HOMEBREW Digest #2649 Sat 28 February 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

  Water Filters and Treatment (KennyEddy)
  Electric Elements & Resistance (KennyEddy)
  CounterFlow Chiller Question/Strange Ferment Summary (Andrew Patti)
  Shaklee Basic-I for TSP? / Corny Poppets ("Gregg Soh")
  Hops for a Berliner Weisse... (Sammy Sideburns)
  pints, mildew in freezer ("Bryan L. Gros")
  Thermometer in Cooler Side (LaBorde, Ronald)
  reverse osmosis and water treatment (Charles Epp)
  Experimental lagering and delurking post (Steven Gibbs)
  Water Questions (AJ)
  BYO Mr. Wizard (Al Korzonas)
  Competition disenchantment (Monika Schultz)
  Using Propane Indoors ("John Robinson")
  Power (AJ)
  Trick to reduce O2 at racking. ("Michael Kowalczyk")
  pH & Mineral Content / Sanitary Fitting (Kyle Druey)
  Summary: milling moistened grain / Pumps & False Bottoms ("Keith Royster")
  Weyermann Pilsener Malt ("Eric Schoville")
  Chemistry revisited ("C.W. Hudak")
  Welding PVC Plastic (Dan Schultz)
  sam adams labels - the real answer (Alex Santic)
  Glatt grain mill (Keith W. White)
  priming (Glyn Crossno)
  ppms???? (Mark_Snyder)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 11:54:25 EST From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Water Filters and Treatment Scott Murman is planning on filtering his water, and wants to know about adding brewing salts. Scott, your basic premise about the carbon filter removing minerals is probably wrong. I say "probably' because although there are a few resin-based filters available that may perform some ion-exchange (like a water softener), yer average undersink carbon filter only operates on chlorine and organics like pesticides. There are some that also remove heavy metals like lead or mercury, but hopefully that's not a big problem with a municipal supply (though could be in an older home if it still had lead plumbing). Unless the box specifically says it removes minerals, chances are it doesn't. Assuming, however, that you do end up with (or purchase) relatively ion-free water such as distilled or reverse-osmosis (RO) water, here are some thoughts on adjusting water chemistry. As someone who routinely formulates salt additions to RO water for every brew, I can say that in my opinion, emulating a "classic brewing city"'s water for style's sake is often a misguided effort. For example, London water is (historically anyway) very high in alkalinity. As a result, London brewers were much more successful brewing with dark malts, whose acidity offset the alkalinity of the water. The style was a *reaction* to the water composition. One could brew a dark London ale just as well with less-alkaline water than the "classic" London water and possibly save themselves a lot of trouble with mash pH adjustment. Another case might be Pilsner brewing, wherein an "acid rest" was traditionally used to lower mash pH by letting the mash literally "spoil"; the local water has so little calcium that the mash cannot properly acidify on its own. In other words, one side of "classic water" is that a style developed as a "correction" for deficient local water. The other side of the equation is the case where the local water *enhances* the style. Highly-sulphate Burton water is perhaps the best example; the sulphates react just the right way with Goldings hops to produce a pronounced but delightful bitterness that might be objectionable in another style of beer or when using other hop varieties. Though Burton water is often quoted in excess of 600 ppm sulphate, the effect may be acheived with as little as 200 -300 ppm, so again the exact ppm level is not necessarily important. In the case of London ales, if we were to synthesize a water chemistry for this style, we might want to go easy on the alkalinity (relative to the "classic" profile) to ensure that we can hit our 5.3 pH in the mash right out of the chute. Too much alkalinity (as per the city profile) may require additional infusions of gypsum (and therefore more sulphate) or even acid to correct the pH. Too little alkalinity can be corrected after mash-in by adding chalk to raise the pH. So yes, formulating water to *style* usually makes much more sense than formulating it to a "classic city". Besides, hitting the target profile "exactly" can be very difficult or even impossible for those of us with limited chemistry labs. Here a few basic, rough guidelines on water treatment: 1) For a typical recipe, a minimum calcium level of 30 - 40 ppm is desirable for proper mash pH and to stabilize alpha amylase. 2) For a light to medium-colored brew, 50 - 75 ppm alkalinity (as CaCO3) is plenty to buffer the mash. Darker brews may require more. 3) Most pale ales can tolerate or even benefit from high levels of sulphate, but most other beers should have limited sulphate (less than 50 - 60 ppm in general and as little as possible for light, delicate lagers). 4) Sodium and chloride can enhance beer flavor at levels up to 100 ppm but keep an eye on these as too much (especially of both together) can lend a "salty" character. 5) Baking soda dissolves nicely in water, adding sodium and alkalinity, while chalk (which adds calcium and alkalinity) is barely soluble in water. Use baking soda instead of chalk in your formulation to add alkalinity wherever possible (and wherever the sodium it adds is not excessive). Chalk is best added directly to the mash to adjust pH, since the mash acidity will dissolve it readily. 6) To provide enough calcium while limiting sulphate, use calcium chloride. Two sources for CaCl2 are HopTech (http://www.hoptech.com) and Sunset Suds (http://members.aol.com/SunsetSuds/index.htm). 7) In any case, let the pH of the mash be your guide, rather than sweating over copying a certain profile exactly. Mash pH should be 5.2 to 5.4 (cool your sample to room temperature first). 8) Get those three-band plastic pH strips, rather than regular pH paper. They're much easier to read (ever try to discern a certain shade of brwon on yellow pH paper after dipping in a brown wort?). About $15/100 from Hoptech, Williams (I think), others. 9) If you use table salt to add sodium and chloride, use only non-iodized salt (iodine can be toxic to yeast). You can get Kosher salt or pickling salt that is iodine-free. As a sweeping generality, extract brewers need not worry so much about water treatment since mash chemistry is not a factor. Your extract contains a portion of the indigenous water profile, so using tap water or bottled water is fine; a dose of gypsum in some styles may help bring out the hops but don't add gypsum to light lager-style extract brews. Here are some suggested water recipes (to treat 5 gallons of distilled or RO water) that should cover almost any style of beer: Hoppy Pale Ales: 3/4 tsp epson salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 4 tsp gypsum Dark Ales: 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp calcium chloride, 3/4 tsp gypsum Other Ales: 1/4 tsp epsom salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp calcium chloride, 1/2 tsp gypsum Robust Lagers: 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp calcium chloride, 1/2 tsp gypsum Light Lagers: 1/2 tsp calcium chloride, 1/4 tsp chalk (add directly to mash before striking in) If you've read this far and are still interested in formulating your own water profiles, see my web page for BreWater, a free Windows utility for water treatment. There are also some excellent posts by AJ deLange at The Brewery (http://brewery.org) which go into great detail about chemical synthesis of water profiles. ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 11:54:26 EST From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Electric Elements & Resistance Chris A. Smith wrote: This assumes that the resistance of the heating element is CONSTANT, which it probably is not. Resistance is generally a function of temperature, so as the temperature of the heating element goes up so will the resistance. I'm no expert on heating elements - maybe they are designed to maintain a constant resistance over a wide temperature range - but before I'd bet my precious beer on it I'd check with the manufacturer to get a R vs t curve for the element. This question has been come up a couple of times before on the HBD. I don't have any such curves specifically for the elements I'm using, but I do have some info on a common nichrome wire used in heating element applications. The R vs T curve for 60% Ni / 16% Cr / 24% Fe wire as typically used in domestic appliances indicates about 5% increase in resistance at a temperature of around 500F (assuming the element innards get even that hot when immersed). Even at 1000F the shift is only about 10 - 15 percent. ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 09:20:46 -0800 From: Andrew Patti <patti at hpl.hp.com> Subject: CounterFlow Chiller Question/Strange Ferment Summary In my searching for a good counterflow chiller design I've noticed something that doesn't seem quite right. Of one popular design, the hose enclosing flexible copper tubing, there has to be flow from the near boiling temperature wort in brewpot to the chiller "entrance". It seems people routinely use flexible plastic hoses here. Even when a copper racking cane is used, there still seems to be the flexible plastic between the racking cane and chiller entrance. BUT, I can't find this stuff rated at above 180F. Is this a problem? - ---------------------------------------------------------- A quick followup to a question I previously posted regarding strange ferment. The basic summary is people felt all was well and the wasn't a problem. Specifically: 1) I was glad to hear others see the glistening cover of tannish goop on top of there foam. Apparently this is the yeast gathering (floculating?) on the top and is normal. I hadn't been seeing it before, but some experimenting I've done would seem to indicate that if one racked off the trub after a couple days this wouldn't occur. 2) The long ferment times (3 weeks to get the bubbler to stop bubbling at least once per 30-60 seconds) are normal at 61-65 F temps. 3) No-one commented on the lag of 24-36 hours - which surprised me. I'll do my own experiments with aeration and see what happens. There doesn't appear to be consensus on the best way to accomplish this task anyway. Thanks to all who responded! Andy Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 09:34:29 PST From: "Gregg Soh" <greggos at hotmail.com> Subject: Shaklee Basic-I for TSP? / Corny Poppets Hi, I have a bottle of "Shaklee Basic-I Industrial Strength Cleaner" and was wondering if this can be/is good for use as a cleaner(not sanitizer) like how we use TSP, rather than to let the bottle go to waste(I'd probably never use it). It says it's good for grease and oils, contains no phosphates or nitrates, is biodegradable and rinses quickly and completely. It's even Kosher certified. On to Corny poppets, I can't seem to get them out without them deforming because they "clip" to a rim beyond the threads of the ball-locks. Driving them out is like pushing againts a "barb". I end up using pliers to reform the poppet clips after removable with a dot punch, which seems quite drastic and would probably mean premature fatigue and finally breakage. Is this something normal? Thanks in advance, Greg ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 12:50:41 -0500 (EST) From: Sammy Sideburns <sdarko at indiana.edu> Subject: Hops for a Berliner Weisse... Dear Brewing Collective, Man, this semester has been rough. Physical Chemistry is kicking my butt (any Chemists out there?). There is relief in sight, though. Spring Break is only 2.5 weeks away. I've got a few projects planned for Spring Break and one of them is to make a batch of Berliner Weisse. We have a great liquor store here and it stocks Kindl Berliner Weisse, but at $14 or so per six-pack it's a little rough on a students budget. Anyway, I've kinda figured out my recipe, but I'm still not quite sure on the hops that I should use. I know that there's not supposed to be much hops character. What type of hops in what quantity should I use? Any help would be appreciated. Oh yeah, it's a five gallon batch. TIA Sam Darko ************************************************************** Check out my homepage at http://ezinfo.ucs.indiana.edu/~sdarko ************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 10:16:45 -0800 From: "Bryan L. Gros" <gros at bigfoot.com> Subject: pints, mildew in freezer Randy Davis in Calgary wrote in HBD #2646: >...Here in Canada, >where we have been trying to use metric measurement for some time now, >if you order a 'pint' of beer you generally get a half litre. This >somewhere in between the .473 litre (US) and .568 litre (Imp) pints. In >Canada at least, we have already lost this cherished measure. Perhaps it >has also been lost in the US since it appears that a pint has never been >a 'pint' there.:) You're probably right that we in the US have never had a "pint". In fact, next time you order a pint see if you don't get 12 oz. of beer in a straight-sided mixing glass. And see if the menu doesn't say "pint"... ********** Last fall, the topic came up of condensation in a chest freezer leading to mildew and mold. Someone at that time (AlK maybe) recommended using a container of stuff used in closets to absorb moisture. I don't remember the brand I bought, but it's been working great. Less condensation in the freezer, and nothing growing. And that stuff lasts pretty long. Mine is about 60% gone so far. - Bryan Bryan Gros gros at bigfoot.com Oakland, CA Visit the new Draught Board homebrew website: http://www.dnai.com/~thor/dboard/index.htm Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 12:35:41 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: Thermometer in Cooler Side From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) >I use an Igloo 10 gallon round cooler for my mash tun and would like to mount a dial thermometer into the side. >Has anyone any advise on how to do this? >Ron OK, I will answer myself. I got it all together and it works well. Purchased two 1/2 inch NPT female to 1/4 inch NPT female brass fittings, and one 1/4 inch male nipple. Drilled a hole through the Igloo side to accept the small diameter of the 1/4 inch female end of the fittings, used a rubber hose washer on the inside fitting, and teflon tape on the male threaded nipple. The pieces all fit together nice, and I snug it all up with wrenches (gently here, don't want to crush the Igloo). The Ashcroft thermometer with 1/2 inch NPT threads, just screws onto the outside fitting. The real reason I write is to tell about another idea I now have for the thermostat. I had considered buying thermowells, but they are too pricey and the threaded part is not long enouth to fit the thick walls of the Igloo. Anyhow, the thing I was not too happy about was the fact that the 6 inch thermometer stem had no mechanical protection without the thermowell. Suddenly It came to me out of thin air, build a stem guard. It is still an idea, but soon will be reality. It will consist of a simple 6 inch long plastic threaded 1/2 inch NPT pipe that I have cut out a portion down the length. It will sort of look like a tuning fork. Now the stem will be protected from physical harm, because it will be attached to the inside 1/2 inch NPT fitting, but the cutouts will allow good fluid contact. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 12:56:34 -0600 From: Charles Epp <chuckepp at ukans.edu> Subject: reverse osmosis and water treatment Does reverse osmosis filtration remove all minerals and salts from water? If not, which does it remove, and which remain (ie, which need to be replaced/supplemented for brewing purposes)? Thanks. - --Chuck in Lawrence, KS Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 11:02:14 -0800 From: Steven Gibbs <gibbs at lightspeed.net> Subject: Experimental lagering and delurking post I have recently tried a lagering procedure that may be of some use to home brewers in appropriate climates. This procedure grew out of necessity when my fermentation chest/freezer died. My garage was maintaining a constant 61 degrees so that was out of the question for lagers and I talked to one of my fellow Bakersfield FOAM club brewers and he told me that he had tried useing his backyard pool with mixed results. I decided to to monitor the pool temp for a couple of weeks to see what that large thermal mass would tell me. Well, the pool stayed at a constant of 49 to 51 degrees through the best of what El Nino could throw at it and the rest of California, and I decided to try a couple of lagers to be partially immersed in the pool for primary fermentation. The only way I would try this is to do your fermentation in SS soda kegs and utilize a disconnect to the gas side and a couple of feet of clear plastic tubing taped to the side of the keg. I then brewed a Czech Pils and a high gravity Oktoberfest using one liter starters cultured from slants (using a "Original Pilsner" BrewTek CL-600,and an "Old Bavarian Lager" BrewTek CL-650) <No Affiliation>. I aerated with a stone and pure O2 and placed them on the first step of the pool. This allowed the pool water to surround the sides of the keg to almost the level of the fermenting wort inside the kegs. Further, with such a large thermal/cool mass separating the fermentation by only the thin walls of the Corny keg I observed extremely uniform ferm. characteristics. In the past, when fermentation started there was a substatial amount of heat generated and it always appeared that my real fermentation temp. was as much as 8-10 degrees warmer than my controller was attempting to keep my chest freezer. However, with the 50 degree water surrounding the fermentation, the drop in gravity has been very linear without any initial surge and I have measured the drop of the gravity at .0033 per day for the 1.056 OG Pils and .0041 for the 1.071 Fest brew. The more interesting thing for me is that the drop in gravity as a percentage of the OG is an almost identical 5.7% vs 5.9% drop per day using two different lager strains but identical conditions. My only real question is have I stumbbled onto something that brewers have known for hundreds of years or is this some thing that has been discussed or analyzed previously? By the way, I have started a Diacetal(sp) rest but the taste of the beer has almost no offensive esters or diacetal to my palate. Let me know what you think. Steve Gibbs Another Bakersfield Brewer Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 14:25:48 -0500 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Water Questions Scott Murman had several questions on treating brewing water. To take them one at a time: >I'd be getting an activated carbon w/ silver, and an ion exchange system. From >reading the HBD, I gather that this will remove just about all of the mineral >content of my brew water, so that I'll need to adjust the water using >brewing salts. If you are installing the equipment which most homeowners install, i.e. a water softener, you will be exchanging cations only (Ca++, Mg++, Fe++, Fe+++...) for sodium or in some cases potassium. Don't use water from a water softener if you can avoid it . Sodium and potassium in quantity are not very desireable in brewing water and the lack of calcium and magnesium is a real problem in many cases especially if the hardness was mostly temporary. You really do want to get rid of iron, however, so if your water is high in iron (unlikely from a municipal supplier) use other means (aeration, sand filtration) to get rid of it. Hard water is more of a problem to the housewife than the brewer. If the softener is being installed to prevent curd formation in the dishwasher/laundry and clogging of the water heater install a tap from which you can draw unsoftened water for brewing. If you live east of the Mississippi it is unlikely that the water will be too hard for brewing most beers. West, that's not true but most municipal plants do some softening in those cases so that what comes into your house should be OK. For those cases where water softer than the tap water is required you can dilute the tap water with distilled water bought at the drugstore or you can install a reverse osmosis unit to prepare small quantities of very soft water. >I'm planning on using a shooters reloading scale for measurements, so >I should be able to be pretty accurate. Shooter's scales measure in grains (don't know but that the modern electronic ones might also read in milligrams) and a grain is about 64 mg so assuming that the scale reads to a tenth of a grain your precision should be about 6 mg. That should be enough for most purposes. If you have a recipe that calls for 3 mg of something in x gal just make 2x gal and throw half away. >Is it necessary to make >mineral adjustments for every brew? If you start with demineralized water, yes. Using unsoftened tap water you can do lots just by dilution for softer water. For harder water, gypsum addition with calcium chloride in some situations will generally fill the bill. >Will I have to raise the pH of my >mash after the fact using CaCO3 (major PITA), or will things "work >themselves to the correct pH range"? Actually, you'll have to lower it and not after the fact. Calcium carbonate won't dissolve to any great extent unless acid is present. The easiest and safest source of acid is CO2 sparged through the water. The process is indeed a PITA so I don't advocate using carbonate in water treatment unless you want to emulate the hard water of some paricular city such as Munich for authenticity. It's going to drop out anyway when you heat/boil the water. If mash pH is too low because of lots of high kilned malt, add the carbonate to the mash to get to the right pH rather than adding it to the water. >After treatment, I think the >water pH will be around 5.2-5.5 (down from 9.0). If you don't add carbonates or bicarbonates the pH won't change. The 5.2 - 5.5 range is the desireable range but it's the desireable range for the mash pH, not the water pH. >I'd rather >adjust the water depending on the beer style. That makes most sense. >For instance, if brewing a snappy hoppy beer, I'd like to emphasize the sulfates. Right, but how much emphasis do you want? In an experiment I did I brewed two IPA's one with untreated well water (28 ppm SO4) and the other with simulated Burton water (sulfate 700 or so). Everyone agreeed that the high sulfate ale was more "authentic" but the low sulfate beer was a much better beer. The point is that you'll have to experiment with the amount of sulfate until you find what you like. This brings up another point. You need to know what you've got to start with so get an analysis from your city or have a water test done. >Do any guidelines like this exist? Surely. Lots all throughout the archives here and in various web pages. Opinions vary widely as they do in almost every other area of homebrewing. Find what you like by experiment and stick with it. >I also do my step mashing by using >boiling water additions. Do I have to worry about precipitating the >minerals I just added Only bicarbonates and carbonates. >I'd like to understand pretty well what I'm going to be doing beforehand. The generally sketchy nature of what you see in the water chapter of most homebrewing books and even brewing textbooks should give you a clue as to how intricate brewing water chemistry can be. I keep thinking that you ought to be able to reduce it to a handful of simple rules of thumb but I cetainly haven't been able to come up with what those would be. A couple of guys here (HBD) have acheived pretty solid basic understandings but I think they would attest (and I invite them to do so) that they've done a fair amount of work to get where they are. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:21:46 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: BYO Mr. Wizard Eric writes: PS - I heard a rumor that Al K writes the "Mr. Wizard" columns in BYO ; ) There's a smiley in there, but it was cut in half a mailer, a router or by the HBD software itself. Without the smiley, this isn't funny. I would like to categorically deny any association with the Mr. Wizard columns in BYO. I have received a number of free issues of BYO and have disagreed with what "Mr. Wizard" has written 7 times out of 10. I have written letters to the editor correcting at least two Mr. Wizard columns, but since I don't subscribe, I cannot tell if any of my corrections have reached the readership. If anyone has seen my letters, let me know via private email. In general, I'm very disappointed in the accuracy of all the homebrewing magazines. Brewing Techniques is the most error-free and ironically the only one (to the best of my knowledge) who actually publishes at least one (sometimes several) letters that correct the authors. I think it's also very good form of BT to give the authors an opportunity to respond. I once read a completely unfounded criticism of my review of the book Using Hops in the letters section (didn't see it before publication, despite the fact that I was a Technical Editor at the time) and was told by the (now former) Managing Editor that I could respond in another letter (in a subsequent issue). I think that authors should be given a bit more respect than that. Both BYO and Zymugy are loaded with errors. I don't know BYO's policy, but I just had an email discussion with the Managing Editor of Zymurgy and he said that he simply doesn't have the space to publish every letter that is sent. I can understand that, but I feel that at least *one* letter should be published that corrects each major error in a previous issue. I sent him a list of errors and was told "thanks" and that they will be published anonymously in a future issue. It seems to me that it would have been far better if the errors hadn't been printed in the first place. I was also told that there is a policy of printing no more than one letter from one person in a 12-month period. I have a theory as to why there are so many errors in brewing and beer books. Brewing is so magical... we take things that taste kind of like bread and grass and vegemite and turn this mixture into a simply wonderful beverage. Beer is truly is a blessing from God. The ease with which people can create astonishingly good beer, I feel, makes them feel rather powerful. This can lead to careless speculation when it comes to writing about brewing and beer. The brewing author has to be ever-vigilant to make sure he/she doesn't write something that's just a rumour. Most aren't. My intent is not to slam the authors. My intent is not to make the magazines or their editors look bad. My whole reason for sending corrections is because homebrewing is a very tight community and misinformation travels through the community like wildfire. How many of you have heard that Bock beer comes from the "bottom of the barrels?" How many brewers pour hot wort through sieves? How many recipes call for a pound of toasted malt or flaked barley/oats/wheat to be steeped in 155F water, to which extract is then added (note: toasting/flaking kills all the enzymes... all you get is starch)? No... to me what's important is that misinformation gets corrected. I don't care if I get credit for it or someone else does. What's important is that it does get corrected. So get out there and correct the misinformation! Write those letters to the editors! Do you really agree that "the sugar is needed because hop resins are nearly insoluble in plain water" on page 29 or with the second paragraph of "Using Hops to Flavor Beer" on page 75 of the 1997 Zymurgy Hops Special Issue? I know you are all very good at finding errors in brewing information. We in the HBD police each other and while initially there can be a few goofups (I've made hundreds myself over the last 11 years) in the end, the correct information gets out. I believe the HBD reader is far better educated in brewing than those who rely solely on books and magazines for their brewing knowledge. I have no doubt about that. I thank all of *you* for making my posts and brewing knowledge better. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 14:42:29 -0600 From: Monika Schultz <mschultz at spacehab.com> Subject: Competition disenchantment Phil Wilcox of Poison Frog Home Brewery wrote: >And finally what do you call the feeling you get when you receive your score >sheets and realize that your 40.5 combined score didn't take home a medal? After entering two contests in a row and not even making it past the first round with scores of 44, I lost interest in contests all together. Initially, I learned a lot about improving my beer quality by entering competitions, but after about a year, I was getting great scores and not much else. I'd rather enjoy the beer myself & get free praise from my brew buddies than pay someone else to tell me the same thing. - Monika Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 16:43:49 +0000 From: "John Robinson" <robinson at novalistech.com> Subject: Using Propane Indoors Hi all, First a few disclaimers: 1) I'm not an expert on propane or other gases, though I've used natural gas in a home and used propane outdoors. 2) What I'm about to tell you is a single data point, relating to a single individual. Draw your own conclusions and act accordingly. A friend of mine brews using two propane fired burners indoors. He leaves the tanks OUTSIDE, and runs lines indoors. The area is very well VENTILATED. He has an overhead fume hood connected to two fans, which vent to a dryer vent out the side of the house. The fans move a lot of air. Additionally, he keeps the windows open while the burners are running. Despite all this, every time he brews he uses soapy water to check for leaks on all the propane fitings, he NEVER leaves the burner unattended, and he has a CO detector about 6 feet from the burners. He can shut the flame down at the burner at any time. Personally, I'd say if you're really serious about it, willing to gear up a proper environment, etc, then go for it. If not, do your N'hood a favor and don't blow up your house. :) - --- John Robinson "When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. Software Developer I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I NovaLIS Technologies have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know robinson at novalis.ca it is wrong." - Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 11:21:45 -0500 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Power All the postings on power and nobody has got it right yet: P = I*E*cos(theta) where theta is the relative phase between the voltage and current. Sorry, the old EE in me still shines through occasionally. PS: for a resistive load theta = 0 and cos(theta) = 1. cos(theta) is called the "power factor". You will often see switch gear rated for "volt-amperes" or "kilovolt-amperes" rather than watts or kilowatts because theta assumes values other than 0 when the load is inductive (most motors) or capacitive (properly adjusted synchronous motors). Frederick J. Wills wrote: >Now, to really confuse the issue, homes in the US do not have 240V lines. >They are actually 2 separate 120V phases which provide 240V line to line! That's sort of correct but a little misleading. Distribution into the house is called "bi-phase" because there are two phases but they are not "separate". They are derived from a common winding on the pole transformer and share the neutral. The transformer on the pole has a primary which is connected across two of the three phases of the distribution mains. The secondary is a tapped winding with the center tap being the neutral which is tied to ground. There are two 120 volt circuits the first between one end of the winding and center tap and the second between the other end of the winding and the center tap. With respect to the center tap one of these circuits could be thought of as providing + 120V and the other -120V. If one connects across the ends the potential is 240V. Another phase (delta Connection) One Phase Neutral (Wye connection) | | | | | | \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ Primary Winding /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\//\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ Secondary Winding | | | |<-------120V ------->|<----------120V-------->| | Neutral - Gnd | | | |<--------------------- 240V---------------------->| Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 21:30:58 -0800 From: "Michael Kowalczyk" <mikekowal at megsinet.net> Subject: Trick to reduce O2 at racking. Always noticed air bubbles when racking. Thought it was air that was trapped (from starting the siphon) rising to the top. I always thought the flow was too slow to blow the air through. Today when I racked I used a twist tie and twisted it around the hose at the interface between the cane and the hose. Kind of like a poor-mans hose clamp. Stopped the bubbles completely. Don't think it was leaking much o2 in the first place, but I'm sure every little bit of 02 reduction helps... - Mike from Chicago. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 08:35:09 -0800 From: Kyle Druey <druey at ibm.net> Subject: pH & Mineral Content / Sanitary Fitting I have a water question for the water pros that have emerged from the shadows the last few days. Is the mineral content of my brewing water a function of the pH? Here is what I am getting at. Every year my water company gives me a water analysis that lists the ppm of minerals in my water. It provides high, low, and average values, including the pH. If I know the pH of my water, can I then use this to identify the mineral composition? For example, say that the *average* pH is 8.0 based on data from the prior years water data. I then measure the pH of my tap water and it is 8.0. Does this then mean that the the mineral content of my water is probably equal to the *average* values of the prior years data? ****************** Any ideas on a sanitary fitting than can be installed on a plastic bucket fermenter so that one does not have to siphon with a racking cane? I was thinking of drilling an opening near the bottom of the bucking, putting a stopper in it, and running some copper tubing through it with some sort of valve. Ya, I know this is kind of a half baked idea right now, I am just trying to work out the details. Any ideas??? Kyle Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 07:19:01 +0500 From: "Keith Royster" <keith at ays.net> Subject: Summary: milling moistened grain / Pumps & False Bottoms Thanks to all those that responded to my recent inquiry about whether or not to pre-moisten my grain before I mill it. In theory this should create a better crush because the husks remain intact. A few people warned that it would/could "gum up" my mill, and one responder also mentioned that it might rust the rollers of my MaltMill. However, another responder (sorry, I didn't save the names) said that neither of these should be a problem if the grain is not over-moistened. In conclusion, I haven't reached one =) ========================== Phil Wilcox asks.. > Pumps--What are you 1/2 barrel gadgeteers using? Why? And do you > like them? We are mostly using magnetically coupled pumps, typically at about 1/25 or 1/50 HP and about 8 GPM at no head. Moving Brews carries a good selection of pumps for homebrewers at http://www.ays.net/movingbrews. (Yes, I wrote their web page, but otherwise have no financial interest). > Mash Screens: Most that I have seen have supports underneath them > that are at least 2" high. This puts between 1.5 and 2 gal of > liquor "under" the screen. Why so much? If you are firing the underside of your mash tun to maintain temps, then maybe this extra volume is necessary. Otherwise, I don't think it is. > The discussion I had with a professional brewery designer indicated > that he would build a 1/2 barrel system with screens that fit the > contoured curve of the keg as close to the bottom of the keg as > possible. Not that I can think up an easy way of doing that, but > does anybody see anything wrong with the theory? I use aluminum pizza screens as my false bottom. They come in different sizes. I think I got a 13" diam screen which does sit in the bottom of my 1/2bbl keg resting on the shoulders of the curved part. Works fine. Photos at my RIMS web site (http://www.ays.net/RIMS/). 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: 25 Feb 98 12:39:42 -0800 From: "Eric Schoville" <ESCHOVIL at us.oracle.com> Subject: Weyermann Pilsener Malt All, Does anyone have experience with this malt? I am thinking about picking up a bag because it is relatively inexpensive compared to other German Pilsener Malts. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Danke schoen! Eric Ich liebe flussiges brot! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 23:27:34 -0800 From: "C.W. Hudak" <cwhudak at gemini.adnc.com> Subject: Chemistry revisited AJ writes: >I'm not a chemist so I probably shouldn't be commenting ... <snip> Ayuh, you shoulda stopped there... >What chemists do seem to do is carefully distinguish between the >molality scale measured in mg/kg (ppm) and the molarity scale >(sometines called the "concentration") scale measured in mg/L. Nope, apples and oranges. Molar (moles of solute per Liter of solvent) and Molal (moles of solute per Kg of solvent) concentrations *do* in fact refer to the number of molecules in solution as they are based on Avogadro's Number (a "mole" of atoms = 6.022 X 10^23 of them). PPM's refers to the *weight* of the solute. The distinction between Molarity and Molality is made in the case of a solvent which has a density significantly greater (CCL4) or less (CHCl3) than water. For an aqueous solution, molarity and molality are equivelent (1L of distilled water weighs 1 Kg). A 1 mg/L (ppm) and a 1 Molar solution of Sodium Chloride are NOT equivilent. The Molar Mass (molecular weight) of NaCl is Na 22.98 Cl 35.45 - --------- 58.43 so a 1M solution of NaCl would contain 58.43 g/L---quite a bit more (60000x) than 1 mg. >To sumarize: ppm (milligrams per kilogram) expresses the mass of solute >per mass of solvent. mg/L (milligrams per liter) expresses the mass of >solute per volume of solvent. Both mg/L and mg/Kg are abbreviated as ppm. 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, 25 Feb 1998 23:37:42 -0800 From: Dan Schultz <dschultz at primenet.com> Subject: Welding PVC Plastic Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 10:01:06 -0500 James Tomlinson <red_beards at compuserve.com> wrote: >Oh well, on with the brewing question. Has anyone had success >"welding" plastics, ala PVC style ? I am considering trying to make a >concical fermenter out of an old plastic water carboy and a large >plastic funnel. I plan to add a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch ball valve on >the bottom afterwards. You will find PVC welding rods and supplies at retails outlets that supply plastic sheet, rod stock and tubing. Look in theYellow Pages under "Plastics". These outlets supply materials to the plastic sign making industry as well as to anyone that walks in. A word of CAUTION! Make sure you use food grade PVC as many PVC's contain DOP (Dioctyl Phthalate) which will leach out of the PVC. A quick sign of DOP containing PVC's is any low modulus or rubbery PVC materials. DOP helps make the PVC flexible. You can also make your own PVC glue out of MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) and PVC. Just dissolve chunks of the PVC in the MEK until the MEK becomes a thick syrup. Use just like PVC pipe cement. Apply to one side, press parts together and clamp until the MEK evaporates. Now to answer the actual question: Carboys are polycarbonate which are an amorphous polymer like PVC. This means they have a very wide melting range. Amorphous polymers weld much better than crystalline materials because the hot plastic weld rod will transfer enough heat to the plastic parts being welded to create a nice weld. Crstalline materials can transfer enough heat (plastic buckets are made of HDPE which is crystalline). Polycarbonate (PC) should be able to be welded but I do not know if you can buy PC welding rod. Check with the plastic store. PC cannot be solvent bonded. It will stress crack at the smell of solvents like MEK. When welding plastic together, you will need to use plastics that have similar melt temperatures. The greater the difference in melt temps, the tougher it will be to weld. Good Brewing, -Dan Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 02:54:50 -0500 From: Alex Santic <alex at brainlink.com> Subject: sam adams labels - the real answer It's a perennial topic, but I'm not sorry to see it come up again since so few people seem to know that it's easy to remove these dreaded labels. Proponents of most techniques I've heard of don't even claim good results (5 to 10 days???). Fill your bottles with water and immerse them in a kettle. Add a tablespoon of dishwasher detergent. Heat on the stove. Before the water comes to a boil, the labels will be history. They virtually disintegrate. Simple. Be careful of the hot water and hot bottles when you're done. - -- A l e x S a n t i c Silicon Alley Brewery New York City Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 00:59:20 +0100 From: whtltng at primenet.com (Keith W. White) Subject: Glatt grain mill Greg Egle asked about the stripped gears in his grain mill. If you can't find Glatt-try Boston Gear in well, Boston. The Internet Yellow Pages may get them for you. I don't know if the are into this newfangled computer stuff. They have every kind, shape and material for gears you never new existed. Regards and Good Grinding! KWW To close for missles...switching to guns! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 07:00:25 -0600 From: Glyn Crossno <Glyn.Crossno at cubic.com> Subject: priming Paul n Shelley <pracko at earthlink.net> asks: <<What I don't understand, and have NEVER been able to <<achieve, is successful natural carbonation of a beer after it has been <<in a primary and/or secondary for longer than about two weeks. RedlackC at aol.com >I have two suggestions. Make sure that you are using corn sugar instead of >malt extract when priming. I have found that corn sugar is more reliable. >Secondly, try increasing the amount of corn sugar that you are pitching. One more note, as I believe Dave D(?) and others have said, WEIGH your priming sugar. I have found vast volume differences between corn sugar suppliers. Glyn Crossno Estill Springs, TN - -- I love the smell of hops in the morning, of course they smell pretty darn good any time. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 07:01:40 -0600 From: Mark_Snyder at wastemanagement.com Subject: ppms???? Mark Snyder at WMI 02/26/98 07:01 AM Now this I find hard to believe... A chemist saying that "A concentration of 1 ppm is equivelent [sic] to 1 mg/kg or 1 mg/L as a mg is one millionth of either of these. There may be confusion among lay people, but not among chemists who know what the terms mean." 1 mg/kg is a measure of mass/mass; 1 mg/L is a measure of mass/volume. Only when using water, which weighs 1 mg per milliliter, is 1 mg/kg equal to 1 mg/L. And I don't even practice chemistry...... I'm just an environmental engineer. Mark Snyder Marietta, GA Return to table of contents
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