HOMEBREW Digest #1990 Thu 21 March 1996

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Yeast Storage (Kelly Heflin)
  gushers, small yeast, etc. ("Tracy Aquilla")
  Homebrewing Demo (Bill Countie)
  Re: Advice needed for teaching a beginning homebrew class (Alan Burgstahler)
  Five Gallon Plastic Electric Brewery Part One (KennyEddy)
  Five Gallon Plastic Electric Brewery Part Two (KennyEddy)
  CO2 pressure, bottle cleaning, aging, transportation laws (lheavner)
  Water Chemistry Primer (KennyEddy)
  Re: Canadian Beer (ugh) (Dave Riedel)
  Burton Water Salts (Jeff Hewit)
  distilling, thermometers and more (C.D. Pritchard)
  Canadian to enter US brewing competition (Greg Potts)
  Second batch gone bad? (Dan)
  Bottles (Michael Black)
  Hangover Cures (Jim Overstreet)
  Grades and alcohol (Bob McCowan)
  Filters/finings (Bob McCowan)
  RE: Honey Wheat Beer Recipe comments ("Payne, Chris")
  Re: Prohibition revisited (Mike Davis)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 14:18:44 -0500 From: Kelly Heflin <kheflin at monmouth.com> Subject: Yeast Storage I've seen a lot of talk about reusing yeast. I've saved my last 2 varieties, on 1 I just saved a small sample of the starter I made, about 2 oz. On the other I saved some of the settlement from the primary. I put them both in bottles and in the fridge. (no airlocks, hope they dont blow) Questions: How long will they last? Whats the deal with freezing with the glycerin (spelling)? I heard that stuff hard to get right. I can see using the Munich Lager real soon but the other is the california lager, Dont know if I'll use that anytime soon. Thanks. I'm gonna go take everyones advice and carbonate my Bock, been in a secondary for 3 weeks, it'll spend the next 3 under pressure, only problem I see hear is the temptation to taste early. What an unfortunate problem! kelly Kelly C. Heflin kheflin at monmouth.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 96 14:20:49 CST From: "Tracy Aquilla" <aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu> Subject: gushers, small yeast, etc. In Digest #1987: Michael Coen <COEN.MICHAEL at igate.pprd.abbott.com> wrote: "Can anyone explain the term agglomeration in terms of yeast performance? I know the word means grittiness or macroscopic cell aggregates but is this a huge detriment to the whole fermentation cycle? I have noticed what looks to be this phenomena in the Special London Ale strain (#1968)." If the cells agglomerate (basically the same as floculation) they'd tend to sink to the bottom. This could negatively impact fermentation by having less cells in suspension. This strain is known to be a good floculator. Michael also wrote: "Also with this strain and the german ale strain (#1007) I noticed microscopically that there were "small yeast" present. [snip]......... about 1/10the size of the Saccharomyces. Under 100X magnification I even think I can see them budding." [snip] "Even off a fresh plate and a single colonies these little guys can be seen among the larger Saccharomyces." It's hard to tell without looking, but it's certainly possible that this is a wild yeast contaminant. It could also be a "petite" mutant. Many ale strains from England are known to produce such mutants relatively frequently, although I've never heard of them producing gushers (they tend to produce some nasty flavors). Based on your last statement, it sounds like the petite phenotype. If you really want to mess around with this, email me and I can suggest some experiments, but I'd probably just get a fresh yeast stock and forget about it. Finally, Michael concludes: "One last thing...... anyone know of or have heard of "gushing - inducing peptides" which are formed by wild yeast/fungi living on the grains. I guess this can happen if the grains are not properly stored and processed. The reason I mention this is that I recently got a bag of Schreier Malt that just didn't taste very good.....not even close to being as good as the Belgian Grains.' I've never heard of "gushing-inducing peptides", but certain fungal pathogens of grains (eg. Fusarium sp.) can be carried through the malting process and into the dried malt, and can cause severe gushing. That just might be your problem! Good luck. Tracy in Vermont aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 15:07:33 -0500 (EST) From: Bill Countie <wgcount at husc.harvard.edu> Subject: Homebrewing Demo Hello Mike, I have given about 12 demos and they last 2.5 to 3 hours. I start 2 days before by starting a batch of extract based beer so that the students can get a look at a beer in full ferment. I handout a single page summation on the points of brewing a simple extract beer with addition of hops and some grain. I show them from the milling of the grain, to the heating and infusion of the grain in a muslin bag, removing the bag, adding malt extract (let everyone taste some), watch for the foam change/boilover, adding hops and why we do so (pass around loose hops, plugs, pellets and maybe a piece of vine), pass out a summery of hop characteristics, adding water treatment, add irish moss (why we do or do not), demo a wort chiller, show sanitizing of fermenter, what can be used for sanitizing, adding of the cooled wort to the fermenter, areation of the wort, hydratating yeast, making a starter, pitching yeast, and reading a hydrometer. You can rack the 2 day old beer to a secondary and tell them why this is a good thing. I then bottle some water to demo the filler and capper. I show the addition of malt extract or sugar for bottleing. I show how to clean bottles by soaking, removal of labels, sanitizing in a bucket, drying rack, using a brush, when to give up on a bottle, what to do with grolsch bottles. I then pass out beer from a previous session I had bottled previously and demo how to pour beer with yeast on the bottom. In between times I ask for questions, talk about interesting beers and beer books. I talk about visiting local breweries and what is on sale at the local home brew store. Good luck on your demo! Bill Countie Merrimac Valley Homebrewers-Ale Connor e-mail wgcount at husc7.harvard.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 12:29:42 -0800 From: Alan Burgstahler <wa6awd at wolfenet.com> Subject: Re: Advice needed for teaching a beginning homebrew class On Wed, 13 Mar 96, Michael R. Swan said: > I volunteered to teach a beginning homebrew class for >our local club. Rather than have two or three sessions, I >am going to have one 2-3 hour session which will cover an >entire extract batch: from boiling, to chilling, to aeration, >to (simulated) fermentation, to racking, to bottling, to >capping. etc.etc.etc. My suggestion would be to take an example from the cooking shows that are on television. There they don't take the time to show how long it cooks because they don't have the time during the cooking show to actually bake a cake for 45 minutes, especially during a 30-minute show. They show the preparation, etc., but then pull out of the oven a cake that has already been baked that can show the final product. Putting that idea to work, if you have three hours to do all this, you could still show the brewing process from scratch, talking during the cooking about sanitation, how you process new used bottles, etc. You can show the cooling of the wort, putting it into the fermentation container, etc. For the second part of the demo, you might have a carboy with the finished product (I use two-stage fermentation with a plastic bucket for first, and a carboy for second) that is ready for bottling. You could already have siphoned it off the junk that settles to the bottom so you don't have to let it settle after you moved it to the demo. Then you can show the bottling from the carboy and into the bottles. I'm not really leaving much out here as the little that's left can be talked about. This also allows you to do the full cooking of the brew, which allows the smells of the wort including the smells of the hops, which for most people is the smell of brewing. I think this whole procedure could be shown easily within a 3-hour period. Alan Burgstahler - WA6AWD - Kent, WA, USA (wa6awd at wolfenet.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 17:03:02 -0500 From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Five Gallon Plastic Electric Brewery Part One I've been receiving a lot of direct E-mail concerning people's questions about the electric brewery approach, and I've been answering many of the same questions over and over, so I think it's a good time to post a summary of my brewery and give my two typing fingers a break. The inaugural "Pail Ale" is still in the keg carbonating but preliminary sampling has shown it's just fine -- no plastic taste or aroma; no signs of caramelization or scorching. The information herein describes how I built my brewery and my design may not apply to your needs or abilities. This posting is for informational purposes only and does not constitute encouragement or direction for you to build one. I make no claims about the safety or suitability of this brewery design other than that I haven't yet been killed by it and that the beer I've made with it came out well. Proceed at your own risk. I've split this post into two to avoid the dreaded REJECT message. Part Two should follow immediately. ***Vessel Construction*** I used a five-gallon HDPE bucket for my HLT and a seven-gallon HDPE bucket for my boiler. I made sure the buckets were at least 0.090" (90 mils) thick by checking the thickness "rating" embossed on the bucket bottom -- I found that the cheapo 0.070" buckets allowed the element to sag when it got hot, but the 90 mil unit was just fine. For the HLT I installed a single 240V/4500W "bent" water heater element (State Industries #9000095) centered at 2" from the bucket bottom. I drilled a 1-1/4" hole using a hole saw. I placed the included gasket on the outside of the bucket and secured the element inside using a 1" copper "female adapter" fitting. A bit of teflon tape and maybe a nudge with vise-grips and I had a secure leak-proof installation. The boiler was similarly constructed but with two elements, one at 2" and the other at 4" from the bottom, mounted at 90 degrees to each other. For insulation I capped each element outside with a 1" PVC pipe cap which has a notch cut in it to pass the wires. It attaches with a few dabs of silicone adhesive for easy removal should I ever need to remove the elements. Gives it a nicer "finished" look too. I marked the outside of the buckets at gallon, half-gallon, and quart increments. You can see the water level from the outside, and you can see the markings from the inside, if the lighting is good. I also installed in each vessel a 1/2" compression by 1/2" male pipe thread fitting. I drilled a 5/8" diameter hole near the bottom, and inserted the fitting compression-end first using a 5/8" "union washer" up against the hex flange on the fitting, (on the outside of the bucket). The tight fit ( I had to "cut threads" to install it) and the compression nut secure the fitting (I discarded the compression sleeve). I silver-soldered a copper-wire "mesh" (two wires in each direction) across the compression nut to act as a coarse filter. Before installing, I connected a 1/2" female pipe inlet by 3/8" compression outlet, CPVC "angle stop valve" to the fitting (for a tight fit) using teflon tape. The 3/8" compression outlet on the valve allows me to attach various lengths of water supply feed tubing to accomplish the various liquid transfer functions. I suppose I could've used metal valves but the plastic tolerates the heat, has low turning torque, and opens or closed in a half-turn. ***Vessel Wiring*** I run my brewery off 240V. The HLT is wired directly to a plug and the element thus generates the full rated 4500W. Five gallons of strike or sparge water heats from room temp in about 15 minutes or so. I tried using a water-heater thermostat but there wasn't enough thermal coupling to make this work well. I also found that the water underneath the element stays cooler than the water above; there's not enough convection without boiling to mix it up. So I have to stir it well before taking the temperature to determine readiness for striking/sparging. I wired the two boiler elements in *series* to give me 2250W total, 1125W for each element. This ensures scorch-free operation. The 2250W level heats sparged wort to a boil in 30-40 minutes, but the wort will boil over at this setting. I use a diode (25A / 400 PIV) in series with the boiler wiring to cut the power in half. The diode has a switch across it to allow full power to be applied during heat-up; I drop it to half-power when boiling is acheived by opening the switch. The diode is a bridge-rectifier module; I couldn't find a single diode with sufficient rating. I got mine locally at a pars-replacement house; part number ECG5324, about $6. I strain-relieved the power cords to remove mechanical stress from the element terminals. Otherwise, I would risk breaking the wires off at the element from constant flexing, thereby creating a shock and/or fire hazard. What I did was to bolt a cable clamp placed around the cord to the bucket. I used a #10 brass bolt and nut with a "sealing washer" on the outside of the bucket between the clamp and the bucket wall (it has a metal washer bonded to the rubber; I placed the metal side against the cable clamp and tightened securely). Part Two follows... Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 17:03:07 -0500 From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Five Gallon Plastic Electric Brewery Part Two Part Two of the Plastic Electric Brewery. Where was I...oh yeah -- ***Stand*** I built a two-tier stand (the floor is the third level) on casters from 2x4's and plywood. I sized the stand so that liquid transfer from one vessel to the next is all gravity; no siphoning. It doubles as storage when not in use. All my control switches are in outlet boxes mounted to the 2x4 frame, with switch and outlet covers enclosing them. I used a red switch cover plate for my main power switch to make it readily visible. ***Brewing Process*** Before I brewed beer I "brewed water" to check for leaks and other potential problems, and to observe the process. This is where I first noted the too-vigorous boil at 2250W and decided a half-power setting would be necessary. Good thing, because 2250W DOES boil over. I also accidentally fired up the HLT with no water in it. The element became red hot and burned badly in *seconds!* I know now that it MUST be operated only when fully covered with water! I strike into my mash tun (single-step infusion; Coleman Drinking Water 5) through metal supply tubing designed for the valve I chose. It take about four minutes to strike 3-4 gallons but I am able to hit my target temperature with great precision. I made sure I did a "practice run" first to determine the temperature drop I was to expect. I decided not to just dump the HLT into the mash tun because the buckets get hot and flexible, and I didn't want to make a dangerous mess. I sparge in a similar manner (using supply tubing), using the valve on the mash tun (same kind) to slow the sparge rate to about 5 minutes per gallon. The boiler is on the floor during this time; after sparging is complete, but before I plug it in to boil, I lift the bucket to the mash tun level so I can get at it easier, and, later, so that I can gravity-feed into the fermenter. At 1125W I lose about 1/2 gal to evaporation per hour. When I "brewed water", I lost 1 gal per hour at 2250W. The CPVC supply tube from the boiler to the fermenter has three holes drilled at a downhill angle near the spigot end, to act as an aerator for the chilled wort. I got 5 gallons of wort with 1-1/2 gal foam on top in my 6-1/2 gal carboy -- it just fit! ***Immersion Chiller*** I built an immersion chiller into the boiler bucket lid. I used about 10 turns of 3/8" copper tubing wrapped around a paint can. It hangs from the lid thanks to two elbow fittings installed on the top side of the lid, which bring the tubing over the edge of the bucket. The cold water enters at the top of the coil, which will hang just below the wort surface, extending down to about the 2-gallon level. I place the chiller lid on the bucket and into the wort, guarding the cooling wort from debris and allowing me to gently "swing" the chiller through the wort for efficient cooling. The chiller has a garden-hose fitting on the inlet side. I also use a pre-chiller coil immersed in an ice bath after the wort drops to ~120F. A small hole in the lid allows air to enter as the air in the bucket contracts, and is also handy for inserting a long-probe thermometer for monitoring cooling. I also stuck an aquarium thermometer on the outside for an alternate way to read the temeprature (once close to pitching temp). ***Plans for 120V Wiring*** At some point I may make a 120V version which might give me more flexibility in locating the brewery or even allow me to bring it to a friend's house or whatever. It will use the same 240V/4500W elements that I am already using. I'd need another element in the HLT; otherwise it'll take too long for the water to heat (it's gonna take longer as it is due to the reduced power). I'll wire the two elements in parallel, but I'll need to play games with the diode approach since the two elements in parallel will be very close to 20A and I'll probably get lots of nuisance trips of the circuit breaker. If I wire a diode in series with one element, I can limit the average current to around 15A (power = 1125W + 563W = 1688W), while still obtaining reasonable heating times. Whether I would need to switch down to 1125W by disconnecting the diode and element, to avoid boilover, remains to be seen. I would be damn sure that the house-wiring circuit I use is (1) GFI protected and (2) 20 amp rated (breaker *and* wire). I'd estimate evaproation loss at 3 quarts per hour at 1688W (if it doesn't boil over). ***Cleaning*** Two things I noticed -- the hops colored the white boiler green, and the acidity of the wort blackened the element wire. The black on the element did not come off; I suspect it's an oxide layer and I'm not gonna worry about it. The hop stain came out pretty well when I boiled plain water for 15 minutes after hosing out the boiler real well (especially inside the "female adapters"...no lewd puns intended). That should give you a very detailed look at my brewery design. It allowed me to get out of the kitchen (I brew in the garage now), to do full-volume all-grain without hassling with a propane setup and the associated fire and CO risks (although obviously there's a risk trade-off with the electricity), to keep my batch size to a convenient five gallons, and to eliminate siphoning from the wort production phase (I still use a glass carboy for fermenting so siphoning is not totally gone). Ken Schwartz KennyEddy at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 13:59:10 -0600 From: lheavner at tcmail.frco.com Subject: CO2 pressure, bottle cleaning, aging, transportation laws Greetings, It's fun to get to comment in an outside area of knowledge. A recent post questioned the validity of using weight vs pressure to monitor a CO2 cylinder given the Ideal Gas Law --> PV=NRT. Remember that this law is an approximation that applies to well behaved gases at low pressures (relative to the critical pressure). With liquid and vapor present in the cylinder, vapor-liquid-equilibrium is the issue. The formula for vapor pressure is lnP = a/T + b where a and b are constants and 'ln' means natural logarithm. P and T are absolute values (ie don't use gauge pressure without correcting [psia = psig + 14.7] or celsius or farenheit [use kelvin or rankine]). In a mixture (eg N2 and CO2), P will be the partial pressure and the constants will be different for each component. The formula is linear and therefore easy to solve. Just fit it using the boiling point temp and press and the critical temp and press which should be readily available (or use summer and winter readings on your existing gauge). Notice that there is no dependency on either volume or mass. The only requirement is for there to be liquid and vapor in equilibrium. Once the liquid is completely evaporated/removed, the Ideal Gas Law or similar equations of state apply. Bottle cleaning is not as bad as it used to be. In the 80's, I brushed and boiled. Now when I get used bottles, I just put them in a conventional ice chest. Add a few drops of bleach to each bottle, especially the particularly nasty ones, then fill the ice chest with water over the tops of the bottles. This works best if you fill the bottles first, so they don't float on you. Then add a little more bleach for good measure and let it soak a day or two. I leave it out on the patio out of site from my wife. This loosens virtually all labels except for some foil ones and all of the nasty gunk in the bottles. Once in a while, a bottle will need brushing, but not too often. I rinse all of my bottles promptly after using to avoid that step. On bottling day, I set up the kitchen counter with one of those bottle drying trees with the sterilant sprayer on top. I put B-Brite solution in the reservoir. I attach a bottle jet washer to the faucet. I line up my pre-cleaned bottles, put on some good tunes and go for it. A few pumps, a jet rinse, hang em up to dry. You can really find a rhythm. I can do 2 cases before the CD ends. As for bleach, I think bleach is bleach. In fact if you check the label, Liquid Plummer is bleach. It doesn't matter whether you use old generic or new and improved brand name bleach it's all the same. It's made by bubbling Cl2 through an NaOH/H2O solution. If you don't have enough NaOH, you make HOCl instead of NaOCl and begin to have free Cl2 gas which bubbles off and does bad things to lungs. That's why you always have NaOCl and excess NaOH. I guess it would be possible to vary the NaOH concentration before adding Cl2, but after examining labels for a long time, it appears that everybody who makes bleach uses the same strength. OTOH, I have know idea what the lemon scent in some bleaches is and prefer to stay away from them. The moral is get the cheapest bleach you can find. Now for the questions. What is B-Brite? Did somebody say that it was just baking soda. Is that true?? If my wife makes me shave and wear plaid boxers, and I normally wear plaid flannel shirts that Al Borland would be proud of, should I get a new wife or risk yeast problems. (BTW, that's the same wife who wanted me to make a batch of lite. The things you'll do for a little...) I will be leaving Baja Oklahoma and heading north of the Red River for a family reunion this summer. I plan to take a few cases of homebrew for the relatives to try. Any laws against that?? Is there any sources that relate styles of beer to optimum time period for consumption. Sam Adams for one is sure proud of their "best consumed by" date on the label. I can pretty well judge when a beer is too young, but I haven't had the patience to find out when one is too old. I was thinking that I would like to schedule my brewing sessions to ensure that the resulting beers (a pale ale, koelsch, and maybe an ESB or Newcastle Brown clone) were at there peak when I arrived at the reunion. Regards, Lou Heavner - recovering from SXSW <lheavner at frmail.frco.com> Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 17:26:49 -0500 From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Water Chemistry Primer Although as an engineer I took some college-level chemistry, it's sorta like the math that history majors have to take -- get in, get your "pass", get out, forget it. The terminology and general concepts make vague sense to me, but much more detail than that and I'm lost. Ever since a friend and I did our "twin ale" experiment a while back, water chemistry as a player in beer production has been a topic I've tried to bone up on, convinced at the effects it can have. It's been a painful yet fun process of dredging up old archived factoids from my brain files, but as a non-chemist I think I have wrapped this up into a fairly tidy package that other non-chemists can take a bite of. I've compiled a "primer" based on what I have learned, hopefully for the benefit of those interested brewers who may have gotten lost in the chemical detail. I've had it reviewed by a couple of individuals who are much more familiar with the subject than I, and there was a general approval of the content. You real chemists will probably cringe at the unabashed abuse I give the topic, but actually I feel that it's a reasonably accurate *layman's* summary of what the water chemistry does and why we must at least be conscious of it. Certainly there is detail omitted, there are likely many exceptions to these statements, and the terminology may not be precisely correct, but I believe the level of simplification and generalization is necessary for the majority of brewers to be able to intuitively understand it (I know that was true in my case). If anyone has any major corrections or further enlightenment to add, please do! To make things easier for brewers in calculating salt additions, I have also written a Windows utility which should take much of the drudgery out of the task. Changing salt quantities is as easy as moving a scroll-bar. A good variety of target profiles are included. This utility will be available shortly; I'm still finding little bugs here and there. When it appears to be stable I'll post it and announce it. It'll be freeware. The primer is a Windows Write format document downloadable from ftp://users.aol.com/kennyeddy/water/wchemprm.wri I hope it helps. PS -- If any of you MAC users have trouble reading the WRI file let me know. Ken Schwartz KennyEddy at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 18:04:48 -0800 (PST) From: Dave Riedel <RIEDEL at ios.bc.ca> Subject: Re: Canadian Beer (ugh) Clark suggested: >With the exception of The Big Rock Brewery in Calgary (which has several tasty offerings), >I hate to say it but Canadian beer is repulsive compared to the fine nectar of Washington and Oregon ales. These two sentences don't really mesh too well.. tasty <=> repulsive? I think Clark got a little excited when he wrapped up his argument, so I'll assume he didn't mean it quite that way. Then, Al responded: >But, you are somewhat correct about the state of craft brewing in western >Canada, The last time I was out there for a skiing holiday, I asked friends to >bring samples of local beers, Big Rock was the only one producing what I >preferred. I can only speak for BC, but I feel we are developing are fairly good micro- selection here. Examples: Granville Island, Shaftesbury, Vancouver Island and Spring Breweries. However, the trend to drink better beer here lags behind the pace set by the 'pioneers' of Oregon and Washington. In addition, with a population of about one-tenth that of the US, you can't expect a vast selection of local micros like you see below the 49th parallel. In time, I hope to see the industry here grow into something like that of the Western US. But, for now, it takes a little hunting around to spot a good brew-pub or a specialty liquor store to find good alternative beers. And Greg said: >We Canucks get a better selection of beers from other countries than we can >from other provinces, thanks to a longstanding protectionist policy that >blocks brewers from selling beer in provinces where they don't actually >have a brewery. But imported beer is OK? I had never tasted Nova Scotia's This is definately true... I've only had an opportunity to buy, I think it was, Le Fin du Monde (a Quebec micro offering) once when I was in a little specialty shop in the Alsace region of France! Yes, distribution of Canadian micros within Canada leaves a lot to be desired. But then, you can't get Celis brews all over the US either can you? Cheers to the steadily growing microbrewery industry of BC (and Canada). end of flame? Dave Riedel Victoria, BC CANADA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 21:10:51 -0500 From: jhewit at freenet.vcu.edu (Jeff Hewit) Subject: Burton Water Salts A number of homebrew suppliers offer "Burton Water Salts," without providing any details as to exactly what's in it. I figure it's a mixture of gypsum, calcium chloride and epsom salt, but I'm not sure. I guess I could call the suppliers, but then they might expect me to buy something. Does anyone out there know the formula for Burton Water Salts? I'm also wondoring if there's a single formula, or if it varies depending on who's mixing it. TIA - Brew on! - -- - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jeff Hewit Midlothian, Virginia Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 96 22:27 EST From: cdp at chattanooga.net (C.D. Pritchard) Subject: distilling, thermometers and more Re: <name withheld> posted in # 1984: >A freind of mine has an old still that his grandfather made during >prohibition. He states that it is not illegal to distill your own >beverages. Is there any truth to this? The last I checked making beverages such as distilled water was not yet illegal. Alcohol in the distillate and lack of the required govt. permission and taxes will get you in trouble with the good ole BATF faster than you can say Wacco! The old-time revenuers mostly only weilded stil-busting axes and, contrary to folklore, rarely actually shot moonshiners. OTOH, the BATF... >If so, is distilling safe? Depends on what you call "safe" and the processes and equipment involved. Lack of permits/taxes (not to mention posting your address/friend's interest herein...) is the riskiest part of the endevour! More than a few moonshiners have blown and burned up stills and have poisoned their customers with lead (from vehicle radiators) and other stuff in the shine. There's a some chemical that can be generated which is pretty toxic- more so than any lead in the condensor as I recall from my readings on the subject. BTW, the friend might want to post lots of big "UNarmed homeowner" signs if he elects to distill w/o govt. approval. ;-) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Ken Parsons noted a doublebock ad said: >1/2 pound of malt in every bottle and calculated: >the resulting alcohol content would be 16.9 wt% or 21.8 vol%. Thanks for the calc. Ken! Mind if "a friend" sends it to Consumer Reports, the FTC and perhaps the Wacco folks? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Kelly Heflin posted reguarding a a SS mash tun: >I'm also thinking of a thermometer >mounted in it, but I seem to like poking a thermometer all over the >place in diff. parts of the grain ( any thoughts on this). Sounds like lots of welding- which may not be a PITA for you as it would be for me. All those probes stiking out into the mash would also interfer with stirring. I use Radio Shack thermistors (#271-110- a buck or so apiece). Just wire 'em to a 10 pole rotary switch and thence to a ohmmeter and use the data on the back of the thermistor blister pack to convert ohms to degC or make a chart for even easier conversion. (It's not my idea- THANKS go to whoever posted this idea!) All the cables enter the tun from the top. I use 3/16" OD brass tubing to house the thermistor and the cable connections. A dab of silicone caulk seals the ends. I also put some heat-shrink tubing over the cable end of the tube and shrink it down over the uncured silicone. Smaller heat-shrink tubing insulates the cable connections to the thermistor inside the brass tube. I use a 2 conductor shielded cable of unknown jacketing material (probably vinyl). Never had a problem with degradation or off flavors. OTHO, I currently have only have about 6" of the stuff in the RIMS tun and 12" in the sprarge water tank. Perhaps silicone jacketed cables (sold as plenum or riser rated cables) would be better if the plastic worries you. Putting the cable and thermistor inside a "conduit" made from 1/4" Cu tubing would also work. The probes are positioned with #12 copper wire suspended from hooks on the tanks so they are easily removable for stirring or mucking about in the mash. You could also hook the thermistors up in series and get an average mash temperature. - - - - - - - - - Yet another reason on why not to tap a stove's range element connector for powering a tun or boiler: A catalog I have shows the max. wattage of stove top elements at 2600 W (only a few go this high, most are around 2100 W). The proposed boiler draws 3000. If you crank the temp. control wide open... - - - - - - - - - Jeff Schroeder <jms at rahul.net> quoted a noted book author: >"Whole leaf hops should be sparged with about 2 quarts of water >to rinse out the sugar they have absorbed." and asked: >Wouldn't this also rinse out the hot break they have trapped, sending it right >into your fermenter? It would unless filter out the break/hops. I guess that's why it's called a sparge. I once poured in h20 into the dregs in the boiler (used left over sparge water- pH=5.5) whirlpooled, waited and then racked off the wort. Since my current manifold leaves only about a pint of wort in the bottom of the kettle and perhaps only another pint in the break/hops, I've ceased sparging. The small added cost in extract or grain required to make up for this loss (if you're even that concerned about it) is a small price to pay for the time saved and the hassle and possible infection avoided. I seem to recall that the sparge water should be acidic to reduce extraction of something or the other. I think Noonan recommends a hopback type apparatus, monitoring the specific gravity and stopping at 1.020. - - - - - - - - - - - Whew! I hope the above didn't waste too many electrons... C.D. Pritchard cdp at chattanooga.net Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 00:02:08 +0100 From: gpotts at tube.com (Greg Potts) Subject: Canadian to enter US brewing competition Hi Folks, I'm interested in entering the 1996 Spirit of Free Beer Competition. What the hell, eh? Has anyone had any experience shipping homebrew over the border? Will I need to get a customs agent, or what? Help would be appreciated. Direct e-mail or via the list would be fine Thanks. gpotts at tube.com 100 Mhz Power Computing 1Gb/16MB/4xCD Why do we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 00:14:04 -0500 (EST) From: Dan <DJTIM at delphi.com> Subject: Second batch gone bad? Reply to rec.crafts.brewing message #80 Hello folks, I am another new brewer and would like to tap the collective wisdom of this venerable group. I have been reading HBD and rec.crafts.brewing for some time before I started my first batch and have tried to use the knowledge gathered but my first batch bombed and I am concerned that my second batch (all extract, of course) is going the same direction. My first batch died of a clear case of infection. I attribute this to the problems I had racking to the secondary. (Man, what a comedy of errors, not the least of which, my significant other decided to fire up the vacuum cleaner during the process, aaaargh). I figured that experience is a great teacher and tried again, of course. The second brewing went very well compared to the first, no mistakes and pretty well had things under control. Due to my job I wasn't able to rack to the secondary in the 3 days (more or less) that I have read about here. It was 7 days. OG was 1.040 and at racking the SG was 1.007. I thought great! moving right along but maybe too far but I couldn't bottle because I was going on the road again. Racking went fine, no fuss, no muss, no vacuum cleaners stirring things up. I have been (I believe) careful about sanitation during the whole process but now things don't look right. Floating on top are small (1/8" diameter) clumps that are clearly not CO2 bubbles. Bubbles don't have fuzz. In addition, there are large clumps of tannish colored material which I at first believed was flocculating yeast but they are not settling. They are in suspension and floating on top also. I can't bottle for another week because I am still on the road and was only home for a day before I was gone again. I know the routine regarding tasting and see what that's like but until I can I wanted some thoughts from you all.... My thoughts so far: 1. My sanitation isn't is good as I thought. 2. I racked too late and there wasn't enough yeast activity creating CO2 to clear the secondary. 3. (What I am leaning toward.) The water added to the boiled wort to make up the 5 gallons wasn't boiled and had microorganisms that have won the battle with the yeast. The make water is from my well and hasn't been tested or sanitized in over a year. All comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks for the bandwidth and help. This is (as noted by many) a unique group of folks that genuinely want to help each other and I am glad to be a part of it. Dan djtim at delphi.com "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like most of us have. It's pretty hard to explain why you are mad even if you are not mad." The Pink Floyd ~ CMPQwk 1.42 394 ~The gene pool has no lifeguard '[1;32m== IntJet: QWK, UK & US, Windows, GUI, OLR !! '[1;35;40m-=> Delphi Internet Jet SST v3.012 - (C) PBE Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 21:47:18 -0800 From: Michael Black <black at sirius.com> Subject: Bottles I have been lurking for awhile now and this is my first post. Anyone in the Oakland, CA area that is botteling: I have several cases of bottles. I keg. The bottles are in the way. You haul them : they are yours. First come, first served. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 04:34:41 -0700 From: wa5dxp at mail.sstar.com (Jim Overstreet) Subject: Hangover Cures "There IS no cure for a hangover, save death!" - Robert Benchley Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 07:55:22 -0500 From: Bob McCowan <bob.mccowan at cfrp.varian.com> Subject: Grades and alcohol Derek Lyons says: >>The average number of alcoholic drinks that college students with "A" >>averages cunsume is 3.5 per week. The average number of alcoholic >>drinks that college students with "D" or "F" averages is 11 per week. >>I got this info in a nutrition class I had while at N.C. State. >Sounds like propoganda to me... I maintained at 90+ average during my Navy >training while consuming *far* more than 11 drinks a week. (And it was >*NOT* an easy school. The equivalent of a BE in 34 weeks.) We should be careful to not imply cause and effect here. Perhaps students who don't bother to study spend more time at parties. So, rather than "excess" drinking causing poor grades, both may be caused by another common factor (lack of studying). That would allow for someone to drink more and still do well - as Derek did. Bob - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bob McCowan voice: (508)-922-6000 x208 ATG/Receiver-Protector fax: (508)-922-8914 CPI BMD Formerly Varian CF&RPP e-mail: bob.mccowan at cfrp.varian.com Beverly, MA 01915 - --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 08:14:40 -0500 From: Bob McCowan <bob.mccowan at cfrp.varian.com> Subject: Filters/finings Jim Busch says: >As for lackluster beers from filtering, this can be a result of micro- >filtration which is sterile filtration below 1 micron. I feel this is >very undesirable. A local microbrewer told me that if you filter to remove nearly all the yeast (clearly ;) unnecessary for clear beer) you had better filter out the bacteria as well. I don't know the required pore sizes for yeast/bacteria, but the implication was that too fine a filter removes various body-building components. He also stated that a small amount of yeast had a stabilizing effect on the beer. I've seen this mentioned elsewhere, but don't remember the reference. >Beer that will be around for a extended time is best removed from the >fermentation yeast to avoid the autolysis problem. Is this true if there's only a little fermentation yeast left? What's the difference between cold conditioning and racking off the yeast sediment and filtering and the reintroducing yeast? Bob - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bob McCowan voice: (508)-922-6000 x208 ATG/Receiver-Protector fax: (508)-922-8914 CPI BMD Formerly Varian CF&RPP e-mail: bob.mccowan at cfrp.varian.com Beverly, MA 01915 - --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 96 08:54:00 PST From: "Payne, Chris" <cpayne at atlanta.glenayre.com> Subject: RE: Honey Wheat Beer Recipe comments In HB#1988 Paul McFarland asked for comments on his recipe > Honey Wheat Ale Recipe: > > > 3.3 Lbs Munton & Fison Wheat malt extract > 3.3 Lbs Munron & Fison Light malt extract > 1.0 Lbs Crystal malt > 0.25 Oz Hallertauer Hops for bittering. > 0.25 Oz Hallertauer hops for flavor. > (NO AROMA HOPS). > 2.0 lbs Clover Honey (Add to wort and boil for five minutes) > > 2 packets Muntons dry ale yeast (6 grams each) use a quart starter prior. I have made several Honey beers and I find that Orange Blossom Honey has a better task IMO. It gives a slight fruit flavor that goes really nice with a wheat beer. You may want to give this a try. Christopher Payne - cpayne at atlanta.glenarye.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------ There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. -Ken Grahame ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 96 09:36:15 EST From: Mike Davis <mdavis at BayNetworks.com> Subject: Re: Prohibition revisited >>The average number of alcoholic drinks that college students with "A" >>averages cunsume is 3.5 per week. The average number of alcoholic >>drinks that college students with "D" or "F" averages is 11 per week. >>I got this info in a nutrition class I had while at N.C. State. Well, if I had an "F" average, I could be driven to drink as well. I think the professor must have had too many drinks while taking statistics, if he bothered at all. Repeat after me: Correlation is not causation Correlation is not causation Correlation is not causation - --mad - -- Mike Davis == mdavis at pobox.wellfleet.com == +1 508 436 8016 druid at world.std.com Return to table of contents