HOMEBREW Digest #3502 Wed 13 December 2000

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  PID controller ("The Holders")
  Beginners Plight. ("Adrian Levi")
  Feeling A Bit Guilty ("Phil & Jill Yates")
  Tap Water & Racking Canes (Doug Hurst)
  Re: Higher Boil off rates ("RJ")
  Fw: Motorize mash paddle ("RJ")
  Re: Easy Racking ("RJ")
  Re: PBW vs Copper Fact Finding ("Pannicke, Glen A.")
  mysterious heavy haze revisited, siphon starter (Roy Roberts)
  PBW and brass ("George de Piro")
  Copper and PBW ("Rich Medina")
  starting racking canes (JGORMAN)
  R.E.  Heating the Fridge (Dave Humes)
  John's PBW findings (RiedelD)
  Do you ever feel bad? (darrell.leavitt)
  CO2 tank during force carbonation (Bob Sweeney)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 21:11:01 -0800 From: "The Holders" <zymie at charter.net> Subject: PID controller The subject of RIMS and controllers and where to get them cheap is back in the queue. I have a couple of Omega 9111 PID controllers that I snagged off Ebay awhile back that I would love to find a nice brewing home for. If any of you gadget d00ds are interested, let me know. Wayne Holder AKA Zymie Long Beach CA http://www.zymico.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 17:03:42 +1000 From: "Adrian Levi" <a_levi at dingoblue.net.au> Subject: Beginners Plight. I have been home brewing for about a year now with some ok results and some failures. Well that's what its all about isn't it? So far I have been using tins off the shelf and haven't been doing much in the way of experimenting. I use a closed brew vat with airlock and am looking for a cleaner crisper beer like an Australian Tooheys NEW (Draught). Does anyone know of some recipes to start me off? Lastly because all of the topics discussed here seem so far advanced I apologise if this is an inappropriate place for a newbie to be poking around since it seems that most of you make your beer starting with grain. Adrian Levi. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 23:42:07 +1100 From: "Phil & Jill Yates" <yates at acenet.com.au> Subject: Feeling A Bit Guilty With all the fun and goings on lately I have been remiss in not following up a query from someone about my peach wheat beer. That being "how did I make it". Last year, that being my first attempt, I poured a can of peaches into the primary and another into the secondary. The first can I think was largely wasted as any flavour effect would have been scrubbed out by primary fermentation. This time around, I made 48 litres of a fairly standard wheat beer (50/50 barley and wheat malt) using White labs Hefeweizen yeast. I added three cans of peaches (in their juice) to the secondary and left it for two weeks before kegging. I could have left it a lot longer but I was after a subtle peach flavour. Last night I asked the Doc "Can you taste the peaches?" He belched and said "No". But then, it was after the 263rd beer that I asked the question of him. Our conversation had really drifted somewhere beyond beer analysis at that stage of the evening. At that point in the night, I doubt if he would have commented on Ray's bottle of skunk oil had I have added it to his glass. Now there is an idea, I'll try that when next he is here. Cheers Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 09:09:50 -0600 From: Doug Hurst <DougH at theshowdept.com> Subject: Tap Water & Racking Canes Pete Calinski writes the following response to Chuck D: "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." I've seen it written that water straight from the tap should not be used for fear of contamination. In 13 years of brewing I've only had one infection (knock on wood) and I don't think it was from tap water. I use straight tap water to rinse my bleach soaked fermenters and racking tubes. I also fill the tubing with plain tap water to start my siphons. I do, however, let the water run into a bowl before I put the tubing into the fermenter. No real need I guess. It's just my ritual. People made good beer for hundreds of years without knowing about bacteria or sanitation. I'm sure that modern city tap water is much, much, much cleaner than what they were using. Doug Hurst Chicago, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 10:27:45 -0500 From: "RJ" <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: Re: Higher Boil off rates Assuming that you have a greater volume in the boil (I often boil off as much as 45%) one thing you'll really gain on is utilization of hop (alpha acid) bittering generally speaking approximately 6-10% better for a 90 min boil. Flavor hops IMHO should not be impacted that much... though, they may seem to be more "rounded" in the end products sensory profile. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 10:28:23 -0500 From: "RJ" <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: Fw: Motorize mash paddle Yeah.. Check out Dan Listermann's page re: MixMasher Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 10:28:58 -0500 From: "RJ" <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: Re: Easy Racking Hey Pete, I prefer not to fill the racking cane with anything but beer.... My preference, is to use a plastic racking cane with a sediment cup on the primary end (this reduces the amount of yeast/trub being transferred, because it sits above the trub). The cane has a carboy cap in-between the sediment cup and the cane's gooseneck. The gooseneck is attached to a length of vinyl tubing (long enough to allow the primary to sit higher up from the secondary... gravity is a wonderful thing!) which then attaches to a short length of hard tubing (I often save my old racking canes, which I cut up into short pcs. for this reason...) which is inserted into another carboy cap, the other side of the hard tube is attached to an additional pc of vinyl tubing which is long enough to sit on the bottom of the secondary. Insert the racking cane into the primary, attach the carboy cap to the carboy and push the cane into the primary to the bottom. Place the primary on a shelf or suitable location above the secondary... Place the other end of the racking tube into the secondary so that the tube is on the bottom and then attach the second cap to the secondary carboy. Blow into the open small hole of the primary's carboy cap, the natural CO2 which blankets the ferment acts as a protection barrier for the small amount of wind that you'll be adding (if that still bothers you, you can always use 2-3 lbs CO2 from a tank to start the flow, gravity will take it from there, excess air in the secondary is forced out through it's carboy cap's small hole. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 11:04:04 -0500 From: "Pannicke, Glen A." <glen_pannicke at merck.com> Subject: Re: PBW vs Copper Fact Finding John Palmer did some investigation regarding PBW vs Copper: >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've only seen this once and it was a strange phenomenon. Here's the details: I have two 5 gallon SS pots of unknown grade. But they're department store cheapies at $10/ea (on sale). I drilled the sidewall and mounted a bronze ball valve (SS ball) on the outside and other brass and copper hardware on the inside. The joints on the outside of the kettles were fluxed & soldered to prevent small leaks and were cleaned after soldering. Now that I think of it, I remember that I deleaded the brass AFTER I assembled the whole shebang by pouring a vinegar/peroxide mix into the kettle, letting it sit for a while and then pouring it out into the other kettle to sit. Now what if I didn't rinse that second kettle well enough with water or some of the slightly copper-laden vinegar/peroxide mix was still inside of the pickup tubes and NOW I add some PBW to the kettles... I'm not sure that it happened this way, but then again, I'm not sure that it didn't either. I would expect this type of behavior from an acidic solution, not a buffered caustic. I love PBW and use it on all of my stainless. I'm sure that this is due to some unkown freak mechanism and is not the action of PBW alone. Herring anyone? Carpe cerevisiae! Glen Pannicke http://www.pannicke.net "Designs and schemes which work well on paper rarely do so in actual practice." Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 08:57:36 -0800 (PST) From: Roy Roberts <psilosome at yahoo.com> Subject: mysterious heavy haze revisited, siphon starter Thanks to those who responded to my Nov. 14 post asking about the extremely thick haze I had after boiling. My best guess is that the haze was probably suspended break material: although the pH was OK, I didn't use Irish Moss nor did I wait all that long for it to settle (maybe 15 minutes). After the primary fermentation, I racked into a carboy with liberal amounts of polyclar, bentonite, and 1 oz. Northern Brewer pellets, and left it at 44 deg. F for about a week. This helped quite a bit, so being impatient I bottled and now the beer is pretty clear at room temperature with moderate chill haze. Lesson: in the future I will use Irish Moss and leave the boiled, cooled wort much more time to settle. - John Peed asks if anyone has used an inline siphon starter. I had a Phil's Psyphon starter which is supposed to go near the end of the racking cane. It has something of a one-way valve so that you can fill the cane and attached tubing by shaking it. It doesn't work all that well in practice: I found that shaking stirs up a lot of sediment, and if I have the end of the cane up high enough so that isn't a problem, I can't fill the tubing enough to start the siphon. It's much less frustrating to simply fill the tubing and cane with water to prime it. Roy Roberts NYC __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! Shopping - Thousands of Stores. Millions of Products. http://shopping.yahoo.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 11:58:04 -0500 From: "George de Piro" <gdepiro at mindspring.com> Subject: PBW and brass Hi all, John Palmer wrote: "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 received comments about a solution turning blue in the presence of copper. (Or blue period.)" Back to me: I soak my brass tap faucets in PBW (in plastic buckets) all the time here at the brewpub and ALWAYS get a blue color after about 24-36 hours (sometimes I start soaking them the evening before a day off). I can see that it may be dependent on water chemistry, but it is surprising that Charlie has never heard of this happening before. On the other hand, they don't even put lot numbers on their products, which makes tracking problems and unique behavior difficult. The water here in Albany, NY is very low in sulfates, and most other ion species. It has low residual alkalinity but is not particularly acidic. Have fun! George de Piro C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station (518)447-9000 http://evansale.com Malted Barley Appreciation Society Homebrew Club http://hbd.org/mbas Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 12:38:59 -0500 From: "Rich Medina" <gothambrewer at bigfoot.com> Subject: Copper and PBW Collective, John Palmer wrote: "This was the first time he had ever received comments about a solution turning blue in the presence of copper. (Or blue period.) ....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?" In a 5 gal. all-grain batch I made this past July, I made the 'mistake' of placing my 1/2" x 50' immersion chiller into a 5 gallon bucket full of PBW solution (as per mfr. instructions) and left it overnight. My intention was to leave the chiller in for 15 minutes or so. The following day, I found a super-bright copper coil and the blue-green PBW solution. I believe I can affirm one of the conditions John mentioned. While NYC water is neither acidic or high in sulfate content, I took the immersion chiller from my kettle immediately after use, hosed it down and placed it into the PBW solution. My batch did have a one teaspoon addition of gypsum and I now suspect the particulate matter left on the chiller reacted with the PBW. I also cleaned the rest of my brewing equipment (or at least the stuff that fit inside the opening of the coil) with this solution. I am troubled however that the coil emerged from the solution looking so new. My procedure is to scrub the chiller down and place it in boiling water after each use. Could there have been enough of a CuO2 (don't know if this is the right term, should have paid better attention during those chemistry classes) film on the coil to affect the outcome regardless of the gypsum? TIA....lurk mode..ON! Rich Medina gothambrewer at bigfoot.com You can observe a lot by just watching. -Yogi Berra Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 13:39:00 -0500 From: JGORMAN at steelcase.com Subject: starting racking canes >>>>>>how do most people start their racking canes? I attach a latex hose to the racking cane. The second part is a flask and a stopper with two holes in the stopper. Stick a small tube in each hole of the stopper. One is for the latex hose and the other to suck with. Suck through the one tube in the stopper and the siphon starts. You can clamp the latex hose, insert the bottling wand and start filling. Works pretty good and then you have beer for the FG reading. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 14:51:46 -0500 From: Dave Humes <humesdg1 at earthlink.net> Subject: R.E. Heating the Fridge Steve, A low wattage light bulb may be all you'll need to bring the temperature up to an acceptable level. It will work better if you install a small muffin fan, found in electronics stores, to circulate the air and help maintain an even temperature throughout the fridge. You can take it one step further by purchasing an external temperature controller for the fridge that has both heating and cooling contacts. Both Williams and Brewer's Resource sell such controllers. Williams also sells a space heater, but a light bulb works fine. Just keep it away from any of the internal plastic, not too close to your carboy or kegs, and circulate the air with a fan. When using the external controller for heating the fridge, unplug the fridge and plug the light bulb into your controller. Leave the muffin fan running all the time. BTW, just running the fan will raise the temperature several degrees. Set the controller for your desired temperature and make certain it is set for heating. I tape the temperature sensor to my carboy and then tape a couple inches of foam insulation around the sensor. That way the sensor is measuring the temperature of your beer as opposed to the ambient temperature of the fridge. The controller will turn the light on and off as needed to maintain your desired temperature. Most controllers include a "differential" adjustment that is generally set to 2-3 degrees for cooling purposes to avoid over cycling the compressor. But in a heating configuration it is only cycling a light bulb or other heat source. So, you can set the differential to 1 degree and it will maintain your desired temperature quite accurately. - --Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 16:09:00 -0500 From: RiedelD at pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca Subject: John's PBW findings First of all: "Thanks John!" Doing a quick test with PBW and copper was certainly a nice gesture on your part. Hats off to you. >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? I'm fairly sure my water is in the pH 7.5 range. It is definately very low in sulfate. However, I *did* add some sulfate to the brewing water. If this is the culprit though, I would have thought someone replicating Burton water would have had this trouble long ago. In my case, I only added sulfate up to about 65 ppm (via gypsum). cheers, Dave Riedel Victoria, Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 16:45:01 -0500 (EST) From: darrell.leavitt at plattsburgh.edu Subject: Do you ever feel bad? Do you ever feel bad ..... for the yeast? They work real hard for us..... Sometimes for several consecutive batches... Just to be thrown out! I do..... But have no solution to this dilemma.... ..Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 18:46:15 -0500 (EST) From: Bob Sweeney <bobsweeney at email.com> Subject: CO2 tank during force carbonation I'm lucky enough to have acquired a beer fridge and in the spirit of the HBD I'm trying to modify some of my regular brewing procedures (re habits) to see what happens. One thing I'm looking at now is different procedures for force carbonation. In the past I've used the '1. cool the keg, 2. pressurize to relatively high psi with C02, and 3. rock back and forth until CO2 is no longer apparently being absorbed' method. I want to try to force carbonate without using the keg rocking technique to see if there is a difference, as some on this forum have noted, in the resulting carbonation bubbles and lace. The procedure I want to try this time is simple: I've cooled the beer (a spiced "holiday" ale) down to the mid 30's and attached my C02 tank set at 30psi. I plan on leaving this for about 36 hours. These parameters are based on a post in a previous HBD that claimed about 12 hours of this pressure at this temp. is necessary per desired volume of C02. I don't have the reference to that post but it was several years ago. After this period I plan to reduce the pressure to something more appropriate for serving (about 10psi) and hope for good results. My question concerns the placement of the C02 tank since I'm currently unable to have the tank outside the fridge while connecting it to the keg in the fridge. Will having the CO2 tank continuously connected to a keg in a 35 degree fridge cause a problem (assuming no leaky gas connections)? Can I as an alternative just periodically connect the keg to the tank, set at the desired psi, then remove it from the keg and the fridge when gas is finished being absorbed. I couldn't believe this topic had not been previously discussed here but after an hour placing with the HBD search facility I couldn't find an answer. - -- Bob Sweeney Mobile, AL Westheimer's Discovery: A couple of months in the laboratory can save a couple of hours in the library. -Frank H. Westheimer, chemistry professor - ----------------------------------------------- FREE! The World's Best Email Address at email.com Reserve your name now at http://www.email.com Return to table of contents
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