HOMEBREW Digest #3084 Fri 16 July 1999

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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

  questions for Czech brewers ("St. Patrick's")
  A basement is a beautiful thing (Sandra L Cockerham)
  Oxidation experiment (Stephen Johnson)
  Application of Science and Big Boys Techniques ("Stephen Alexander")
  oxidation: measurable? ("Stephen Alexander")
  RE: Charlie P. and the AHA (John Wilkinson)
  RE: Yeast health question (John Wilkinson)
  Basements as standard equipment ("Tom & Dee McConnell")
  HBD Posting Fear/Charlie P. and Such... (Randy Shreve)
  Lager Temperature (Steve Milito)
  Aging (Charley Burns)
  Re: Results of Aeration at Bottling Experiment (David Lamotte)
  Inimitable English ale (Utesres)
  making starters (jgibbens)
  DamYankee in Kentucky??? ("Stan Prevost")
  Application of Science... (David Whitman)
  RE: Why Homebrew ("Nigel Porter")
  re: basements (Dave Williams)
  REF: Why HomeBrew? (Gary D Hipple)
  What's in a name/growing hops/refractometer corrections/learning (KTNeall)
  Temp controller (fridge)
  Page Down Key..... ("Jeff Beinhaur")
  Snow Goose Winter Ale (Jim Haynes)
  False Bottoms,The Beetles (Eric.Fouch)
  He's Not Qualified to Post Data on the HBD (Biergiek)
  Building codes for 10x10 "closets" (Joe Rolfe)
  Re: Basements (Jeff Renner)
  RE: Temp controllers ("Rob Dewhirst")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 11:13:26 -0500 From: "St. Patrick's" <stpats at bga.com> Subject: questions for Czech brewers Michael Jackson and I will visit several breweries and maltings in Moravia early next month. This is the time of the barley harvest and our hosts have arranged for visits to the barley fields as well. I don't think any of the brewery's beers are available in US although I flew one of them in a few years ago as part of a tasting I did for the Campaign to Protect the Czech Brewing Heritage (now defunct). I have numerous questions for these brewers but I invite HBD readers to send me questions they would like addressed about Czech brewing. I will take copious notes and summarize the salient points on the HBD upon my return. My interests lie equally with malt, having imported Moravian malt since my last visit nearly 2 years ago. We will visit three maltings and I invite questions about barley and malt production as well. I will be travelling throughout Bohemia for several days prior to this on other non-beer-related business. Time permitting, I'll stop at a couple of Bohemian breweries although there will be no formal meeting with brewmasters as in Moravia. Lynne O'Connor St. Patrick's of Texas Brewers Supply http://www.stpats.com stpats at bga.com 512-989-9727 512-989-8982 facsimile Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 11:15:40 -0500 From: Sandra L Cockerham <COCKERHAM_SANDRA_L at Lilly.com> Subject: A basement is a beautiful thing As to the question of why basements aren't standard I can only guess a practical answer. (Besides the frost line, which early folks probably just figured out by trial and error when their walls cracked or fell down...) My thought would be that basements are more prevalent here in the central part of the country, as a derivative of the "storm cellar". Living with someone, who as a child had their huge brick farmhouse partially turned around and flattened by a tornado, a basement is a "must have" !!! However, I will say the basement is very useful for my ever growing carboy collection and my assorted kegs, kettles and retired wort chillers! Like many, the water table in our area is a bit high and my basement doesn't stay completely dry. Yet, I still ponder setting up a basement brewery ! cheers, Sandy C. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 13:43:35 -0500 From: Stephen Johnson <Stephen.Johnson at vanderbilt.edu> Subject: Oxidation experiment Dennis Johnson in HBD 3082 makes some valid points regarding his first attempt at doing an experiment with his bottling process to see if aeration during bottling makes any difference. I also applaud him for getting something about the brewing process back on the forum: snip<There are a number of possible explanations: 1. The "momily" we've always heard regarding the evils of aerating during bottling is a myth. 2. I have such lousy taste that I couldn't recognize an aerated beer if it hit me on the head. 3. There was something unusual about my recipe or my methods that masked the effect. (Maybe all the bottles were aerated?)>snip I have a few questions, as well as some additional possible explanations. First, the questions: 1) beyond being a "standard pale ale," what were some of the characteristics of this beer: hop levels, color, specialty malts, all grain or extract? 2) at what temperature were the beers kept during the conditioning process? 3) what type of yeast was used? 4) what level was the carbonation in the bottles when the test occurred? 5) what temperature were the beers when the test occurred? The reason I'm asking is that it has been my experience that: 1] some beer styles seem to be more prone to masking the flavor effects of oxidation than others. Even though I am a BJCP judge, if there are some stronger aroma compounds present in a beer, such as dark malts, high aroma hops, etc., I sometimes find it a bit more difficult to initially pick out some of those "wet paper/cardboard" or "sherry-like" aromas that one finds in some oxidized beers 2] it has been my experience, and I think there is some support from Fix and probably others, that oxidation effects are increased as the temperature goes higher during the conditioning process. I would be helpful to know how Dennis' beers were treated during that step 3] it has also been my experience that some yeast strains seem to be more tolerant of the effects of heat during storage than others, but I don't have any solid evidence regarding this 4] is it possible that maybe lower carbonated beers are more prone to oxidation effects? 5] if the test beers were really cold at serving time, it may have been difficult to accurately detect those tell-tale signs of oxidation 6] maybe six weeks of conditioning is not long enough. Whenever I have had obviously oxidized commercial beers that have a "best consumed by..." or "born on..." date, they typically are way beyond that six week time period. A beer within that six week time period is still relatively fresh in my book. Again, a lot depends on how it was stored. If, after first reaching acceptable levels of carbonation, the beers are stored at lower and constant temps, then there is a good chance that the oxidation effects haven't had a chance to take place. If, however, they have been stored in a pretty warm space with large temperature fluctuations, or are handled roughly (like being shipped to a homebrew contest across country), then those oxidation effects might appear more quickly. Well, I've rambled enough for my once in a blue moon post! Curious what others think. Maybe we should have a picture of a circa 1950's housewife bottling beer in an apron alongside a Zymurgy article to get people talking about oxidation effects...? Steve Johnson, a transplanted Yankee in Music City (aka Nashville, TN) "a fuhr peayus acrost da holler frohm Jeff Renner" Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 16:38:18 -0400 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Application of Science and Big Boys Techniques Paul N writes ... >Please do not confuse quotes from a brewing texts [...] with science. I completely agree. They are just reports of scientific work. >The HBD is not science and it will never be [...] HB level experimentation has disadvantages - true. Still nearly all of physical chemistry, classic physics and fundamentals of yeast was all discovered by people with less access to resources than most of us. The above is just an excuse to quit without trying. Simple and imperfect experiments, like LK Bonhams Decoction vs RIMS lead one to question the decoction. It does forcefully question this HB momily. If this one article was the entire extent of HB experimentation - I would rate it a success. Instead there have been many. >And even if this did happen, it would be extremely >BORING because the things that we can successfully measure at home are >just not that exciting. Especially if you give up before you try. You disagree with Dr.Pivo when he writes that he believes in performing tests under "controlled objective conditions" ... and looking for results more meaningful than 'I did this and got such-and-such result' (I paraphrase). He suggests the use of triangle taste tests for example. On baking ... >So let me ask: If you wanted to make nice crusty, yeasty, >sour-dough rolls (umm, I hungry), would you research the techniques used >by Wonder Bread? As someone who does make sourdough on a semiregular basis, two recent improvements in my sourdough methods came from the book "Food Chemistry". Perhaps Wonder Bread even funded the research ! Paul's argument is that big bakers make lousy bread therefore the science can only lead to lousy bread. The books on food science don't give recipes for Wonder Bread. That is a childish mischaracterization. The analogy ignores that most brewing research cited here is funded by likes of Guinness and Wehenstephan - not exactly the Twinkies of brewing. Science is a model of reality based on experiments which follow certain methodologies to ensure the results are reasonably accurate. Paul's recourse to personal experience and 'recipe' alone just gives Paul a much smaller and less rigorously tested set of experiences on which to decide. Less knowledge is better only if you have no need to extrapolate or diagnose. >No you would not , But I do . >because producing these >products has nothing to do with quality baking at home. Reading about production of XYZ doesn't force you to make an XYZ clone - that's nonsense. For example Guinness reports they can reduce 4VG by avoiding low mash temps. If you don't wish to lower 4VG (as in a wheat beer) then you can use the result to increase levels. Similarly you may avoid practices that make Coors taste Coors-like if you bother to read about them. To complain that Guinness, by imparting this "Big Boy Technique", has caused you to brew bad tasting low-4VG wheat beers is ridiculous.. The only person responsible for applying ANY method (or dogma) is the brewer. Grow up and take responsibility for your choices. The 4VG (ferulic precursor) rest is a good example of a research result with possible direct applicability to HB. >Anyway I use the techniques that I have learned and apply them until I >get it the way I want it to be. Nothing else. Experience is absolutely essential. But relying on personal experience alone is just a formula for homegrown internal errors and a limited view of the process. >All the science in the world wont help my baking. >Why would it help my brewing?? It DOES help your brewing. Do you use pure yeast cultures or thermometers, those old results of commercial brewing research. Do you use more recent results like effecting esters or fusels by temp control, O2 etc ?. Perhaps you use commercial dogma about how to handle your ale vs lager fermentation temps. Or hops IBU calculations ? Or treat your water ? Or choose pitching rates ? Or calculate carbonation rates ? You might have learned from experience what acetaldehyde or DMS or diacetyl means in a beer, but more likely you understand these and their cure from theory. Lot's more if you should care to think. >I hope this little analogy opens a few eyes and minds. A treatise on the virtues of limiting knowledge - to what end ? I am not suggesting that any one else read journals tho' it was a more enlightening HBD when more did. Some people want to obtain enough knowledge to reason deductively about cars or computers or baked goods or beer. Others just want to drive or surf or load the bread machine or brew from kits. There used to be plenty of space for both sides here. Where does your intolerance come from ? If you don't think critically about your brewing - then you are relegated to operating by rote and rule-of-thumb and you will be the endless victim of superstition and momilies, mysticism and mumbo-jumbo (the malady that Alan complains about). Your own fault all. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 16:48:15 -0400 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: oxidation: measurable? Mark Bayer writes ... > is it possible to measure oxidation effects quantitatively There is a test called an indicator time test (ITT) and several variants on this method. One such is an approved ASBC test - tho' I don't have those details. As I recall the ITT value is a time in seconds till a certain phenolic compound changes color. I should have a description somewhere but can't find it. Measures something close to redox potential of the beer, not dissolved O2. >if there is, it would be >interesting to examine data for bottle-conditioned beers as a function of >some of the "input" variables (headspace air, yeast strain, storage temp and >time). Or even kegged HB. Paul Niebergall tells me that all HB experimentation is boring and pointless, so you must be wrong about the "interesting" part Mark. Also note that some sources indicate that ales may develop cloying sweet flavors as an age related defect. Anyone explain where that flavor comes from Loss of hops bitterness ? -S Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 16:35:37 -0500 From: John.Wilkinson at aud.alcatel.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: RE: Charlie P. and the AHA Phil Yates wrote: > I have been a member of the AHA for 12 months and am in the process of >considering my renewal. Out here in the colonies we are not privy to >in-house fighting and personally I do not understand the dislike displayed >by some to Charlie P. > From an outsiders point of view it looks a bit like this: > Charlie P., an eccentric sort of chap, writes a few >homebrew books, does very well out of them > financially and now no one likes him. > Regarding the Association, I have no clues as to what has caused so >much anger. I am asking that someone may enlighten me on these matters. I have never really understood this either. When I started brewing Charlie's book was recommended to me and that is what I read and used. I think I got a lot out of it. He may have been wrong on some things but I think he got a hell of a lot more right than wrong. And I am not so sure all the things he is accused of getting wrong are wrong or if they are they may be relatively unimportant. I think a lot of the animosity to Charlie P. is simple jealousy. That and the old joy some get at pointing out the flaws (real or imagined) of whoever is at the top as a way of promoting themselves. If they can point to the top guy and say they know more than he does they must be quite the dude themselves, right? I am sure some have legitimate beefs but I don't know the guy and I have no beef with him. As to the AHA, I was a member when I subscribed to Zymurgy. I got a coaster, bumper sticker, and some printed material about the AHA when I subscribed. I considered it pretty much a joke and never took my membership seriously. I subscribed to the magazine, I didn't join an organization, in my mind. Thus I didn't give a damn what the AHA did or didn't do. Why should I. I quit subscribing to Zymurgy when I felt the content was not worth the time I was taking to read it or the money I was spending (Scottish heritage) for it. Being a member of AHA never was a consideration for me. In case anyone gives a damn what I think. But why would I care? John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 16:43:21 -0500 From: John.Wilkinson at aud.alcatel.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: RE: Yeast health question Eric Reimer asked about using yeast with a FEB 99 expiration date. I am not sure about expiration date but I have used Wyeast with a stamped date over a year old. The Wyeast packs have a date stamped on them that I think is a packaging date rather than an expiration date so I don't know how this compares. Anyway, I was given the yeast since it was so old. I used it successfully. It took a few days to swell after being smacked but worked fine. I stepped it up, as I always do, but don't remember if I had to make more steps or not. I don't think I did. The only difference I remember is the longer time to a swelled pack. With Yeast Labs there is no pack to swell but if a starter is made one should be able to tell if the yeast is active. I have used a starter when I used Yeast Labs yeast but haven't had to step as much as with Wyeast. Certainly with an older Yeast labs tube I would use a starter. John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 23:16:27 +0100 From: "Tom & Dee McConnell" <tdmc at bigfoot.com> Subject: Basements as standard equipment It is not just rock near the surface. In many parts of Florida, a house with a basement will simply float out of the ground because the water table is so high. Same thing goes for in ground swimming pools, in florida, you don't just drain and clean - the things will pop right up (or crack!) Tom & Dee McConnell (tdmc at bigfoot.com) Littleport, Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 18:35:14 -0400 From: Randy Shreve <rashreve at interpath.com> Subject: HBD Posting Fear/Charlie P. and Such... Greetings from (cloudy) North Carolina! Not much brewing info ahead......Page Down Now if uninterested in ramblings..... Phil and Jill Yates brought up the subjects of HBD posting fear, and the recurring topic of Charlie P. and the AHA in digest #3082. They said: " the HBD is regarded by many potential contributors as something of a lions den, that is to say that you can expect to be shredded if you dare to get involved" I have to say that I resonate with that statement, as a long time HBD lurker and seldom poster. I have posted on rare occasions for the purpose of asking questions. However, there have been many times where I have been tempted to answer a "newbie" type question, but have hesitated to post a response. Why this hesitation? The free-for-alls that have taken place on this digest on various subjects (which need not be listed here) have often gone to extreme lengths.....and God forbid if anyone should make a spelling error! It's no wonder that people like myself who consider themselves experienced (but not Guru-level) brewers hesitate to participate. In my opinion, this is a loss to the entire reader-ship of the Digest. This forum is an incredible resource for homebrewing info, both day to day and in the archives. It's a shame that a group of us feel hesitant to participate. A great deal of what I have learned about brewing was by reading the responses to other people's questions! Concerning the on-going Charlie P./AHA bash: I don't get it myself. I have never been an AHA member, and have rarely read Zymurgy. But I will say this about Charlie P. - a friend of mine wants me to teach him how to brew and I just bought him a copy of TNCJOHB. Other digest members would go with a different book for a beginner. But, it is my opinion that Charlie's whimsical style puts you completely at ease, especially when you are just beginning. If I would have started out with one of those other books (which ARE great works themselves), I don't think I would have been captivated by the hobby to anywhere near the same degree. Thanks for the space. Now....back to brewing.... Peace and Long Life, Randy Middle Earth Brewing Company - Salisbury, NC Jeff Renner is welcome to stop by for a beer..... Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 19:03:17 -0400 From: Steve Milito <milito at radonc.musc.edu> Subject: Lager Temperature I have just finished building my behemoth lager chamber (~40 cu ft) which holds two 12.5 gal conical fermentation vats. The cooling unit is an old 19 cu ft frost free refrigerator. I am venting the cold air through a 4" duct with a muffin fan to blow air from the freezer. Air returns into the lower refrigerater via a 4" vent. Box is insulated with fiberglass. Fairly airtight. The unit will only cool down to ~48 F. How low of a temperature do I need to do a lager a classic German style pils. The Miller book says you need to run the secondary fermentation at 32 F, is that necessary, or can I do the primary at 50-55F, and the secondary at 45-50F. Any suggestions on how to get the temperature lower. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 18:18:33 -0700 (PDT) From: cburns at jps.net (Charley Burns) Subject: Aging Well the 1.125 SG Barleywine is down to 1.040 but the flavors are clashing a bit. The last barleywine I made is two years old now and has really blended nicely (harsh at first). My question is "what are the best aging environmental factors?". Should it be warm (80-90F), cool (70-80F) or cold (33-45F)? Should it be carbonated or non-carbonated? Should it be in glass or stainless? Bottled, kegged or left in the carboy? My gut tells me that reactions between the malt compounds, yeast, yeast byproducts (alcohol) and hop compounds will take place more rapidly at warm temperatures and I would like to wait less than 2 years to drink this barleywine. On the otherhand, I sure wouldn't want to spoil the brew. Right now its in a 5 gallon carboy under an ounce of whole cascade absorbing flavors and aromas (as of this am). Has anyone done any experiments (and recorded the results) with a single batch split into various aging categories such as those described above? If so, what were the results? Charley Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 11:43:48 +1000 From: David Lamotte <lamotted at ozemail.com.au> Subject: Re: Results of Aeration at Bottling Experiment Dennis Johnson dodges dogma and frivolous subjects by posting the results of his bottling experiment and has concluded that for him, and for his recipes and methods, even fairly aggressive aeration during bottling has no perceptible influence on his beer. While I thank him for taking the time to report his results, I do believe that it is difficult to extend his observations and conclusions to our situations without some additional information. 1. There is no guaruntee that pouring the beer back and forth between bottles actually resulted in significant oxygen dissolution. Dennis reported that the beer foamed excessively, due perhaps to the dissolved CO2 coming out of solution, and this may have protected the beer from coming into contact with much oxygen. This is actually a method of reducing oxygen contact and why it is recommended that we 'cap on foam'. Dennis can you please provide any additional information on what happened during the 'airation' step ? 2. Pouring the beer through the air would not normally allow much mixing of the beer with air due to the smooth laminar flow pattern. A more turbulent flow would be required to mix air into the beer. 3. In addition to the presence of oxygen, the storage temperatures of the beer has a large effect. George Fix in his recent BT article reported that beer with low oxygen levels faired no better then ones with high levels when stored at 86F(30C). Dennis, do you have any details on the storage temperatures experienced by your samples during the six week period ? 4. Fix's data also shows that beers with high oxygen levels, when stored cool (43F/6C) did not start to show any staling until after 10 weeks. Maybe the 6 week period was too short for any effect to become apparent. But, if you always drink your beer within this period ( I know that I always do) then there is no problem. Perhaps a follow-up experiment would be to split a batch in half to give more samples. This would allow one sample and a control to be tasted say once per week and any differences noted. This would also provide information on how the general flavour profile was changing over time. Perhaps you are drinking all your beers too soon, or too late. Finally, I would like to suggest an alternative conclusion to Dennis's posted results. The control was actually a low oxygen pickup sample and that Dennis can take some comfort from the fact that his normal bottling procedure has produced the same flavour profile as the low oxygen bottle over the six week storage period. David Lamotte Brewing down under in Newcastle, NSW Australia Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 22:46:14 EDT From: Utesres at aol.com Subject: Inimitable English ale There's an underlying flavor in English ales that no other beer or American imitation seems to have. It's a sweet, syrupy, honeylike (excellent) flavor. Fuller's, Youngs, Samuel Smith, Bass...they all have it. Seems that calculated additions of gypsum to the mash and sparge water brings my ESBs etc. close, but not quite there. What gives? Mike Utes Hollow Leg Brewery Big Rock IL Give me a siphon and I shall move the wort. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 22:44:09 -0500 (CDT) From: jgibbens at umr.edu Subject: making starters Hello all. Is it possible to sanitize by heating at any temp below 212F? I'm trying to make a starter by boiling the wort in the glass starter bottle. Not much luck. There just isn't enough heat transfer around 200F to bring the liquid in the bottle to boil. Is there any commonly available chemical (other than etheylene glycol) that can be added to water to raise its boiling point? No, I don't have a pressure cooker. Thanks. Joe Gibbens Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 22:54:40 -0500 From: "Stan Prevost" <sprevost at ro.com> Subject: DamYankee in Kentucky??? Dan Listerman displayed apparent pride in being a former DamnYankee in Kentucky. Any Yankee who stays up yonder in Kentucky is called a Good Yankee in Alabama. Stan Prevost Huntsville, AL (north Alabama, so considered a Yankee by many) Only 20 miles from Yankeeland (Tennessee) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 08:25:17 -0500 From: David Whitman <dwhitman at rohmhaas.com> Subject: Application of Science... Paul Niebergall offers an interesting comparison between brewing and baking, and makes the (IMHO) excellent point that it would be absurd to study the process of Twinkie(tm) baking to learn to make good pastry. I buy that argument, and don't see a lot of value in studying the process of making B*d in trying to make beer. That said, I still think a good understanding of brewing and food science is incredibly useful in making good beer and food. With an understanding of the underpinnings of what's going on, you can develop your own recipes, optimized to acheive what YOU'RE looking for. The exact same science that teaches how to make a Twinkie that doesn't get any worse if stored for 100 years can reveal how to make a delicate pastry that needs to be eaten within minutes of coming out of the oven...and is worth hanging out by the oven to eat. >Why would I? I get my information from trusted cook books and T.V. shows. >Gasp, did I say T.V.? - that wasteland you say, considered a quality source >of information? Well you should check out Emeril Lagasse some time. >I have never seen him start spouting chemical formulas concerning the >Malliard reactions involved in browning a pork chop! I've worshipped at Emeril Legasse's temple in New Orleans, and you won't hear *me* second guess a man who can do things like that to food. In fact, I have a couple of his books...sitting on my shelf right next to Harold McGee's excellent food science book "On Food and Cooking". When I want to follow a specific recipe, I'm often using Emeril. If I want to change a recipe or create one of my own, I'm boning up on the relevent science in McGee. YMMV, but if you want to have any chance of duplicating my (world's best, IMHO) barbequed chicken recipe, read McGee...paying particular attention to the section on the Malliard reaction. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 08:24:35 +0100 From: "Nigel Porter" <nigel at sparger.freeserve.co.uk> Subject: RE: Why Homebrew >It would be interesting to know if cost >is the main reason people got into homebrewing. I originally started homebrewing to obtain cheap alcohol when I was at university. Didn't taste that good, but made the envy of my mates. Now quality beer and the enjoyment of tinkereing with different ingredients are the reasons for brewing. Cost doen't really come into it anymore. Nigel Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 06:44:16 -0400 From: rdavis at gator.net (Dave Williams) Subject: re: basements Jeff Renner asks why only Yankees have basements: why aren't basements standard in all of the country (excepting areas with rock right below the surface or high water tables)? They add very little to the cost of a house and double the square footage in the case of one story houses, or by 50% in the case of two stories. <snip> Any ideas? Actually a basement adds a pretty good chunk of change to the price of a house. I know, I've got one, and I built it. The same square footage above ground would have cost half as much. Makes more sense to build up than down. The hole is pretty cheap, but the heavy duty walls needed to keep the dirt from caving in the basement are pretty pricey. The reason that Jeff and others of Northern persuasion have basements is because the foundation of a house has to be below the frost line (and we don't have one of those in Florida). Otherwise, water can seep underneath, freeze, and heave the foundation (and house) out of place. Since you're digging a hole to get the foundation below the frost line, and you have to have those tall foundation walls anyway, it only makes sense to make the space between them useful. Thus, basements were born. In order to justify this as a topical post, I must add that I keep my fermenting and lagering fridges in my basement. Store my malt there too. Cheers, Dave Williams Back Pocket Brewery Newberry, Florida Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 06:35:52 -0500 From: Gary D Hipple <ghipple at mmmpcc.org> Subject: REF: Why HomeBrew? In HBD 3083 Randy Pressley asks: >It would be interesting to know if cost >is the main reason people got into homebrewing. I certainly don't homebrew because I want to save money. I homebrew for the suspense! "What am I going get this time?" From this statement, you can deduce I am not a "style" brewer. I can buy "styles." Ahhh... Miller Lite, the "classic pilsner!" :-( :-o :-(o) For instance: I make an IPA with a whole Cascade hop in every bottle. Talk about hop nose! I have also added hops to my priming sugar, boiled and bottled. Interesting affect. I brew with tree bark, tree sap, spruce needles, cat litter (well, that's stretching it a bit). Beers like these are hard to find on the shelf. They also do not fair well in competitions, but the hell. I brew for the experimentation, the experience. Not to save a few pennies. G Hipple 4455'N 935' W Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 07:50:43 EDT From: KTNeall at aol.com Subject: What's in a name/growing hops/refractometer corrections/learning I guess I could not stay out of the conversation any longer. Titles in our society are important and they do carry weight. How many times have you been introduced to somebody as Dr. So-and-SO? or Captain So-and-So? For example, my father in law spent much of his adult life in the Navy as a pilot and achieved the rank of Captain before retiring. (We address him as Captain Dad, but that is not the point.) He rents boat slips to people. One renter, formerly an NCO in the Navy, decided to fly the two star admiral flag above his boat. This upset my father in law, as well as the admiral who lived next door? Why? Because titles carry weight and when the title is unearned the status is not deserved. Certainly not everybody would care or be offended, but some would. I believe Jeff made valuable contributions to this forum, and am sorry to see him go. And that's all I have to say about that. I have a first year Willamette hops plant in my backyard. It appears healthy and has a nice green color. It is fertalized and watered frequently, but seems to be stuck at about 16 inches in height? Any thoughts on why? I have recently purchased a refractometer and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. Could somebody email me privately the correction formula with a quick explanation. Finally, do we have anything to learn from the big commercial brewers? Personally, I think this is an idiotic question. The answer of course is yes. The simple act of reading about or looking at or talking to somebody else about their practices makes you or should make reflect on your own practices. Perhaps you will discard information that you learned as unimportant in your own methods, but it forced you to be a critical thinker and then a better problem solver. This might sound stupid, but the worst thing you can do is shut out a source of information because you think it will be unimportant or not relevant. You will get stuck in sort of an information rut. Tim Neall Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 07:53:55 -0400 From: fridge at kalamazoo.net Subject: Temp controller Greetings folks, In HBD#3083, Randy Ricci asks about potential temp controller probe damage from using alcohol as a thermal mass medium. I looked at Hoptech's site and it appears that they are selling a Johnson Controls A19 series controller. This controller has a tinned copper capillary tube and probe. Alcohol shouldn't harm it. Be aware that some A19 controllers have an adjustable differential. If so, the differential may be changed by moving a small lever inside the controller. If adding a thermal mass to the probe is necessary, consider using either mineral oil automotive antifreeze. Neither material would evaporate nor support mold growth. A small bottle with a screw top could be used as a container by drilling a hole in the cap large enough to pass the probe through and then sealing around the capillary with putty or silicone sealer. Be aware that most antifreeze solutions are toxic so keep them away from children or pets. Hope this helps! Forrest Duddles - FridgeGuy in Kalamazoo fridge at kalamazoo.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 09:03:08 -0400 From: "Jeff Beinhaur" <beinhaur at email.msn.com> Subject: Page Down Key..... My page down key finger is getting sore. I'm concerned about carpal tunnel syndrome. How will I ever be able to pick up my carboys and kegs with such an affliction. Worse yet, will I be able to lift a pint of beer. Can we now finish up with name calling, dogma, catma, science vs. art, big boy techniques, etc, etc, and get on with the "HOMEBREW" Digest. Now for a "HOMEBREW" question. I made the mistake recently of putting my cleaner (B-Brite) in a carboy after fushing it out and then filling with water and then left it sit for nearly a week outside on the mecadam (sp?) driveway in the recent heatwave we had hear in the east. When I finally got around to actually cleaning them they had a film on the inside that I don't seem to be able to get off. I used my brush that I have for cleaning the carboys (why can't anyone invent a decent carboy cleaning brush) but that's not much help. Any suggestions? By the way, a number of months ago I asked a question concerning what people were using for mash paddles. I finally got around to getting a new one. Although a number of people suggested a number of inexpensive solutions, being a gadget person I decided to buy a 36" SS paddle from St. Pats. For about $26 (including shipping) this seems like a deal. It's a very heavy duty paddle and since it's SS I don't have to many cleaning worries. No affiliation, just a happy customer, yada, yada........... Jeff Beinhaur, Camp Hill, PA Home of the Yellow Breeches Brewery Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 09:38:08 -0400 From: Jim Haynes <Jim.Haynes at dstm.com> Subject: Snow Goose Winter Ale Does anyone have a recipe for Snow Goose Winter Ale? Extract version preferred, but I'll take what I can get. Thanks, Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 10:03:00 -0400 From: Eric.Fouch at steelcase.com Subject: False Bottoms,The Beetles HBD- >From: "Biggs, Gardner" <Gardner.Biggs at sci-us.com> >Subject: Final RIMS equipment > >I have almost completed my RIMS setup and am looking for a few more items. > >A mash screen for a 15.5 gal keg > >Bimetal temperature probes (3 inch dial with approx 6 inch probe and 1/2inch >male NPT fitting) one of which must able to be bendable for easy reading. > If you still have the top that was cut out (provided you cut out the top, not cut off the top) you could do what I did- Drill a couple hundred holes in the top, and use it as a false bottom. I covered the tap hole with some brass shim stock, and crimped it in place. >From: "Greg Mueller" <brew_meister at hotmail.com> >Subject: #%$& at * Beetles > >I have about a dozen hallertau hope vines growing and are about 20 feet now >with small cones. Up until a couple of weeks ago, the were beautiful and >very healthy. Then came the infestation of kamikaze beetles. The remaining >foliage now looks like mesh. > >I've been growing for the past three years and never had a beetle problem. >I've tried diazinon with no luck and they don't seem to like my beetle bag >placed 30 feet away. I've read in the archives that beetles are repelled by >dead beetles. I don't thing my spouse would appreciate me making a beetle >Daiquiri in the blender. > >Any suggestions? I have quite a few Japanese Beetles too. They don't bother my hops, though. Why? Because they are far more interested in the raspberry bushes nearby. They damage the raspberries, but they don't seem to have affected their yield appreciably. I don't know if I could use Grub-X on the raspberries, and get 'em in the grub stage? As long as they don't reach some critical mass and explode onto the hops, I'll just leave them alone (although while picking raspberries, what beetles I can grab, I throw in the pool and let the skimmer get 'em) I guess my suggestion is plant some sacrificial raspberries. Then make some raspberry ales, meads and wines. Loretta Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 10:24:27 EDT From: Biergiek at aol.com Subject: He's Not Qualified to Post Data on the HBD >Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999 20:08:02 -0500 >From: Dean Fikar <dfikar at flash.net> >Subject: No-sparge advice >If I can get off my rear and get motivated enough, I'll >post my no-sparge data series along with a best fit >formula which has a pretty impressive R-value of about >0.92 for predicting the runoff SG, if there's much >interest out there for such esoterica. Gee Dean, I am not sure if you can do that. I mean you don't have a post graduate degree in physics, chemistry, or microbiology, I don't care if you really are a board certified medical doctor. Hell, you haven't even been published in BT yet. One thing is for sure, if you do decide to post your data series you better couch it by identifying it as a "questionable data alert", and you damn sure better cite no less than 2.94 X 10^73 technical journal references, including the chemical diagrams... don't ever forget those molecular diagrams. You wouldn't want to piss off the data cops of the HBD because you probably didn't perform your experiments with the proper statistical controls, so basically your efforts are meaningless. If you decide to post the data, never, never, never, and I mean never use a moniker that would falsely ascribe an academic title to yourself, this would be unthinkable heresy. Kyle, aka Dr. Biergiek Bakersfield, CA ..and if you think this post was serious, you need to tour the cellars of Iceland with Dr. Pivo (get the gold package, it is highly recommended), long live the Peeve! Dean, please post the data. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 10:31:51 -0400 From: Joe Rolfe <rolfe at sky.sky.com> Subject: Building codes for 10x10 "closets" Gary Tucker and his 10x10 basement room, Sounds like you told the code enforcement officals way to much and did not get the building code before making the plan. Did you mentioned brewery/fermentation (bad news that smells of commercialism to a building inspector)? Should have just told them a basement closet, and screw them - let them ask the next question. If they tell you 10x10 needs this, that and the other thing...make the closet 9'11x9'11, then see what they say. For the electrical, you should not need conduit in a closet. What is a french drain anyway? (the old "beg for forgiveness / rather than ask for permission" phrase and "over, under, around or thru" fits here). I would redo the terms in the plan. Make it very brief, and offer not added informantion unless they ask specifically for it. Call it a closet with a lite. Build that, then after the inspector comes and does his thing, do yours. Just insure the electrical and any other utilities that could have effect on your home insurance is met. Sounds bad, but hey why should they cause you to spend $30K on something they have not a clue about. Did they send you to a specific contractor/builder (like the guys brother)? Excuse me for this but "F'em". What they dont know wont hurt'em. If you want it bad enough, you can do it, within your budget. Go for it. Joe Rolfe Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 10:52:36 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Basements Thanks to all who responded both on HBD and privately to my question about the lack of basements in the south and west. I think that it boils down to economics, although it's not simple cost of doing it. As was pointed out, we in the north have to dig footings below the frost line (42" here in at 0,0,0 Rennerian), so it's not so much additional trouble and cost to go ahead and build a real basement. In the south and west, where footings can be very shallow, there is a good deal work involvedt. However, there is more - since builders in these areas don't do build them often, they are not familiar with them, and apparently charge a whole lot more than here where they are the norm. As an example, we bought a quad-level house here in 1982 that was built in the mid 60's for ~$22,000. Had it been built as a tri-level without the half basement and a crawl space without a slab, it would have been $600 less. Strangely, most of the split levels in the subdivision were built without the half basement, but all of the ranches and colonials were built with basements. Don't know why. Perhaps the split levels offered more square footage per dollar and so appealed to the economy buyers. It's very clear that our northern basements are widely envied! Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 10:04:49 -0500 From: "Rob Dewhirst" <robdew at my-deja.com> Subject: RE: Temp controllers Randy Ricchi <rricchi at ccisd.k12.mi.us> asked: > Then I remembered reading about how some people have trouble with molds > growing when too much moisture builds up in the freezer. I thought I could > avoid potential problems (mold,scum in the water that holds the temp probe) > by using rubbing alcohol or vodka for the liquid medium for the temp probe. > Would either of these alcohols harm the temp probe? TIA If you're worried about harming the probe or cleaning it, you can encase the probe in a small section of copper tubing. Take a very short section and either crimp the end shut or solder a cap on the end, then place the probe down inside the copper tube, then place the tube wherever and in whatever you want (that won't hurt copper). The key here is you would need some heat transfer compound inside the copper tubing to help guarantee your probe is closer to the temp of its environment. Also keep the mass of the whole assembly as small as possible. It would also make the probe icky if you ever pulled it out of it's "cocoon." Heat Transfer Compound is available from Grainger (part #4E847) or a good HVAC supply shop. Personally, I don't put my probe in anything and wipe down the inside of my converter freezer daily. The thermometers on my fermenters and the thermometer on the external thermostat rarely differ by more than a degree or two. Return to table of contents
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