HOMEBREW Digest #3504 Fri 15 December 2000

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  Re: Do you ever feel bad? (BShotola)
  first batch problems. no carbonation (C)
  Merry Christmas (for those who are Christians, a chuckle for those who aren't) (Steve)
  Re: Dry Hopping in Secondary (Steve)
  BHC7 Judging Information ("Brett Schneider")
  Re: Tap Water (Martin_Brungard)
  It must be in the Aussi water ("Peter J. Calinski")
  Re: starting syphon (Jeff Renner)
  Cloudy StarSan ("Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies")
  Alcohol Estimation (AJ)
  Grain Life? (Dustin Norlund)
  New Use for Old Grain ("Ray Daniels")
  sour mashing oatmeal for an extract based stout ("Sam T")
  Mice ("Kensler, Paul")
  Re: cloudy Star San ("Brian Lundeen")
  N/A Alcohol Level? (Epic8383)
  Who's Smarter? (Epic8383)
  A brewers Christmas tree ("Don Van Valkenburg")
  Siphon Starter (Mjbrewit)
  PID gain ranges, thanks!  Controller design available ("Dave Howell")
  Irish Ale Yeasts ("Adam Ralph")
  The Burradoo School Of Brewing Balance ("Phil & Jill Yates")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 03:09:38 EST From: BShotola at aol.com Subject: Re: Do you ever feel bad? Do I feel bad? No, but that's the yeast of my worries! It's my son I'm worried about: My six year old cried and blubbered when he saw me emptying the carboy dregs into the sink one day. It seems I had been a bit too complimentary in praising the miracles of these little beings, and my sensitive boy equated pouring them down the drain with committing murder. The poor lad was distraught, crying on and on, so we ended up scooping some up with a spoon and putting it in a flask with some fresh wort. From that day on, whenever I am pouring out yeast, we save him some in a jar with some wort and an airlock on it. This is his yeast for experiments. He loves the humanity of a repitch. My son is quickly learning all the steps in brewing beer, temperatures and pH, and so on. He has his own flask, thermometer, pH strips, microscope, etc., and fancies himself a scientist. He loves the wort chiller, the sprinkling sparge arm, the co2 bottle, the propane burner (and who among us does not?) I wonder if I am creating a problem, since he won't be able to legally drink beer for another, say, fifteen years? Anybody else been through this? Am I taking him down the wrong road? The kid loves the science, and I do let him have a small nip of each batch to see what I am all jazzed about. Bob Shotola Yamhill Oregon Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 05:46:11 -0500 From: C <chow at engineer.com> Subject: first batch problems. no carbonation Hello this is my first post to the HBD Let me just say that over these past few months this listserv has been an indispensable resource for me. Heres my question. After about 1 week after bottling, I decided i wanted to sample a bottle to see how it was doing. I stuck one in the fridge and opened it up the next day. Its flat! Im guessing that the yeast died on me..? Heres some of the details of my fermentation times and what not. sg ~1.050 6.6lbs of LME 16oz Belgain Carmel Pils 16oz American 2row 2oz Cascade boil 1oz Cascade 40min 2tsp. Irish Moss 1tsp Gypsum Danstar Windsor Ale yeast (dry) Boiled and cooled to 80 strained into primary carboy. Pitched yeast. Fermented for 10 days at around 78F (i live in florida) Transfered into a secondary carboy and dry hopped with 1oz Liberty. Bottled with 3/4 cup dextrose 10 days later. fg~1.015. Opened bottle 1 week later to find only flat beer. :-( Do you think the high temperature had something to do with it? Could it just be that since the temp was high the yeast consumed the malt quickly then died before they carbonate the beer? One thing I noticed is that when i did bottle the beer it was cloudy but after a few days in the bottles the cloudiness went away and i could see a layer of sediment in every bottle. ? Wait it out? is this normal? Thanks! Chris Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 04:24:01 -0800 (PST) From: Steve <gravelse at yahoo.com> Subject: Merry Christmas (for those who are Christians, a chuckle for those who aren't) Thought someone on this list would appreciate the following: 'Twas The Homebrewer's Night Before Christmas Author: Unknown Submitted by Unknown on 12-20-1998 Genre: Long-Winded, Rating: 2.21, Suitability: PG-13 'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, Every creature was thirsty, including the mouse... The steins were empty, and the bottles were too The beer had been drunk with no time to brew. My family was nestled all snug in their beds While visions of Christmas Ale foamed in their heads. Mama in her kerchief lamented the drought, She craved a pilsner and I, a stout. When out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter. Away to the kitchen, I flew like a flash, Opening the door with a loud bang and crash! I threw on the switch and the lights, all aglow, Gave a luster of mid-day to the brew-pot below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear But Gambrinus himself, the patron of beer. With a look in his eye, so lively and quick, He said, "You want beer? Well, here, take your pick." More rapid than eagles, his recipes came As he whistled and shouted and called them by name. "Now, Pilsener! Now, Porter! Now, Stout and Now Maerzen! On, Bitter! On, Lager! On, Bock and On Weizen!" "To the top of the bottles, the short and the tall, Now brew away, brew away, and fill them all!" As dried hops before a wild hurricane fly, And then, without warning, settle down with a sigh, So towards the brew-pot, the ingredients flew, Malt extract, roasted barley and crystal malt, too. And then in a twinkling, I heard it quite plain, The cracking open of each barley grain. As I drew in my head and was turning around, Into the kitchen, he came with a bound. He was dressed like a knight, from his head to his toes, With an old family crest adorning his clothes. A bundle of hops, he had flung on his back, And the brewing began when he opened his pack. His hops were so fragrant! His barley, how sweet! The adjuncts included Munich malt and some wheat. The malted barley was mashed in the tun, Then boiled with hops in the brew-pot 'till done. Excitement had me gnashing my teeth, As the sweet smell encircled my head like a wreath. Beer yeast was pitched, both lager and ale, The wort quickly fermented, not once did it fail. It was then krausened, or with sugar primed, And just being bottled when midnight had chimed. A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know, I'd be shortly in bed. He spoke not a word but kept on with his work, And capped all the bottles, then turned with a jerk. And laying a finger alongside his nose, He belched (quite a burp!) before he arose. Clean-up was easy, with only a whistle, And away the mess flew, like the down on a thistle. And I heard him exclaim, 'ere he left me the beer, "Merry Christmas to all and a HOPPY New Year!" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 05:09:32 -0800 (PST) From: Steve <gravelse at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Dry Hopping in Secondary >Wed, 13 Dec 2000 16:00:10 -0500 >From: Chris Hatton <Chatton at aca-insurance.com> >Subject: Dry Hopping in Secondary >Having great trouble posting my message (says greater >than 80 chars in length), although I counted and it >wasn't. Is there a conspiracy going on? Anyway, I am >dry hopping an English style IPA (all-grain)with 1 oz >of East Kent Goldings (if memory serves me correctly)>in a muslin sack. How long should I leave it in >there? It's been sitting inside my carboy for about 4 >days, and I'm planning to leave the beer in the >secondary fermenter for about 2 weeks. Chris Hatton Chris, I can't help with the 80 chars problem but, I can help with the dry hopping issue. Leave it in as long as you can. I dry hop in my keg, not the secondary, and leave the hops in until the keg is dry. I've had commercial beers that dry hop their kegs and send them to the distributors and don't remove the hops until the keg is returned. If you plan on kegging your beer, and like the hop aroma that dry hopping adds, put some more hops in your keg! It can't hurt and adds quite an aroma to the brew. Steve "Homebrew, it's not just a hobby, it's an adventure!" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 09:26:02 -0500 From: "Brett Schneider" <bikenbrew at hotmail.com> Subject: BHC7 Judging Information For any interested people out there who might have some time to judge a few beers in Febrewary 2001, here's an update about our plans for the 7th annual Boston Homebrew Competition. I am the judge coordinator for the event, so please add me and my email address to your books! Tim Holland is the competition organizer and will be posting the formal information about the competition including all schedules and entry packets in the near future. The main competition is Saturday, Febrewary 10th at the Northeast Brewing Company (NEBC) in Alston, MA starting at 8:30AM with sign-in and finishing by 6PM, which is when we need to be cleaned up and out. Our plans also include larger flight pre-judging the week before starting Sunday 03FEB PM and finishing by THUR 08FEB. This schedule is pretty open as of now, but once we do data entry we will know how many flights will be done pre-comp, and have local club members hosting and judging. We are trying to minimize judge fatigue and the number of preliminary rounds / mini BOS rounds to ensure a timely event on competition day. Last year we had 419 entries and expect the same or more this year so we have our work cut out. Any interested judges and stewards for the competition on Febrewary 10th, and people who may be able to help judge during the week leading up to the competition, should contact me at the address below, and include the subject line indicated for the mail sorting filters to do their magic. Same header for judge or steward and I will sort the rest: BikeNBrew at hotmail.com Subject line: BHC7 Judging Thanks for the read! We're looking forward to your judging support and anticipating the pleasure of judging your entries. Brett Schneider BHC7 Judge Coordinator Boston Wort Processors Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 10:22:35 -0500 From: Martin_Brungard at urscorp.com Subject: Re: Tap Water A good point was made regarding topping up wort with tap water...It depends on the location and source. But there are always other infection sources lurking for all of us. Brewers on a well system without chlorination could have contamination at any time. It can also come and go depending on the aquifer source. The other consideration is your home piping system. Any component could harbor critters. This fact is made worse if you're on an unchlorinated water source, since any infection in the piping or faucets will probably linger. Brewers on municipal systems will probably have chlorinated water. But, in some water systems, the chlorine residual can drop below sanitary limits in portions of the delivery system and local contamination may occur. Regardless of a municipal water system's sanitation, there are multiple infection vectors at our homes. In Gainesville, FL about 7 years ago, they had a cryptosporidium outbreak that they finally traced back to an outdoor nozzle at a mop cleaning station that someone had vandalized by smearing dog poop on. Someone had used the nozzle sometime later to fill up large drink coolers with gatorade. This is an extreme example, but we all should recognize the possibility. Outdoor faucets and hoses could be infected by something as simple as the dog licking it or a frog pooping in it. Indoor faucets can be contaminated by the kids getting their hands or mouth on the faucet nozzle or maybe the nozzle came in contact with the water in the dog's dish as you were refilling it. These scenarios are not widespread, but you need to recognize that they can and do occur. So no one should consider themselves immune from water system contamination. Another source for contamination is the aerator nozzle on most indoor faucets. They are a great location for a population of critters to grow and prosper. You may say that you never get sick from your tap water. You all have probably heard of people in underdeveloped countries drinking less than pristine water and they keep surviving. And for people living in developed countries visiting a foreign country and immediately getting sick after drinking the local water. All organisms are relatively resilient. If they have a minor infection and survive it, they will develop an immunity to it. You have heard this before: 'that which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger'. You would probably have no idea if your tap water has a minor infection in it from your own response to drinking the water. Unfortunately, our wort doesn't have that immunity. The only things we can do to reduce the chance of infection are to make sure that everything we put in is sterile and to pitch lots of yeast to crowd out any bad critters. I recently upgraded my brewing practices by purchasing a carbon filter unit that I use for all my brewing water. This takes care of the chlorine problem, but these units are notorious as havens for bacterial growth, especially when they are only occasionally used. For this reason and the others I list above, it is still very important to BOIL ALL WATER used in brewing. If you have gone to the trouble and expense to create a batch of brew for your enjoyment, I think that we cannot afford to risk our time and money when such a simple solution is available. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 11:08:33 -0500 From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> Subject: It must be in the Aussi water First Yates, and Sanders, now Pivo. All these lengthy, un-understandable posts. It must be the water. Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 11:36:30 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: starting syphon "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> wrote: >How do I start a syphon when racking? > >I suck on it. So do I. I did it for years with practicing safe sucking with no problems, but for another good many years I've used a siphon starter. That's just a two inch (5 cm) piece of broken racking cane (which any brewer of more than a few months standing will have). I sanitize this with the rest of my racking equipment, then insert it into the into a glass for quality assurance purposes, then pinch the hose shut just above the plastic tube and remove it. And, yes, I use my washed hands for this with no gloves. Just lucky, I guess. Jeff - -- -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 10:54:50 -0600 From: "Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies" <orders at paddockwood.com> Subject: Cloudy StarSan Andrew Avis asks about cloudy Star San. Star San should be mixed with distilled or de-ionized or reverse osmosis water. I have batches that are 3 months old absolutely clear. It will work mixed with most tap water, but it will soon react and the pH will rise above 3. When the pH rises above 3 the solution becomes cloudy. When this happens it can be refreshed with an addition of Star San. I do not believe in using it as a no-rinse sanitizer after it is more than double strength. It is not effective as a sanitizer when it is cloudy, at least we do not think it is, and will continue on the side of caution until Five Star indicates otherwise. The acid in Star San is phosphoric, just as in Iodophor. In both of these solutions the phosphoric is required to ensure the pH is low enough for the active sanitizer to work. I do not think that you should mix them together. You could use plain phosphoric acid to reduce the pH of your tap water prior to adding Star San, but for the quantity that you use, it's easier to simply use RO or distilled water to mix instead of tap water. A gallon of Star San should last you many batches. regards, Stephen Ross Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies, Saskatoon, SK orders at paddockwood.com www.paddockwood.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 14:01:05 -0400 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Alcohol Estimation Chris Campagna asked about estimating the alcohol loss when a LA stout is heated. This can be done in several ways but doubtless the simplest would be to restore the heated beer to its original volume (this is important) with water, mix thoroughly and then measure the specific gravity. Convert to Plato ( see + below). Then subtract the Plato value from the original Plato value. Now multiply by the factor 0.39661 + 0.0017091*P + 1.0788*P*P where P is the original Plato value. The product is the ABW. Convert to ABV by multiplying by the specific gravity of the beer and dividing by 0.791. Do the same using the value of the specific gravity of the beer before heating to obtain an estimate of the pre treatment alcohol content. The difference is the amount of alcohol boiled off. Because the drop in specific gravity as alcohol is added to a sugar solution is linear with ABW (Tabarie's Principal) another approach would be to measure the True Extract (TE)* of the pre treatment beer and the Apparent Extract (AE - this is the specific gravity of the beer converted to Plato) of the pre and post treatment beers. Again, the volume of the beer post treatment should be made up to what it was pre treatment. Then ABWpost = ABWpre(AEpost - AEpre)/(TE - AEpre) + To convert SG to plato use Plato = -616.868 + 1111.14*SG - 630.272*SG^2 + 135.997*SG^3 (This is the "official" ASBC conversion) * To measure True Extract fill a volumetric flask to the mark, attemeperate to 20C and readjust to the mark if necessary. Transfer quantitiatively (pour the beer, then rinse with small portions of distilled water and add the rinsings) to a beaker and heat gently (slow boil is OK) until volume is reduced to approximately 1/3. Transfer quantitiatively back to volumetric flask, add distilled water to below the mark, attemperate, make up to the mark and mix thoroughly. Measure the specific gravity of the contents of the flask (reconstituted, dealcoholized beer) as accurately as possible (narrow range hydrometer, pycnometer....) and convert to Plato. Multiply this Plato value by the specific gravity of the reconsituted beer and divide by the specific gravity of the beer. Return to table of contents
Date: 14 Dec 00 13:26:35 CST From: Dustin Norlund <rv6 at address.com> Subject: Grain Life? Hi, Due to building a home build aircraft my brewing has been on standby. I am nearing completion of the aircraft and now am looking to start brewing again. I had some grain in plastic 5 gallon buckets and some in bags. The grain is 1 year old at this point, is it still ok? Has anyone had experiance with old grain? It has been in the garage, so it has not been in the dry heat of the house. Any comments would help. Dustin Norlund Owasso, OK RV6 - Taxi Testing, Sand Ridge Airpark, Collinsville OK KD5JXZ - 2M, 440, APRS Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 13:41:35 -0600 From: "Ray Daniels" <raydan at ameritech.net> Subject: New Use for Old Grain The Problem: 1 - Chicago is socked in with more snow that we've seen in one week for some time. 2 - Under the best conditions, the term "two-car garage" is just barely better than wishful thinking when you have a 25-foot wide city lot. 3 - My kids are too old for sand boxes and I have no pets, so sand, kitty litter, kibble and other common winter friction-enhancers are not readily available in my household. 4 - Kids have already had ONE snow day this week. So I HAD to get the car out of the garage and through the snow-filled alley so I could drive them to school. The Solution: the ubiquitous brewer's friend: malt! Yes, I spread a good twenty or thirty pounds of Munich malt on the ground around my garage and under my wheels this morning and it worked like a champ! And weep not my friends: the bag in question was more than two years old and had been sitting in the garage since my move to the new house last winter. Had it not been pressed into service in this manner, it would probably have been tossed eventually anyway. So forget the bag of cement in the back of your pickup truck or the econo-sized load of kitty litter in the truck. Chuck a 50 pound bag of abused or outdated malt back there. If it doesn't get you unstuck at least you can nibble on it until help comes! Next up: Comparing the relative friction coefficients of pilsener, Munich and caramel malt. (Just kidding.) Ray Daniels Editor-in-Chief Zymurgy & The New Brewer Phone: 773-665-1300 Fax: 773-665-0699 E-mail: ray at aob.org Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 09:56:52 +1300 From: "Sam T" <taylors at powercor.co.nz> Subject: sour mashing oatmeal for an extract based stout I thought I'd share a technique which I tried in my last batch (only my 6th) which some of you may be interested in trying (or avoiding, the results are still pending!) I wanted to brew my first stout, and I wanted to use oatmeal to get the "silky smooth" quality described in the brewing literature. Being an extract brewer I'm not equipped for mashing, but because I really wanted to try oatmeal I decided to try a partial mash with what I had available. With economy in mind, I went to the bulk bins in the supermarket and got 3 handfuls of instant oats, a handful of raw wheat, and a handful of "pearl barley". This is barley with the outer husk removed which I've seen people put in salads etc. The whole lot cost me just over $1. The plan was to malt the wheat and barley myself, then mash them with the oats to get a portion of "oatmeal extract" to boil with my pale malt extract, hops, and steeped patent malt. While the de-husked pearl barley did not seem ideal, it was the best I could find in the bulk bins. Not knowing anything about malting beyond the concept of germinating the grain, I just mixed all my grains together in a shallow dish, covered with enough water to moisten everything, and put the dish on top of the hot water cylinder. This was supposed to initiate germination of the wheat and barley, whose diastatic powers were going to get to work on the oatmeal. Well I was disappointed to find that after 24 hours it tasted sour and somewhat spoiled, not sugary as I was hoping. I left it for 2 more days to see what would happen, and the whole thing turned into a bubbling purple mess. After checking the HBD archives, I realised that I had inadvertantly created a sourmash, and I was pleased to see how many of the sourmash discussions on the HBD were with respect to stouts. Encouraged (and not to mention pleasantly surprised) by what I had read, I decided to proceed. I suppose the temperature above the cylinder would have been about 35-40degC for the 72 hours. I then added more water and put the mash in a pot in the oven set to ~60degC (+/- 10deg probably). I didn't perceive much change after 1 and 1/2 hours, it was still quite thick with the consistency of porridge, but I diluted it and attempted a lauter. I spooned some porridge into a colander set in another pot and poured over some ~70degC water, gently shaking the colander seemed to work quite well. The grains became visible again, and the water became creamy in colour and consistency. It tasted sour and had a silky/creamy texture. The taste reminded me of lemony yoghurt/sourdough bread. I took the colander out, tossed the spent grain, and repeated with some more porridge. When I'd done the whole lot some grain had got through the colander, but this just sank to the bottom of my pot. I was able to pour off my smooth "oat extract" into the boil without any grain. Now never having seen or done one, I'm not sure how a proper full volume mash with oats is supposed to come out. My oat extract was very cloudy, but it was very fine and super smooth, and no gluey/starchy texture. I can't comment on the results yet because it's still too early, but I'll update progress as it unfolds. If the results are OK I certainly recommend the method in terms of economy and minimal required equipment for anyone doing extract brews. I'd be interested in any thoughts from any of you guys on how well you think my oatmeal has converted. I would have used malted grain for my primitive partial mash if I'd had any, but in the small quantities I needed I could only get kilned specialty malts, and I'm not sure how diastatic these are. I also found the grain in the bulk bins to be much cheaper. If the raw grain sourmash performs adequate conversion I'd like to try doing it with just raw wheat to add to my first lager, I'd appreciate some advice on whether this is suitable. I'm probably covering old ground here, but I couldn't get a clear idea from the archives on the different effects of boiling/not boiling the sourmash. Does the lactobaccillus keep growing in the fermenter? Is this only suitable for some styles? Also, re Adrian Levi's post on beginner's plight; Adrian I highly recommend howtobrew.com if you're after an excellent resource for guys like you and me who are just getting into brewing. My first ever brew 4 years ago was pretty horrible, but I've just picked it up again this year and following the "enhanced" beginners' instructions (more malt no sugar, 1 hour boil with hops, rack to secondary) I've found it very easy to brew beers that I prefer to most commercial products. I'm also keen to try something clean and crisp soon, I've just secured a dedicated brewing refrigerator so I'm ready to try I reckon! Sam T Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 11:38:40 -0500 From: "Kensler, Paul" <Paul.Kensler at Cyberstar.com> Subject: Mice Drew, I use a plastic Gott cooler as my mash tun, and I had it set upside down in my basement last year, drying out after use. It was an unfinished basement, with concrete floor and walls. If you use a cooler mash tun like I do, you know how delicious they smell after a few uses - the mash odor just seeps into them and stays there, no matter how hard you clean it. Smelling my mash tun is like a little sniff of heaven. At some point, a little mouse figured that all that good smell meant that there must be some really good food inside, and he tried to crawl in. Somehow he managed to lift the tun up enough to slip half inside - but only half inside before he got stuck and the weight of the mash tun crushed him. A few days after brewing, my basement started to get that tell-tale smell... I quickly found the culprit, stuck exactly halfway inside, dead, and very smelly. All those putrefied gases were trapped inside the cooler (remember it was upside down) and my delightful-smelling Gott was seemingly ruined, but I refused to give up. I can't remember the exact process and procedure of what I did to get the smell out, but it involved lots of elbow grease, lots of soaking, lots of PBW, and lots of bleach. In fact, I kept scrubbing and soaking even after I couldn't smell any mousy evidence anymore. There is a happy ending - I have moved to a mouse-free house, my mash tun is working just fine with no funky smells... and it is back to smelling like a little bit o' heaven. If bleach and PBW can get dead mouse out of a plastic cooler, I'm sure they would work on a glass carboy... Glass is much less permeable which should make up for the fact that you can't apply as much elbow grease. A good soak and a stiff brush should get things back to spec. Good luck - Paul Kensler Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 17:40:38 -0600 From: "Brian Lundeen" <blundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: Re: cloudy Star San Drew Avis writes of dead mice (don't even want to go there) and Star San: > On another sanitization theme, I just started using StarSan, and I'm not > sure if I'm using it correctly. The instructions on the bottle are > minimalist, and the Five Star web site promises full instructions "soon". > As soon as I add 2 ml of the concentrate to a litre of water it turns cloudy > - is this normal? The correct concentration for sanitizing is about 1.5 ml per liter, or two tablespoons in 5 gallons (US, of course, there is nothing to be gained by sticking to our oversized imperial gallon in this forum ). As to whether cloudy is normal, speaking from a position of total ignorance, I would say yes. It happens to me all the time. Now others have claimed that cloudy means Star San no worky. I decided there was only one way to settle this. I sent an email off to Star San guru Charlie Talley. I think Charlie is still mad at me for pointing out that wine ph levels can fall to the level where Star San is still active (it related to the possibility of ML inhibition when using their sanitizer,), because the bugger hasn't replied to me. Either that or he's hiding something. Come to think of it, he never did give me a definitive answer on the ML question. In any case, somebody here mentioned that they actually speak with this fellow on occasion. Whoever that was, I think they should make use of their connections to get the inside poop, the straight dope, the bee's knees... oh, never mind the last one. When is Star San effective? Is it when the pH is below 2.9, or when it's clear enough to see mice at the bottom of a carboy, or both? What say you, Charlie? Brian PS We just mark an X. It seems to work quite well. ;-) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 19:45:22 EST From: Epic8383 at aol.com Subject: N/A Alcohol Level? I would imagine that if you had the wort o.g., the ruh beer f.g., and then the evaporated ruh beer s.g., you could easily calculate the % alcohol in a homebrewed n/a beer. If you want it to be stable for any length of time you would have to be strictly sanitary and handle it very gently (no splashing!). I would think you would have to force carbonate it also. With a little care and effort it sounds doable, though. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 19:51:06 EST From: Epic8383 at aol.com Subject: Who's Smarter? In a message dated 12/14/00 12:23:21 AM Eastern Standard Time, homebrew-request@hbd.org writes: << Here's a question to ponder: Are we using them or are they using us? >> I've read that yeast are the masters of the earth because they've trained Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 17:04:09 -0800 From: "Don Van Valkenburg" <don at steinfillers.com> Subject: A brewers Christmas tree This falls into the category of - you know you are a homebrewer IF: You have ever decorated a bottle tree with green bottles and lights for Christmas. Cheers & Happy Holidays Don Van Valkenburg brew at steinfillers.com www.steinfillers.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 20:41:51 EST From: Mjbrewit at aol.com Subject: Siphon Starter This is so easy its ridiculous. I think I read it in BYO. Simply sanitize a s-type airlock. Place it into on the end of the tubing (most are even tapered), and suck on the airlock instead of the tube. You can use a hose clamp or just quickly disconnect the airlock and place the tube into the vessel. The only risk of contamination is from your finger holding the tube Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 19:58:50 -0700 From: "Dave Howell" <djhowell at uswest.net> Subject: PID gain ranges, thanks! Controller design available All: Thanks to those who replied re: my post asking about gain ranges for analog PIDs. The most consistent answers (and matching some older material I found on the Web about acid temperature control) were all in the 0-3x gain ranges for P & I, and less for D. I have since (mostly) completed a design for a unit containing 3 temperature sensors with display, 2 PID controllers w/PWM control 0-98% duty cycle, and two triac output sections (48-220V 40A RMS). I'll make it available to the HBD members, with some caveats: it's in OrCAD or it's in .jpg; it has not been built by me, but has been simulated with PSPICE; and it probably has small errors as a result. Also, I did not show some connections (LCD display) and forgot the DPST NC switches to display setpoints vs. measured value. To put it more plainly: I cannot attest to the completeness or accuracy of the design, nor do I wish to be held liable (or even accountable) for something freely given. I priced it with Digi-Key and with Newark (NAYY). I didn't complete the pricing with Arrow (NAYY). The parts list, an Excel spreadsheet, shows the best source (mostly Digi-Key). The full-up design came to $198, in quantity one. This is not counting wire and IC sockets for wirewrap, and is not counting a heatsink for the triacs. A stripped-down version with one PID controller, one temp sensor/display, and one triac output priced at $115 (also not counting wirewrap costs or heatsink). This is not in my budget this year, or even early next year, so I won't be building the design. Keep in mind that a digital self-tuning controller from someone such as Omega (NAYY) is about $165 in the US. In about a month, I'll be pricing (and designing) a PID controller built with a STAMP module (a microcontroller widely available, sold by Parallax, NAYY). Until then, I'll be using just a PWM generator (the same as in my PID design) and a solid-state relay to control the heater element in my new RIMS. I'll have to adjust it with the Mark I eyeball and a dial thermometer. (Note: The PWM generator can be built as a kit from many places (such as RadioShack.com, NAYY): a DC motor controller kit is about $10 for a nice one with a PCB and potentiometer. This and a SSR, about $26 for a 220V 25A model, can be used to manually control a heater element through a 5-95% duty cycle.) These parts can be used later either in the analog PID I designed, or with a digital embedded-microcontroller PID such as a STAMP-based unit. I don't have a Web page or the desire to build one. If someone wants to host the .jpg version of the schematics and the spreadsheet (plus maybe the PSPICE output), let me know. Until then, interested parties can send me email, and I'll send them copies. If enough people show interest, I'll touch up the schematic to include the switch for the display of the setpoint value. If someone who actually designs analog circuits for a living wants to correct any errors, please volunteer! AND, who knows? if enough people want to build one, we can get a PCB made, and drive the price of the components down by the economies of scale. This would be over a hundred people to get roughly 23% price cuts, though. Dave Howell Due to a large thermal gradient, the center of the brewing universe may not be precisely located at this time, but I am in sunny Arizona. Costello: You know I'm a catcher too. Abbott: So they tell me. Costello: I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow's pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I'm gonna throw the guy out at first. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who? Abbott: Now that's the first thing you've said right. Costello: I don't even know what I'm talking about! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 11:18:01 +0800 From: "Adam Ralph" <bluehillsbrewing at hotmail.com> Subject: Irish Ale Yeasts Greetings to the collective, I was interested in finding out people's experiences with Wyeast's Irish Ale yeast compared to White Lab's Irish Ale yeast. I have referred to their web sites and those of several other's but would appreciate the thoughts of people that have done comparisons. What differences should I expect in the final beer if using one instead of the other? Cheers, Adam Blue Hills Brewing Perth, AUS. Close to -180, -180 Rennerian. PS. Thanks for fixing the character length problems Karl. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 15:58:39 +1100 From: "Phil & Jill Yates" <yates at acenet.com.au> Subject: The Burradoo School Of Brewing Balance So who is the King of Blather? Now that's not me. I'm King of Zero Content. Graham Sanders is King of North Queensland and Doc Pivo is, well Doc Pivo is sounding like he is due for further convalescence at the Burradoo Home For The Unstable. Jeez, we just got him up and on his feet again only a few days ago. What is going on? What I'm wondering is just what it could be that troubles Mr S when he cautions newbie brewers to ignore the blather which goes on in here. Could it be his own extensive trail of blathering that rings him with guilt? Who knows? Still it was nice of him to hop down off his soap box and lend a hand. I must say, the last bloke who asked me how to make a Tooheys New was taken out the back and shot!! The more I read in here the more I suspect poor old Steve is struggling to make a decent beer. Perhaps he really is the person to ask about making a Tooheys New. On the other hand, I somewhat failed with my Bud replica. As Graham Sanders pointed out, I actually put some flavour in it. I don't know what Bud uses Graham but I put some hop flowers in mine. Just a few, that was all it needed. As with most things in life, you have to find a balance. Knowing nothing about the science of brewing is not likely to help your brewing. Knowing everything about the science of brewing (or worse still, trying to prove to everyone that you do) is in my view a failing. At the Burradoo School Of Brewing Balance we teach students to blend ignorance with excellence, and make bloody good beer. Graham Sanders was one of our better students until he was caught rolling in the mud with Marilyn, and was sent home in disgrace. He's been real cranky about it ever since! But I'm glad he liked the rice lager. Had he of kept his mind on the job when he was here, he might have made something of himself and could have become an assistant baron. But alas, he was more intent on crawling around in bogs with crocs, snakes and genital sucking frogs, crying "Marilyn, Marilyn, where are you?" Cheers Phil Return to table of contents
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