HOMEBREW Digest #3523 Sat 06 January 2001

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  Moldy floor-malted Maris Otter malt leaving flavors in beer? ("Dan Diana")
  Irish/Scottish/kegs (Tom Smit)
  Pump wiring, switch, too. ("Dave Howell")
  Yeast original sources (Jeremy Bergsman)
  Re:  Dishwasher - Dirty Bottles (Steve)
  RE: Affordable Conical II (Mike)
  Affordable Conical Fermentor II (Doug Hurst)
  RE: Dishwasher - Dirty Bottles (LaBorde, Ronald)
  Use for motor ("Pete Calinski")
  "Natural" cooling for Lagering (Mike)
  Plato (Frank Tutzauer)
  Re reducing alcohol in cider (Ken Pendergrass)
  water treatment salts ("Heavner, Lou [FRS/AUS]")
  The mystery is solved! (Alan Monaghan)
  Re: Question about Lagers/Lagering ("Houseman, David L")
  Complicating Mash Schedules ("Dr. Pivo")
  First All Grain Today (Tom Daniels)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2001 22:25:01 -0800 From: "Dan Diana" <dands at ftconnect.com> Subject: Moldy floor-malted Maris Otter malt leaving flavors in beer? I purchased a sack of malted 2 row barley that I suspect left an off flavor in the finished beer. The particular malt I used was a floor malted Maris Otter ale malt. Every beer that I brewed with grain from that sack of malt (3 total) had a musty character in the finished beer. Further, the malt flavor and aroma were not typical but rather were astringent (taste) and harsh (aroma). I suspect that the malt may have gotten moldy or been affected by some other type of fungal infection during the malting. With some handwaving, I have discounted the yeast as I have used the same strains and techniques to process reasonIy clean lagers. I'm at a loss to explain this one. Is this possible? Anyone heard of something like this before? Looking for a bit of guidance and help... Regards, Dan Diana Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 17:23:19 +0930 From: Tom Smit <lunica at ozemail.com.au> Subject: Irish/Scottish/kegs Tony Barnsley wrote > I have learned my lesson don't listen to > Irish/English/Scottish Australians who've had just too much rice lager\ We're not all like that Tony! Alex Hazlett asked > Subject: RE: Different carbonation levels in kegs/bottles > > Did you prime the whole batch before bottling? Yes, primed the whole batch with 1/2 cup wheat DME, then kegged & bottled Tom Smit Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 00:25:11 -0700 From: "Dave Howell" <djhowell at qwest.net> Subject: Pump wiring, switch, too. Marc Sedam sez: > I just got a pump from Moving Brews (NAYY) that I'm ready to get brewing > with. I didn't realize it came unwired. It has three wires total > (positive, negative, ground??). Is there anything I should take into > consideration when wiring? I assume I can head to Lowes or Home Depot > and find a regular switch, right. The three wires are HOT, NEUTRAL, and GROUND. Hot is the wire that carries the voltage, or will supply the current. Neutral is the wire that will sink or drain that current, and only has relation to ground through the transformer on the powerpole (or in the locked green cabinet somewhere else). Ground is the whole-house earth ground, and provides another path for current to return through if you are not careful. You need more than just a switch, you need a box to hold it in. If you're not mounting the box to something permanent and non-metallic, then you should (probably) get a metal box, single-gang (meaning holds one switch), and a metal wallplate (switch cover). Wire black (HOT) wire from wall to one brass screw, wire black wire from pump to other brass screw. Wire BOTH green (GROUND) wires to the green screw on the switch. If you have some (bare) solid copper wire, it's not a bad idea to wire the switch green screw to a green screw that should be in the metal box I've seen electricians wire a bare wire from the green terminal on the switch, a wire from the green terminal on the box, and both green wires all together in one wire nut. Wire the whites (NEUTRAL) together with a wire nut. Typically, for most gauges, and for the March 809 pump I have (18 ga pigtail), a red wirenut size should work. Blue will most likely be too small, and yellow probably too big. It's cheaper and easier to use a plug. I got a 3-wire (grounded) plug from Lowe's for my pump for about $2.50. I plug it into a (grounded) power strip (like for computers) that has a switch on it that I already have, but suspect is only ~7$ in Lowe's. I wire-tied (zip-ties) the power strip to my 3-tier tower. The switch shuts down the RIMS heater element controller, too. If you use a plug, then black goes to brass, white goes to tin, and green goes to green. Be sure to tighten the strain relief band down on the outer insulating jacket of the pump power cord, in case you ever accidentally pull the plug out by the cord you will pull the plug from the socket, not the wires from the plug (zap). Although I am not as deeply concerned as most in the HBD with GFCI, I use a GFCI outlet in the garage (if you put one in the garage, and have more than one outlet, put it in the one closest to the breaker/fuse panel if you can determine which one that is, if you can't then put it in the one you will use for your brewing). What it does is detect the condition when the total current flowing out the black wire is not the same as the current coming back through the white wire (difference of about 10mA will trip it) and interrupt the black wire (shut off the power). This prevents current being shorted to ground (say, through the puddle at your feet from leaky RIMS fittings, or spilled wort). GFCI just makes sense, especially at ~$7. > I did not use solder to connect the wiring to the switch. Is it possible > that the inefficient connection is causing the heat or is it more likely > that I've reversed the wiring? I know the ground wire is right, but I > don't want to switch the wiring if all I need to do is get some solder. Don't solder! Things that get hot, then are turned off and get cool work harden the solder, plus the expansion and contraction can make the (stiff) wire work loose. Solder (to join wires) is for electronics, not 120VAC. Use crimp-on terminals (spade or eye) on stranded wire (be sure of the current and voltage rating of the terminals), or use a loop bent in the end of solid wire under a screw. If your switch uses spade terminals, you will have to crimp a spade connector of the right size onto your wire. What you didn't say is what kind of switch the old one was, and what kind the new one was. If the switch is getting hot, it is because somewhere there is more resistance than there should be. Either the connections you made are poor (but don't solder!), or the switch is not rated for the current (alternatively, power) you're drawing through it. Even if you wired it to interrupt the neutral, that wouldn't cause the effect. If you have the old switch, see what it is rated for in both V and A. Otherwise, if you have a nameplate on the stirplate, it should tell you that it uses 120VAC, 60Hz, and some amount of Watts (or VA) or Amps. Then check to see the switch you used EXCEEDS, not meets, those numbers. Watts is Volts times Amps, so you should be able to determine your switch ratings. One other dark-horse possibility is that you're using stranded wire, and you have cut off a few of the strands, making the effective gauge of the wire too small. Hope it helps, Dave Howell "The time has come, the Walrus said, to speak of many things: Of shoes, of ships, of sealing wax, of cabbages and kings, and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings." --- Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 07:29:29 -0800 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremybb at leland.stanford.edu> Subject: Yeast original sources "Dave Howell" <djhowell at qwest.net> writes: > Is there a chart on the Web, listing the various yeasts and their *origin*? Although we haven't heard from the HBD chef for a while his useful page still exists: http://www.best.com/~smurman/zymurgy/yeast.html Also we had an authoritative identification of one in yesterday's HBD! - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremybb at stanford.edu http://www.stanford.edu/~jeremybb Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 04:46:16 -0800 (PST) From: Steve <gravelse at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Dishwasher - Dirty Bottles David says: >My standard procedure after emptying a beer is to: rinse the bottle out >well, and place it in the dishwasher for that little extra cleaning, then >store the bottles downstairs until my next batch. I have been doing this >for about 2 years. A few weeks back, I noticed that I was getting some >left over "residue" in the bottles after the dishwasher was done with the >cycle. It looked to be small grains of dirt left in the neck of the >bottles. This "dirt" is easily rinsed out after the dishes are done. No >other dishes were getting this residue/dirt, but nothing else shaped like >a beer bottle was being washed in the dishwasher. After I discovered >this, I did some experimentation. David, If you are putting the bar soap in with the bottles when you wash them, this may be your problem. The soap grains are probably up in the neck of the bottles and not getting rinsed thoroughly. When I first started using the dishwasher for cleaning and sanitzing my bottles I was told not to use soap in the dishwasher for just this reason. I've been using the dishwasher method for bottles (when I'm not kegging) for a long time and found that the best method is to rinse out the bottles and let them drip dry upside down in the strainer when I'm done consuming the beer. Then, the day I'm going to bottle I get out the jet washer, it's the "V" shaped adapter that fits on a fawcet, and shoot a hot stream of water into the bottle to clean out anything that might have started growing since I put the bottle away. Next, I place all of the bottles in the dishwasher, WITHOUT soap, and run it all of the way through the dry cycle. That's important because the dry cycle is what does the sanitizing of the bottles. It gets pretty hot and kills everything. Once the bottles are cool, I open the dishwasher, place an empty beer case under the lid of the dishwasher for support and do my bottling right there. When the bottling is done, clost the lid and turn the dishwasher on and cleanup is done. Steve "Homebrew, it's not just a hobby, it's an adventure!" Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 09:30:43 -0500 From: Mike <mroesch at bellsouth.net> Subject: RE: Affordable Conical II Thanks Tim, I'm glad you reported good results, what I am considering for it (because i think the stand looks a little "flimsy" too) is a "rack system of wood (holding 2+ units) with a plex front/window, multiple single chambers for each unit and temp control via a basic stamp controller to allow Lagering, etc. My current basement temp is 62F, perfect for ales and steam beers, but I need to drop it for lagering. I'm a tinkerer, so this will be a "fun" project to fool with over the next year and I think I may submit it as an article to one of the print BeerZines. I have a design for a multiple temp display that I'm working on. I also have a friend that owns a sheetmetal shop (stainless for restaruant systems, he can do welding, etc) and may take the unit to him to see what he would charge me to make one out of stainless (Just like the "big boys" and Microbrewers). I'll keep the list posted on progress and please pardon the spelling errors. "Have a homebrew on me!" If you are in the Chattanooga TN area! Mike Roesch At 07:46 AM 1/5/2001 -0600, you wrote: >Mike, > >I use the very same fermenter. After two years of brewing I still like it >very much! > >I have no real reservations towards using plastic... other than smelling >like beer, even after cleaning, the fermenter has not picked up any >scratches or caused infections. > >The plastic connectors and such caused me worry when I first used them... >but I followed the instructions to use teflon tape on all threads and hand >tighten only... have not had stripped threads or had major leaks to speak >of. The only part that has caused some swearing is the connector and seal on >the cone... you "lefty tighty" "righty loosey" on it and when it's wet it >can be a bitch to tighten or unscrew. I've found rubber gloves helped very >much. > >The fermenter stand is a bit on the skimpy side though. It does work fine >but you may sweat a little when you've got 5 gallons of precious brew in it. >I have read from others who have constructed their own stands... I will >probably do that as well. > >Yeast collection and trub flushing is easy. I don't do a lot of yeast >recovery but I have been successfull the times I have done it. > >Hope that helps... feel free to ask any questions. > >Timothy Burkhart >Kansas City Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 09:00:26 -0600 From: Doug Hurst <DougH at theshowdept.com> Subject: Affordable Conical Fermentor II Mike Roesch writes: "I have been doing some surfing on websites for advanced equipment and came upon the Affordable Conical Fermentor II by Minibrew. Has anyone used this device yet? It seems to be a good choice for an all grain brewer who would like to harvest yeast for subsequent batches etc." This fermenter, being cylindroconical, seems like a great idea. My concern however is the fact that it's made of plastic. Would this not mean that it's gas permeable allowing oxydation of the beer? Also what about micro scratches developing and harboring nasty bacteria? Those are my worries about the plastic food grade buckets I use for primary fermentation. Which is why I minimize my time in the primary and replace my buckets frequently - something difficult to justify by the cost of this unit. Beer, Beer and More Beer makes three sizes of small stainless steel cylindroconical fermenters which, while more expensive, seem like a better idea in my mind. (Insert non-affiliation disclaimers here) Doug Hurst Chicago, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 09:11:14 -0600 From: rlabor at lsuhsc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: Dishwasher - Dirty Bottles >From: "Russell, David (D.A.)" <drussel3 at ford.com> > >..A few weeks back, I noticed that I was getting some left >over "residue" in the bottles after the dishwasher was done with the cycle. >It looked to be small grains of dirt left in the neck of the bottles... That's the trouble with dishwashers. The geometry of the bottle (slim neck), inhibits the water jets from entering and cleaning the bottle innards. Duh I guess that's why it's not called a bottle washer. Ron La Borde Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsuhsc.edu http://hbd.org/rlaborde Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 09:55:52 -0500 From: "Pete Calinski" <pjcalinski at adelphia.net> Subject: Use for motor Pat asked: >So? Does anyone have any neat ideas for where I can use a couple of pretty >heavy duty motors in the brewery Yeah, when dry hopping, put it in the hop bag to keep it from floating. :-) As far as a mash mixer, I made one and used it quite a few times. Now I don't bother. Originally, I had used multiple temperature probes to find out that I had 4F to 8F temperature variation in the mash tun. The mixer did help but I found that if you do a through job of mixing the mash initially and have good insulation, including a cover, the temperature will stay within 2F throughout. Besides, the motor is noisy. Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY 0^45'49.1" North, 5^7'9.5" East of Jeff Renner (using his 12/28/00 Lat/Long). This signature file is automatically attached to my emails. Note my new email address is: pjcalinski at adelphia.net The service via my old address at iname.com had become unreliable. Sometimes email was delayed as much as 36 hours. Some never came through. iname.com is a part of mail.com. Repeated emails about the problem to their service address have gone unanswered. If you know anyone that uses either iname.com or mail.com, you should consider telling them that they may have a problem also. Sorry for the inconvenience. Pete Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 10:42:09 -0500 From: Mike <mroesch at bellsouth.net> Subject: "Natural" cooling for Lagering >Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2001 21:34:23 -0600 >From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> >Subject: lagering yeast >I may not be the most experienced or scientific lager brewer, but I have >always used the big free refrigerator with the blue ceiling and the bright >light (modulated by opening and closing the brewing room window) Well Sean, I'm really getting into using "the big free refrigerator with the blue ceiling and the bright light" for "free lager cooling". What I am working on (still in the design stages, but I Hope to post a prototype design soon!) is a temp controlled fermentation chamber using the Affordable Conical Fermentors. I planned on setting up a controller (Basic stamp/PLC, etc.) that will use a outside air inlet fan to take advantage of the "big free fridge" cold air provided by "The BIG GUY Upstairs" during the winter months...;=}, multiple computer/PLC controlled air circulation inlets/outlets that will allow the PLC to control individual chamber temps. I'm thinking 2-4 chambers to start with but the design could be adapted to more or less (even 1 chamber) and you could use carboys/buckets in place of the ACII fermentor. The unit will be insulated, multiple chamber/controls/indicators with a plex front window (double pane) for "viewing the brew". It should be a fun project and when completed it will allow Lagering in one chamber while fermenting a steam beer in the other (Or an ale, etc...). Construction will be wood/outdoor plywood and "blue foam board" insulation (not high tech, but cheap, natch?), surplus relays, fans, etc. to run the cooling system. I'm still working on what to use for cooling in the summer (connection to my basement fridge through a "heat/cool exchanger" or connection to the household AC? Hmmm, I'll have to quaff a couple of homebrews and think about that!). Anyway, I can't resist building "low/high tech" equipment for my hobbies! "Beer, the best thing next to...Nevermind! Beer is the Best Thing!" Keep Hoppin! Mike Roesch Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 11:19:18 -0500 (EST) From: Frank Tutzauer <comfrank at acsu.buffalo.edu> Subject: Plato Hi, I'm planning to do some in-depth hydrometer testing using measured quantities of sugar and water, and I just want to make sure that my understanding of Plato is correct, and that I'm not making a boneheaded mistake on an obvious point. Plato is percent sugar weight. If I've got 100 grams of solution, 10% of which is sugar, then I've got 10P. Easy enough. Suppose now, I try to create such a solution. Prtend I measure out 100 grams of water, and I *add* to it 10 grams of sugar. Do I have a) a 10P solution (10g sugard divided by 100g water), or b) 9.09P (10 g sugar divided by 110 g solution). It seems to me that b is the correct answer. If I wanted a 10P solution I would have to add 10g of sugar to *90* grams of water. This seems obvious to me, but the reason I ask is that if you jack the numbers up enough on ProMash's unit converter, it's possible to create s.g.'s that have Plato equivalents above 100, which would be impossible using method b above, but quite possible using method a. My guess is that that's just because the equations for conversion are out of range at this point (it takes s.g.'s above 1.650 or so!), but I want to make sure that it's not because I'm misunderstanding what "percentage" means! thanks, --frank Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 12:05:26 +0000 From: Ken Pendergrass <kenp794 at earthlink.net> Subject: Re reducing alcohol in cider I too have had cider go way too dry on me. Although I wasn't concerned about the alcohol content only the taste. What is the best way to kill yeast in cider to keep some sweetness in it? Ken in Ypsilanti Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 11:25:26 -0600 From: "Heavner, Lou [FRS/AUS]" <Lou.Heavner at frco.com> Subject: water treatment salts With the holidays and elections and everything else I seem to have fallen way behind on reading the HBD. There were some recent threads on brewing salts and water treatment including pre-packaged salts and zinc. One thing that may be a momily, but we've always heard is don't add iodized salt. If you must add NaCl, use kosher or pickling salt which is iodine free. I know iodine is toxic stuff, but is a small quantity of iodized salt (say 1/2 tsp in 5 gal) really that bad? Anybody have any experience? Another thought I have is what about "sea salt" as an additive? I'm sure if it is really sea salt as advertised, then there will be traces of all kinds of things like zinc, iodine, potassium and other goodies. Would there be enough iodine or iron or other bad actors to cause a problem? This might be the answer for people who are using RO or distilled water for makeup. Also, since we are talking about approximating "famous" brewing regions like Munich, Dublin, London, etc. isn't volume measurement of salts good enough. I find Ken Schwartz's Brewater software perfect for adjusting my water. I set it for volume (tsp) and try to convert our local tap water to the target and try not to overshoot anything. First to be backed off is carbonates if necessary to keep from overshooting. I suspect there is enough variability in local waters anyway, that close is good enough. You are only trying to capture some of the character and small differences in water chemistry is probably going to have a second order impact at best. Of course you may have to worry about hygroscopic salts like CaCl, but I imagine that the weight variability due to water is going to be worse than volume changes, so volume may actually be better. And like Ken recently mentioned, chalk is not going to dissolve easily in water. So I blend up any brewing salt additions and mix them in my grist immediately prior to mashing. Remember, many brewing minerals are going to come from the grain, anyway. In fact, what I have done is blend up brewing salts and store them in babyfood jars. They are based on converting my local water to various waters I want to duplicate. I just write on the label what the target water profile is and how many tsp are required per gallon. I would think local HB suppliers could do the same thing easily enough, and would be better than one commercial supplier trying to provide the proper formulations to convert all the various municipal supplies to all the potential targets. Cheers! Lou Heavner Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 12:44:26 -0500 From: Alan Monaghan <AlanM at Gardnerweb.com> Subject: The mystery is solved! Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 12:54:22 -0600 From: "Brian Lundeen" <blundeen at rrc.mb.ca <mailto:blundeen at rrc.mb.ca> > Subject: The Mystery is Solved! Well, I heard from my network administrators this morning, and discovered why I haven't been receiving my Digest since the big switch. It had nothing to do with propagating DNS's or anything else that would send technogeeks into nose-running fits of uncontrollable excitement. No, our network people are simply blocking you. - -------- Not to cut on your over worked, underpaid sysadmins there, but this ip address (the one I receive my daily fix of HBD) is not in Maps or Orbs. Talk about a shot gun approach by them. Give them a quick heads up that there are services out there that can fine tune their deny listings and make for a much better email server. I know 'cause that is my $$$ job. Now, back to brewing !!!! Be like water my friend ... Alan G. Monaghan, MCSE+I Gardner Publications, Inc. Internet Administrator * Phone 1-513-527-8867 * Fax 1-513-527-8801 * Cell 1-513-520-6866 * E-mail AlanM at Gardnerweb.com <mailto:AlanM at Gardnerweb.com> Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 12:52:10 -0600 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Re: Question about Lagers/Lagering Chad Mundt asked >what is the >advantage of lagering in a secondary versus lagering in a bottle. Space! Here, not the final frontier. I can put three or four kegs in a refrigerator but only two cases, or about one keg's worth. So I can lager and store more beer in keg form than I can in bottle form. The downside/upside is that when I want to enter a beer in a competition I counter pressure bottle fill / I don't have to bottle all the beer I make which saves a lot of time. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2001 04:03:03 +0100 From: "Dr. Pivo" <docpivo at hotmail.com> Subject: Complicating Mash Schedules Marc Sedam had first passed on to him, and then passes further, the following mash schedule. " I feel this mash method is necessary to get the final beer down to a reasonable gravity and not have a cloyingly sweet taste. a) mash in at 37 C, hold 20 minutes; b) over the course of 20 minutes raise to 49 C and hold 30 minutes; c) over the course of 10-15 minutes raise to 60 C hold 30 minutes; d) raise to 63 C and hold 25 minutes; e) raise to 65 C and hold for 30 minutes; f) raise to 70C for 10 minutes" I might suggest that the first two temperatures ("a" and " b") would have nothing to do with removing sweet tastes..... The first one ("a") would only be of value if...1) you had one of those very rare animals of water and malt conbinations that would actually show a pH shift at that temperature ("acid rest" or phyttic acid release) or 2) you were trying to very marginally boost total extraction (beta glucan degradation).... My own waters and choice of grains have never shown any benefit at that temp. The second one ("b") is for if you either have clarity problems (and need proteiolysis..... and if you happen to bump into such an undermodified beast in the US, you are either pinching Lynne O'Connor's stocks, or you might consider going into business and selling it), or want to add to beta glucan degeneration, and win another quarter point at best. As to c,d,and e. This is what is termed "buttoning" (I hope it is in English as well), and it would be difficult to make a case for any great gains there.... I've certainly heard long itterations by Brewmasters about exactly WHICH temperature should be chosen when you get into the beta range, but I think jumping between several is a bit superfluous. On the other hand, if you enjoy having complictated mash schedules, by all means pursue! I certainly had my period of faith, when I minutiously (sp.) controlled times and temps, and took a great deal of care in registering what I did, but have come to believe that it is all pretty marginal stuff.... it might be better to keep it simple, keep the "taste memory" of your "target" in mind, and then start complicating things if you are dissatisfied with your result. Using todays highly modidied malts, that might translate into "two temperatures is certainly enough to start with, and may be one too many". Dr. Pivo Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 22:24:54 -0500 From: Tom Daniels <daniels at cerias.purdue.edu> Subject: First All Grain Today Did my first all grain batch today using my newly converted 12 gallon rectangular rubbermaid cooler for a mash tun. I used one of those screen tube setups in the cooler for the manifold. It may be beginner's luck, but I hit within a point or two of my starting gravity (based on the recipe). I was shocked. Now, I just need a nice 1/2 bbl keg to convert for a kettle and I'll be on my way to 10 gallon batches. One question, do you sanitize cooler mash tuns? Doesn't seem necessary to me as long as the mash is relatively short, but I don't know. How much sanitization work should I put into the pre-boil equipment? In closing these ramblings, I'd like to thank everyone on the list for all of their input and time. Just reading back issues and keeping up to date on the digest has made my brewing so much better. - -- Tom Daniels I guess we're all gonna be what we're gonna be, So what do you with good old boys like me? -----Don Williams Return to table of contents
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