HOMEBREW Digest #3349 Mon 12 June 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

  HSA and The Doc's credentials ("Pannicke, Glen A.")
  Re:  Growing Hops (stencil)
  Aussie Hop Rhizomes ("Adam Ralph")
  Fruit Flavors ("Jimmy Hughes")
  Infrared Thermometers ("Angie and Reif Hammond")
  Beer filtering, boiler percolation, Croatian (Dave Burley)
  Brewing software; calculating SRM ("Bruce Francis")
  Re: boil oxidation (Jeff Renner)
  SRM calculations ("Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies")
  Dr Pivo's Lactic (not sarcastic) Comments ("Phil & Jill Yates")
  re:mash out ("Nathaniel P. Lansing")
  Re: HSA, etc.. (Jim Adwell)
  HSA and Bud ("Peter Garofalo")
  Re: Beer filtration (David Houseman)
  mulberries ("steve lane")
  Grants Imperial Stout recipe request (Rick Pauly)
  Kenai Peninsula, Alaska (erniebaker)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 16:20:30 -0400 From: "Pannicke, Glen A." <glen_pannicke at merck.com> Subject: HSA and The Doc's credentials In HBD# 3347 Dave Burley wrote of Oxidation of Boiling Wort: >Alan Meeker wonders if there is a reaction of oxygen with wort at the boil >at the wort/air interface. >I can definitely say yes, although there are many here who protest >otherwise without even trying the experiment. I tried this in an attempt just to get the wort boiling faster on my stovetop and I've been doing it ever since. The boil takes less time to start, I lose less volume during the boil and it keeps a good roll going during the entire time. While I'm sure that the steam does not eliminate the reaction with atmospheric O2 entirely, I believe it helps to reduce the interface of atmospheric O2 and boiling hot wort. The arguement that the solubility of gasses in a boiling liquid is nil doesn't apply well here since were really talking about oxidation (call it HSO?!?), a chemical reaction which can still take place at the interface. Now I'm not an HSologist, so I haven't studied this or written any papers on it, but I do remember a little bit of Chemistry - very little. Remember, most of us Biologists might have become Chemists if only pChem didn't suck so bad ;-) Now doesn't the addition of heat help drive oxidative reactions by adding to the required energy of the reaction as well as increasing the rate? I would also think that there would be a lot of attractive sites for oxygen on those big, fat protein molecules which are having those bonds broken and re-formed. Ahhh, food for thought. Most of this HS is BS. Alan, a curse on you for bringing this thread up again ;-) ;-) ;-) Anyway, while I didn't do a side-by-side test on my covered brews, I used the same recipe, have a working set of taste buds and a good memory. So anyone who wants a spectrographic analysis as proof will have to do the experiment themselves. Sorry... ;-) In HBD#3346 Alan Meeker asked about Pivo's doctoral status: >Wait a minute, are you telling me that old doc Pivo is a /medical/ doc?? >Shudder Seeing as how "Pivo" is Czech for "beer" I'd think he is more of a beer doctor. Didn't know this until I saw the little tidbit of information on my 365 Days of Beer Desk Calendar (well, 366 *THIS* year, but who's really counting). As Rich P. relates, I don't think I'd let him do a liver transplant on me either, but I'd sure let him brew a batch of beer for me ;-) Keep postin', Doc! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 16:54:11 -0400 From: stencil <stencil at bcn.net> Subject: Re: Growing Hops Todd Goodman <tgoodman at sonusnet.com> asks > >I'm curious how other hop growers in the area (Westford, MA) >are doing with their plants. > >This is my first year growing (six varieties) and I think I >got them started late (late May). [ ... ]> In Berkshire County, on a North-facing claybank, fourteen Liberty and four Hallertauer plants are variously at ten to fifteen feet. Lowest leaves are about 8" across the tips. This is their fourth Spring. They get top-dressed with commercial manure ("MooPoo") when the first shoots appear, and again when the cones start to form. Lower leaves then will be trimmed to about a yard up. The first two years I let everything grow ad lib and did not harvest any flowers that formed. Last year, and this, I nipped the growing tips from all but three bines per hill. Last year's harvest was 20 ounces, dried. Maybe 4 pounds wet. >I know I won't get much the first year, but they're growing slower >than expected. Been a cool wet Spring. Patience. > >The Nugget also has some insect damage (leaves cut through) on >the lower leaves. Is this normal or should I be checking into >it (the higher leaves don't show this damage and I don't see >any insects now)? Same here. Last year at this time I sprayed with a very mild solution (2tsp Malathion, 1 tsp Volck oil - them's teaspoons - in a gallon) but this year the lower temps seem to be inhibiting the bugs. > >What do people tend to use to train their hops? I used two >10 foot sections of galvanized pipe connected with a coupler >with an eye-bolt through an end cap on one end and just an >foot section of the same pipe sunk in the ground with an end >cap on it. Then a piece of pipe just large enough for the end >caps to fit within slides over both (to hold them up). There's >a bolt in the pipe in the ground to hold the sleeve up high >enough. > >Nylon rope trails down to an oak stake in the hill (a tent >setup I guess). The Liberty plants are in a row, 25-ft long, between a pair of deadmen - 4x4PT, 3-ft up, 3-ft in concrete. Lashed to each deadman is a 20-ft pole made up of PVC pipe, 2-in and 1-1/2-in. At the join they're stiffened with a yard-long plug ripped out of 5/4PT decking board. Parachute cord is used for guying and for the spanwire between the tips. K-Mart pulleys provide a halliard at each end to lift a catenary line that supports jute descenders. The whole rig gets struck in the Autumn and the deadmen support game feeders (helps to lure the Giant Whitetail Forest Rats away from the azaleas.) The Hallertauers are planted around the upslope deadman and train onto descenders from one end of the catenary wire. Now... how do you propose to measure Alpha Acid? stencil sends RKBA! Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 15:30:41 WST From: "Adam Ralph" <bluehillsbrewing at hotmail.com> Subject: Aussie Hop Rhizomes Putting aside the recent barney about which code of football is superior (there is only one truly Australian game), its good to see all Aussies unite to declare our national beer to be crap. Unanimous. I'm currently planning for the upcoming Southern hop growing season and wanted to know if any of you Aussies grow any hop varieties other than POR or Cascade. I've spoken to a bloke in Tassie (professional hop grower) and that is all he is currently selling. I'm keen to try the Cascade. Does anyone else grow other varieties? Cheers, Adam. ________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 08:26:52 -0400 From: "Jimmy Hughes" <inspector at bmd.clis.com> Subject: Fruit Flavors I will have access to fresh blueberries and would like to try flavoring a batch. Any suggestions? Happy trails to you, 'til we meet again.............. Check out the free items, go to, http://www.ncinspections.com scroll down, click on the free after rebate link........ Save money, enjoy........ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 09:00:28 -0400 From: "Angie and Reif Hammond" <arhammond at mediaone.net> Subject: Infrared Thermometers Jimmy Hughes writes: > I have just purchased a "MiniTemp" Noncontact thermometer from W. W. > Grainger for $90.00. It is an infrared reader, looks kind of like the > things that Drs. stick in kids ears. > It has a problem reading the temp of shiny objects, such as aluminum or SS. We often use infrared thermometers at work and I have seen people try to measure the temperature of a chrome surface with them only to get the temperature of their belly button. This is like trying to take a picture of a mirror - all you get a picture of is what is reflected in the mirror. Infrared is nothing more than light whose wavelength is longer then what the human eye can see. If the surface reflects infrared, then all you get is the temperature of what is reflected. It makes you wonder about the cooking catalogs that show these being used to get the temperature of the shiny bottom of a pan :) If you want to measure the temperature of a pot or other shiny surface with this type of thermometer, paint a black spot on the outside that is bigger then the field of view of the thermometer and aim at that. Reif Hammond Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 09:08:41 -0400 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Beer filtering, boiler percolation, Croatian Brewsters: Alan Davies has concluded that he needs to filter his beer, without providing any detail. I suggest you contact "The Filter Company" for equipment intended to be used for filtering homebrew. I have to say that with the utmost care to avoid oxidation of the beer, to avoid tainting by the filter material and such, in my experience, filtered beer ends up much less satisfactory than naturally clarified beer. I only filter if I am in a rush and the beer will be consumed the next day or so under non-critical conditions. Maybe you could provide some more information on why you believe you need to filter your beer. Beer will clarify naturally if you don't have some other problem. Filtering will not likely solve this other problem. If you store your beer in a refrigerator for a few weeks is it clear? Are you doing extract or all grain? What exactly are your expectations? ABOVE ALL never blow air into your fermented beer "to deflocculate" it, as you suggested. Oxidation will stale it and the effects will continue to deteriorate the beer over time. - ----------------------------------------------- Aaron Sepanski clarifies his meaning about percolation saying some British breweries percolate the boil. I believe this is done to improve the hop extraction by increasing the agitation in unstirred boilers at a lower energy input and to prevent caramelization in direct heat boilers, but I think they use nitrogen and not air. Can anyone else please comment on this? - ---------------------------------------------- Dalibor Jurina writes from Croatia asking for sanitizers that might be available, since Iodophor is not readily available. Unless your stainless steel parts are to be pressurized, I wouldn't worry about any minor corrosion it might get in your use with bleach. Just don't soak these parts and rinse and if you will be using this immediately, rinse with boiled water. For pressurized vessels, never soak these in the presence of chlorine, but a quick sanitizing rinse of a <clean> vessel followed by a sterile rinse with boiled water should be fine for a homebrewer. In industrial applications, storing chlorine containing solutions in SS is forbidden as corrosion is a reality and can lead to stress cracking and pinholing. For homebrewers, using thin walled pressure vessels like a Cornelius keg it is potentially a problem, but likely not a problem with a normal heavy walled keg. Point is don't store bleach solutions in SS vessels and with light homebrewer use you should be OK with quick rinsing with bleach and water. I have been brewing successfully for over three decades using only bleach and boiled water and have yet to have an infection or spoiled beer that I could blame on this fact. As far as other sanitizers, if you want to try, go to a dairy farm supply store or veterinarian and see if they have these sanitizers like iodophor. Be careful not to get sanitizers which have lanolin in them, as teat washes often do. You want the sanitizers used for the dairy equipment. - ----------------------------------------------- I think a low flavor beer like a pilsner would be appropriate for any tests relating to the oxidation of beer and not Octoberfest and the like as the caramelized malt will obscure any flavor changes. - ----------------------------------------------- AJ. I have kept my grain variously over the years in 40/50 gallon plastic garbage cans, Rubbermaid storage containers, large coolers and a shipping box (about the size and design of a large cooler) which I used to ship display screen parts oveseas for trade shows. All worked fine and were cheaper than $39/ . The latter is the best, meant to withstand the rigors of travel, but the Rubbrmaid is fine and it can be stacked easily and isn't too heavy when full. If you plan to stack several, I suggest some sort of support ( maybe concrete blocks with boards on them- aka a bookshelf from the 60s) to prevent these from being crushed and spilling their contents. I have successfully stacked two 50 gals garbage cans by putting a wide board on the lid, but wouldn't recommend as the stack is unstable outside the closet where I used this method. Some years ago Sears sold this BIG ( like 4'+ long), cheap insulated cooler on wheels which was also strong and could be stacked. When it became obvious that the size was a legacy ( and why it was cheap) for most cooler uses, I turned it into a malt storage bin. By using plastic bags it is possible to keep several malts in the same bin and to prevent contamination of all of your malts from one which has bugs. - ----------------------------------------------- Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 12:14:21 -0400 (EDT) From: "Bruce Francis" <bfrancis at pobox.com> Subject: Brewing software; calculating SRM On Thu, 8 Jun 2000, Victor Macias wrote about "Brewing Software": >Forgive me if this has already been mentioned, but in case it hasn't, I've >found the Beer Recipator spreadsheet http://hbd.org/recipator to be >extremely helpful to me I have to agree! I have used the Recipator (thanks, Mark Riley!) for several dozen recipes, and have been extremely happy with many of its abilites, including recipe scaling and its "inventory" of grains, malts, hops, etc (which can all be customized). I just recently "found" the page that allows one to add brewing notes, dates, mash schedules, etc.... this really adds a nice, finalizing touch. And on Fri, 9 Jun 2000, Joe Fleming wrote about "how to calculate SRM": > Anybody know how to calculate the color (SRM) of a beer recipe? Again, the "Recipator". It includes Lovibond estimations for all the grains, malts, malt extracts, adjuncts. You can modify these if you have better information (from the labels). I use this feature often to modify the amount of grains and additives when I'm trying to formulate a recipe which might be judged, and thus the final SRM is of concern. - --- Bruce Francis BFrancis at pobox.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 12:52:47 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: boil oxidation Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> writes that he had a problem with staling of a CAP, presumably from kettle HSA. I've never had this problem with a CAP (knock on wood), but I have with Dunkles. According to Briess http://www.briess.com, Carapils (r) will help avoid this, and 5% Carapils is not out of place in a CAP anyway. >Since Jeff Renner now has me addicted to >producing a good CAP (can I get a link for the Ayinger >yeast?) Dan McConnell of Yeast Culture Kit Co mailto:yckco at aol.com has it. Dan's really, really busy with a day job (he's a research scientist at the University of Michigan), so give him some time. He also has an 800#. Don't know it. Ayinger isn't on the regular list, but he has it and will sell you a slant. As I've pointed out before, Dan gives me exhorbitant amounts of money for saying this. 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: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 11:51:31 -0600 From: "Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies" <orders at paddockwood.com> Subject: SRM calculations Joe (JOE.FLEMING at spcorp.com) asks about predicting SRM of beer from a recipe. Joe, Ray Daniels' _Designing Great Beer_ has an excellent chapter discussing beer color, and the difficulties in predicting the color of finished beer. For practical purposes, there are too many considerations other than malt colour that influence the color of the finished beer, for homebrewers to be able to do more than a rough prediction of beer color. Generally our beer is darker than we'd like, since it is difficult to reduce color formation in pale beer. However, if you follow a standard procedure, then malt color will be the most variable part. Daniels suggests using Malt Color Units or MCU. MCU=(Lovibond x pounds of grain) / gallons The total MCU rating is the sum of the individual MCU for each grain in the recipe. Obviously this will be very relative as differing brewery equipment and practice will lead to differing amounts of color in beer. But once you have a number such as MCU to measure, you can begin to predict where your particular beer will be on a rough SRM scale. Daniels offers on p. 61 of DGB: MCU SRM Color 1-10 1-10 Pale to light amber 11-20 8-12 Amber to Dark Amber 21-30 11-15 Dark Amber to Copper 31-40 14-17 Copper 41-50 17-20 Light Brown to Brown 50-85 20-30 Brown to Black >85 >30 Black to opaque This approximate correlation is most inaccurate at the 1-12 SRM range since brewing process greatly influences the color of lighter beers. I used this table to make a color predictor in a brewing program, but rather than display a number, which I felt may imply an accurate measurement, I displayed a color box. I only used 6 colors. I found it to be helpful and accurate enough as a rough guide of what to expect, and especially useful for predicting color contributions of darker malts like chocolate, dark crystal, black etc. For more info on how to control color formation in lighter beers, check out Daniels _Designing Great Beer_. It's a good book! hope this was helpful, Stephen Ross -- "Vitae sine cerevisiae sugant." ______________________________________________ Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies, Saskatoon, SK orders at paddockwood.com www.paddockwood.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 22:28:21 +1000 From: "Phil & Jill Yates" <yates at acenet.com.au> Subject: Dr Pivo's Lactic (not sarcastic) Comments Doc Pivo wrote quite an expanded post about his thoughts on lactic acid additions to the mash. I appreciate his comments (though subjective as he admits). If lactic acid causes a thinning of the beer, I have to say, so too does rice. This was my reason for using it. I was trying to create something lighter than a full malt lager. Similar to Doc Pivo's conclusions, I found it necessary to ease back on the hop additions, in order not to end up with an out of balance beer. I've never thought of varying the mash pH to adjust the resulting dextrin/maltose ratio, believing mash temperature was the determining factor here. In a sense, the use of rice in brewing could equate to using sugar. In a cruder sense this could be seen as simply watering down the resulting beer. I make no apologise for this. That is exactly what I had in mind. Yet Ray Kruse's appraisal of my beer described it as anything but thin. Perhaps there is far more to this mash pH than the experts know. Perhaps Doc Pivo has realised this for a long time. Personally, when I read his beer descriptions such as : >"flirt with your tongue with a taste of wild >strawberry, as it floats from the malty/butterscotch bass, to >the >florality of the Saaz", or a Holesovice "presenting a >distinct tone of >honey-dew melon layed on top of the thickness of body >that spreads all >the way to the sides of the tongue" I have to consider that quite possibly the Doc gets an awful lot more out of his beer than I do. Or maybe, just maybe, those Swedish "Gold Tops" are the best in the world and the Doc's got an awful lot of them in his back yard. Doesn't matter either way, I love hearing from someone who really enjoys his beer. But I don't want to appear biased. With Steve Alexander presenting himself as the antipathies to the Doc, I have to say I am right behind Steve on the "no mash out required" argument. Not that the Doc has yet got involved in this. Steve has not yet responded on my proposal to run the showdown on Burradoo Estate. A brief note will do Steve. One cluck for "yes", two clucks for "no". Sorry for the plagiarism, this "chicken little" concept has tickled my fancy. Cheers Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 09:20:59 -0400 From: "Nathaniel P. Lansing" <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: re:mash out >>Also it has been suggest that mashout is a bad idea since one wants some residual amylase activty present in case unconverted starch is released during sparging. << If the mash out is performed properly there really shouldn't be any unconverted starch released during the sparge. One step that takes under a minute is to get a bit of the grist and knead it with a bit of water to release any bound up starch in the grist and test that with iodine. If the conversion is complete there is no worry of unconverted starch release. One of my original statements of why a mashout should be done. And if no mash out is done then the sparge must run at or below the mash temp to avoid the releasing of unconverted starch, but then you haven't lowered the viscosity to ensure the efficiency of the lauter. So it's a bit of a double edged sword. >>Something homebrewers don't really need to be concerned with unless they want to.<< I agree partly with that, the information *should be available so that the individual brewer can try it and see if the process fits their particular needs. If someone makes a blanket statement of, " this is something we homebrewers can ignore" they aren't granting the brewer the intelligence to decide on their own what they should or should not ignore. Predominantly grain brewers want to make the best beer they can, people that want a quick and easy beer stick to extract. Either way is fine with me. If either one asks for ways to maximize their efforts they should get the appropriate information and the utilize it to fit their brewhouse. Hell, one guy that comes into my store makes cabbage wine; I don't want to taste it, but I will help him select a yeast that will thrive in a nutrient poor environment. "Each to his own way, I don't mind" N.P. Lansing Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 10:31:14 -0400 From: Jim Adwell <jimala at apical.com> Subject: Re: HSA, etc.. Alan Meeker writes: >>>> I'm not so much concerned with the oxidation that occurs before this. Yes, I do believe the evidence that it occurs is convincing but I have already taken all reasonable steps that I can, within the limitations of my set-up, to minimize this. It is just that I have recently moved to outdoor boiling and am wondering whether or not I should take pains to limit air exposure to the surface of the boil.. <<<< Were you then previously boiling your wort in a vacuum, or deoxygenated air? Is there some difference in the oxygen content of indoor and outdoor air where you live? :) If I were you ( but I'm not, and that's a good thing, because then there would be two of you, which would be very confusing) I'd stop obsessing about this HSA stuff and concentrate on other things to improve the taste of your beer, and stop trying to see how long you can store it before it goes bad. Lately I have been boiling wort with the pot about 3/4 covered ( with my motorized wort stirrer, which is mounted on a baking sheet), but not to prevent oxygen from inculcating itself in the wort, as Dave Burley suggests, but to get more mechanical action, and to save a (tiny) amount of propane. The only noticeable effect on taste is that the resulting beer seems somewhat more bitter than it otherwise would be ( more efficent utilization of alpha acids from the hops, I suppose, due to the stirring action). I do turn the heat down a bit when I cover the boiling pot. Cheers, Jim Jim's Brewery Pages: http://home.ptd.net/~jimala/brewery/ Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 12:36:07 -0400 From: "Peter Garofalo" <pgarofa1 at twcny.rr.com> Subject: HSA and Bud At last, the truth has come out! I, too, toured the A-B pilot brewery, and confirm Phil Wilcox's desctiption of "stripping" the volatiles from the hot wort with air. The cute little 9-month employee who gave us our tour didn't know too many details (she had only worked in the fermentation area), but several of us in my tour group asked if she was sure it was *air*, and not CO2 or nitrogen. We were told that indeed it was air, and it removed unpleasant volatiles. Now, I've been chewing on this one for a couple of months, and can't make much sense of it, unless HSA is less of a problem than previously thought. Perhaps there are more susceptible steps of the brewing process (mash?), or maybe "it's twoo, it's twoo" that post-fermentation aeration is much more important, as several Seibel grads assert. I gotta believe that it doesn't seriously impact beer stability. Love 'em or hate'em, you've gotta respect A-B's quality control. Damn, where's Mort O'Sullivan? Cheers, Peter Garofalo Syracuse, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 06:50:29 -0400 From: David Houseman <dhousema at cccbi.org> Subject: Re: Beer filtration Alan Davies says he has come to the conclusion that he must filter his beer. Before you jump into that arena, Alan, perhaps you could explain what brought you to that conclusion? Not that filtering might not be a cool thing to do, but there is an expense and time element that I haven't seen as necessary except where I screwed up and forgot some important step. With all the right procedures in the kettle and fermentation, including kettle finnings and finnings after primary or secondary fermentation, and time, one can get very bright beer. Perhaps not polished as a fine filter might but certainly suitable for the most discerning tastes. Just might be easier to modify procedures than filter your beer. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 15:14:38 CDT From: "steve lane" <tbirdusa at hotmail.com> Subject: mulberries The mulberry tree in my yard is in producing a wonderful crop this year but I have only used them in pies and jam. Aybody have any input on making a brew with mulberries? How much to use? whether to cook them first? Secondary or primary? ________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2000 18:44:25 -0400 From: Rick Pauly <flp2m at unix.mail.virginia.edu> Subject: Grants Imperial Stout recipe request I would like to make an all grain clone of Grant's Imperial Stout. I've seen published that the grains are pale, black and carmel with some honey thrown in. Has any one tried to clone this and come close? I think it's the best Imperial Stout I've tasted. Thanks, Rick Charlottesville,VA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 15:37:00 -0700 (PDT) From: erniebaker at webtv.net Subject: Kenai Peninsula, Alaska Will be leaving shortly to spend a month in the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Since I have never been there I would like to know if there are any Brew Pubs and/or a MicroBrewery in the area.. Thanks in advance....ernie baker...calif. Return to table of contents
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