HOMEBREW Digest #2605 Fri 09 January 1998

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		Digest Janitor: janitor@hbd.org
		Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of 
		Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.
				URL: http://www.oeonline.com

  Keeping warm (nathan_l_kanous_ii)
  newbie questions (LONG) ("MMC Richard A. Kappler")
  TY to Allergy Responders (William D Gladden )
  Koji (aquinn)
  RE: Jack's anagram ("Keith Royster")
  Gambrinus White (Andrew Stavrolakis)
  Temperature excursion during lager ferment ("Dave Draper")
  Re: Yeast (Joe Rolfe)
  Re: beer with mass appeal (Jeff Renner)
  hot side aeration (Thomas Kramer)
  Cheap chrome beer taps (John Wilkinson)
  Mills (Bill Giffin)
  Non Fermentation (Kent Campbell)
  Electric Elements (KennyEddy)
  Rubbermaid, dosage, plastics ("David R. Burley")
  Do NOT store Copper in bleach (verdigris thread) (John Palmer)
  RE:  Keeping Warm (HBD2603#16) (Tim.Watkins)
  To cover or not to cover..... (Greg Young)
  Source for MashMixer motors - Surplus Center (The GasFamily)
  Re: High Altitude Brewing Record (Scott Kaczorowski)
  Fixing my enamel pot ("C.W. Hudak")
  mass appeal beer, mixmasher (michael rose)
  Mixmasher (John Wilkinson)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 07:29:20 -0400 From: nathan_l_kanous_ii at ferris.edu Subject: Keeping warm Wow, tonyw at Mass-USR.COM (Tony Willoughby) has too cold a fermentation! Tony, a couple of thoughts. Ken Schwartz has a "fermentation box" that is posted on his web page. http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy/index.html Check it out. I made one recently and intend to make a lager this Saturday. I finally got a freezer to freeze ice jugs in. How to keep it warm? You seem to not want to use a lightbulb. If it were me, I'd consider using one of those little ceramic heaters. You'd just need a more precise temperature controller. How about...geez, I can't remember who made the homebrew temp controller. Was it C.D. Pritchard? Anyhow, I picked up the parts at Radio Shack as directed and put it together. My first project assembling something electronic (since a "crystal" radio, years ago) and it worked on my first attempt. Maybe that's worth a shot. Good luck Nathan in Frankenmuth, MI P.S. What about a yeast tolerant of lower temps, or a lager strain? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 08:15:14 -0500 From: "MMC Richard A. Kappler" <KAPPLERR at swos.navy.mil> Subject: newbie questions (LONG) Howdy folks, finally have a few questions I feel are worthy of your time, but if they've been covered ad nauseum previously feel free to reply privately or ignore. 1. One of the reasons I got out of homebrewing back in the mid eighties, and one of the reasons I hate most micro brews, is that sort of sickly sweet ummmmm, well just icky aftertaste. I had somehow come to the opinion that this was from using corn sugar to prime, (though as an engineer with a good understand of chemistry and yeast activity, I realize this shouldn't make sense to me) so when I got back into brewing a few months ago, I demanded malt for priming instead of corn sugar. No problems, no icky aftertaste, I'm not satisfied with what I'm brewing, but hey, that's part of the game isn't it? Its still worlds better than what I can buy off the shelf IMHO. A few batches ago, my supplier slipped in corn sugar vice my usual malt, and I figured what the hey, I'll try it. That batch is a little sweeter than I expected, not so bad, but... opinions? 2. My brewing setup is a little primitive as of yet. Mostly I do partial grain brews, I have just added an 8 gallon pot for full boils and a wort chiller to my arsenal. The question is re steeping (mashing?) temps for my grain. The recipes I get from books or my supplier (yes, I'm still at that stage) almost all say steep grains for 30 minutes at 155 F. I am beginning to understand the relationship between temp and starch conversion and enzyme production, BUT. With my setup it is very nearly impossible to maintain exactly 155 F. If I look away for even a moment, it jumps as high as 175 F. From lurking on the list for quite some time, I get the impression this might actually be a good thing. How better to control temps, and what temps to use? 3. I use two burners on my gas stove to heat/boil my wort. I get some 'burning' (carmelization?) on the bottom of the pot, very little, but its there. Is this a bad thing? I realize I can reduce the rate of temp increase when going from steep to boil, but should I, and that brings up question 4 4. After steeping the grains for 30 min, Most of the recipes I like say add extracts etc and boil for 1 hr. Does time used to increase temp from 155 to boiling count? Are we talking a full rolling boil, gentle boil, what? 5. What I'm looking to brew is an equivalent of Wm Younger's Tartan Special with just a wee bit more body. I'm getting close as I try various recipes, or more truthfully, understanding more of how various ingredients affect final taste, but one of things I love about Tartan Special when I was stationed in Scotland was how smooth it was. I can't even begin to approach that. Mine has a bit of a bite to it when it first hits the palette. Is this aging? What other factors affect that? 6. Finally (for now), one of the ultimate goals to this whole process is that I have bought a rather large chunk of dirt to keep me occupied when I retire from military service, and would like to control the whole process from start to finish, ie grow my own barley, malt it etc. Can anyone provide me with some references re growing barley, different varieties, and the mashing process? I understand the basics, but want much more info. Thanks Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 08:16:39 -0500 From: William D Gladden <W_GLADDEN at Mail.Co.Chester.PA.US> Subject: TY to Allergy Responders To all responders to my info. request re: allergic reaction to beer, Thanks very much for the e-mails. I have passed them on to my friend who plans to see a doctor in the near future and abstain from alcohol consumption in the meantime. Many mailers reinforced our opinion that this is serious. Hearing about others with this reaction was also a comfort to my friend. The story of a head brewer who developed a yeast allergy definately reinforced the "it could be worse" aspects of this as of yet inexplicable health/quality-of-life complication. To any upset by a non brewing post, Thank you for not suggesting a cross post to alt-medical. Cheers, Bill Gladden W_Gladden at Mail.Co.Chester.PA.US Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 08:25:50 +0000 From: aquinn at postoffice.worldnet.att.net Subject: Koji For any sake brewers in the Dallas area, Koji is available at Kazy's Gourmet Shop, 9256 Markville (Greenville and 635 area) 972-235-4831. There may be other places but it's the only one that I've found and it saves the $6.00 shipping and handling charges. In addition, its $2.00 cheaper per container than St. Pats of Austin. Tony Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 09:27:16 +0500 From: "Keith Royster" <keith at ays.net> Subject: RE: Jack's anagram I REALLY enjoyed Charlie Scandrett's well thought out comparison of RIMS and the MixMasher. However, I would like to comment on a few points... > The control mechanisms for RIMS are "complicated" but very reliable > and accurate, transisterised temperature controllers and solid state > relays. Jack and others often site RIMS complexity as it's downfall, yet they feel comfortable using a computer and the internet without understanding fully how they work. If you had to build your own computer then there'd be a lot less people online. Same goes for the RIMS temp controller. Luckily we don't have to build them from scratch like Rodney Morris did because companies like Omega Engineering (http://www.omega.com) sell devices call PIDs at reasonable prices that work even better than Rodney's controller. If you can do some basic plumbing and house wiring, you can build a RIMS! > If the basic principle of RIMS has long been used in many > biochemical and food processes (including fermentation), why don't > commercial brewers use it for mashing? I asked one and his > unsubstantiated reply was that the excessive flushing by > circulation had negative effects on polyphenol extraction and > resulted in less stable beers. My personal opinion is that this is another RIMS myth (momily!). Someone probably said, "Hey, if over sparging can cause polyphenol extraction then a RIMS must really extract a lot of polyphenols since it is constantly recirculating!" Problem with this logic is that it assumes that the physical recirculation is what extracts the polyphenols when instead it is the change in pH during sparging because of the thinning wort that extracts them. Since the wort is not thinning during RIMS recirculation there is no change in pH and thus no (or VERY little) extraction of polyphenols. No, the *real* reason you don't see RIMS in commercial production is that you can't find a 15 foot tall, 100,000 watt hot water heating element anywhere! But seriously, a 10 gallon batch is pushing the upper limit for a RIMS because anything larger would take too long to boost temps using a typical RIMS heating element. > The critical points in Mash Mixing are heat transfer, heat control > and oxidation and turbulence. I agree with Jack. The MixMasher is no more or less prone to HSA than a RIMS, if properly designed. If your RIMS splashes the returned wort or sucks air into your plumbing you will have HSA. If your MixMasher splashes and churns air as it mixes it will also suffer from HSA. However, I also question the true seriousness of HSA as Jack does, but that's for another discussion. In another post, Jack responds to Dion's comments about the MixMasher and RIMS... DH> Given Jack's description, what it does NOT provide is the ability DH> to walk away for the entire duration of the mash and be ensured DH> that the temperature would be automatically maintained.... JS> Right but as I also mentioned, anyone taking the trouble to JS> design and build something like a RIMS in not likely to be JS> uninterested in watching it do its thing. After all, if we JS> wanted automatic beer, we would go out and buy it. People (including myself on my web page) keep referring to RIMS users as having the ability to walk away from the process because it is completely automatic in it's temp control. However, in all honesty, Jack is right in that I do enjoy "watching it work." However, what my RIMS still does provide me that I don't see the MixMasher doing is the ability to completely watch and enjoy the process uninterrupted because I don't have to worry about watching my temps while turning a burner off and on. Just watch and marvel (and maybe adjust a ball-valve for flow control). DH> the tradeoff is automatic temperature control and crystal clear DH> wort ready for the kettle without manual vorluff. JS> I still have a problem with this. I guess I do not understand JS> what you mean by "manual vorluff" perhaps because I am missing JS> something in my understanding of RIMS. Jack appears to claim that with his EasyMasher he requires no manual recirculation (vorluff) when he begins sparging to obtain crystal clear wort. While this may be true for Jack, it is not the case for most brewers that I have spoken with. RIMS eliminates the need for this final recirculation because it has already been doing it for the entire process and so the wort is already crystal clear and ready for sparging. In short, I think the MixMasher (or mash mixing) is a great alternative and I intend to include a link to Jack's page from my RIMS page. They both have pros and cons and each will appeal to different brewers. PS- I should also mention that one thing a RIMS can easily be adapted for that a MixMasher can't is batch sparging (a great time saver) because of the existing pump and plumbing! Keith Royster - Mooresville, North Carolina mailto:keith at ays.net For information about the 1998 U.S.Open homebrew competition coming this April, visit http://www.ays.net/brewmasters/ For info on my RIMS, visit http://www.ays.net/RIMS/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 09:37:43 -0500 From: Andrew Stavrolakis <andrew_stavrolakis at harvard.edu> Subject: Gambrinus White I just got a postcard from my mother who spent Christmas in the Czech Republic; She spent alot of time in Prague and Pilz and writes "pilsener is free with lunch but water costs money" My kind of place. She brought me back four bottles of Urquell and one of "Gambrinus White". The Gambrinus Dark broke along the way. Does anyone know what Gambrinus White is? She's in Atlanta and I'm in Boston, so it may be a while until I try it. Thanks, Andrew Stavrolakis andrew_stavrolakis at harvard.edu ************************************************************ Andrew J. Stavrolakis Controller LASPAU: Academic and Professional Programs for the Americas 25 Mount Auburn Street Cambridge, MA 02138 phone:617-495-0543 fax: 617-495-8990 email:Andrew_Stavrolakis at harvard.edu http://www.laspau.harvard.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 08:58:43 -6 From: "Dave Draper" <ddraper at utdallas.edu> Subject: Temperature excursion during lager ferment Dear Friends, Happy New Year to one and all. Last month I brewed a pils type lager a few days before departing for sunny California for holiday family visits. Upon my return, I found that the ground-fault interrupt on the wall socket where my brew fridge plugs in had tripped sometime during my absence, to my dismay. Temperature inside the fridge was 15 C / 59 F, up from the intended 10 C / 50 F, so it could have been worse. The gravity upon finding this was 1030, down from the initial gravity of 1056. From this, I am guessing that the interrupt failure occurred later rather than sooner, because the more vigorous fermentation in the initial stages would have provided heat, which would not have escaped from the fridge-- that's my theory anyway. Clearly it could have been worse. Not surprisingly, this high-T "excursion" has resulted in some esters that I'd prefer not to have in the beer. My question: can this be alleviated by extended lagering, or should I just proceed as normal, get a less-than-optimum result, and chalk it up to experience? Thanks and cheers, Dave in Dallas - --- ***************************************************************************** Dave Draper, Dept Geosciences, U. Texas at Dallas, Richardson TX 75083 ddraper at utdallas.edu (commercial email unwelcome) WWW: hbd.org/~ddraper Beer page: http://hbd.org/~ddraper/beer.html I can't be bought for a mere $3.50. ---Jeff Renner Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 10:17:39 -0500 (EST) From: Joe Rolfe <onbc at shore.net> Subject: Re: Yeast >------------------------------ > >Date: Mon, 05 Jan 1998 12:44:46 -0700 >From: "Dr. Dwight A Erickson" <colvillechiro at plix.com> >Subject: Yeast > >If it's bad to leave beer and yeast together (past two weeks) in the >primary >fermenter (cause yeast breaks down = bad taste etc) why is it alright >to >have them together in the bottle after capping? usually - if done correctly anyway... the volume of yeast per ml of beer is well less in bottle conditioned beer, for one 500K to 1M cells/ml as opposed to 40M to 80M per ml in primary. the yeast in the primary has "dirty" (if you want to call it that) components like trub, hop junk, break amoungst other primary fermentation byproducts. the primary is a large growth were as the bottle condition fermetnation is a lot less growth going on. lastly in most commercial applications yeast for bottling is comming from the propagation room, and in a virgin state so to speak. in most the yeast picked for this process is selected is used primarily for this purpose and nothing else (usually - but not allways). the primary goals of the selection is final flavor of the product, speed of referment, stability, packing at the bottom when done. alot of yeast out there is fine for primary/secondary but fails (commercially anyway) for bottle conditioning. good luck and great brewing joe rolfe Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 10:15:21 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: beer with mass appeal lheavner at tcmail.frco.com (Lou Heavner) wrote: > Recently, the notion of beer > with mass appeal came up. A CAP would have been my 1st choice. > Somebody, Ken Schwartz maybe, suggested an O'fest. That would be my > 2nd choice. Well not really an O'fest, more of a North American > Vienna. Use 4# Pils, 4# Vienna, and 2# corn. It's a pretty colored > beer. Use an oz of Cluster for bittering and an oz of Libery for > finishing. It's always nice to see public enthusiasm for CAP and other American corn-adjunct beers. The grain bill of this Vienna-American lager looks similar to one I've made, although I considered it more of a Bavarian-American as it was gold rather than amber, maybe 4-5 L. Very pretty, as Lou says. It may depend on the color of the Vienna malt. I also aimed for a little higher FG and used a little less bittering, about 20 IBU target. I compute this to be 24 IBU from the Cluster assuming 7% alpha, 23% utilization, 5.25 gallons (to allow for subsequent losses). Corn really adds to this style of beer, doesn't it? What a shame it's so denigrated. I would guess that it is typical of the Bavarian influenced lagers made in America in pre-prohibition and early post-pro times. Sometimes I think that I prefer these European-American versions with corn to the all malt originals, but then I taste the originals and think not, they're both terrific. So many beers, so little time! I can't brew or drink all the ones I want to make. Maybe time to open a brewpub! Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 10:27:11 -0500 From: Thomas Kramer <tkramer at monad.net> Subject: hot side aeration I was mashing a IPA in my 7gal gott cooler with a phils false bottom, and when I went to start the sparge I found that the hose connecting the false bottom to the valve had come off, so I poured the mash in to my 5gal cooler, and sparged. The temp of the mash was about 162F at the time will this cause hot side aeration, and what does that mean, will my beer taste different, how will I be able to tell? tom Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 98 10:06:45 CST From: jwilkins at wss.dsccc.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: Cheap chrome beer taps Kevin Aylor asked about cheap chrome beer taps. The least expensive place I have found is Superior Products. Their number is (800) 328-9800. I bought mine at their store in Dallas but they also do mail order. I believe I paid about $22 apiece for the spigots. Be sure to ask for spigots or faucets as "tap" mean something else to them. That is the part that goes into a keg. I almost ordered the wrong thing the first time I bought any. John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas - jwilkins at wss.dsccc.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 11:09:24 -0500 From: Bill Giffin <billg at ctel.net> Subject: Mills Top of the afternoon to ye all, >>Al Korzonas said: I don't think there's a need. I've seen and used grain crushed with both the JSP MaltMill and the PhilMill and both produce a grist that is very close to that said to be "ideal" by various professional texts. I've gotten as much as 30 pts/lb/gal from malt crushed with a single pass through my JSP MaltMill. I doubt that a 6-roller mill can do any better.<< Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. And yes a 6-roll mill can do much better as much as 10-15% better. >>Al Korzonas said: Back when I used to own a HB supply store, a customer who had been using a Corona mill for many years, bought a MaltMill. He called me later to let me know that his average efficiency had improved 20%.<< This is only because neither you nor your customer knew how to adjust the Corona mill properly. >>Al Korzonas said: I know of two microbreweries that used Coronas and I know they have made great beer with them, but I feel that rollermills result in far better crushes with far less adjusting and consistently better efficiency. With the Corona you have a tradeoff between uncrushed malt and fractured husks.<< Properly set the Corona mill doesn't fracture husk any more then the MaltMill or the Phil's Mill. As you have said before if the pH is correct there is no problem with a few crushed husks. >>Al Korzonas said: Use a Corona for making tortillas... use a rollermill for making beer. The right tool for the right job.<< MaltMill, Phil's Mill, and Valley Mill are not the right tool for the job. The right tool for the job is a mill with rollers that are 250 mm in diameter and has at least four rollers. All of the mills available to the homebrewer are a compromise. All will allow you to crush malt and brew beer. The Corona properly adjusted will give the best extraction as well as great beer, of the mill available to the homebrewer at the least cost. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 07:13:05 -0600 From: Kent Campbell <kencam at pobox.com> Subject: Non Fermentation Hi, This is my first post to this list, and you will surely discover that I am a neophyte. Now with that admitted and acknowledged, I will, with great trepidation, post a question that will surely show my ignorance. I received a Homebrew Kit from my Daughter for Christmas, and a great book on the subject as well. It included a 3.5lb can of malt extract, 2 lbs of dried malt extract, a packet of Edme yeast with a 1999 expiration date, and some ?Fuggles? hops. I read up on how to do this procedure, sanitized everything as well as I could think with Clorox, rinsed well, boiled everything for 45 minutes, followed the instrucs on the Hops (steeped like tea in the last 15 minutes using a straining bag), cooled the wort to about 75 degrees F by using a sink bath around the pot (tap water was about 43 degrees, so got a quick cool down in my 14 qt. pot), and put it in the Carboy. Added store bought bottled distilled water to 5 gallons, and added the yeast which had been hydrated in a pint of boiled and cooled water, placed in a sterile half gallon container to which was added about 4 tablespoons of the canned malt extract mixed in a quart of 95 degree boiled and cooled water. That had been left to start for about one hour while the wort was prepared. Placed the lid, and the airlock, and watched the thing pop at about 70 to 75 beats a minute for the first 36 hours, then slowly drop off to no activity in the air lock after about 48 to 60 hours. BTW, the OG was 1.013 at about 75 degrees F. After 7 days, I took a sample from the carboy and tested the SG to see if this stuff was getting ready. To my absolute surprise, I got a SG reading of 1.013 at about 64 degrees F. Now I know that there is an adjustment for temperature, but it sure seems to me that virtually no fermentation has taken place. What is the deal? Can I save this batch by re pitching with new yeast? Why didn't the sugars ferment? I still have the brew in the carboy, not knowing what to do with it. I don't want to waste time bottling it if it is non alcoholic, I would rather try again. Any ideas would be appreciated. Kent Campbell Geocities Community Leader, WallStreet http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/2172 http://www.pobox.com/~kencam EMail always reaches me using: kencam at pobox.com ICQ pager: http://wwp.mirabilis.com/1791589 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 12:09:12 EST From: KennyEddy <KennyEddy at aol.com> Subject: Electric Elements I've received a few requests for more info on the Omega and Minco elements I mentioned in HBD2601 so I thought I'd post it here for everyone. My thought was that these elements could be attached to the outside of the JS MixMasher kettle, and operated using the same type of control used by RIMS brewers, to form a completely automated non-RIMS mashing system based on the MixMasher. I'm not associated with any of the manufacturers listed in this article. *Flexible Heaters* The elements I referred to in the previous article are much like heating pads. There are two types which are probably applicable to our use, silicone rubber and Kapton. There are other materials used but the idea is the same. The silicone heaters are made by sandwiching nichrome heating wire between two thin layers of silicone rubber. They will withstand temperatures up to 450F (232C). The overall heater is about 0.020" (0.5mm) thick. They are normally not immersible, so they would be attached to the outside of the kettle. Omega's offerings are available in 2.5, 5, and 10 watt per square inch densities. For the amount of power we need (at least 1000W for 5-gallon batch mashes), the 10W/sq-in model is probably the best practical choice. However, some over-temperature lockout might be needed in case the kettle was operated dry or overheating otherwise occurs. A simple hair-dryer snap-action thermostat may be adequate, since we only need temperatures up to something less than boiling. Kapton heaters are made using an etched copper (or other metal) foil pattern between two sheets of Kapton, a thin, flexible, high-temperature material. It can be used up to 392F (200C) and is half the thickness of the silicone uint. It too is not immersible. It is a bit more expensive than the silicone model. A sample of models and prices for the Omega line is given here, from their 1996 catalog. For a 5-8 gallon kettle, a 12" circular unit attached to the bottom of the kettle would provide 1500W at 10W/sq-in. This unit (#SRFR-12/10) costs $53. The same thing in Kapton (#KHR-12/10) costs $67. For larger batches, use this unit plus a 4" x 36" rectangular unit wrapped around the kettle near the bottom. #SRFG-436/10 supplies an additional 1440W for $57. No Kapton version is available in this size. For both personal safety and for efficient heating, the heater(s) should be covered with fberglass insulation, and again, be sure to include some sort of over- temperature protection. Also, be sure the element is in intimate contact with the vessel at all points. Air gaps will lead to localized overheating (hot spots). Be sure the vessel is completely flat-bottomed. Use a thin layer of silicone adhesive to attach the element and be sure it's fully cured before using. While the prices may seem high, compared with a top-quality water-heater element used in a RIMS system, the difference diminishes somewhat. The lack of need for external heating chamber material and construction also offsets the difference to a degree. Again, the two types of systems have their trade- offs. There's nothing to say that you couldn't also use these types of heaters to make electric boilers as well as mashtuns. 1500W is plenty to acheive a rolling boil in 6-7 gallons of wort. If you have concerns about using water- heater elements in your wort (see below), this alternative prevents the wort from contacting anything but the kettle material. I would strongly discourage the idea of using a flexible heater on a plastic vessel. Plastic is a relatively poor conductor of heat and would require the heater to get quite hot in order to push the necessary amount of heat through the plastic, raising the danger of overheating/meltdown/fire/spilled boiling liquid. Use only metal vessels with flexible heaters, and electrically ground the vessel itself for an added measure of safety. Omega can be reached at (800) TC-OMEGA or see their website at http://www.omega.com. Contact Minco at (612) 571-3121 or http://www.minco.com. The websites do not have much infomation specifically on heaters but they do have links for information & pricing requests. *Water-Heater Elements* The other kind of heater commonly used is the water-heater type of immersible heating element. They typically have a screw-type threaded base, and a loop of heavy heating wire, sometimes "folded" to increase wire length in a compact overall size. This "heating wire" is made as follows. A length of nichrome heating wire (usually 80Ni/20Cr) is coiled around a small mandrel. This assembly is then coated with a thick layer of manganese oxide (MgO) which has the property of being a good electrical insulator as well as a good thermal conductor. This whole thing is then enclosed within a metal sheath. The metal sheath is usually electrically grounded, and is not electrically connected to the power terminals on the screw base. Thus, under normal operation, no electricity ever contacts the liquid. The sheath materials most often used include copper, stainless steel, Incolloy, and Chromalox. Incolloy is known (among other things) for its resistance to corrosive water baths, so I suspect it should be quite inert in wort (which is acidic but not exactly "corrosive"). Copper and stainless are obviously compatible with wort. Maybe our resident metallurgists can jump in with some details? With any type of heater, one of the most important things to consider is the watt density rating, which is the number of watts of power passing through a square inch of heater surface. Too much power and you will scorch the wort by overheating. Seems Mr RIMS Dion Hollenbeck once posted a figure of about 14 W/sq-in for his design. Hardware-store elements are usually 5/16" diameter, giving a surface area of about 1 sq-in per inch of wire length. The short, single-loop elements may be as high as 70 W/sq-in or more while the longer, folded types fall into the 20-25 W/sq-in range. See my web page for details on how I made an electric brewery. ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 12:14:13 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Rubbermaid, dosage, plastics Brewsters: Leave it an Ozzie to find the name "Rubbermaid" somehow seductive. Charlie Scandrett says: >I use steam injection into the standard plastic insulated reactor >(The products of the unsung Mr. Gott or the suggestively titled "Rubbermaid", Makes me wonder why you chose steam injection. What kinds of magazines do you read besides BT? {8^) Nice summary and comments as usual. - ------------------------------------------------------ Jim Wallace asks "why not put in all the fermentables at the beginning?" Adding sugar repeatedly when the gravity gets to 5 is an old home winemaking trick to encourage the yeast to = adapt and ferment to a higher alcohol than normal. Since beer yeast is also S. Cerevisiae, it also works here. Why? I've never heard any scientific reasoning. It may have to do with the osmotic pressure across the yeast cell membranes if the OG is too high. Perhaps at some point, the combination of sugar and alcohol prevents the yeasts membranes from functioning. Putting in the = sugar in stages may postpone this critical combination or. Anyone?? = - ------------------------------------------------------ Fred Johnson asks for more details on the relationship between color and food-grade plastics. I wasn't implying that only white = or all white was food safe, but they were *likely* to be safe to use = if they were not recycled plastics, simply because most modern = pigments ( calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide) used to make = polyethylene white are pretty safe. I have a green and a yellow fermenter ( perhaps not too good of a choice) which I have been using for a few decades, since the size I wanted did not come in white at the time of purchase. It is unlikely, in my opinion, that pigments will leach out of polyethylene ( and I see no evidence of it) , but it could happen with some unusual metal based ones, perhaps. Best choice is something from a deli or other food store, although I have read here that pickle containers are impossible( or at least difficult without UV exposure) to clean of the smell. I would *not* use a bucket that had contained non-food ingredients, especially adhesives and the like as these may have monomers which can go into the plastic of the bucket and leach back out and indeed = be dangerous. Your best bet it to buy a new container from the HB = store, even if it is high priced, as its cost is small in the long run. - ------------------------------------------------------- Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Dave_Burley at compuserve.com = Voice e-mail OK = Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 09:32:35 -0800 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at gte.net> Subject: Do NOT store Copper in bleach (verdigris thread) Ed responded to Mike's question on the danger of verdigris poisening from his copper aerator attachment. Mike said he that the tube when not in use was exposed to air or soaked in bleach. The gist of Ed's response was that the amount of verdigris you would get from the tube was too small to worry about. And that verdigris is formed from copper oxide reacted with acetic acid. My comments are: a) Don't clean/sanitize copper with bleach in the first place and you won't have the black oxides to worry about. Use hot water, percarbonates or iodophor. b) Use acetic acid (vinegar) to clean all the oxides off the copper before use and rinse with water. Sure you may form verdigris this way but its all in solution and you are washing it all away. Shiny clean copper is verdigris-free and is much less reactive to beer than oxided copper. John Palmer metallurgist Monrovia, CA http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 98 12:28:14 EST From: Tim.Watkins at analog.com Subject: RE: Keeping Warm (HBD2603#16) In HBD 2603, Tony asks... >1) What's the best source for heat? The lightbulb is probably the easiest thing to work with. If you are worried about the light, you could just place an old coffee can over it. The heat will still get out. Incandescent light is not nearly as bad as flourescents, and flourescents are not nearly as bad as direct sunlight. Use your own judgement. >2) Thermostatic control. A Honeywell home-furnace type thermostat >would be ideal, but I don't know how one would switch a 120v line with >the 6 volt thermostat. There are many relays that you can use. They can switch a 120v line voltage with a 5 volt input signal. Go to your local electronics store and tell them what you're trying to do, and they should be able to help you select the right relay. Regards, Tim in Lowell, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 12:39:36 -0500 From: Greg_Young at harcourtbrace.com (Greg Young) Subject: To cover or not to cover..... Howdy, all. In attempts to design and develop a simplified, scaled-down RIMS, me (the homebrewer) and my father (the engineer and soon-to-be homebrewer) have stumbled upon (yet another) dilemma. We're currently doing a full-wort boil on your basic kitchen gas range. We're using a 9 gallon aluminum kettle, which we have fully insulated with a fire-resistant, highly efficient insulation both around the kettle and on the lid. We can maintain a strong rolling boil, but we have found that we have to keep the lid partially on to do so--at least about70-80% on. Of course, with a roiling boil going on, there's an enormous amount of steam being generated and expelled, but my concern is if this amount of ventilation will be enough to allow the DMS-causing volatiles to be driven off. My homebrewer instincts say 'no,' but my engineering counterpart thinks otherwise--I hope I'm wrong (and I don't say that often). Any help is, as always, greatly appreciated, and as soon as we get this thing finalized, I'll be sure to let you all check it out in a nifty web page (besides, what's a RIMS without it's own web page, right?) Giddie-yup. Greg Young G.Young's Basement Brewery Philadelphia, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 11:32:39 -0600 From: The GasFamily <gasman at navix.net> Subject: Source for MashMixer motors - Surplus Center In the past the Surplus Center in Lincoln NE has been posted as a good source of 'stuff'. I have purchased from their small retail store but most of their business is done via phone/UPS 1-800-888-3407 They have a catalog - 160 pages. They have a wide variety of surplus and new equipment. I have purchased quick disconnects for my CO2 system for $5, an alarm system - name brand, a motor for my grain mill - the possibilities are endless. Imagine a hydraulic system to dump your pickup bed - $850 - a great project while your RIMS or MashMixer does the work of mashing. They have 20+ AC Gear motors - one that looks like the one on the MixM page goes for $6.99 (Item 5-1138) - but it is 42 RPM and rated for Intermittent duty - an hour or two may be tolerated. Another is 27.6 RPM, much beefier for $16.99 (Item 5-1110) it has a 3/8" shaft and turns at 10 in. lbs of torque. I have their 152 RPM, $25.95, fan cooled motor for driving my grain mill (Item 5-984) - Their selection lists just about any RPM range. If you are a tinkerer - you MUST have this resource. I suggest Jack relocate for his shopping convenience - like I did. Mike Gasman Lincoln NE Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 10:11:23 PST From: Scott Kaczorowski <kacz at nfs.aisf.com> Subject: Re: High Altitude Brewing Record Brian says in HBD 2603: > On August 30, 1997, 8 members of the Tribe Homebrew Club of Longmont, > Colorado brewed a batch of beer on Colorado's highest peak, Mt Elbert > (elev. 14,433 ft.) in an endeavor they termed OPERATION: Hypoxia. I apologize for the complete lack of content, but: :-) Are there pictures? What a worthy endeavor! > As the AHA Administrator, one of the eight OPERATION: Hypoxia commandos and > currently a member of the Tribe, I would like to issue a challenge to any > club or individual to beat the record. It's theoretically possible with > Mt. McKinley, Mt. Whitney and Mount Aconcagua, Argentina. A question about Mt. Elbert: What's the delta el and distance? For Mt. Whitney (14,495ft), it's something like 6,100ft of elevation from the trailhead to the top with 14 (11?) miles of trail. It takes all but the strongest backpackers two days to get all the way up. OTOH, the water could be pumped at Trail Camp, at about 11,500ft (?). Hmm...Anybody want to coordinate something like this with me? Also: Can it be an extract batch? I think all-grain would have a higher niftyness factor, but obviously extra equipment and water. I say: AG Imperial Stout. Lessee...we're gonna need a half dozen Whisperlites, homebrew to appease the weather/mountain/beer gods, a hop utilization wizard, a clever name (preferably a contrived acronym), and complete lack of regard for what this whole thing might actually entail. Honestly, any CA backpacking homebrewers want to take a run at this in the late Summer? There are some issues (eg, weather), but certainly worth considering. The lottery system is no longer in effect in CA, and we have to call six months to the day in advance. As Mt. Whitney is one of the busiest trails in the country (possibly THE busiest), success is not assured, but worth a shot, no? Scott Kaczorowski Long Beach, CA kacz at nfs.aisf.com New ones comin' as the old ones go Everything's moving here, but much too slow Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 11:00:28 -0800 From: "C.W. Hudak" <cwhudak at gemini.adnc.com> Subject: Fixing my enamel pot Greetings, I've searched the archives but keep coming up with nada. I'm looking for a product to repair the chips in my enamel on steel brewpot. The stuff that I found in Home Depot is for repairing sinks, counters, etc but says "do not use for stove top applications" which I assume is because it is not heat resistant. Has anyone had any success with anything out there? I'm wondering if there are any epoxies which are food and heat safe to use in an application like this instead of one of the porcelin or enamel repair paints. Private email is fine C-- Charles Hudak in San Diego, California (Living large in Ocean Beach!!) cwhudak at adnc.com ICQ# 4253902 "If God had intended for us to drink beer, he would have given us stomachs." - --David Daye Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 11:11:32 -0800 From: michael rose <mrose at ucr.campus.mci.net> Subject: mass appeal beer, mixmasher On the mass appeal beer thread; Out here in Calif the newest trend in beer is "RED" beer, I dont know of any style guidelines, but being a mass appeal beer you wouldn't want to push the flavor envelope too far. I'd say malt and hops should be budmillercoors plus 10%. Colour is very important, thats why they call it Red beer. Adjuncts will help you obtain the right colour. Food colouring probably the easist way. :^) mixmasher comments: I'm in a slow process of building a rims system. If my understanding of rims is correct, then one drawback is the slow temperture rise. Wouldn't a person be able to turn on the mix masher, then fire up a 200,000 BTU burner under it? It seems to me that the mixmasher can't replace rims (sorry jack) but it sure could complement it in regards to saving time. I just read George and Rob's little letter from school. More personel than most of my Christmas cards. In those famous Budwiser words "I love you, man" Mike Rose mrose at ucr.campus.mci.net riverside, ca Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 98 13:28:18 CST From: jwilkins at wss.dsccc.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: Mixmasher I have not seen pictures of Jack's device but thought I would make some comments about a device I built. I had an old gas grill rotisserie motor I decided to use for a stirring device. I bought some 1/2 inch square aluminum bar stock I used for the shaft and attached two crude blades made from 1.5 inch wide flat aluminum stock. The stirrer worked fine until the motor gave out. I don't think it was up to the load. Next I bought a nice gear motor from someone on HBD and adapted it to the job. This motor turned faster but I don't have that speed spec. handy just now. Anyway, I was having a lot of problems with stuck runoffs and had a thick layer of teig (sp?) on top of the grain. I fought this problem for some time before I decided it might be tied to the stirrer. My last two batches were done without the stirrer and I had no runoff problems. The last batch I got 90 percent extraction and the runoff cleared in two pitchers of runoff (vorlauf?). I suppose I should go back and try a batch with the stirrer again to see if the problem returns but think I will continue without it as things are going so well. The reason I mention all this is because of the talk of automatic stirrers. I don't know why there was a problem with mine unless it was stirring too fast and effectively crushed the grain more. The last motor was faster but I don't know how much. At any rate, if I were to try it again it would be with a much slower stir. Meanwhile, stirring two or three times over a two hour mash is not much work and so far has had very good results. I runoff faster than the oft recommended five gallon per hour rate, too. Probably on the order of five gallons in forty minutes. John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas - jwilkins at wss.dsccc.com Return to table of contents
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