HOMEBREW Digest #5368 Sun 13 July 2008

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  Good use for plastic bottles ("Dave Draper")
  plastic bottles (Robin Griller)
  Cleaning Conicals ("A.J deLange")
  Re: Cleaning Conicals ("Dave Larsen")
  Music To Brew By ("Dave Larsen")
  Getting the word out (Joseph M Labeck Jr)
  Conicals, carboys, cleaning ... ("steve.alexander")
  Results of the 2008 E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition (Scott and =?iso-8859-1?Q?Ch=E9rie_Stihler?= )
  Cleaning a Conical ("LANCE HARBISON")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 22:12:46 -0600 From: "Dave Draper" <david at draper.name> Subject: Good use for plastic bottles Dear Friends, Couple posts about using plastic bottles to bottle beer with in recent digests. I agree that they're not suitable for long-term conditioning and storage, but one thing they are really good for is as an indicator for when bottle conditioning is mostly complete. Use a couple plastic bottles (I always used the approx. 1 litre size) in each bottled batch, and you'll be able to tell how carbonation is coming along by how taut the plastic bottle is. Right after you bottle, it'll have plenty of give, and when carbonation is basically done, it'll be quite solid. This way you don't have to spend a glass bottle to test whether it's carbonated enough yet. The old adage is "When it's hard, it's ready." :-) Cheers, Dave in ABQ =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- David S. Draper, Institute of Meteoritics, Univ New Mexico David at Draper dot Name Beer page: http://www.unm.edu/~draper/beer.html The one with the biggest starter wins. ---Dan McConnell Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 07:50:53 -0400 From: Robin Griller <rgriller at chass.utoronto.ca> Subject: plastic bottles Many of the Homebrew shops up here in Canada sell brown pet bottles for homebrewing and, until I got into kegging, I used them a fair amount. They were just fine for beer....I wouldn't use them for things I want to age in bottle for a long time, but as someone else said, if you're drinking the beer over a several month period they should be just fine..... Robin Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 07:57:21 -0400 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Cleaning Conicals Since cleaning of conicals is of interest and I have described in some detail how I clean kegs I can describe how I clean a conical in little space since it's done using the same equipment chemicals and procedure (see Sat HBD) except that caustic enters the fermenter through a CIP ball at the top and nothing is returned to the caustic supply tank. When the caustic supply has been completely emptied I throw the lever on a three way valve so the pump is being fed by the drain at the bottom of the fermenter (instead of the caustic supply) and the caustic then recirculates. It is important to prerinse with water first because residual protein will cause the caustic to froth to the point where the pump is trying to move foam which doesn't work very well. It is very important to be sure that any CO2 remaining from fermentation or CO2 pressure emptying of the beer be drained from the tank in this step as spraying caustic into a fermenter full of CO2 results in a very sad picture unless there is a functioning vacuum release valve in place or the fermenter is open to ambient pressure (CO2 + NaOH --> NaHCO3 + vacuum). I usually recirculate the caustic for about 45 min. followed by water rinse, acid mix (for beerstone) every third or so cleaning and more water. Then a check of ports (carbonating stone, sample port) is necessary as yeast may settle there. A quick pass with a brush followed by lots of water takes care of that and the fementer is clean. The relatively violent spray from the CIP ball (rotating) does all the work and gets the unit clean without disassembly beyond carbonating stone and Zwickle (all connections are 3A sanitary) ports. On brew day I recirculate iodophor for an hour or so. This gets it into every nook and cranny of which there should be precious few since all welds are sanitary and that only leaves the 3A connection at the bottom where drain and standpipe attach to the bottom of the cone. Periodic disassembly and check of the gaskets on these completes the job. I tend to soak 3A gaskets overnight in water to loosen any caked on material, rinse with water, dry and reassemble. So far so good. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 18:08:09 -0700 From: "Dave Larsen" <hunahpu at gmail.com> Subject: Re: Cleaning Conicals > Forgive me for asking the obvious, but why do people fill their Conical > with Star san to sanitise it? > > Once clean (Say using hot Washing soda), simply rinse, allow to drain > and then using a hand sprayer spray starsan round all the surfaces, and > allow to drain from the bottom valve . . . seems a lot more economical > to me. > You fill it up with sanitizer to not only sanitize, but also to check for leaks. All the fittings, such as the bottom dump and the rotating racking arm, are screwed together with rubber seals. They can leak, so you test it out with sanitizer first. It is much easier to fix a leak before you put your beer in the fermenter. I guess you could check of leaks with regular water, but then the inside of your bottom dump and rotating racking arm are no longer sanitary. You really cant spray inside of those with a hand sprayer. I do use a spray bottle to spray underneath the fittings before I attach them, and also to spray the rim of the conical before I attach the lid. Dave Tucson, AZ http://hunahpu.blogspot.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 18:38:14 -0700 From: "Dave Larsen" <hunahpu at gmail.com> Subject: Music To Brew By Okay, let me pose this question. What music do you brew to? Dave Tucson, AZ http://hunahpu.blogspot.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 17:52:55 -0400 From: Joseph M Labeck Jr <jmlabeck at joesjokearchive.ws> Subject: Getting the word out A short time ago, I had posted a comment that the HBD could perhaps use a bit more publicity. My talent is limited, but I designed a banner ad, and uploaded it to my website http://joesjokearchive.ws If you wish to use it, feel free to copy it. I've also sent an email to one of the brewing podcasts, Basic Brewing, suggesting a show about the HomeBrew Digest. The host, James Spencer, seemed receptive. I just think more people need to learn of it's existence. Joe Labeck Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 16:58:21 -0400 From: "steve.alexander" <-s at roadrunner.com> Subject: Conicals, carboys, cleaning ... The archives contain a long and detailed discussion of the issues with various fermenters. IMO small (even 1 or 2 bbl) conicals seem too small to cause significant thermal circulation - which is undoubtedly the reason why commercial 10-1000bbl "rainier" style fermenters are so popular commercially. The conical bottom is certainly an advantage for (clean) yeast harvest, but the importance of the for HBers is dubious. > If you want to test this out yourself, take a few bottles > of your favorite beer and store them where you normally store beer > for a year or two. Try a month or two. Most plastics transpire oxygen. Some transverse PET laminate bottles which are relatively impervious were under development for commercial beer use (by SAB-Miller I think) but I haven't seen these on the market ((perhaps never will given feedstock prices)), Many HBers have the incorrect impression that oxygen won't diffuse into a 2L pop bottle while under CO2 pressure - but this is absolutely incorrect. A month in a PET bottle will ruin a beer IMO, tho' plastics are probably fine during any fermentation phase. I'd never consider plastic carboys for storage - but for fermentation they are probably fine (ignoring that plastics can retain flavors and that non-food grade plastics are a serious no-no). I have a love/hate relationship with glass carboys. Heavy, and dangerously slippery when wet, yet easily cleaned and the fermentation activity is easily observed. I can't imagine using anything else for my small scale winemaking which requires many months or years of storage and has similar oxidation issues as beer. Cleaning a carboy shouldn't be difficult, despite the small neck. Rinsing with cold water and topping up with a caustic cleanser usually removes everything in a few days, but a little light brushing speeds his up dramatically. I'm not a fan of intensive scrubbing, but a certain amount is needed, and as mentioned the common bristle brushes are sub-optimal. Sometimes I'll insert a sponge and push it around with a brush. I store carboys with a light chlorine bleach solution. With steel/snake I agree that caustics (and certainly not chlorine or rough scrubbers) is the way to go. An initial cold water rinse and sponging does a lot of good, but leaves a noticeable film which the caustics handle. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 17:14:11 -0800 From: Scott and =?iso-8859-1?Q?Ch=E9rie_Stihler?= <stihlerunits at mosquitobytes.com> Subject: Results of the 2008 E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition The results of the 2008 E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition are now in. Please join us in congratulating Andrew Starsiak of Philadelphia, PA for winning the Best of Show prize with a wonderfully crafted American Brown Ale. Complete competition results can be found at: http://www.mosquitobytes.com/Den/Beer/Events/ETB2008/ETB2008.html. Cheers, Scott & Cherie Stihler Fairbanks, Alaska [2874, 324.9] Apparent Rennerian Statue Miles Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 21:25:32 -0500 From: "LANCE HARBISON" <harbison65 at verizon.net> Subject: Cleaning a Conical I built my own 20 gallon conical, which does not have a racking port, so maybe mine is a bit easier to clean. So this is how I do it with about a minimal amount of water. After kegging I lean the fermenter on about a 45 degree angle. Using a piece of thin stainless sheet I scrape off the dried on kreusen. I try to catch it to prevent it from stopping up the bottom drain. Once the heavy stuff is scraped off I alternate between water and a scotch brite to finish the removal of the kreusen. This takes about 4 gallons of water. I then add about a 3 gallon solution of PBW. The scotch brite soaks up enough solution to scrub the sides, if they need it. With help from a brewing spoon I can reach the bottom of the conical. Note that the welds are not really sanitary in nature so I pay special attention to them. If necessary, I can lay the fermenter further on it's side to allow me to reach all the way to the bottom with my hand for extra scrubbing. When I'm comfortable with the cleanness I stand it back up and I begin rinsing with hot water. This takes about 3 gallons and I'm then ready to sanitize. Check out the January 08 Zymurgy for a picture of a copper ring that I made to spray sanitizer on the walls of the conical. Using 3 gallons of star san I use my pump to continuously spray the liquid into the top and out the bottom. I use 3 gallons because that is enough to sanizite more that one half of a corny. Lance Harbison Pittsburgh Return to table of contents
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