HOMEBREW Digest #3211 Mon 03 January 2000

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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

  re gm (Robin Griller)
  sparkler heads and nitro mix with light bodied beers (JPullum127)
  reusing Co2 fire extinguishers (Kurt Goodwin)
  Lack of krausen on starters ... ok? ("Brian Dixon")
  Anyone like Aspirin? ("Brian Dixon")
  Feelings on early racking? ("Brian Dixon")
  Re: Oxygen Thread Correction ("Brian Dixon")
  Sauerkraut and Y2K problems ("Alan McKay")
  stuck porter follow up (BsmntBrewr)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2000 09:19:07 -0500 From: Robin Griller <rgriller at chass.utoronto.ca> Subject: re gm Hi all, Re gm foods/barley etc., would I use gm? Not until they have been *demonstrated* safe. They haven't been adequately researched, until then I'd like to avoid using them. Like the milk thing Dave B. mentions (and yes there is research saying the milk thing can be dangerous at least to the cows, if I remember right), it seems to me insane to start putting things in our mouths and stomachs, and particularly in our children's mouths (food, not beer of course :)), when we just don't know if they're safe or not. I don't see how 'demonstrating dangerous' matters so much here; with food, the question is 'demonstrating safe'. Hasn't been done. Regarding arguments in favour of gm foods: the 'increased production' argument is interesting. Given that the world already produces more than enough food to feed everybody, who does the increased production benefit? The problem of starvation is a product of the market-- if you can't afford to buy the food then we don't sell it to you, if we don't sell it to you we simply stockpile and destroy it and you starve-- not a product of insufficient production. So who does the increased productivity benefit? Not the starving, they still can't afford it. Strangely enough, not the farmers; the first farmer benefits for a year or two, but then, once all the other farmers start producing the same crop, you have the same number of farmers producing more food for a market with no more demand than before, the prices drop some, the gm seeds, etc., are much more expensive, and, bingo, the farmers are making less money (unless of course, like american and european farmers, they are hugely subsidised). So, prices drop, more farmers go bankrupt, production declines again, prices go back up. Who benefits? Big corporate farming and monsanto. Not my two favourites, personally. Dave B. asks us to look at whose interest is being served: gm foods serve the interests of big corporate seed companies and big corporate farming to *no* benefit to the starving, we regular consumers, or farmers. I guess all those who love gm, want to serve our corporate masters. Good luck to 'em. Robin p.s. Re cars: as a committed anti-car person who does not and will not own a car if I can avoid it, I can say that, while I wouldn't want to go back to horses, Dave's choice (cars or horses) is what's known as a false dichotomy: if it isn't A (cars) it must be B (horses). Of course, there are other alternatives. I.e. public transit (whether that be the bus, the streetcar/tram, or the subway). Personally, I live in a city with excellent public transit that can get me just about everywhere quickly. The evils of cars (traffic congestion, pollution, public nastiness and aggression, increased asthma rates among urban children, an economy grossly dependent on an environmentally destructive form of transport, etc, etc, etc) outweigh their benefits hugely when the alternatives are set out sensibly. Dave B. makes a typical manoeuvre for those who support all and any technological development: set up the alternatives as accept or go back to 'primitive' technologies, so that the new form looks good. The alternatives are always much more complex than that. If anyone calls me a 'luddite', I will say thank you: the luddites, after all, were not so much *anti* technology as concerned about how technology impacted on peoples' lives, which is, of course, what we should be concerned with. The luddites have simply been libelled by history. Sorry for taking up so much space. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 09:43:03 EST From: JPullum127 at aol.com Subject: sparkler heads and nitro mix with light bodied beers i have a friend who owns a basic young people's dance bar(guys night $1.00 bottle of bud lite kind of place) his taps are bud lite and michelob amber bock.i know i talked him into trying both bass ale and guiness but they just didn't sell to his crowd, which dissapointed both of us. anyway he really likes the creamy head of draft guiness using a sparkler head and nitrogen/co2 mix and wants to buy a system to put the amber bock on. will it really make a difference with a beer so much lighter than a stout? are there factors not being considered here?. i found an ad for a 5 hole sparkler from williams brewing for $79.00 and switching from straight co2 to nitrogen mix shouldn't be a problem to obtain. thanks Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2000 11:50:08 -0500 From: kurt at greennet.net (Kurt Goodwin) Subject: reusing Co2 fire extinguishers From: "Bruce Garner" "My tank is a reused extinguisher tank. It works fine. You may need a hydro test. I believe that extinguishers and tanks for beer and soda are filled from the same C02 source. The fittings are different." Bruce I'm ashamed to say I never thought of this. I have an old fire extinguisher that' about the size of a 20 lb C02 bottle. How different are the fittings? Did you need anything special to adapt it? Hydro test soujnds like a good idea. Kurt Goodwin Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 09:23:39 -0800 From: "Brian Dixon" <briandixon at home.com> Subject: Lack of krausen on starters ... ok? I've been brewing for about 5 years, and live in a small town. I've always built my starters using Munton's dry malt extract because that's all the local brew suppliers carried. My starters have always formed a nice krausen on the starter during fermentation. Recently however, I picked up a bag of Laaglanders dry malt extract in a neighboring (big) city. So here's my question: This starter is going to be a big one (1 1/2 gallons) so it's being doubled a few times ... the first couple of runs were 'fed' with Munton's and had a nice krausen, the last 'feed' used a gallon of wort made from the new Laaglander extract. It was added to the first 1/2 gallon and is not forming any krausen at all. It's got a very very thin sprinkling of very tiny bubbles on the surface, and is happily perking right along at about 1 perk per second or second and a half ... but no krausen (other than the very very tiny bubbles previously mentioned). Is this normal? Anything to worry about? This starter is going to run long enough to settle out most of the yeast and the slurry is going into a very big beer (OG 1.125), which costs twice as much to brew, so I don't want to brew it unless the starter is perfect. All signs seem normal except for the lack of krausen, which corresponds to the change to Laaglanders ... what do you suggest? Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 09:29:16 -0800 From: "Brian Dixon" <briandixon at home.com> Subject: Anyone like Aspirin? My last batch had what I describe as a _very slight_ aspirin bitter note to it. Friends think the beer is fine, but I detect this 'other' bitterness that doesn't seem right. The first 1/2 a beer seems ok to me, then by the time I drink the second half, I don't feel like finishing it. Anyone know what might cause an 'aspirin' bitterness? Hops were a blend of Fuggles and Goldings, a blend I use very often, and I do not believe that had anything to do with it. The funky bitter does seem to be aging out to some degree, but since I tasted it once, I am familiar with it and can still detect it. I'm wondering about an infection... Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 09:35:56 -0800 From: "Brian Dixon" <briandixon at home.com> Subject: Feelings on early racking? I've often considered racking after about 8 to 24 hours into a primary ferment to take the wort off the bulk of the trub, but hesitate because I've read that the fatty acids in the trub are beneficial to the yeast. It just seems 'good' that the primary would only be exposed to good clean yeast sediment once the growth period of the yeast is over, and I believe (if memory serves) that the fatty acids are only helpful up through the finish of the growth period. Thoughts? If I want to try a first racking that is to take place as soon as exposure to the trub (non-yeast sediment portion of it) is not helpful anymore, then when should it take place? Is this a good idea, or a bad idea? Why? Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 09:41:52 -0800 From: "Brian Dixon" <briandixon at home.com> Subject: Re: Oxygen Thread Correction > From: Mark_Ohrstrom/Humphrey_Products at humphreypc.com > > Buddy LeSage corrected my post on Oxygen regulator threads. They have > right-hand threads. It's the fuel side that's got the odd twist. Should > have climbed out of my Y2K bunker long enough to look at the ox/acetylene > torch in the garage! > > Mark (Y2K Defiant) in Kalamazoo Might have been covered already, but I'll just add this note: The threads on the little red (1.4 oz) bottles of oxygen for the small hardware-store type of oxy-acetylene torches and for the white (1.4 oz) Oxynator bottles have left-hand threads, as does the regulator/valve assembly for both the torch and the Oxynator. Isn't it funny how they both use the same regulator (apparently) and oxygen bottles with exactly the same amount in them? I'd bet money that these components come from similar manufactures, and that the only difference in the oxygen bottles is the color of the paint ... anyone know for sure if the red bottles have 'dirtier' oxygen as compared to the Oxynator (Liquid Bread) bottles? Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2000 00:00:01 -0500 From: "Alan McKay" <amckay at ottawa.com> Subject: Sauerkraut and Y2K problems He folks, Just to let y'all know there's a new sauerkraut group at : http://www.egroups.com/group/rec-crafts-sauerkraut/ Oh, and I see the janitors have the little y2k "boo-boo" cleaned up. Fast work! cheers, -Alan - -- Alan McKay amckay at ottawa.com http://www.bodensatz.com/ What's a bodensatz? http://www.bodensatz.com/bodensatz.html Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2000 00:06:18 EST From: BsmntBrewr at aol.com Subject: stuck porter follow up Brewers, First I'd like to thank those that responded to my earlier post regarding my stuck porter. Thanks. The majority of responses leaned towards 1020 not being all that high an FG for a porter. Having 10% crystal in my bill also seemed to be an indicator to some that I had some unfermentables lingering about raising my SG. Others suspected the Windsor dry yeast, which can reportedly drop out early. I was faced with unfermentables or a yeast just pooping out. The brew tasted a bit to sweet for what I was shooting for so as a last ditch effort to lower the SG, I pitched a rehydrated pack of champagne yeast. With in ten minutes I was seeing signifcant activity in the airlock. For the next few days there were bubbles every seven seconds. After just about two weeks activity ceased in the airlock and I bottled it earlier tonight. FG 1012. I couldn't really tell if the champagne yeast did much of anything to the flavor profile except eliminate the sweetness that I was catching before. Overall I'd have to say that the brew after the yeast addition is much closer to what I wanted. Thanks again HBD. On another note, I've got a batch going using White Labs WLP380- Hefeweizen IV Ale Yeast. Talk about sulfur production! Its churning away at about 60*F and threatening to take over my basement. White Labs reports that the optimum fermentation temperature is 66-70*F. Should I consider raising the temps? Anyone else have any experience with this yeast? Happy New Year Bob Bratcher Roanoke, VA Star City Brewers Guild http://hbd.org/starcity Return to table of contents
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