HOMEBREW Digest #2910 Fri 25 December 1998

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  Minikegs ("Grant W. Knechtel")
  Re: Large yeast storage experiment  at  t=3 weeks (Scott Murman)
  GFCI trips (fridge)
  6-8 oz bottles (Lee Menegoni)
  CO2 and mini kegs (Lee Menegoni)
  Fruit flies (Rod Prather)
  1999 AHA Conference Set for Kansas City (Paul Gatza)
  Christmas Ale Sour!! (Aaron Banerjee)
  seeking "splits" (Rick Jarvis)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 20:46:31 -0800 From: "Grant W. Knechtel" <GWK at hartcrowser.com> Subject: Minikegs Stuart Baunoch asks in HBD 2908: >I am looking to buy a set of minikegs. -snip- >1) I saw several messages ion the archives saying not to use bleach to >clean them because of oxidation of the plastic interior. Is this true, and >if not bleach what can you use to sanatize them? -snip- Bbrite works well to clean them, and iodophor is a good sanitizer. Bleach is reputed to destroy the paint-like interior coating. Bbrite also does some sanitizing but hasn't been so certified, so can't be labeled as such. >2) Saw several posts that said most kegs use 2-4 cartridges to dispense >entire keg, Is there a better way? as they are expensive. Like mabey a >regulated co2 tank? You can use a regulated CO2 tank for *dispensing* only, the difficulty is in adapting the tank. Williams Brewing (no affiliation) sells a kit to modify their variation to use a tank. The better way is to bite the bullet for cornie kegs, IMHO. At ca. $15 US for a used tank, and a couple of bucks for o-rings, they're narrowly more expensive initially than minikegs with a tank and regulator, but you can force carbonate in them. The stainless steel will last effectively forever with proper care, unlike the minikegs which are more fiddly to care for, and have a limited life span in any case. The minikegs do have the advantage of a more handy size. Just one of those choices we get to make! Happy Holidays, and Prost! -Grant Neue Des Moines Hausbrauerei Des Moines, Washington USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 22:32:51 -0800 (PST) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: Large yeast storage experiment at t=3 weeks > The lager yeast has also has significantly lower overall viability when > compared to the ale yeast. > > Dave Whitman This is opposite to what I've observed. I've never used Wyeast 2272, but the two lager yeasts I do maintain are much heartier than any of my ale strains when recovering from sterile water storage. Pilsener Urquell rampages. In fact, the worst strain I have for sterile storage is probably Wyeast 1968 (Fuller's), which seems to perform pretty well for you (Dave). I don't have any hard data, just several years of experience with these strains. Could there be a difference due to the water being used? Mine is a bit odd (pH = 9, hardness = 30). -SM- Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 07:58:11 -0500 From: fridge at kalamazoo.net Subject: GFCI trips Greetings folks, In HBD #2908, Richard Johnson asks for help with his new (used) beer cooler that trips a GFCI receptacle after running for a few days. I suspect that condensate has gotten into an electrical connection or the electrical insulation has broken down somewhere and a small leakage current has developed to ground due to the moisture. A multimeter set to a high resistance range will be very helpful for tracking down the problem. With the coolert unplugged, measure the resistance between the ground prong and each of the other two prongs on the power cord plug. The meter should read infinite resistance (or very nearly so) in each case. A lower resistance indicates a problem. Troubleshooting is most easily done by a process of elimination. Individually disconnect each component in the system, measuring the resistance at the plug after each is disconnected. The resistance will read infinite when the offending component is disconnected. Start simply - I have found bad power cords. Look for signs of corrosion on electrical connections. All components, including door heaters shoud be connected between hot and neutral. In no case should ground be used as part of the current path *assuming this cooler runs on 120 volts*. As an earlier poster related, GFCI manufacturers warn that a GFCI recaptacle installed at the end of a long wiring run *may* trip when a device (such as a fridge) draws a large inrush current upon startup. If the resistance measurements indicate no problems with the cooler, this may explain the tripping. Good luck with troubleshooting, and please report the results. Hope this helps! - ---------------------------------------------- Forrest Duddles - FridgeGuy in Kalamazoo fridge at kalamazoo.net The FridgeGuy is now online! Check out http://www.hbd.org/fridgeguy Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 10:28:37 -0500 From: Joe Rolfe <onbc at shore.net> Subject: OMMEGANG, MILLS, CLEANING SS, YEAST CULTURE OMMEGANG HENNEPIN YEAST from bottle: Anyone got this stuff to start from a bottle?? Five days and nothin'.... Are they pastuerizing now?? ON MILLS: Alot of good info has been flying about on milling equipment.Any good quality roller type mill will get you a good result if used properly with good ingredients. Look at the grist, you can tell what the quality of the crush is like with some experience. The leave it alone. Find another item to optimize. There are plenty more important things to worry about rather than meeting the Practical Brewers specs. Most micros dont measure to these specs. Dont worry about it. Just look at the result from the mill, be as consistent as possible with the mash/lauter. One item I read that pretty much sums it up for small brewers is from Jack Schmidling: >Virtually every customer I have ever talked to with yield problems > blamed on the mill, eventually found that the problem was either > the malt or the lauter system or process. I would put the greatest > burden for variability on the malt, in particular, bottom end American malt. With one minor change "bottom end North American malt" - now Jack, your leaving out our fine maltsters from north of the boarder;).... There is alot of crappy malt out there. Some returned by micros that found it unacceptable. And where do you think it ends up, on a bargin to some homebrewers. It happens alot more than you think. I wont name names ( it is Christmas and I will be nice for a change) here but they are out there. SS CLEANING: Kettles: clean with a chemical or scrub the heavy crap off rinse, and on occasion acid wash. why someone would say not to acid wash stainless on occasion, has not worked in a brewery. You dont have to do it every time but maybe twice a season for moderate use at homebrew level. Fermenters: clean right after you empty it, same as above. Acid here is more important to remove "beer stone". Bugs can "hide" under, around stone deposits. Acid every 3 batches helps keep it in check. Stone is also believed to cause some gushing problems. Chemicals: PBW never used it but have heard good things. I like caustic or a product in some Sams called Electrosol - cheap and make your hands very slippery, use caution. YEAST CULTURE EQUIPMENT: All the items Scott Murman mention, except the stir plate. You really dont need it - but it sure helps speed up things...If you go to the extent of a stir plate - get a centrifuge too. Now you can go real fast to 5 gal pitchable quantity... The alcohol/lamp is ok, but the stuff evaporates like crazy. Propane is hotter (looks that way anyway) and faster to turn the loop red. I hate waiting at that stage. For glassware, sure you can spend many hard earned dollars on "lab" quality glassware. But these fruit juice glasses with twist caps work great, get a couple of different sizes for step ups. I have used growlers with fair success in the latter stages, but dont cap them off after you have autoclaved them a few times. The clear glass ones seem to have a tendency to blow the bottom off at a certain psi. I stopped using agar slants years ago, switched over to 10% sucrose in tubes. Works fine for me. I just pulled a tube of some nice yeast I obtained in 1992 - it is up and running fine. That is my longest. Slants are a waste - IMHO - for storage, you need to redo them fairly often to keep the strain viable, and cleaning/reusing the tubes is painful. HONEY USE: Adding to the kettle is easy but spores will not be killed, some spores survive autoclaving, not many but some. In addition adding to the kettle you will get some waste, honey is fairly expensive at $1/pound or more. There is a place in California, National Honey Board or something like that that has info on brewing with honey. The jist of it was brew your wort as usual. The make a separate brew of equal strength honey/water and pasturize at 170F-180F for several hours. Chill and add to the main batch that are already fermenting (like a day later). Works just fine. They have a flyer, maybe a web page now that listed some baseline products from some commercial breweries in SF bay area. Well happy Holidays to all, Good luck and great brewing Joe Rolfe Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 11:06:43 -0500 From: Lee Menegoni <Lee.Menegoni at digital.com> Subject: 6-8 oz bottles One option I found for 6-8 oz bottles: Clear glass Coca Cola bottles. I have found they still make a returnable that is about 7 oz. I bought a few cases of them for the 5 cent each deposit. I just keep the barley wine and other high gravity beers I have in these bottles in a box to prevent light damage. Lee Menegoni email: Lee.Menegoni at Compaq.Com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 11:20:23 -0500 From: Lee Menegoni <Lee.Menegoni at digital.com> Subject: CO2 and mini kegs An other option for gassing mini kegs besides the cartridges is "The Carbonator" . Its threads fit the end of the cartridge holder. It allows for use of a ball lock corny keg fitting. I read about this in HBD about 5 years ago and tried it out this summer when I obtained a min-keg setup. I use this to artificially carbonate a keg . It allows me to control the carbonation level and to serve at home or parties where other folks have kegs and gas. Since the beer is carbonated there is little gas loss when I switch to the cartridge to dispense when needed. Lee Menegoni email: Lee.Menegoni at Compaq.Com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 11:50:10 -0500 From: Rod Prather <rodpr at iquest.net> Subject: Fruit flies Excuse me. Perhaps I missed the point that it did win 3rd place. However Fruit flies DO carry wild yeasts. I would be especially suspicious of one found in an area known for brewing beer or wine. Perhaps not wild but not pure. Fruit flies are the source of yeasts for wines that are "spontaneously" fermented. They are also the source of bacteria that produce acetic acid and other nasty flavors. The fact that the beer won third place does not prove that the fermentation was not contaminated nor that fruit flies do not carry wild yeasts. This logically assumes that all wild yeasts are bad. Perhaps it is more likely that the yeast contamination produced a result that was desirable to the judges in the competition. As we all know it is often not always perfection but a quality of uniqueness that catches the judges eye. Or maybe I mean the judges palate. It might be more logical to collect the yeasts, identify, isolate and reuse them. Paul Niebergall Wrote on fruit flies. >I think Rod is missing the point of the fruit fly post. The fact that the >Fruit Fly Bitter won third place is *proof* that at least in this one >case, >the fruit fly was not a *primary carrier of wild yeast* nor was the >starter >*heartily contaminated*. Aside from speculation, we have yet to see much >in the way of actual proof that fruit flies have caused a contaminated >batch of beer. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 12:56:47 -0700 From: Paul Gatza <paulg at aob.org> Subject: 1999 AHA Conference Set for Kansas City The 1999 AHA Conference is set for June 24-26 in Olathe, Kansas. I signed the hotel contract on December 23rd with the Holiday Inn in Olathe, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City. Room costs will be $75/night whether it be one or four occupancy. This year' s conference is being planned and run by AHA-registered club members from throughout Kansas City and neighboring areas in coordination with the AHA staff and Board of Advisors. Registration and other information will be available at beertown.org or the KC Bier Meisters website http:/kcbiermeisters.org in January 1999. The organizing committee's e-mail address is 99con at kcbiermeisters.org. The AHA Conference will again coincide with the AHA National Homebrew Competition second round judging. Nighttime events include an opening reception, a pub crawl, "Blues, Brews & BBQ" hosted by the Pony Express Brewery and an awards banquet on Saturday night. Confirmed speakers as of now are Steve Bradt, Ray Daniels, Charlie Papazian, Paul Farnsworth, super beer chef Dan Turner and David Houseman & Al Korzonas. The 1999 AHA Conference will be a blast-good times and good brewing information. We look forward to seeing you in Kansas City. - -- Paul Gatza Director American Homebrewers Association (303) 447-0816 x 122 736 Pearl Street (303) 447-2825 -- FAX PO Box 1679 paulg at aob.org -- E-MAIL Boulder, CO 80306-1679 info at aob.org -- AOB INFO U.S.A. http://www.beertown.org -- WEB Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 16:48:56 -0500 (EST) From: Aaron Banerjee <aaron at mirror.his.com> Subject: Christmas Ale Sour!! Tried the first of my Christmas Ale (this is Christmas Eve). It tastes terrible!! (has that metallic taste I sometimes get with green beer). It's been aged 8 months... Looks like I'm sticking to egg nog this year.... Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 21:58:47 -0500 From: Rick Jarvis <rjarvis at nauticom.net> Subject: seeking "splits" Splits of "OV" are still available according to someone I know living in Clayton NY. I remember them as a great little beer way back in the early 80's Rick Jarvis Return to table of contents
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