HOMEBREW Digest #2654 Fri 06 March 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

  the slow-mead myth (Dick Dunn)
  Iowa HB Legislation (George Forsyth)
  single step infusion vs. decoction experiment & questions on very cloudy beer ("Emily & Drew")
  DI water filter (smurman)
  Poor Man's Water Testing (Kyle Druey)
  RIMS scorching and flow rates (Jeremy Bergsman)
  Beginner's Questions (Brad McMahon)
  brewing tubing ("Mercer, David")
  Starter temp (Charles Peterson)
  Malt and barley / yeast pitching temps (George_De_Piro)
  4VG "induction" / Steeping dark grains (Nathan_L_Kanous_Ii)
  RE: RIMS Achilles heel / PID or T-couple problem? ("Keith Royster")
  Aeration stone santitation / In-line wort aeration (George_De_Piro)
  Frank Kalcic "brewing tubing and in line oxygenation 3/4/98 (Vachom)
  RE: Plastic ("Larry F. Byard")
  Extract Color / Salt Weights (KennyEddy)
  Tubing, malts, yeast storage (Jim Liddil)

Be sure to enter the 7th NYC Spring Regional Competition 3/22/98. Surf to www.wp.com/hosi/companno.html for more information...
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Date: 3 Mar 98 18:34:04 MST (Tue) From: ddunn at talisman.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: the slow-mead myth I am frequently disappointed to read articles in the HBD (and elsewhere) telling people "don't worry, mead takes a very long time to mellow." On the one hand, it is true that mead does not finish on a beer schedule. No question there, and no problem. If nothing else, mead is generally higher alcohol and the must is less friendly to yeast than a beer wort. Both of these make it take longer to ferment if all else is equal. On the other hand, there is nothing magically negative about mead. There is nothing that makes it take multiple years. There is no reason for off- tastes which take time to age out. Your mead should taste OK at racking, and it should taste OK at bottling. It may taste a bit young, harsh or some such, but it should not be un- drinkable. If it is, you're doing something wrong and you need to find out what it is and fix it. A bit of harsh edge is one thing; a "gag me" character is another. (One of the most common problems is using a yeast not suited to mead. Next to that is trying to push fermentation by too- high temperatures and/or excessive nutrient.) Melomels are quicker than straight (honey-only) meads. A melomel should finish its fermentation in perhaps a month, maybe less with an aggressive yeast, perhaps more with a lazy yeast or cooler temps. A straight mead (or a metheglin, since herbs/spices don't much affect the fermentation) with moderate nutrient and reasonable temps might take two or even three months if you're taking a traditional approach. But in either case, the fermenting product should be palatable all along the way. You'll see advice that says "if the mead tastes bad at first, give it time to age"--and that is good advice. Some odd tastes *will* age out; sometimes a mead is bletcherous at bottling but wonderful a year later. Don't toss an off-tasting mead too soon. But if your meads are consis- tently taking a long time to age to drinkability, you've got a problem and you should find it and fix it instead of resigning yourself to long aging periods. I say this for encouragement to make better mead, but I also say it to keep newbies from being put off mead by the misconception that they will have to wait a year or two. - --- Dick Dunn ddunn, domain talisman.com Boulder County, Colorado USA ...Mr. Natural says, "Use the right tool for the job." Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 21:42:03 -0600 From: George Forsyth <gforse at nevia.net> Subject: Iowa HB Legislation Rob Moline wrote (and forwarded information) regarding HomeBrew legislation in Iowa. Senate File 486 was introduced last year by (I believe) the Senate Government Committee. It was assigned to Sub-committee in January--the full committee voted Monday March 2nd to send to the floor of the Senate. The committee vote was 11-4 with 2 abst. or not present. The bill permits the non-commercial brewing of 100 to 200 gallons per year and the legal transporting thereof to competitions, etc. without being subject to the Iowa Laws on commercial brewing. With the bill's committee passage, it will now be necessary to lobby 50 legislators--not just three. IMHO, I question the value of the efforts being promoted by some to lobby everybody with even the slightest connection to homebrewing--I just don't see the overall value and/or benefit of the legislation. However, for those who feel otherwise, I would direct them to the the State's legislative web site at www2.legis.state.ia.us. Here you can find e-mail addresses for all legislators as well as the legislative history, current language, and pending calendar of this or any other bill in the General Assembly. If there is sufficient interest amongst the digest, I would be willing to provide updates on the progress of the legislation. cheers, prosit, and melba Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 98 23:42:19 PST From: "Emily & Drew" <eneufeld at michianatoday.com> Subject: single step infusion vs. decoction experiment & questions on very cloudy beer In an effort to do a little experiment, I recently tried my hand at a single decoction using a Pilsner recipe that I had brewed 6 weeks earlier using a single step infusion. I got better extraction with the decoction than with the step mash resulting in an original gravity of 1.52 compared to 1.046 with the single step infusion. However, after racking to the secondary the decocted batch was 1.010/11 as compared to 1.014 from the single step infusion. First, can this be explained by the fact that with the single step my final rest was for 45 minutes at between 156-160 degrees while with the decoction the final 20 minute rest was closer to 149-152 (It was supposed to be 160 but I was 10 degrees off)? What impact, if any, does boiling a portion of the mash have on the amount of unfermentable sugars in the wort? Second, I have just racked my decocted batch after 11 days at 52-54 degrees in the primary. The beer is about as cloudy as I have ever had at this point, much cloudier than my notes indicate from the step infusion mash which has resulted in a crystal clear beer. Note the beer tastes fine, actually quite similar to the single step infusion batch at the same point. Could the cloudiness simply be a result of the fact that I pitched a quart and a half starter made from the yeast slurry of the first batch (note the slurry was from the secondary fermenter from the first batch just before I bottled)? Should I be worried at this point? Note I plan on letting the secondary fermenter sit at 60 degrees for 48 hours for a diacetyl rest, and then lager in my fridge for 3-5 weeks at 38-40 degrees. I would be very interested in hearing about other similar experiments. Private e-mail is fine. Drew Buscareno Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 22:09:22 -0800 From: smurman at best.com Subject: DI water filter Last week I posted some questions about brew water chemistry. Thanks to all who responded. I mentioned that I was planning on getting a faucet filter that would leave me with essentially ion-free, bacteria-free, chloramine-free water. A couple of people wrote to me asking if I wasn't mistaken about this, so I thought I'd better check into it. What I've been looking at is a unit that is sold for use with aquariums. Aquariums have filters, but the water that is initially put in the tank, or is used to top up the tank, must be pure. Some fish are sensitive to not only organic contaminants, but also to minerals, including sodium. After doing some web research, what I think these filters are is a granulated carbon filter, possibly augmented with silver, followed by what's called a mixed-bed deionizing resin. A decent explanation of the process can be found at the Culligan web site, http://www.culligan.ca/diproc.html The end result however is that you're left with water that is ion-free, as well as free of chloramines, etc. The filter unit itself is about 1-1/2 ft. tall, and temporarily attaches to you faucet. It has a color change indicator to determine when the filter needs to be replaced. The flow rate is 10 gal/hr. The filter life is rated at between 50 and 500 gal., depending on how hard your tap water is. The initial unit costs between $40 and $50, and replacement filters run about $20. Using an "average" water hardness this works out to about $2 per brew session if you're making 5 gal. batches. Ken Schwartz informed me that buying RO water from the store costs about $3 per 5 gal. brew session. The best place to find these things is probably "high-end" fish stores. My buddy has one, and he says he buys the filters over the web now, which seems a good way to go. I think the brand name is TapWater or something like that, but it's pretty hard to miss, because if the carry it at all, it's likely to be the only such unit. It looks like this could be a good alternative for those of us who don't have hard water. Since my tap water is going to be switching to chloramine treatment sometime this year, I'm seriously considering it, but I'll also be weighing it against simply taking two jugs to the local Casa de Agua. SM Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 15:16:09 -0800 From: Kyle Druey <druey at ibm.net> Subject: Poor Man's Water Testing Brewsters, I am giving the 60/70 mash schedule and protein rest issues a time out for now, and have decided to take brewing water to task. I have submitted a straw horse type post below (burns well) for others to offer their own corrections, opinions, or whatever you like. Thanks for answering my questions goes to George DP, Dave Burley, A.J., and Kenny Eddy. Poor Man's Water Testing The first step in an effective water treatment program is understanding the ion content of your source water. Noonan has some excellent rules of thumb for estimating ions in your source water (NBLB and Beer and Brewing Vol 11), and A.J. has posted some calcs to determine the ppm of these ions when limited data is available. The following estimates were derived using pet store type test kits, the only data needed is the hardness, pH, and chloride content. *Calcium as ppm Ca = Hardness * 0.4 / 1.25 Hardness = total Ca + Mg hardness as CaCO3, measured from test strip *Magnesium as ppm Mg = Hardness * 0.24 / 5 *Bicarbonate as ppm HCO3 = Alkalinity * %HCO3 * 1.22 Alkalinity in ppm CaCO3, measured from test strip %B = percent of Alkalinity as HCO3 = r1 / (1 + r1 + r1r2) r1 = 10^(pH - 6.38) r2 = 10^(pH - 10.32) pH = pH of your source water (Alkalinity can be estimated from the boil method, previously posted ad nauseam in this forum... see the archives.) *Sulfate as ppm SO4 = (Hardness - Alkalinity) * 0.5579 * 96 / 50 Hardness and Alkalinity as defined above (note: this estimate only works if Hardness is greater than Alkalinity) *Chloride as ppm Cl, measured from test strip (this method is definite flame material, so have at it!) *Sodium as ppm Na = Cl * 23 / (23 + 35) The only measurements taken above were hardness, alkalinity, chloride, and pH. The hardness and alkalinity were from a test strip kit purchased at the pet store for $9. The chloride was a test strip kit that I had purchased a while ago for $4, most of us already have a means to measure pH. So how do the estimates measure up? See the table below: Ion My Water Estimate - --- --------- ---------- Ca 33 35 Mg 5 3 HCO3 *117 84 SO4 49 43 Cl 22 25 Na 33 10 *HCO3 estimated from the Hardness of 99 as CaCO3 and the pH of 8.0 The measured data was: pH = 8.5, Hardness = 110, Alkalinity = 70, and Chloride = 25. My water is the four year average numbers from the annual water analysis that my water company sent to me. As you can see, the estimates are not too bad, right in line with a homebrewing level of accuracy. Can somebody verify the accuracy of the methodology for generating the estimates? How about sources for reasonably priced (cheap!) test strips? While we are at it can somebody define once and for all the definition of total hardness (is it temporary Carbonate hardness + permanent Ca/Mg hardness)? Ditto the comments on the great formum we have here in the HBD. I have learned more in the past year reading these pages than in the previous 7 without it, the archives are a terrific resource. Kyle Druey Bakersfield, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 01:09:31 -0800 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremybb at stanford.edu> Subject: RIMS scorching and flow rates Robert Zukosky <rzuk at IX.netcom.com> writes about scorching with his RIMS. Dion has already replied: > My heater element, the 2E767 is 5000 watts with a length of 76". [snip] > This means that you are using a heat density of about 54% higher per > inch than my element. Also, my flow rate is usually closer to 3gpm > when the system is working correctly. Thanks to all the great RIMS web pages, and especially to Dion and Ken Schwartz I am putting the finishing touches on my RIMS. I plan to post a few tidbits I learned along the way, but I have some info related to Robert's post. My element is only 48" and would be 5KW at 240V. During my first batch I noticed a scorched smell in the wort during the first boost. In looking at the temperature differential across the heating chamber, it was ~11C. I decided the flow rate was too low (I had been afraid of sticking the grain bed by pumping too hard). I upped the flow rate about 2X, from ~.4 gal/min to ~.8 gal/min. The scorched smell didn't get any worse from then on (the temperature differential at that flow rate was ~4C). The beer is drinkable, but barely (but my standards are fairly high IMO. I got rid of a keg in my lab journal club and no one commented on the scorching). The element had a thin layer of completely burnt material on it when removed at the end of the brew day. I have brewed twice more since then and made two changes: 1) I make sure the flow rate is at least .6 gal/min 2) I recirculate around the heater rather than through it for the first half gallon or so since a great deal of particulate matter comes through then and I believe from inspection of the burnt crud on the element that it was this stuff that burnt on (my heater chamber is not well designed to allow this stuff to flow through). With these procedures in place I have no scorching in either of these beers (although one is a sweet stout so might disguise a very light scorch). I have yet to stick the grain bed with this flow rate. I am intrigued by Dion's flow rate figure. I would love to have a flow rate like this because it takes me >10 minutes to do a complete recirculation which makes timing the boosts slightly tricky. I feel I have a good false bottom--it has never stuck on me. But I'm hesitant to pump too fast. I'd appreciate any comments and maybe I'll try to go faster on the next batch. ============================== Steve Alexander wrote: Some challenges for HBD - 1998 - 1/ What is the mechanism of HSA 2/ Resolve the issue of temperature rests in the 45C-55C range 3/ describe the distinguishing flavor reactions of decoction brewing and contrast with the resulting compounds from RIMS, p-cooking and infusion mashing. 4/ Describe the mechanism and antecedent conditions of yeast by-products - good & bad. Suggest general mechanism for control. You forgot #5: Cure cancer! Seriously, I have been incredibly impressed by the stuff being posted here lately and hope you guys with the time, the inclination, the ability and the access to the journals keep it up. Thanks. - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremybb at leland.stanford.edu http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~jeremybb Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 00:49:48 +1000 From: Brad McMahon <brad at sa.apana.org.au> Subject: Beginner's Questions > I'm looking through a mail order catalog (Barkingside), attempting to > get a list of things together for brewing my 2nd batch ever. I was > looking through the liquid malt extracts thinking that was all I > needed since some state that they're already hopped and include > yeast. Then, I see some kits that come with both liquid and dry > malt extracts, grains, hops, etc. The hopped kits, are most probably the commercial kits from Europe, the UK or Australia. These come in two sizes. the 1.5/1.8 kg and the 3kg cans. These cans are easy to use, and I think are a good introduction to the hobby, and I still use them sometimes as bases to other recipes. The smaller cans are designed in such a way, so that all you have to do is add dextrose or malt to bump up the alcohol content, and add the yeast and away you go. The 3kg cans just need the water and the yeast. I haven't seen these advertised in the US, but may be available. The other kits you talk about are most likely recipes put together by the brewshop, where you need to boil up the hops and malts together in a big pot, and do the full extract brew thing. >Can someone enlighten me as to the need to use dry and >liquid malt extracts together? No need at all,they do it for commercial reasons probably. >Can you use two 4 lb. cans of liquid >extract for a 5-6 gallon batch? Yes, but remember each can is hopped for a full 23l batch. So using two kits together may be too bitter for you. >Why use grains and hops with hopped >liquid malt extract? Grains add a further complexion to the taste, and the hops are used for their flavour and aroma properties. - -- Brad McMahon Adelaide, South Australia brad at sa.apana.org.au PGP Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 04:29:10 -0800 From: "Mercer, David" <dmercer at path.org> Subject: brewing tubing In HBD #2652, Frank Kalcic asks about tubing: "In my setup, the hose would transfer the wort to boiler, then from the boiler to the chiller and on to the fermentor. It would also double as the piping for my micro version of a CIP. Hence, the following properties are important 1) Heat resistant 2) Pressure resistant at high temps 3) Non Porous (long lasting) 4) Economical (only need 15 to 20 feet total) Of course the tubing must be food grade as well. Good flexibility is also a plus. When looking through the Cole Parmer and Ryan Herco catalogues, I came across the following materials: Coilable Kynar tubing - <260 Deg F, <180 psi at 70 Deg F PTFE tubing - <500 Deg F, <137 at 70 Deg F" - ---- Last year I bought 25" of platinum cured silicon tubing from Cole-Parmer. The price varies by diameter, but my order was about $35 - i.e. a little under $1.50 a foot for tubing that will last years. It can take temps > 400F, is very flexible (more flexible than normal vinyl tubing), easy to clean and sterilize, and 1/4" ID tubing can be easily stretched over 3/8" OD canes for a tight seal. I am very pleased with it. The down side is now I am on Cole Parmer's mailing list, and in additional to their catalog, they send me mailers for really cool lab stuff which I can't afford and don't need, but just gotta have. No affiliation, etc etc. Dave M. in Seattle > Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 08:30:35 -0500 From: Charles Peterson <chasp at digex.net> Subject: Starter temp HBDers - Alex inquires about the importance of starting at the proper temperature for kicking off fermentation. I too this season have been experimenting with trying to start ferments where they are supposed to start. Previous years I would pitch a warm starter, keep the pitched wort at 65-70F till fermentation was active (about 12-16 hours). This method if fine for ales IMHO. However, my lagers were a bit fruity with this procedure. Not bad, but not exactly clean either. I've had better lager results this year by: 1.Increasing the starter volume to at least 10% of the wort volume expected 2.Stepping up the yeast from proper fermentation temperature (to avoid a chill shock) 3.Chilling the wort down as far as reasonable possible (ususally in the 50s this *winter* -- the East Coast has simply been too warm!) 4. Placing the pitched wort in a frige until the fermenation kicks off. All of this low temperature operation has seriously lengthed the time needed to build a starter (like 2-3 weeks), and I usually pitch only the slurry, not the full 10% volume of starter (which means I have to wait for the starter to clear). But most importantly, I've had to be very patient during the lag phase, which can take 36-48 hours (Noonans book cites a max lag of about 36 hours until a foam ring appears at the top of the fermenter, BTW, so this is not unreasonable). Following the primary, I perform a 2-3 day rest at 60-65F with about 1/2 gallon of krausen beer (sans yeast) saved from the kettle at knock-out, and then finish out in the low 50s. Of couse if you're starting with yeast from a previous batch this all goes much quicker. Like a lag phase of a few hours, and the primary rips right on through in a week. All in all, I've had better lagers with this method. If you can plan ahead, I would say that pitching at the right temperature is key for you BEST lager. But you can still make an excellent lager by pitching a bit warm and then slowly chilling at the first sign of fermenation (however, you risk shocking the yeast here if you're not careful). A personal choice IMHO. Chas =========================================================== Chas Peterson chasp at digex.net Director - Product Development 301-847-4936 Custom Enterprise Networks Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 08:42:58 -0800 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com Subject: Malt and barley / yeast pitching temps Hi all, Steve wrote in saying that he believed Kunze "missed the boat" when talking about spring and winter barleys. Actually, Kunze boarded the ship without difficulty. My post was slightly sloppy, which is what caused the confusion. I never said that spring barley is not grown in Europe. I said that winter barley is grown there, but not here in North America. As Steve pointed out (and I implied), both spring and winter barleys are grown in many different countries. North America seems to be unique in that we grow only the spring varieties. ------------------------------- With that minor correction out of the way, I'd like to address Alex Santic's ponderings about pitching temperature and its effect on yeast growth and beer flavor. I'll also add my own ponderings/observations. Alex is correct about higher pitching temperatures yielding beer with increased esters. The general rule is that anything that increases yeast growth will increase ester and higher alcohol production. Temperature is one big factor in yeast growth. Many big breweries will pitch yeast at quite a lower temperature than the fermentation will be conducted at. Even modern lager beers that are fermented relatively warm will be pitched cool. Lag times are increased, but not by enough to mar the beer. This serves two purposes: it limits yeast growth rate (cleaner beer), and it serves as a simple quality control check. If you consistently pitch a particular yeast into a particular wort at a certain temperature, you can expect to see consistent lag times. Also, the heat of fermentation will bring the wort to a particular temperature in a time period that will be consistent from batch to batch. If the lag time or temperature curve look different on one batch, it is a good indication that something is going awry. If you look back a couple of weeks to my post about lager fermentation schedules you will see a bit more about this stuff. Alex also asks about the temperature that yeast should be grown at. It is best to grow the yeast at temperatures similar to the pitching temperature, or even slightly lower. In the interest of time, you can start the first steps of yeast growth at higher than usual temperatures, but you should reduce the temperature over time so that by the time you are ready to pitch the yeast it is at or slightly below pitching temperature. If the yeast is much warmer than the wort at pitching, it may increase the lag time significantly (yeast don't like going from warm to cold). If the yeast are slightly cooler than the wort at pitching, there should be no problems. I have pitched into wort 5F (2.7C) colder than the starter without noticeable problems, but this is likely to be strain dependent. I try not to make a habit of it! Fermentation is definitely tricky when you look at the details of what we are trying to do. On the one hand you want a short lag time, which means that you need rapid yeast growth (assuming that you are under- pitching like most of us do). Rapid yeast growth is achieved by adding lots of oxygen and keeping the temperature pretty high. This can lead to undesirably high ester levels and higher alcohols. On top of all that, different yeast strains will behave VERY differently! Geeze, it's a lot to keep track of! Here is where I'll throw in a recent observation of mine: I built an in-line wort aerator (it's amazing what you can do if you stare at the compression fittings in Home Depot long enough). I had a bit of trouble regulating the gas flow, so the first two fermenters I filled probably got no more O2 than my old system (dunk the stone, turn on the tank and count to 60). By the third fermenter I got it down, and the wort was really well oxygenated (nicely foamy wort flowing into the fermenter, but not too foamy). The lag time for that wort was amazingly short, despite the underpitching. The yeast was Wyeast 1338, pitched at ~59F (15C) and fermented at ~62F (16.7C). Damn if the beer isn't very fruity out of the primary! Unfortunately, the other two fermenters were pitched with lager yeast, so there is no good comparison. My previous experience with 1338 leads me to believe that this batch need not have been this fruity, though. I don't want to start the oxygen thread again (or maybe I do...), but I will say that there is definitely some good arguments to be made about not over-oxygenating certain strains of yeast. Through trial and error we'll learn which these are. I visited the Hoboken Brewery yesterday, and by coincidence the brewer mentioned that they use air rather than oxygen to aerate the wort. He believes that too much O2 made his beers too fruity. He is using Wyeast 1272 (American ale 2). Anybody out there have any observations about this yeast, or opinions about using compressed air rather than O2? Have fun! George De Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 09:11:20 -0500 From: Nathan_L_Kanous_Ii at ferris.edu Subject: 4VG "induction" / Steeping dark grains Greetings to the collective. Two things. First, WRT 4VG production and brewing yeasts. I've heard mention that some of the available brewing yeasts have the capacity to produce 4VG, even though they are not "wheat" yeasts. Is there a temperature dependance to this amongst "non-weizen" yeast strains? I have a starter that I initially propogated at a rather warm temperature to assure growth and attenuation of the starter. It seemed to have some "clove" flavor to it when I stepped it up to 1 quart. After adding an additional quart of starter (plain malt and water, no hops) and letting it attenuate at "brewing temperature" (about 13 deg F less than initial propogation) and I don't notice the clove flavor that I had before. Any thoughts? **********************************************8 WRT steeping dark grains. I've heard mention that if you add your "dark" grains (roast, chocolate, black, etc.) at mashout, you achieve a smoother profile. I've never read anything about this in the limited literature that I have. I don't imagine that Guiness adds the black malt at mashout, but I don't know. Does anybody have any good evidence or experience that indicates it is better to add dark grains to mashout, rather than including them in the entire mash? Thanks. Nathan in Frankenmuth, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 09:16:47 +0500 From: "Keith Royster" <keith at ays.net> Subject: RE: RIMS Achilles heel / PID or T-couple problem? Robert Zukosky writes about a possible RIMS Achilles heel > A more important concern has come to light with the disposal of 15 > gals of fine brew with a sugar char taste that was impossible for > human consumption. Using an electrical heater element - 15 inches > folded and 54 inches unfolded capable of 5500 watts at 240v was > used at 120 v and not permitted to go above 156 F. Flow rate 1 gpm > of the mash/extract and char occurred. In Dion's response he mentions that you might have a heating element with too hight of a heat-output-density, as well as a slow flow rate. A false bottom with not enough open area, a stuck mash, or an undersized pump might create a situation where flow rate is not adequate. I would also add that you may have a design flaw in your heating chamber that is creating a dead space where flow is close to zero causing it to stay in contact with the element and scorch. ================================================================= And now for my question. You may remember a recent post of mine where I asked if anyone else was having problems with their Omega PIDs. (Unfortunately, I didn't get enough responses to be statistically relevant.) I asked this because I was in the process of returning mine for the 3rd time for repair/replacement. The first time I returned it was because the PID gave an error message right out of the box that the Omega engineers couldn't fix over the phone, the second time it worked for about 6-8 months and then the digital LED display started failing, and this most recent replacement was returned because it consistantly read 15dF too high. However, I received my fourth PID this week and hooked it up yesterday only to find that it also is reading 15dF too high, regardless of the actual temp. It seems that the chances of two new and different PIDs having the same error is low, so I'm beginning to wonder if the error might be somewhere else, such as the thermocouple (or other human error). But it also seems odd to me that a thermocouple that was working fine is now creating errant temperature readings. It's not like they have any moving parts that would fail. So... is there anyone out there that knows a little bit about these items that could give me some insight as to whether the problem is more likely to be with the PID again, or if it's the thermocouple. I would also like to add that, while having to return the PID so many times has been frustrating, Omega has been great about accepting the returns and has sent me a new replacement every time. There is also a possibility that, at least regarding my last two PIDs, the problems was not with the PID so I'm not ready to complain about their quality of materials yet until I find out where the source of my error is. Until then, I will just dial in a temp of 170dF when I want to mash at 155dF =) Cheers! 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/ Download your entry packet in Acrobat format today! For info on my RIMS, visit http://www.ays.net/RIMS/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 09:15:48 -0800 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com Subject: Aeration stone santitation / In-line wort aeration Hi all, Frank asks about in-line wort aerators, and how to keep the stone clean (or whether or not to use one at all). I think you should use a stone. Gas is dissolved in liquid by the action of bubbles breaking at the surface and at the bubble-liquid interface during the travel of the bubbles through the liquid. The action of bubbles breaking at the surface is quite important (note that the bubbles don't disappear on their trip to the surface). The more bubbles you have, the greater the surface area of liquid being contacted by the gas, etc. I am confused by people that say it is difficult to sanitize aeration stones. I have no problems boiling mine for 10 minutes, along with the tubing it's attached to. Sure, the tubing turns opaque. So what? To keep the stone clean I follow two simple rules: 1. Always leave the gas on when it is contact with the wort. This way flow is always out of the stone. I even rinse the stone under water before I turn the gas off. 2. *Immediately* after use flush the thing with water, and then boil it to sterilize (just in case something got in). A 20 mL syringe works great for flushing the stone. Once in a while I need to soak the stone/tubing assembly in diluted distilled vinegar to get the calcium carbonate off of it (from all that boiling). This system has kept my stone looking good and performing well for almost a year now. --------------------------------- I mentioned in my last post that I built an in-line wort aerator. It's so simple I'll share it with youse (y'all, youse all, etc.): Materials: 1 aeration stone "permanently" attached to 1/4" tubing 1 compression T with 2, 1/2" openings at 90 deg. to each other, the third opening being 1/4". Arrange it like this: (lame ASCII diagram) GAS IN (1/4" opening) | | /| |\ || || || ||_____ WORT IN (1/2" or whatever you require) || | <<<<<<<<<<<<< || | _____ || || || || || || WORT OUT (same diameter as wort in) | | | | STONE The 1/4" gas line goes in the 1/4" branch of the compression T. You will have to drill the inside of the T out because the inside has a lip that is less than 1/4". I drilled it out to just under 1/4" so that the tubing would be very snug and thus prevent any leakage. The only problem with this system is that if the O2 tank is fully open, the wort flow is restricted and the wort is pure foam. The tank will be empty pretty quickly, too. I should get a larger O2 canister, but the $120 is a big initial investment. I'll probably spend another $200 on those tiny home welding tanks before waking up to economic reality... I tried using a small aquarium pump to push air through the stone, but it didn't have enough power. Does anybody out there know what size air pump might work using a 2 micron stone? I hope somebody found this useful, have fun! George De Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 08:35:35 -0600 From: Vachom <MVachow at newman.k12.la.us> Subject: Frank Kalcic "brewing tubing and in line oxygenation 3/4/98 I can give you a suggestion for only one of your questions--the oxygenation element. Before you invest in O2 tanks, aquarium pumps or air stones, I encourage you to give a cheap alternative a shot--the Bernoulli tube. Drill four 1/16" holes in a 6" piece of copper tubing that will fit inside (and thus be of smaller diameter) whatever tubing you decide to use. This tool oxygenates the wort according to the Bernoulli principle--when a liquid passes through an area of smaller dimensions, its velocity increases and with that increase in velocity, the pressure it exerts decreases, and in this case, the pressure becomes less than the outside pressure of the air, and thus oxygen gets sucked in through the holes into the liquid. I have no scientific analysis of its effectiveness in comparison to aquarium pumps, pure O2 injection, etc. I can tell you that it works well in practice. The wort exits the tube in a foamy jet and leaves about a 12" head on the wort--I always put the tube at the top of the carboy so it splashes too. Using quart starters for five gallon batches, I've always gotten short lag times. Most importantly, the tool itself costs about 50 cents, takes about 5 minutes to make, adds absolutely no extra time to the brewing process and takes about 30 seconds to clean up. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 09:51:40 -0500 From: "Larry F. Byard" <lbyard at gwi.net> Subject: RE: Plastic I think the hoopala about plastic fermenters is exactly that. I don't like carboys. They waste beer and they are pain to pickup, use and clean. Of course, I'm just an inexperienced amature. On the otherhand I'm on batch 57 and have not had a single bad one which I can attribute to plastic primaries and secondaries. I've been using one of my four buckets for over a year. I think the True Brew buckets are very good. Now that I've said all of this I'll probably start getting bad batches because I'm using plastic. Larry Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 09:50:30 EST From: KennyEddy <KennyEddy at aol.com> Subject: Extract Color / Salt Weights Michael Satterwhite asks: There have recently been some very good postings on the digest concerning color - especially the comparisons between MCU and SRM. All of this has focused on grain, however. What methods do you suggest for calculating color contribution from extracts? What are the pitfalls to this. The method I suggest for calculating color with extract is...don't! Use only pale extract and derive your color (and much better character) from grains. Because "colored" extracts could be anything from carefuly-crafted wort containing many high-quality grains down to sucrose-laden caramel-colored splunge, choose a good-quality pale extract and add your own grains. You can simply steep crystal (including carapils, though AlK will tell you to mash DeWlf-Cosyns' version) and roasted malts (roast barley, chocolate, black patent, carafa, etc) in 150F - 160F water for half an hour or so, strain'em out, add more water if necessary and bring to a boil, add pale extract, and continue brewing as per usual. You can also obtain wheat and munich malt extracts which should save you from having to mash or partial mash for a huge number of styles. And for those times when you want to make a recipe involving grains not metioned here, the ideas in an article on my web page, "Converting All-Grain Recipes to Extract", should help. ***** Phil Wilcox asks: It would be great to know how much a quarter TEAspoon of all the pertinent brewing salts weighted. I realize that humidity makes using this conversion a little sloppy, but this is home brewing not home fusion. How about it? It *IS* sloppy, not only due to humidity but also "scooping technique" (how compressed you make th more powdery salts when you scoop it up) and size of the spoon enter in. Always use measuring spoons rather than the spoon you eat your Cap'n Crunch with. I use a little plastic twin-beam balance from Edmund Scientific. It costs about $30 for $2 worth of plastic (and I've seen it on sale from various places for less than $20) but I've checked it against digital scales and it is pretty dang accurate. I have also "calibrated" some teaspoon measures against it, but again YMMV. Here's what I use (1 teaspoon, carefully scooped and leveled by carefully dragging a straightedge across the spoon edge to prevent compaction, equals this number of grams): Epsom Salt: 4.6 Baking Soda: 4.4 Chalk: 2.6 Table Salt: 5.8 Calcium Chloride: 3.4 Gypsum: 2.5 ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 08:33:53 +0000 From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at azcc.arizona.edu> Subject: Tubing, malts, yeast storage >From: Frank Kalcic <fkalcic at flash.net> >Subject: brewing tubing and in line oxygenation > >Fellow Brewers, > >I'm currently in the process of replacing the tubing in my brewery >thought I'd tap (love those beer references) the experience/knowledge >of the Digest. > >1) Heat resistant >2) Pressure resistant at high temps >3) Non Porous (long lasting) >4) Economical (only need 15 to 20 feet total) > >Of course the tubing must be food grade as well. >Good flexibility is also a plus. > >When looking through the Cole Parmer and Ryan Herco >catalogues, I came across the following materials: > >Coilable Kynar tubing - <260 Deg F, <180 psi at 70 Deg F >PTFE tubing - <500 Deg F, <137 at 70 Deg F > >Both claim FDA compliance (21 CFR 177.1550) meets >USP 23 Class IV requirements. (this is all Greek to me, so >I don't know if this means food grade or not) Other options to consider are silicone and Pharmed (Norton (tm)). PTFE is way to expensive for my tastes. Nalge ond Norton ahve web sites and they both make silicone. Also I know Nalge and maybe Norton make silicine tubign with braided walls. Thsi stuff is not cheap. Contact Nalge and ge tht local distributors names. They may sell you less than the noraml 50 Ft roll. Cole Parmer call the Pharmed, Masterflex. I recently got some fo this for my persistaltic pump. The chart on page 804=805 in the Coel Parmer catalog covers most of ths tuff you need to know. As long as it meets FDA and USP requirements it will do what you need. But be sure that whatever you use can handle greater than a few psi with 180 F liquids. >Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 05:17:27 -0500 >From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> >Subject: Re: U.S. vs. European malt plumpness > >My now well educated friend George De Piro writes ... >I'm afraid that being on a friendly basis with suppliers and being demanding >of the supply quality are two different things. If US maltsters are so >damned >interested in quality why are they making 6-row crystal and *munich*. This >may start an HBD firestorm, but IMO 6-row belongs in the gut of a quadruped >or brewed with equal parts of rice and sold to the ignorant masses. Use of >6-row appears to be a price compromise. > I totally agree. Look at Briess. In the BT market guide it indicates they make their specialty malts and extract from six row. And also who drives the US malt market? Budmiller (coors contracts all the malt which is moravian II I think). Farmer will continue to grow what sells. the micros and us homebrewers have little market impact. >From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> >Subject: Kunze on polyphenols ... > >Kunze, thru translation, suggests that hops polyphenols are more reactive >with proteins than are malt polyphenols. >This also corresponds with my reading of the subject. Hops polyphenols, >monophenolic gallates, like those in tea, >readily oxidize and combine with proteins. The mostly biphenolic flavanoid >phenols or malt are less reactive and >compete with sugars for protein binding sites. This seems to be the case in practical research as well. We are doing studies with green tea polyphenols and they seem to oxidize and bind with great ease. Jim Liddil Return to table of contents
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