HOMEBREW Digest #3501 Tue 12 December 2000

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  re: RIMS in line filter possibility ("D. Schultz")
  More PID and Strainer/Filter stuff (Nate Wahl)
  Cleaning used SS ("Jones, Steven T")
  Re: Oktoberfest (Jeff Renner)
  Beercicles (Chad Petersen)
  Re:  Caught the bugger ("Peter J. Calinski")
  Easy racking? ("Peter J. Calinski")
  Motorize mash paddle (Mjbrewit)
  The Ice Man Commeth ("Philip J Wilcox")
  boil off rates (Robin Griller)
  Racking pains ("Peed, John")
  Primary Fermentation...how long? (Dave & Joan King)
  more Zn/Oats ... ("Stephen Alexander")
  PBW vs Copper Fact Finding (John Palmer)
  The Doctor Has Been ("Phil & Jill Yates")
  Whitelabs WLP 500 ("Richard Pass")
  Re:  Oktoberfest ("Sean Richens")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 22:43:56 -0800 From: "D. Schultz" <d2schultz at qwest.net> Subject: re: RIMS in line filter possibility A glass fiber (GF) filled polypropylene (PP) will not likely have been FDA approved. However, I would not worry about it causing any problems. I have seen all types of GF thermoplastics get FDA approval for everything but implantation. You might also look at getting a Bazooka screen from Zymico ( http://www.zymico.com/ ) or a Sure Screen from one of the many HB stores that carry it such as Brewer's Resource. I just got my Bazooka screen and am looking forward to using it. I have used the Sure Screen before for filtering for the pump but since I also use it to filter out hops in my Corny (used as a secondary), I needed another one for the mash tun. Burp, -Dan Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 05:57:01 -0500 From: Nate Wahl <cruiser at cros.net> Subject: More PID and Strainer/Filter stuff Ladies and Gents! Steve Guernsey asked about sources for PID controllers and/or plans. MECI surplus (Dayton OH, like an acre of surplus electronic parts) carries a PID board that they sell for like $15, but you need to add power supply, sensor, etc. No display, and you have to set everything with unmarked potentiometers, but hey, if you have the need to create... TTI Inc. carries many PID controllers, and has a Clearance Items list you can check out; that's where I got mine. Works good, mostly; they were a lot of help (like getting me an english manual, etc.). Units for as low as $65. No relation, yadda yadda. Go to http://www.ttiglobal.com/ Note that the unit I got from them (Autonics TZ4ST-24R) wouldn't read a thermocouple right (the ambient temperature compensation wasn't working) and I had to use an RTD instead. I also remember seeing plans for a PID controller out there, possibly on a link from brewery.org, but I couldn't find it. Anybody else remember? Regarding Bruce Garner's question for a filter, those units are known as strainers. You can find brass units in most of the industrial plumbing catalogs. Being a gadget freak, I built one myself! It was to keep fine chunkies from sticking my solenoid valves open on my HEARMS. Here's a GIF of it. http://www.cros.net/cruiser/strnr.gif Basically wort flows into the outer region (inside a piece of 3/4" copper), down along the outside of a piece of 1/2" copper with a bunch of small holes (1/16") drilled into it, and a piece of 20 mesh SS screen wrapped around it. The wort flows through the screen into the inner tube, then to the outlet (on the left), leaving the particulate on the screen. Not shown is a blowdown valve (back to the mash tun) on a cap on the right. The left side of the inner tube is flared to fit inside the left 3/4" union, sealed by a food-grade rubber washer; the other union allows removing the outter sheath for cleaning the screen without removing the rest of the unit from the piping. The thing plugged up regularly unless I vorlaufed (?) a lot, and any flow-induced carryover would block it. Blowing it down helped sometimes; other times I'd have to clean it mid brew. Yuk. Fortunately its mounted directly above the mash tun, so the drippings weren't lost. Since I now have a solenoid valve controlling flow that has larger clearances, I'm going to just remove the SS screen; anything under 1/16" shouldn't hinder valve operation or block my heat exchanger, and it all filtering takes place. I'd suggest staying away from 40 mesh strainers with as much plugging as I experienced with the first incarnation. Even 20 mesh is too fine, IMHO (as are all my babblings!) Hope this helps more than it confuses! Hoppy Brewing! Nate Wahl Oogie Wa Wa Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 08:31:24 -0500 From: "Jones, Steven T" <stjones at eastman.com> Subject: Cleaning used SS Season's greetings to you all. I had the good fortune to find the perfect false bottom in the scrapyard Friday. It is a circle of perforated stainless steel, 13" dia, 1/8" holes on 3/16" centers (40% open), and it is domed in the center about 2" in height. It is very heavy gauge in that I can stand on it without it collapsing. My question concerns cleaning it so that it is safe to use. I have no idea of what it's previous use was, but it was covered with a heavy layer of dust, wasn't oily or greasy, and had some blue marks on it, like the dye machinists use to mark metal. What is the best way to prepare it for use? TIA Steve http://users.chartertn.net/franklinbrew Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 09:57:43 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Oktoberfest "Casey Cobb" <acez at mindspring.com> writes: >I undertook the task of making a true lager ><snip> >After about 17 days from brewing >(my original plan was 10) This longer than expected primary is probably due to sub-optimal pitching rate. I made a dunkel two weeks ago using a gallon starter for 7.75 gallon batch, and it was nearly finished at six days. I've had two week plus ferments like yours with one quart starters. Big starters are important with lagers. >I racked into the secondary, even though I could >see it still bubbling. There was no real way to keep it at a steady temp >while racking, so it probably got up to maybe 67 degrees. So now its back in >the chiller, and I dropped it 5 degrees a day, and its at about 43 degrees >now, with no real activity. Did I mess something up? Should I add more >yeast? I ask this because it was fermenting pretty good before the racking, >and is stagnant now. I like to rack to the secondary for lagering while it's still bubbling a bit. I assume you raised the temperature for a diacetyl rest. For many lager yeasts that is unnecessary. If you can't smell diacetyl or if you haven't had a problem with that yeast in the past, I'd suggest just skipping it. It is one more step, and it will also result in the fermentation probably finishing before you can lager. I like a little bit of fermentation during at least the first part of lagering to protect the beer. However, I'm sure you didn't mess anything up. It probably fermented out, or even if it didn't quite, you lost enough CO2 that whatever is being produced now is staying in solution, especially as you drop the temperature and it can hold more CO2 in solution. >I guess since I can't get it down to 35, Ill just keep >it at 42 or so for about a month. While not optimal, it should work fine. Be sure to report back on how it turns out. 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: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 07:04:14 -0800 From: Chad Petersen <Chad.Petersen at wwu.edu> Subject: Beercicles Mr Sheets, Perhaps some of the bowties will call me a putz, but I have completely froen lagers before with no ill effect. Probably not a good habit especially if you ferment in glass, but it a wonderful. Father Chad Brewing Cleric Wholly Man Geek Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 22:53:05 -0500 From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> Subject: Re: Caught the bugger Graham, Anyone that can understand your post should have no problem understanding the court system in the USA. ;-) Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 23:14:44 -0500 From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> Subject: Easy racking? chuck_d asks? >as a side note, how do most people start their racking canes? i fill my >hose and as much of the upper part of the cane as possible (it's upside >down), then invert the cane to fill it it completely. i seal the hose with >my thumb, and put my cane in the beer, then drain the water into a bowl >until beer starts and move to my bottling bucket or whatever. is there an >easier way? oh, and when i say water i mean that no-rinse sanitizing >solution. Yeah just use water and forget about the bowl. The volume of the cane is so small it won't have an effect. I also doubt there is a significant chance of contamination from tap water if drinking it doesn't make you sick. Just my unexpert opinion. Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 10:30:12 EST From: Mjbrewit at aol.com Subject: Motorize mash paddle Anyone have a source for a sanke keg motorizable mash paddle. I use a false bottom with no obstructions that rests an inch or so of the bottom of the keg. I am aware of the Brewing Techniques article on the subject, but thought I would check to see what if anything is available from homebrew suppliers, before i try to fabricate one myself. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 10:57:33 -0500 From: "Philip J Wilcox" <pjwilcox at cmsenergy.com> Subject: The Ice Man Commeth Joe, Whats the Gravity of the beer now? If its done fermenting, than your fine. Welcome to the world of Ice beers. Molson, Labatt, and Miller do exactly what you did to most of their beers. They chill till slushy (Ice forms around an impurity first) they filter out the ice, and legally have to add back the volume water removed. The home brew advantage is we can omit that step. ;<) If its not done fermenting, then you'll need a wake up call for your yeasties, I would suggest Krausening it. Sook in the archives for good details on this proceedure. BUt, from the facts you gave us (secondary, temps 36F) I'd say you thought it was done fermenting anyway. Currently I have a Jever Pils kegged as the secondary and lagering at 30F. Hop Heads and Lager Lovers Unite!! This baby has 35 hop additions!!! Thats every 10 minutes from when the sweet wort first hit the kettle. Saaz, Spalter Select, Hallertau & Tettnager!!! Many additions with multiple hops!!! There will be NO falling asleep by the fireplace this year at christmas!! Phil Wilcox Poison Frog Home Brewer (274,32) Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 11:44:43 -0500 From: Robin Griller <rgriller at chass.utoronto.ca> Subject: boil off rates HI all, Probably a silly brewer question, but: having read that 10% is optimal boil off rate/hour and having a boil off rate of 15%, I wonder: what are the impacts of a higher boil off rate? Should I add flavour hops later in the boil (i.e. does the higher evaporation rate lead to faster elimination of hop flavour components?)? etc...\ Robin Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 12:04:10 -0500 From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> Subject: Racking pains In response to Chuck's questions about racking: Generally, a week in the primary is about right. By the end of a week, all blowoff of material should have stopped and almost all of the head will have fallen. The gravity typically will be around half the starting gravity. As I understand it, the object of the secondary is to get the beer off the bulk of the inactive yeast, and away from the extremely bitter residue that's left at the top of the fermenter after the krausen falls. To get an idea of how bitter that stuff is, try taking a little taste of the foam that comes out of the blowoff tube. Your method of starting a siphon is fine. I worry about all the handling, though, so I use one of those starter pumps. The racking cane has a seal that slides down into a tube that's about an inch in diameter. You put the whole assembly into the carboy, then pump the cane up and down a couple of times and the siphon starts. It's really nice. I used to start siphons with a hot carboy fitted with a stoppered tube. It worked like this: Connect some tubing to racking cane, then put the cane into the beer to be racked. Put a large plastic bucket of cold water on the floor below the beer. Fit a stopper with a piece of rigid plastic tubing. Fill a carboy with hot water, then drain it and insert the stopper. Connect the siphon hose to the stoppered tube, then plunge the heated carboy into the cold water. As the air inside the carboy cools, it pulls a vacuum, and that pulls beer up the racking tube and starts the siphon. It always helps to pinch the tubing where it joins the racking cane to get the tubing to fill completely. Once the siphon is started, the stopper has to be pulled out of the carboy so it can vent. The advantage to this method is minimal handling of the tubes that contact the beer, and no foreign liquid. The disadvantage is that it takes a fair amount of preparation, the equipment is bulky, and it's a bit messy. On the other hand, the pump-start siphon thing costs less than ten bucks, is reasonably compact and simple, is easy to sanitize, and it works perfectly. There's also a siphon starter that you splice into your tubing that you shake to start. I've never used one and don't know how well they work. Anyone else ever try one? John Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 13:50:48 -0500 From: Dave & Joan King <dking3 at stny.rr.com> Subject: Primary Fermentation...how long? Chuck D, The big boys tell me to let the krausen fall (about 3 to 5 days for an ale), and rack it. It's not critical, in my book. You're just looking for the majority of dead yeast, cold break and hot break to fall out. That's also a good time to harvest some yeast. The darker, the less it'll show up, and you probably need to wait 2 or 3 weeks for any noticeable effects. It's really the long term decomposition that you want to avoid. I usually brew on a weekend or Monday, and then the next weekend rack to the secondary. Then the secondary can go for many weeks if you're kegging, but not too long if you're bottling, since you need some viable yeast for carbonation. Dave King (BIER) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 15:43:10 -0500 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: more Zn/Oats ... Graham Sander's has either misinterpreted my point or is trying to substitute his own .. <<, the main point has not been missed and should be re stated. Dont just starting throwing unknown amounts of Zn in from tablets, nutrient mixes, pills etc. This is a micronutrient where talking about and it can be all too easy to get to toxic levels that will be determential to your yeast growth. >> Strawman arguments don't sit well Graham - no one suggested adding unknown or uncontrolled amounts. My point was that adding about 0.5ppm of Zn was unlikely to cause a problem and in fact somewhat likely to cause an improvement. Well worth trying. Why don't you try it before you condemn it Graham. I've been using this for several years w/o difficulty and it does (under my conditions) make a significant improvement. - -- Scott Murman asked offline why commercial Zn compounds added to the boiler would improve the result (if mostly they remain in the break). It's not entirely clear to my how/why certain Zn compound may make it out of the boiler. I have seen papers in which significant fractions of free Zn ions do not exit the boiler. Much of the malt Zn may be invested in organometalic compounds which end up in the break. Perhaps addition after initial break formation are unlikely to bind. In short it is not clear. === Bob the Beer man asks ... << I was hoping that some of you more experienced brewers could tell me what YOU think the addition of a small quantity Oats to a recipie would be? For the sake of the question, lets say 1/2 pound or so. >> I don't have huge experience with oats tho' I have malted some and used these and raw oats in beers. Oats are very high in oils (9% vs raw barley at 3.5%), and higher in protein than barley. Like most raw grains the proteins are relatively inaccessible to extraction and the levels of FAN generated is quite low compared to malt. Oat oils can have a negative impact on head at high levels. In smaller amounts oats, like other raw grains, add a smoothness & body which is nice if limited in extent (b-glucans?), and oats seem to give more of this smoothness than others grains. Oats add relatively little flavor and have 10-15% less extract potential than barley malt. 1/2lb in 5gal is IMO enough to get the positive impact w/o too much of the negative one. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 16:37:10 -0500 From: "Hill, Steve" <SHill at advanta.com> Subject: HEATING THE REFRIGERATOR Hello all: I am at a complete loss right now. My company has just taken away the internet! Therefore I cannot do any searching for info on my own. Also, I just recently moved, and I am now experiencing a new problem even before I brew. I had a basement before - now I have a garage. Not that this is the problem. But with a refrigerator in cold weather it is. My refrigerator is now at 45 degrees without even being turned on. (living in Pennsylvania.) I am sure some of you have this problem too. I need away of regulating a heating element PROPERLY as to not burn down the house! Please! Help! I no longer have access to the digest archives, and I can no longer research my problem on my own. Please do not send any LINKS as I cannot get to them. Thanks Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 14:06:02 -0800 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at gte.net> Subject: PBW vs Copper Fact Finding Hi Group, Glen Pannicke wrote me over the weekend and said he had seen nearly the same thing, though in his case the solution didnt turn blue, but blue green crystals could be seen on the copper. He noticed it after a couple hours. I ran an experiment yesterday where I mixed up a double strength batch of PBW (1 tablespoon in 3 quarts) and pour this into 4 quart size bowls. 1: Stainless Steel bowl with 2 brass parts 2: Stainless Steel bowl with 2 small pieces of copper tubing, one with silver solder tinned on it. 3: Glass bowl with two brass parts 4: Glass bowl with two pieces of copper tubing. The 2 samples in each bowl consisted of one clean/shiny looking part and one that was dull and oxidized. I checked them after a couple hours, and then this morning. Nothing. Nada. Zippo. Only observation was that it looks like a white precipitate has formed. It is small and swirls up easily. I think it is excess PBW. Today (Monday) I called Charlie Talley, the chemist at Five Star Chemicals that developed PBW, and described the observations. This was the first time he had ever recieved comments about a solution turning blue in the presence of copper. (Or blue period.) Interestingly, PBW was developed to address a problem at Coors where brass electrostatic filter plates were losing appreciable amounts of copper during cleaning. Using PBW as the cleaner dropped the copper loss by 99%, to virtually background water levels. So, Charlie was surprised to hear that copper or brass seems to be at issue here. We discussed possible chemical mechanisms, and really didn't come up with anything, other than it is probably source-water related. Perhaps your water is acidic or has a high sulfate content or you added gypsum to the brew that you were cleaning up after? Anything ring a bell? John - -- John Palmer Palmer House Brewery and Smithy http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer How To Brew - the online book http://www.howtobrew.com Let there be Peace on Earth. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 11:04:39 +1100 From: "Phil & Jill Yates" <yates at acenet.com.au> Subject: The Doctor Has Been I have just spent an hilarious night with Doc Pivo who arrived in Burradoo with prawns and oysters and a couple of samples of Swedish beer. We took him over to Wes' (as we did Ray) to show him the scientific brewing centre of Bowral. I put a battery pack in Jill to give the impression she was real and we wasted an awful lot of the night and early hours of the morning laughing and cackling ridiculously out on the verandah, drinking peach wheat, rice lager and Swedish beer. At some ungodly hour the Doc let out a yelp and stared in disbelief as Marilyn crawled from the bog heading straight for us. I was surprised to learn he hadn't really taken her existence seriously. But now he has seen with his own eyes! Amazing what this peach wheat can do to your vision! The Doc is off this morning heading south to Victoria, but hopes to be back here for a couple of days before leaving Australia. We plan to do a joint brew day together here at Burradoo Breweries. We were going to do a joint HBD posting last night but the inspiration somehow got lost after the 263rd beer. Maybe next time. Now having finally met the man behind the name and having had a good laugh together in real life, I can see why there are some folk on the HBD he simply despairs of (or feels sorry for, if the real truth be known). But I have warned the Doc, if Marilyn was a shock to him, just wait until he sees what I have to show him down at the Wollondilly river! Even Graham Sander's skin would crawl if he saw what I keep down there. But of course Graham will never see it. Crossing that Queensland border is not something he plans to do in this lifetime. Not after the treatment he gave me in Townsville. Now I'm wondering just who else in this HBD am I going to meet? Maybe a surprise visit from Steve Alexander? Looking for "content free" ideas. Cheers Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 13:43:38 +1100 From: "Richard Pass" <richard.pass at anu.edu.au> Subject: Whitelabs WLP 500 Now that the weather in the Bush Capital is warming up a tad I've decided that since I'm likely to get some complex flavours, like it or not, I may as well deliberately try for some. Did a couple of very quenching and drinkable hefeweizens using WLP 300. One disappeared in around 2 weeks after carbonating and bottling and the other is carbonating in the keg. Both were fermented at 22 to 24 C which seemed to boost the banana and vanilla and soften the cloves. Full marks to Whitelabs for that yeast. Next cab off the rank is a Trappiste and after tasting the rendition of the style by fellow Canberra Brewer, Alan Brown, using WLP 500 I was more than a little impressed and inspired. Complex plum, banana and pear flavours to name just the obvious ones. His recipe was pretty much the Wetmalle Dubbel staight out of Wheeler and Protz's Classic European book except he used flaked rice instead of white sugar, and WLP 500 yeast. My attempt uses 500g CSR Coffee Crystals (a type of slightly caramelly crystalline sugar) because I haven't found a source of candy sugar in Oz. OG is around 1070. My first question is does anyone have an idea of or even a well reasoned argument for the origin of WLP 500? Secondly, Whitelabs say on their website in the blurb on this yeast "Lower temperatures (under 65F) will result in less fruity and more earthy beers. Many authentic Trappist style beers are brewed at 75F." I'm fermenting at 22C which is around 72F. Any anecdotal stuff on temperatures and flavour profiles would be appreciated. Richard Pass Canberra Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 21:14:38 -0600 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: Re: Oktoberfest Casey: Do you take SG values? I mostly ferment using eyes, ears & nose (hydrometers are for mashing, I say) but since I have the racking cane out anyway I always divert a splash to the hydrometer jar for a reading. Then when things look, sound, or smell funny I can make an informed guess. I suspect your 15 days was effectively the primary. When messing around with temperatures it's hard to tell whether the bubbles are from fermentation or warming up and gassing out. I figure that if you take an SG and it's not still 1.025 or higher, you might be done. I don't think that at this (presumably) late stage in the fermentation that a couple of days at 62F to check it out would really mess up the flavour. Or you can brew up a second batch of lager, siphon yeast from your fermenter to inoculate it, then when it hits krausen transfer 1-3 L of new krausen beer to the original batch. It's recommended by Noonan for smoother flavour in the recipient batch, and it's a great excuse to brew another lager. I've planned batches just to do that, and it really does seem to help. Sean Sean Richens srichens.spamsucks at sprint.ca Return to table of contents
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