HOMEBREW Digest #5499 Mon 09 February 2009

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  Re: Diatomaceous Earth (steve alexander)
  Yeast performance (robertzukosky)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2009 06:33:27 -0500 From: steve alexander <steve-alexander at roadrunner.com> Subject: Re: Diatomaceous Earth Greg asks .... > Any thoughts about using diatomaceous earth for controlling spider > mites on hops? Since they don't fly, I was thinking I could apply DE > to the ground surrounding my hops, and maybe it would be an effective > control. Mites have absolutely destroyed my harvests for the past few > years, and I have yet to find anything that will control them > effectively. Once established, it is too late, they hide in their > webbing on the underside of the leaves, and only a few need to survive > to re-establish themselves. I will probably try DE in any case, but > wondered if anyone else has had success. > I'm not a DE fan. DE is a potential hazard if you inhale it so wear a *GOOD* mask. It's also a "kill all" method. You are destroying all insects and arachnids. That IMO is acceptable for potted/indoor plants but not what you want in a garden. Incorporating DE into garden soils is wrongheaded, you are killing all the beneficials. The idea that it adds needed minerals to a garden is misguided too. Some ppl claim that mites usually infest the lower leaves, but I've seen more trouble above 6ft than below. This may depend on my specific environment & mites. Spider mites spread in-season by the wind and the multiply at a shocking rate - so treating the ground just around the hops may help but probably won't solve the problem. I've seen a couple examples where the little beggars seem to spread horizontally but ~10ft up - so the extent to which local ground spraying in-season would be effective is doubtful. Spider mites overwinter on plants, dead leaves, twigs etc, so Fall garden cleanup isn't just a matter of appearance. Cut back the junk, cleanup and dispose of it. Most common insecticides don't bother spider mites (arachnids not insects) and many can actually increase the mite population by knocking off predators! There are few very effective miticides commonly available to the home gardener. Instead there are some management techniques that will likely reduce the problem to very tolerable levels without sterilizing your garden. 1/ Dormant oil - the point of a dormant oil spray is to kill the pests by suffocation. You want to spray before the hops and other plants start to sprout new growth. Rake up the area and give it a good spray early on the bare soil areas and dormant woody perennials. Dormant oil can kill new-growth/buds on plants so you can't use it after budding. This can reduce/delay the problem considerably but it's not a complete prevention. Very worthwhile tho', and IMO the most important treatment 2/ Insecticidal soap spray. Again the impact is that you suffocate the insects and the soaps (salts of mid-length FAs) have a detergent effect that disrupt small soft bodies pests effectively. Much less effective on beetles, lady bugs etc. This is a contact kill and effective once dried - so spraying when it's humid and/or the plants are damp & dewy and spray for complete coverage. My experience is that you'll need several sprays per season. I also feel that a pre-emptive soap spray is better than waiting for evidence. Insecticidal soaps can burn tender new growth on some plants, but I've never seen any damage on hops once the bines are a ~4+ feet long. Mites seem to like apples, roses, boxwood, (certainly hops), juniper, daylilies in my area - so spray to control mites on these. Mites also seem to like woodland leaf debris. In some states you can get permethrin spray which will kill mites and are about as safe as any insecticide can be (IMHO). They are controlled b/c these are quite effective at killing bees and fish (most any aquatic life) so do handle & use properly. Permethrin *may* be most effective against predatory mites (good mites) and mite eggs. The pyrethrins used to be a good wide-spectrum knock-down, but many aphids are now completely immune. The pyrethrins have just a little residual activity so you'll want to spray twice at ~ 1 week interval to disrupt the mite life cycle. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2009 13:02:34 -0700 From: robertzukosky <robertzukosky at comcast.net> Subject: Yeast performance I have been growing my yeast <.2% glucose to keep the yeast in the aerobic stage. Before pitching I feed the yeast > .2% glucose to force the yeast to the anaerobic stage. What if any problems with fermentation can be expected from the above? The yeast is constantly fed on a stir plate at room temp with access to air at atmospheric pressure. It is assumed that extract from a mash at 1.020 has less than .2% glucose. Question Two: How does DME compare with extract from an all grain mash with regard to nutrients for yeast? bobz Return to table of contents
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