be cleaned by chemical means in the blind. The real > issue is beerstone. > Once that stuff starts to form scrubbing (you obviously have to take > the spear out to do this) with acid is about the only way to get it > out and rinsing with acid after every few cleanings is the only way > to prevent it (that I know about). > > A.J. Interesting. I've been using corny kegs (and now sankey) stainless kegs for quite a while. I've always cleaned them using a hot PBW soak and followed that up with StarSan for sanitizing prior to filling. For the corny keg, I could just barely get my arm in there with a sponge to scrub any really stubborn soils out, but I can't do that on the sankey kegs. After reading your post, I did a search and found this paper on the subject: http://www.birkocorp.com/brewing/beerstone.asp ... and suddenly I have more questions as I'm not entirely sure the cleaning procedure I've been using is enough to ensure the kegs don't get a build up in them. I do remove the spear for cleaning, though - at least that way I can at least get a carboy brush in there if nothing else. What processes do others use for sankey kegs and why? I'm inclined to stay with what I've been using since it seems to work for me, but maybe there's a better way. - --Darrin Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 17:16:24 -0400 From: Joe Brandt <vzd1s11k at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Software and Equipment > Subject: Re: Software and Equipment Beer Tools has a beta test for it's Linux version. http://www.beertools.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=13 You will have to register and ask to beta test. I use it for every brew . - -- Joe Brandt 100% Microsoft Free & Loving it!! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 14:48:14 -0700 (PDT) From: Nick Trubov <ntrubov at swbell.net> Subject: bottle or keg I know it has been said (I even remember READING it "somewhere") that those plastic bottles that soda pop come in are NOT good for bottling beer. May I disagree? Thank you. I have been using "used" plastic pop bottles for a couple of years now. The caps MAY wear out EVENTUALLY, but I have never had one fail. What I HAVE found is that the two liter bottles are just a little too large in MY use. I like the 33.8 fluid ounce bottles. They are perfectly clear so you can see any "dirt" that might "grow" in them if they aren't cleaned and stored properly. I wash 'em out when they are empty and put the cap back on (when they are DRY -- VERY DRY) and then place them in a large trash bag out in the garage. When I am ready to bottle, I bring twenty bottles in and "sterilize them" with iodophor solution and don't even bother to rinse 'em out. I just dump the iodophor solution back into the pitcher that I use for filling 'em, after a couple minutes, so I can wash out some more. Twenty of 'em takes care of a five gallon batch. These bottles are TOUGH. They will NOT explode (at least I have never gotten one to burst. If they ever DO explode it would be due to a pressure WAY beyond anything you would be creating in a home environment. Someone, once, told me that they would only be good for ONE use after the soda pop was out of 'em. I have used several of them four or more times and they still work just fine. They are small enough to be used as "gifts" and they are large enough to fill a "pitcher" and have a "couple" for yourself and a friend. So, whatever you do, DON'T use plastic bottles (unless you have some and want to see for yourself) since "it has been written and published". Thanks, That's all I have to say about that. ========================== Nick Trubov and all the LITTLE Trubovs Lorree, Corbin and Alex ========================== Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 22:24:21 -0400 From: "jeff_ri" <jeff_ri at cox.net> Subject: re: New to Homebrewing & Souring a Witbier Hi All, In HBD #5362 Daniel Chappell asked about equipment for a new homebrewer. I'm very much of the keep-it-simple philosophy. As people have already said, great beer can be brewed on very simply equipment and fancy equipment can produce poor quality brew. As a new brewer you should probably focus more on the basics (sanitation, techniques, recipe formulation, etc.) than on fancy/expensive equipment. Just my 2 cents worth, YMMV. In HBD #5364 Dave Larsen asked about souring a witbier. I've had great results with using the powdered acid blend distributed by Crosby & Baker. One quarter of a teaspoon in 5 gallons produces a nice subtle sourness. I add it at 10 minutes before the end of the boil. If I remember correctly the acid blend is made of citric, malic and tartaric acids. I've been reading the HBD since 1994, but post only occasionally. It's great to see the increase in traffic lately! Jeff McNally Tiverton, RI (652.2 miles, 90.0 deg) A.R. www.southshorebrewclub.org Return to table of contents
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