HOMEBREW Digest #2610 Thu 15 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

  dry ice/carbonation/clarification,RO , ("David R. Burley")
  Air Space in Bottles; Blue Moon/Celis/Hoegaarden White ("Charles L. Ehlers")
  A good laugh (Kevin Macrae) ("Kelly C. Heflin")
  The Jethro de Piro Report ("Rob Moline")
  Re: Blade Shearing / HSA (Steve Alexander)
  Mash mixing and shear (Margie and Dave Ludwig)
  Plastic boiler with stirrer ("C.D. Pritchard")
  Volume to percent CO2 conversion (Jeremy Price)
  Dry ice!!! (michael w bardallis)
  Fw: Siebel, Etc ("Rob Moline")
  Magnetic stirrers (Jeff Renner)
  Chiller Design, 50ml starters, alcohol for sanitizing (keith  christiann)
  Oven Mashing (Fred Johnson)
  Sanitizing Plastics (Jim Liddil)
  courage and the queen (AlannnnT)
  Lagavulin...War of the acids ("C.W. Hudak")
  RE: Keeping Warm (Winter fermentation temp control) (Shawn Dodds)
  1998 USOpen Competition ("Keith Royster")
  Non Fermentation (Kent Campbell)
  Central WI resourses? (mwmccaw)
  So Many Worries (Alan McKay)
  High altitude brewing ("Sornborger, Nathan")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 10 Jan 1998 18:54:46 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: dry ice/carbonation/clarification,RO , Brewsters: George Forsyth has a friend who carbonates his beer bottles with dry ice and would like to filter out the yeast before doing so. 1) Even 2.5 volumes of dry ice is a pretty small piece ( about 4.6 grams or so per liter of beer as I calculate it) or about a half of a teaspoon = or less per 12 oz bottle for a very high carbonation. He could easily get a bottle bomb in my estimation, especially since he will be capping the bottle and the pressure in the neck will be at its highest, since the gas will be forming and not yet dissolved. Sounds dangerous to me, too. Also, I recall that in dry ice from industrial ( i.e. not fermentation) sources, sulfur dioxide is a component. Maybe he should ask for a composition of the dry ice. Also, this sounds pretty erratic unless he weighs each piece. I suppose crushing the ice and then measuring it in with a spoon would do it 2) The Filter Store 800-828-1494 sells various (0.1 micron up to 5 micron) cartridge filters that operate under pressure from CO2, but it you do this why not go to counterpressure bottling also, since he will have to buy a CO2 tank and regulator anyway. Or he can just have a Cornie on tap if he springs for the CO2 tank and regulator. 3) If he insists on a low tech mode he could try to clarify the beer of the yeast with gelatin. ( about 1 tsp or so per 5 gallon batch as I remember.) Dissolve it in boiled, hot water. Too much = gelatin will stay in the beer and cloud the beer, so better to add too little than too much. Gelatin also removes hop tannins, so he should boost the hops in his formula, dependent on how much = gelatin he uses and how efficient his boil is ( time and SG = dependent).. - ----------------------------------------------------------- Nick Franke asks for the relationship between volumes of CO2 and weight percent, since Eric Warner in his Wheat Beer book indicates 0.7% CO2 in beer. The basic relationship is that one molecular weight of a gas occupies 22.4 liters at STP. CO2 has a molecular weight of 12+2X16 equals 44g/mole. 0.7% by weight is 7 grams of gas per liter of beer or (7/44) X 22.4 liters or 3.56 liters of CO2 at STP per liter of beer, assuming an SG of 1 for the beer. This checks with your other references which indicate that 3.5 volumes is correct for wheat beer, which is normally highly carbonated as beers go. = - ----------------------------------------------------------- = Ozzie Jon Bovard asks for a testimonial on using reverse osmosis water (RO) in making beer. = I can say that since I started using the RO filter, my lagers have improved dramatically. If you want to check it out, you can do as I did and buy distilled water and prepare a brew. That sold me. = One problem - will RO work upside down in Australia? {8^) - ----------------------------------------------------------- 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: Sat, 10 Jan 1998 19:14:59 -0600 From: "Charles L. Ehlers" <clehlers at flinthills.com> Subject: Air Space in Bottles; Blue Moon/Celis/Hoegaarden White Had been casually following the thread on whether too much air space on a bottle contributes to gushers. A couple weeks ago I opened a bottle that had been at the end of a batch when I bottled, and had been sealed only half full. It was the first bottle from that batch that I opened. Was a serious gusher--spewed out of the bottle and all over the counter immediately. As I knew the batch had been completely fermented when I bottled it, I figured I must have added too much priming sugar, although I was sure at the time I bottled that I was using the right amount. Also figured the rest of the batch would be like that. About a week later opened two more from the same batch. Both bottles had been properly filled when bottled. Neither was a gusher. Carbonation was what I'd intended/expected when I bottled. Have since opened many of them (a friend whom I've discovered is a serious hop-head loves the batch) and have no problems at all. This is consistent with others' "empirical observations". But I'm really having a hard time figuring a good reason. Keep thinking it must have something to do with volume of gas v. volume of liquid and partial pressures. However, I'm not a physicist and my knowledge is limited to a rudimentary understanding of decompression sickness in human beings. Next issue, at the risk of being flamed.... What makes Hoegarden and Celis so dad-gum superior to Blue Moon Belgian White? Not talking about fitting a style category, but simply taste--pleasure in the sake of drinking it for itself? I followed with great interest the now dead thread on Belgian Whites--Blue Moon, Hoegarden, and Celis. I live where you simply can't buy Hoegarden or Celis. Had tried Blue Moon and really liked it. Considering the fuss over the whole issue in HBD a few little while ago, I figured Hoegarden and Celis had to be some really extraordinary stuff. Finally got down to Dallas-Fort Worth and bought some. Enjoyed both. However, didn't find anything extraordinary about either. Celis seemed much closer to a high quality American wheat--readily available from brew pubs in Kansas--than a Belgian. All good beers. So, for those who say "pwit" is the last sound heard before Blue Moon hits the ground, what Makes it so inferior and the others so superior? Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 1998 21:19:07 -0500 From: "Kelly C. Heflin" <kheflin at lucent.com> Subject: A good laugh (Kevin Macrae) Good to see some well written humor, about a too serious topic..... Thanks kelly Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 98 23:11:42 PST From: "Rob Moline" <brewer at ames.net> Subject: The Jethro de Piro Report The Jethro de Piro Report Siebel.... A quick test for diacetyl....is the diacetyl in your packaged product that which was already present prior to packaging, or was it as a result of precursor, alpha acetolactate (AAL), becoming diacetyl over time ( a chemical reaction, not yeast mediated)? If it was not in your product before you packaged, it well may have increased since packaging as a result of the chemical reaction that will transform alpha acetolactate (AAL) into diacetyl. At pH < 4.5, AAL will be transformed to diacetyl relatively quickly. High temperature will increase the reaction rate. This is why a diacetyl rest at the end of a lager fermentation works: AAL will be more quickly transformed into diacetyl at the higher temp. The diacetyl is then taken up and metabolized by the yeast in order to produce NAD+ ( an inside joke, although true). If you taste your beer out of the fermenter at the end of a lager fermentation, the absence of diacetyl will NOT necessarily mean that you do not need a diacetyl rest. You may have a lot of AAL present. How do you know? Easy... The test: Take a sample of your beer, prior to packaging, and heat 1/2 of it to 60 F, for 1/2 - 1 hour, then cool and taste. Take the other 1/2 and keep cool while the other 1/2 of the sample is being treated. Taste both cooled samples side by side. If you can taste diacetyl in the heated sample, but not in the cool sample, then you have a lot of AAL in your beer that is waiting to become diacetyl as the beer ages, or is pasteurized. If you taste no difference between the samples, you should be OK (unless you pick up a diacetyl forming bacteria, like pediococcus). Isn't that easy? What fun! Yet another useful and easy QC test that can be done at home. Speaking of easy QC tests, remember that a wort stability test in conjunction with an accelerated fewrmentation sample will tell you much about the expected final gravity (without bothering with Clinitest) and infection (or lack thereof). Another interesting tidbit for you all to get anal about: there are bacteria called thiobacillus that produce sulfuric acid and therefore destroy stainless steel. In waters that contain sulfur these bugs can produce enough acid to induce fish kills! It is often found in quarries. There is at least one known case of it affecting brewery stainless. I love increasing paranoia! Kyle sent in a post talking about a brewpub that had problems with haze when they switched from a single-step infusion to a step infusion. Unfortunately, you did not provide nearly enough info for us to help you. Kyle also asked about what malts can be single-step mashed. Well, if you get a malt analysis, you can tell the degree of modification and thus determine the need for a protein rest. Almost all modern malts are very well modified and do not require a protein rest, but the analysis will tell you for sure. Although we have not really had time to breathe, we did get down to one of Chicago's better beer bars tonight. We drank, uh...studied, draft Pilsner Urquell, Rodenbach Red, Three Floyd's Stout, Sprecher Weizen, Old Speckled Hen, Fuller's ESB, and Lucifer. Great place! Thanks for the recommendation! Oh, yeah, with mixing the mash, it is recommended that tip speeds of mash mixers remain under 3 meters/second. This is to eliminate vortexing, and hence HSA, (though we are taught that there is MUCH more benefit to reducing O2 elsewhere in the process), but that excessive shear can "ball" up the proteins around the starches, inhibiting conversion, and have a negative effect on beta glucans. Anyhoo, Jethro de Piro Rob Moline Brewer At Large brewer at ames.net Ames, Iowa. "The More Time I Spend At Siebel, The More I Know About Beer!" And, as always, Have Fun! George Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 1998 23:53:45 -0500 From: Steve Alexander <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Re: Blade Shearing / HSA Kyle Druey writes ... Asks about shear forces and enzymes ... >This may relate to mash mixing, but does it relate to RIMS? Does the >liquid part of the mash that is recirculated create the same shearing >problems as with mixing? I posted here on shear force induced enzymatic degradation as a possible problem with regard to RIMS more than a year ago. The shear forces hack up all sorts of larger proteins, not just enzymes. This could potentially have flavor consequences, tho it's somewhat unlikely. Generally speaking, no industrial enzymatic process would consider using the types of pumps used in RIMS especially with the outlet valve controls as used by typical RIMS. Having said that I should also note that these industrial processes usually use expensive purchased enzymes and a few % loss in utilization can impact profitability, not an issue for homebrewers. The fact that current RIMS systems work effectively and produce good HB tells us that enzyme shear loss isn't so significant that it prevents complete conversion in a reasonable length of time. I'd be interested in hearing from the RIMS advocates indicating if they have seem any perceptible difference in mashing times for RIMS vs infusion or step mashing. It is also worth noting that there may be considerable differences in the susceptibility of different enzymes to shear force denaturing. >Charlie also indicated that some professionals believed that RIMS was >problematic to the stability of the finished beer. I am not sure what >that means, but I would like to know and compare this information with >my RIMS beers. I hardly need to put words in Charlie Scandrett's mouth, but stability refers to shelf life and can be negatively impacted by HSA, phenol extraction, fatty acid and oxygen inclusion in bottles and kegs, infection and a lot of other factors. Off flavors and haze can develop over time in finished beer, detracting from stability. >If this shearing is problematic with RIMS, perhaps the solution is to >minimize flow during temp rests, and only run at high flow during >temp boosts. Right, or seek a pump that produces less shear. Despite the complexity involved, motor control of the RIMS pump is probably a better solution than an outlet control valve, for example. Larger diameter shorter low friction tubing runs and minimal recirculation rates should help. -HSA >Jack S on HSA during mashing: > >>Like so many other buzzwords, HSA makes great raw material for >>articles and books but I am skeptical as to how it applies to the >>relatively slow movement and temperatures we deal with during mash. HSA is real and oxidation during the mash may be more troublesome than oxidation during the boil because there are several oxidase and peroxidase enzymes present and active during the mash that are responsible for making some of the more troubling oxidation products in beer. Non turbulent mixing shouldn't be an issue, but any splashing could be trouble. I have access to a paper that indicates that wet milling of grain, because it reduces access of oxygen to the grist, reduces the amount of oxidase activity! HB practices like milling grain just prior to use, preboiling mash water to reduce O2 levels, CO2 topping of the masher, and combined mash-lauter tuns that reduce the transfer oxidation are all probably effective to some extent. In a RIMS system, one substantial concern should be the return of wort to the mash vessel and possible O2 pickup at this point. Of course I also have an Australian paper that indicates that low O2 mashing produces fresher tasting but *less* stable beer! >>I was able to find one reference on HSA: >... >*Limited Protein Degradation* >"It was once believed that the traditional protein rest was of limited >value, and data were presented to support this conclusion. This was in >direct conflict with other data that showed there was significant >proteolytic activity during rests at 113-140 F. Hot-side aeration was >the key in resolving this conflict. In a gentle low oxygen mashing >system, protein degradation does take place, but in a less favorable >environment, this may not be the case." (Fix, same, p. 25) > >Perhaps the enzyme and mashing experts can offer explanations why this >would be a problem. I am sure this info on protein rests will spark >some debate. At the very least, it is important to design your RIMS or >blade mixing system to be a "gentle low oxygen mashing system". I have no precise answer to this. A number of brewing enzymes require free O2 to operate, tho' I'm not aware of any related to proteinase/peptidases. As I said above there are dramatic differences in the susceptibility of various enzymes to shear force degradation, and I have real data on only a few. Carboxypeptidase-A(unspecified source) will lose half it's activity after spending 110 minutes at 1155/sec shear. The carboxypeptidases are very much related to mash proteolysis, and are shown to effect glucans release in some more recent papers. Note that there are at least 40 proteases in malt so any statement regarding a protein rest is likely to be a generalization. >Fix offers the following references on HSA: >Narziss, Brauwelt, 1993, #3 >Huige, Beer and Wine Production, 1992 >Fix, Zymurgy 15:5, 1992 Don't have access to Brauwelt sadly, and the Zymurgy article is unlikely to be very informative. - -- BTW Kyle, I am very appreciative of your 60C/70C time versus fermentability result. The linear relationship is something that I have been implicitly using without supporting data. Dave Burley is correct in noting that there are a lot of reasons why the relationship can't be truly linear, but the fact that you're getting excellent fit to a linear approximation over a decent range of time gives us a basis for a simple first order approximation. Steve Alexander Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 00:04:13 -0500 From: Margie and Dave Ludwig <dludwig at eagle1.eaglenet.com> Subject: Mash mixing and shear Hi all, I haven't posted in almost 2 years, having been side tracked on one thing or another. RC for one. Finally started first batch in a year just before the holidays and in the process, got turned on by the HBD again. Now it's a daily must-read again. I must say, the digest is first class. Nice job janitor. Since before the holidays, I've been planning improvements to the old reliable brewing equipment and mash mixing is in the plans. My mash mixer is quite different than the one JS has described. I hope to post details soon as I get a good test run. Charlie Scandrett's recent post was interesting and thought provoking. >The control mechanisms for RIMS are "complicated" but very reliable and >accurate, transisterised temperature controllers and solid state relays. The >critical points are turbulent flow past the heating element and speed of >flow through the grain bed. These are critical because temperatures in any >boundary layer in the heating element section must not exceed 70C or enzyme >degradation occurs. Achieving "turbulent flow" speeds overcomes this. What minimum speed would you suggest? >Unfortunately heat element turbulent flow must be maintained so we can have >competing controls of the same motion, careful design is needed. I wonder if, with what seems to be the typical RIMS pump, you can really achieve sufficient turbulent flow around the heating element. >The critical points in Mash Mixing are heat transfer, heat control and >oxidation and turbulence. The heat control is a specifically homebrew >problem, no insulation and no automatic heat source control. >The heat transfer problem is the formation of boundary layers and the >overheating of them. How about if you don't overheat the boundary layers? Keep your heat source below the undesired temperature and increase surface area. >The speed necessary for turbulent flow to prevent these >boundary layers is greater than the optimum for low oxidation and shear >degradation. I agree that it would be difficult to get turbulent flow, in the classic sense, in a mash tun. The mash is too thick and the practical mash mixer too slow. >Shear forces form whenever an agitator blade moves faster than the fluid can >flow past. The shear forces are always there long as there is agitation. But don't you mean higher shear gradient? To tear molecules apart or otherwise rough 'em up, I would think you need one hell of a steep velocity gradient. In other words, a very dramatic change in velocity over a very small area to affect the mash at the molecular level. That is, the molecular level that affects taste and smell. >Mash Mixing needs insulation and automatic control of the heat source to >approach the accuracy of RIMS in the homebrew environment. One simple >solution to this is to simply use two low density heating elements(large >surface area for the wattage) as your motorised mixing impeller and control >them with the same sort of controller/relay setup used in RIMS. This gives >no boundary layer problems at low stirring/low shear speeds, electronic >control and an insulated vessel. This setup is easily cleaned and simple. Interesting idea. I guess you'd need some kind of slip ring for power. Enjoyed your post Charlie. Thanks! Dave Ludwig Southern MD Brew Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 10:36:31 From: "C.D. Pritchard" <cdp at chattanooga.net> Subject: Plastic boiler with stirrer Brad McMahon posted on plastic pails with immersed heating elements: >I have heard they can caramelise the wort slightly, making them >inappropriate for lighter coloured beers. >Perhaps if you stir the wort properly through out the boil.. >I am looking to buy one of these boilers myself, so >if anyone has used one... My homemade boiler is a 6.5 gal poly pail with two electric heating elements and it has a stirrer. No carmelization is evident. The stirrer is also used with an immersion chiller for wort cooling- it drastically increases cooling speed. One thing I've noticed with the stirrer is greatly increased bittering with the whole hops I use- I've had to cut the hops by about half. Details are at the URL below or at hbd.org. c.d. pritchard cdp at chattanooga.net Web Page: http://chattanooga.net/~cdp/ Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 14:26:35 -0500 From: Jeremy Price <pricejy at UCBEH.SAN.UC.EDU> Subject: Volume to percent CO2 conversion Using the Ideal Gas law (pV=nRT), I have come up with a method for converting Volumes of CO2 to %CO2. at STP (Standard temperature and Pressure) 1 mole of CO2 occupies 22.414L of space therefore: 1/22.414 = 0.0446 Moles CO2 per liter (0.446M/L)(44 grams/mole CO2) = 1.96 grams CO2 in 1 liter = 1 volume CO2 so to convert volumes of CO2 to percent CO2, you need only to multiply by 1.96. example: Someone asked about Heffeweizen having about 3.5 volumes of CO2 which cooespond2 to about 0.7% CO2. (1.96g/volume)(3.5 volumes) = 6.86 g/liter = 0.686% CO2 (pretty close to .7%!) These numbers should also hold true for anyone wishing to carbonate using dry ice. (although I would never try this!) Jeremy Price Department of Molecular Genetics University of Cincinnati Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 14:55:07 -0500 From: dbgrowler at juno.com (michael w bardallis) Subject: Dry ice!!! George asks about adding dry ice to each bottle just before capping. This method is espoused in E Annie Proulx's book on cider, among other sources. A friend of mine, an experienced homebrewer and inveterate experimenter, tried this method, carefully measuring the amount added to each bottle with a gram scale. It is fortunate that he became suspicious of the first couple of bottles he had capped and ran away, as he is still finding shards of glass embedded in his basement walls months later. Just one point... Mike Bardallis, near the big tire in Allen Park, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 98 15:42:21 PST From: "Rob Moline" <brewer at ames.net> Subject: Fw: Siebel, Etc Greetings from the Cold and Windy City! Someone asked about female brewer's at A-B. While I was unable to get a definitive answer, it does appear that none of their Resident Brewmaster's, i.e., the Head Brewer of an individual plant are female. It was estimated that approx. 8 % of Process Control Engineers and QC Staff are female, however. Notable, though, was the story of Patricia Henry, Siebel Grad, who is Plant Manager (Top Dog) at one of Miller's breweries. Upcoming Siebel Offerings... A "Yeast Management" Course is being developed, that will run for 3 days, and cost $ 825. Also in this vein is a "Yeast Insurance" Program, whereby the brewery will receive 1 litre/quarter of their selected yeast strain. This "discounted combination' plan will cost 99 $ per month, and includes 8 micro-wet exams per batch to ensure purity and viability. Another offering under consideration is a plan wherein a brewer will send up to 4 samples throughout the year, of a particular beer for sensory analysis, by the Siebel taste panel. These assessments will be performed according to Style Guidelines used by the Association of Brewers for the GABF and World Beer Cup. Not only is a brewer able to use expert guidance to fine tune his beers for his customers, but (s)he will be able to use this as an 'instrument' in preparation for competition. Mr. Siebel hasn't indicated a price for this plan, but I expect it to be a good deal and affordable for small brewers that wish to offer a better beer for their customers. This by extension can only be a benefit for the industry as a whole, as craft beer consumers find standards rising across the country. Lastly on the drawing board is a proposal to offer a "Dispense Management" Course, to rectify perceived shortcomings in an often overlooked area. Expect full details of these programs to be issued shortly from the Institute. I also heard that so great is Mr. Siebel's desire to see increased participation by craftbrewers at national conventions in Washington, D.C. with the National Beer Wholesalers, and the Beer Institute, that he has pondered offering a Scholarship for a Short Course to encourage attendance, though I don't know all the details. Strange Brewing Fact... Albert Einstein was the first to describe a mathematical model for the principles operant in a whirlpool. This found no practical application in the brewhouse until 1960, when Hudston of Molson developed the first brewing whirlpool, and presented it to the MBAA at a Technical Conference that same year. Interestingly enough, review of this application by Narziss in 1968, still advocated an air injection into the hot wort to increase coarse break formation and reduction of fine trub. Nelson, in that same year, advocated the entry of the wort to the whirlpool from below the surface of the wort, to minimize HSA. Of course, Nelson's proposal is the one evident today. And That Giant Sucking Sound??? All that good Colorado beer being consumed following the Bronco's win! Cheers! Jethro (Happy as Norm in a Brewery; Here in Beer Heaven, The Siebel Institute!) Gump Rob Moline Brewer At Large brewer at ames.net Ames, Iowa. "The More I Know About Beer, The More I Realize I Need To Know More About Beer!" Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 1997 17:38:06 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Magnetic stirrers "Hubert Hanghofer" <hhanghof at netbeer.co.at> mentions the use of a magnetic stirrer in a yeast starter, as have others in the past who reported increased cell growth using them. Dan McConnell of Yeast Culture Kit Co. uses a suspended stirrer in his culture vessels because he says that the stirring rod grinds the yeast like a millstone, destroying a significant portion. Of course, he said this when I mentioned that I had picked up a surplus stirrer and wondered about its utility in culturing yeast, and then I gave it to him. ;-) When I recently asked him about this again, mentioning that several people had reported using them, he suggested that no one had looked for ground up yeast cells in their cultures. Perhaps it's not a problem - ie, you get more cell growth than you would unstirred, even if not as much as you would using a suspended stirrer. Ground up cells could be an invitation to foreign invaders (Hubert reports none), although they could also serve as simply yeast nutrient. Anyone want to comment? I've cc'd this to Dan for his possible comment. 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: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 16:36:00 -0800 (PST) From: keith christiann <kchris1 at lausd.k12.ca.us> Subject: Chiller Design, 50ml starters, alcohol for sanitizing Brewers, 3 Questions, 1. For sanitizing, is it alright to use any kind of alcohol such as Rubbing, Vodka, Rum, tequillla, etc.? If so do I need to dilute it to 70% with preboiled tap water? If I put the sanitizer on a cotton ball, is this good enough for putting on the neck of a carboy so I can collect my yeast out of my carboy? 2. Any good ideas for making 50ml starters for stepping up from a slant to a 500ml starter? the proportions are small and I don't know how to get the gravity right for such a small amount of wort without making at least 500ml. Do you make 550ml, put 50ml in a small jar for the first step, store the 500ml in the frig and reboil it before using it? Seems kind of risky. 3. I am changing the design of my chiller to a planispiral chiller and would like to know what it should look like. My 1/2 barrels have a 12 inch opening which is not very big. My chiller is currently 50 feet of 3/8 copper tubing. I tried winding the tubing into tight spirals but I still have about 30 feet of tubing left over. I have never seen a planispiral chiller and I am not sure if the coils should be overlapping or 1 single layer of coils. I want to tie it together with copper wire to make it sturdy and easy to clean. If you have suggestions, please pass them along. Since this design is more efficient, maybe I need less tubing? TIA Keith Brewing in Chatsworth CA in a house no longer in a 1 bedroom condo on the balcani!!! kchris1 at lausd.k12.ca.us Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 19:59:28 -0500 From: Fred Johnson <FLJohnson at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Oven Mashing Mark Riley wrote regarding his method of temperature maintenance during mashing: "I mash in a SS pot. Once I've reached my target temperature (either through infusion or kettle heating) I just place the whole pot into the oven." I have been doing the exact same thing for about a year now and I have had no problems, although my oven barely gets low enough. I suppose one could simply open the oven door a bit if the oven tends to get a little to hot. =============================== Fred L. Johnson Apex, North Carolina Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 20:33:47 -0700 From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at azcc.arizona.edu> Subject: Sanitizing Plastics As a follow up on the bleach/cleaning thread, I thought I would post some results I have. There are a couple of issues to address. first of all we need to be able to clean the surface thoroughly prior to sanitizing. If we do not do this then sanitizing will not be as effective as it can be. Microorganisms can be entrapped in the un removed grunge, whether it be dried krausen, beer stone, hop resins or other matter. Also the microorganisms can be entrapped in scratches or cracks and crevices. These are much more likely to occur in plastics but can also occur in glass and metal. On the homebrewing scale the most commonly encounter fermentation vessels are made of plastic or glass. Also keep in mind the regardless of the type of fermentation vessel in use, the majority of equipment used to do transferring of the beer is made of plastics (PVC, both hard and soft). I do not use glass for a few reasons. When I started brewing my child was a baby and he is still quite young. Glass has a bad habit of breaking and is heavy. Labs don't use glass carboys much at all. Many of the liquid chemicals we get come in safety coated glass bottles. the safety coating can be applied to large vessels also, and I might consider using glass if someone sold 7 gallon carboys that were safety coated. The coating keeps the bottle intact when dropped ( a nice feature when a student drops a liter of sulfuric acid). I use HDPE and PC containers to brew. HDPE is relatively chemical resistant and can be cleaned with fairly aggressive cleaners if need be (i.e 10% bleach). PC is subject to attack by strong bases with extend exposure. Thus I limit cleaning to short term exposure with bleach (~15 minutes. PC is heat resistant and can be autoclaved or sanitized with boiling water. I simply direct boiling water out of the valve on my brewpot into the carboy. Use proper precautions etc. PC is subject to crazing after repeated heat cycles so I inspect them carefully after each use. They are relatively inexpensive. I don't understand homebrew shops the tell you to stay away from these carboy because they are easily scratched and then sell stainless steel racking tubes that will do a number on vinyl tubing much faster than a plastic racking cane. hmmmm. So I took my racking tubing that I have been using for the last six years. It's been used to rack every beer I have ever made. It is brown from iodophor. If you know what I brew you'll realize it has seen a broad spectrum of microorganisms. For the last few months I have been using Saniclean from FiveStar. This is a mixture of dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid and phosphoric acid. This type of acid-anionic sanitizer has good broad spectrum activity and is stable in solution (non-volatile) and non-staining. I have also been suing PBW to clean all my equipment. I have simply been using these FiveStar product because I was part of the hoembrewer test market. I am not trying to promote there stuff and some of my results might make you think about using them anyway. I clean the tubing as usual by soaking it in PBW for a few hours and rinsing with hot water. In let it hang to drip dry and the cut a one inch piece off of each end. I put these pieces into sterile tubes with 50 mL of Saniclean and left them overnight so I could bring them to the lab. Then next day I removed the pieces of tubing from the tubes using sterile techniques (details up request). I then cut each piece in half lengthwise and placed the pieces in sterile YM and MRS broth. I allowed them to incubate at room temp for 7 days. At the end of this time all four tubes were cloudy and had stringy growth. All four tubes should the presence of long rod bacteria. Note that these end sections of the tubing were well gouged from having been stuck on to racking canes and a phils filler many times over the last 6 years. There was no evidence of any yeast normal or otherwise. And the bacteria appeared to be a monoculture in all four tubes. Guess I need to be cleaning better and should cut my tubing every so often. the next test was to see if this tubing could be cleaned and sanitized. Note that this tubing had been incubating in rich culture media. I took each piece of tubing and rinsed it with hot water. I then placed each peice into a 10% bleach solution for one hour. At the end of this time I took one set and rinsed them with 3 100ml volumes of sterile water. I then put the pieces into YM and MRS as before. I thought residual chlorine might have an effect so I washed the second set 5X in sterile water and then allowed them to sit in 500 ml of phosphate buffered saline overnight. the next day I placed these pieces in YM and MRS broth and incubated them for 7 days. At the end of 7 days none of the four tubes show evidence of any bacterial growth. I also took a Nalgene PET bottle and simply cleaned it with PBW and allowed it to stand overnight in Saniclean. I added MRS to the bottle and after seven days no evidence of microorganisms was found. Note that I did not incubate using both 25 and 37 C (only 25) and that I did not use anaerobic conditions. Also I did not use the whole spectrum of microbiological medium that I would use if doing s sterility test on culture media. By no means a definitive experiment (if it can even be called an experiment). But I think it does show that tubing can become infected and normal cleaning won't take care of the problem. 10% bleach will clean and sanitize plastics quite well. It won't do much good if you have a glass carboy and have rubber stoppers and vinyl tubing that are infected. Note that PVC can be boiled, just handle it carefully and lay it down on a towel unkinked until it cools. A simple set of experiment could also be carried out using small HDPE and PC containers. I would have thought by now someone would have done this. It is annoying for various authors to continue to talk about how plastics can be easily scratched and act as a source of infection, when they have no data to support the statement. Show me the data! Most everybody starts out suing plastic and it would nice if these "experts" provide data and methodologies on how to properly clean and sanitize this material. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 01:13:00 EST From: AlannnnT <AlannnnT at aol.com> Subject: courage and the queen I came across some interesting beer bottles the other day. Full and unopened. #1 Anniversary Ale by Courage. To commemorate the silver anniversary of her majesty the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. 1972 [label is dated] #2 Whitbread Silver Jublee Ale. Queen's Silver Jubilee 1977 [label is dated] #3 Silver Jubilee Ale, Courage. [I assume also 1977, bottle not dated] All have good labels and foils. Perhaps some of you HBDers who write books or for the mags can use a photo of them sometime. Since in 1977 brewing a "special" beer in the US would have been a wasted effort, these seem especially interesting. Hope this is not a waste of bandwidth. best brewing Alan Talman 535 miles from Jeff- traveling west. 24500 miles from Jeff-traveling east Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 23:14:48 -0800 From: "C.W. Hudak" <cwhudak at gemini.adnc.com> Subject: Lagavulin...War of the acids >I am paying >about $50 for a fifth of Lagavulin, and am wondering if I should >bring some with me or buy it there. Mmmmmm, a fellow malt-head. The big "L" is one of the best malts on the planet, IMHO. Maybe you could make a stop by S.D. on your way up and share some? My bottle seems to be MT ;^} In regards to the postings on "Lactic v. Phosphoric", lactic acid, being an organic acid, is not as stable as phosphoric (hey, that's what they tell me). If you plan on buying quite a bit, you might want to go with the phos...it's usually cheaper anyhow. FWIW, it's what *I* use at the pub. 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: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 08:00:37 -0500 From: Shawn Dodds <shawn at dodds1.com> Subject: RE: Keeping Warm (Winter fermentation temp control) Brian Pickerill wrote: "I've not seen anything posted in years about this, but once saw that some brewers have used water bed heater pads (they have thermostats built right in). It's a fairly easy to find junk item, but I'm not sure how well it works. Comments?" I use a used a water bed heater to keep my carboy warm. I tried one of those 'brew belts' (small section of heater tape) but didn't like the fact that it was only heating a 3/4" wide strip around the carboy. The heating pad heats a much larger area. Local waterbed dealer's low-end heaters list for about $35. The one I use is probably 15 years old, with a capillary tube/bulb as the sensor. I got a Radio Shack indoor/outdoor thermometer and put both the bulb and thermometer outdoor sensor in a piece of heat shrink tubing to keep them in close proximity. I place the sensor combo between the heating pad and carboy, use a big elastic thing to keep the pad against the carboy. I keep the carboy covered with a blanket or large towel for insulation. Now it's quite easy to keep the temp at a stable temp between 65F and 70F., just using the thermometer for calibration and monitoring. Thermometer indicated about hysteresis of about plus/minus 5F. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 08:57:47 +0500 From: "Keith Royster" <keith at ays.net> Subject: 1998 USOpen Competition For those of you interested in entering the 1998 US Open homebrew competition this April (hosted by the Carolina BrewMasters) visit http://www.ays.net/brewmasters/ for details. Keith Royster - keith at ays.net at your.service - http://www.ays.net Web Services - Design & Hosting starts at $60/yr! Voice & Fax - (704) 662-9125 Mooresville/Charlotte, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 07:23:23 -0600 From: Kent Campbell <kencam at pobox.com> Subject: Non Fermentation Well, what a list! The great responses to my post remind me of the lists on the internet 5 years ago. How refreshing! This is a great list and a great service to those who find it. You should know I got about 25 responses to my post, and after the first one, I knew the answer given was the right one. I am sure that I did not stir up my mixture after adding the water to the wort. The liquid looked brown, but was obviously not mixed up. I am sure that the OG was near 1.045, and getting to 1.013 was a pretty good brew! I bottled it up yesterday during the Broncos/Steelers game, (Go Broncos!!), and plan on naming it Trepidation Tea after my nervous concern for my first batch. From the room temperature, flat sample I tasted, it should be quite good. My feelings after the first batch? Well, it is an interesting hobby, and could be a lot of fun. On the practical side, it is a lot of work for two cases of beer. I guess you could say similar things for other hobbies as well, I am sure. I would like to find a way to make the sanitation work easier. It takes all the time, and is not the fun part. One of the people who answered me said that there was a product that didn't require any rinsing? Also, once I got something sanitized, I wondered where I could put it down if I needed hands for something else. Perhaps I am agonizing on this sanitation too much. Oh, well, just wanted everyone to know I really appreciated the efforts made to help me out on this list, and I will let you know how the brew turns out. Giving it a two week time to be ready to drink, will make it just right for the Super Bowl!! Kent (KENT: Lose the big sig, please - Janitor) 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: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 08:18:13 -0600 (CST) From: mwmccaw at ix.netcom.com Subject: Central WI resourses? A good friend and fellow homebrewer is moving to Rothschild, WI in March (just south of Wasau). I have searched the archives for any info on homebrew stores, clubs, etc. in that area and have drawn a blank. If there is anyone in the collective familiar with the lay of the land in that area, could you please drop me an e-mail with the info? I'll compile it and give it to him. If anyone expresses interest, I'll also post the compiled data back to the digest, but don't want to waste bandwidth. Thanks in advance, Mike McCaw Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 09:16:08 -0500 (EST) From: Alan McKay <amckay at magma.ca> Subject: So Many Worries Mearle wonders how his beer turns out so great every time admist all of the things he's doing counter to so many of the worries posted in this list. I'm with you on that one. Sometimes I really have to question some of the things that supposedly can go wrong with beer. I seem to do an awful lot of no-nos in my own brewing, but my beer seems to be more popular than ever. cheers, -Alan - -- "Brewers make wort. Yeast Makes Beer." - Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide http://www.magma.ca/~amckay/ http://www.magma.ca/~bodnsatz/brew/tips/ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 09:52:31 -0500 From: "Sornborger, Nathan" <nsornborger at email.mc.ti.com> Subject: High altitude brewing A couple of comments on high altitude brewing: 1) Boiling temp of water must be kinda low I'd think a low hop beer would be best. 2) People have lived in Nepal at 15000' for thousands of years, they must have brewed something in that time. To set a record I think you need to do it on Denali. 3) At this time of year it must be quite cold and snowy up there, the cold break must have been excellent. 4) I wish I was there. Nate Sornborger Return to table of contents
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