HOMEBREW Digest #3661 Sat 16 June 2001

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  Re: Polder type thermometers ("RJ")
  Fermentation Vessels great debate (Gary M Chumney)
  Brewing Courses ("Hedglin, Nils A")
  RIMS ("2brewers4u")
  Country Wine books, ball valves, oxygen doo-dads ("elvira toews")
  what's a billycart? ("Thomas D. Hamann")
  raising my efficiency (Jeffrey Senn)
  Re: peristaltic pumps ("RJ")
  Re: Low efficiency blues ("RJ")
  Digital Temperature Controllers (Chad Clancy)
  Ball Valve Cleaning ("Dennis Collins")
  RE: Oxygenation via hydrogen peroxide (Brian Lundeen)
  Old Book Source ("Eric Ahrendt")
  Anyone try the ShurFlo pump? ("2brewers4u")

* * 2001 AHA NHC - 2001: A Beer Odyssey, Los Angeles, CA * June 20th-23rd See http://www.beerodyssey.com for more * information. Wear an HBD ID Badge to wear to the gig! * http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/shopping * * Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! * Send articles for __publication_only__ to post@hbd.org If your e-mail account is being deleted, please unsubscribe first!! To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE send an e-mail message with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to request@hbd.org FROM THE E-MAIL ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!!** IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, you cannot subscribe to the digest as we canoot reach you. We will not correct your address for the automation - that's your job. The HBD is a copyrighted document. The compilation is copyright HBD.ORG. Individual postings are copyright by their authors. ASK before reproducing and you'll rarely have trouble. Digest content cannot be reproduced by any means for sale or profit. More information is available by sending the word "info" to req at hbd.org. JANITOR on duty: Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen (janitor@hbd.org)
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 15:49:08 -0400 From: "RJ" <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: Re: Polder type thermometers "Pete Calinski" <pjcalinski at adelphia.net> wrote: "Jim Clement asked about experiences with the Polder type thermometers. I have one and use it because of its alarm feature and timer. However, I am very careful that only the tip gets wet. If the junction of the probe and the braided wire gets wet, the probe will start to "wander" off in temperature. I tried to seal the junction with a food grade silicon sealant but that doesn't work. I have had limited success at drying it out by putting he probe in the oven and watching the readout until it starts to make sense. A few years ago, there was quite a discussion in the HBD about this. I recommend you search the archives. I seem to remember that some people tried to cover the braid and junction with Teflon shrink tubing but that fails after a time. I don't think anyone came up with a better solution." Try getting yourself some small diameter copper tubing and sealing the immersion end with 100% tin solder. Insert the probe (braid and all) into this... and calibrate using a pot of Boiling water. If you like the setup, you can make it more permanent by using silicone caulking or 5-minute epoxy at the hand-end. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 16:23:01 -0400 From: Gary M Chumney <garychumney at juno.com> Subject: Fermentation Vessels great debate After reading the posts about the great h/w debate and following the discussions; I have observed the following in my 6.5 gallon carboy. The circulation pattern flows from the lowest point of the carboy which happens to be a circular pattern just inside the bottom of the carboy approximately 1 1/2 inch from the outer wall. This circular pattern would indicate that this is where most of the rising carbon dioxide is coming from. Watching this pattern from the past three beers that I have made indicate to me there is something to the cc type fermenter having an advantage over not only a carboy but also a corny keg. Having watched the activity with great interest since the beginning of the discussion I have formed the following conclusions. The circular pattern from the carboy will leave areas in the middle of the wort to slowly be moved by the currents of the yeast once the very active fermentation is over. The Corny keg will inprove this action somewhat as most of the activity will come from the lowest portion of the fermenter, but it is a gradual slope that bottoms out rapidly. A carboy that is inverted with the Fermentap system would be better as it has an area that will concentrate the yeast, but it also suffers from the gradual slope of the shoulders. A conical fermenter has a large surface area on top that allows more of the wort to be exposed to air (read oxygen) as compared to the other systems. A conical has the slope of the cone that allows the yeast to concentrate in the bottom of the neck. At this point the yeast activity causes a strong upward current in a smaller area, which in turns causes a higher rate of wort flow through out the fermenter. A faster liquid flow through out the fermenter will expose more of the sugars to the active yeast in a shorter amount of time. This would mean faster growth of the yeast, shorter lag times and faster fermentation of the wort into beer. The shallow wide fermentation vessels could have a fast and good fermentation if there is some type of a depth change in the center of the fermentation vessel but to be practical I really don't see the advantage to them other than the larger surface area exposed to air to increase the uptake of oxygen in the beginning of fermentation. Remember that it is just my observations that are in place here and I have used different types of fermenters but now I only have a choice between the carboy or a plastic bucket. Gary Chumney Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 14:22:26 -0700 From: "Hedglin, Nils A" <nils.a.hedglin at intel.com> Subject: Brewing Courses Hi, I've just passed my 7 year annivesary at Intel, so I'm now eligible for a 2-month paid sabbatical. I'm thinking about taking a brewing course during that time, so I was wondering what different brewing school were around. Being from Sacramento, CA, I know UC, Davis has an extensive course, but it's longer than 2 months. I also know there's one in Woodland, CA, but I haven't been able to track it down yet. I also know of Siebel in Chicago, but I'm not sure I want to go there during the summer, nor winter. What other courses are offered around the country? I've also seen some adverts in the brewing magazines about 3 week courses in England. Has anyone taken one of those? Thanks, Nils Hedglin Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 20:11:04 -0500 From: "2brewers4u" <2brewers4u at home.com> Subject: RIMS I have been spending a lot of time creating a RIMS website. The "do-it-yourselfer" site is nearly complete. I have added sources for parts and diagrams. Just wondering....is there any folks that would like to see this type of web site???? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 22:05:31 -0500 From: "elvira toews" <etoews1 at home.com> Subject: Country Wine books, ball valves, oxygen doo-dads For country wine culture, the Foxfire collection is priceless. I read it aloud to myself with my best attempt at a Virginia mountain accent until I am too helpless with laughter to continue. "...jest fer medicinal purposes, of course..." I have always wondered about what people were doing about sanitizing the drain valves on their CC fermenters. As Glen mentioned, a 3-way ball valve is probably the best approach, and he is right they cost a lot extra. Jay's idea about drilling a hole or two to allow the flushing of the cavity is commercial practice for biotech industry sterilizable ball valves, and doing it yourself is probably the only way to get one for under $800. The standard for sanitary valving is a diaphragm valve. Also yours for a mere $500. The more "industrial" versions are cheaper, and are usually in the configuration known as a pinch valve, which is essentially a piece of hose with a clamp on it. I wonder why more homebrewers don't just use that. Todd's "oxygen filter" wouldn't be a flow restrictor, would it? Apparently shutting off a high flow of oxygen suddenly is like water hammer, but with burning metal parts; some shock wave phenomenon, I suppose. Leads me to think that a safety-conscious supplier might have just designed in a maximum safe flow rate. Cheers, back at my own email soon, Sean Richens srichens at sprint.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 03:14:40 +0930 From: "Thomas D. Hamann" <tdhamann at senet.com.au> Subject: what's a billycart? what's a billycart? that's strine for go-cart or soapbox, an unmotorised home built 4-wheeler! If I win I'll send you 2 bottles of my BB 2001 CAP, howzat for a deal!!!! Thomas (ruelps) At 12:12 15/06/01 -0400, you wrote: >Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 12:02:41 -0400 >From: Phil Wilcox <pjwilcox at cmsenergy.com> >Subject: International Brewing > >Cherio! > >to all the rabble rouser's down under, here is an off topic question for >ya. My 2 year old daughter has a video tape produced by the Melborne >based group "The Wiggles." On the tape a 5 or 6 year old refers to going >on holiday and building a "billycart" with his dad. Just what exactly is >a billycart? >For the winning answer I will send you 2 bottles of my Big Brew 2001 >Classic American Pilsner. This beer has just dropped bright and is >fantastic. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 01:06:31 -0700 (PDT) From: Jeffrey Senn <sbcabrewer at yahoo.com> Subject: raising my efficiency I finally got my all-grain brewing system set up. It consists of a sparge tank made out of a converted igloo picnic cooler (the cylindrical kind), the sparge arm is a cross-shaped pvc thing with small holes drilled in it at regular intervals of a cm or so, the mash tun is a rectangular cooler with a pvc draining lattice with slots in it, my brew pot is a large 17-gallons or so and my propane burner is an old outdoor cooker that's definitely adequate to boil even 10-gallon batches. I started brew day by preheating my mashtun with 180 degree water and emptying it. I was using this recipe for a stout: 7.5# british pale 8oz. crystal 60L 6oz. roasted barley -I heated 2gallons & 1/2qt. H20 to 175F -this mashed in to around 154F -I let the mash sit for 90minutes, stirring every 30 -meanwhile I heated 4gallons of sparge water to 171F -I recirculated for ten or fifteen minutes till their weren't chunks in the wort anymore -I ran off slowly for ten or fifteen minutes -I began the sparge, keeping the water level about 1 inch above the grain taking 45 minutes total -I collected around 5 and a little more gallons of wort -My big brewpot reduces quickly and I was left with around 4 gallons of wort -This four gallons was around my target for 5gallons - 1.044 -I didn't dilute it at all because I didn't want to come in under target I've calculated my efficiency to be around 55% which is pretty low. I've described my equipment and process in hope that someone can give me some pointers to get it up. I'm shooting for 65% at least. I'm using medium soft water, I don't know the PH, but will improving my water help? I have B3 mill my grain for me so I assume they do a good job, and it looks okay. My sparge does seem to "channel" a bit. I've noticed that when it starts to run light agitating it a bit darkens the runoff. Should I try using a diferent base male like a domestic 2-row or something, will this help at all? Anything that anyone can come up with will help greatly and please - respond publicly so all can benefit. Jeff Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 06:49:09 -0400 From: "RJ" <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: Re: peristaltic pumps "Gary Smith" <mandolinist at interlync.com> wrote: |"I'm looking for a peristaltic pump that does greater than 2 litres/min |& is cheap enough. I've tried the surplus places, found one but they |sold it the day I called. Tried the local hospitals & labs with no |luck. I found one that is 25 years old but they wanted too much for |it & there's no replacement parts available. |Any good suggestions where to look would be appreciated & feel |free to email me directly." You might try http://www.labx.com They offer many new as well as used items, some vendors sell outright, while others auction their wares and equipment.... They also offer some of the lowest prices I've ever seen on lab glassware... Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 07:02:54 -0400 From: "RJ" <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: Re: Low efficiency blues Hop_Head at webtv.net wrote: "I recently took the plunge into all grain brewing by building a two tiered recirculating system. The system uses three sanke kegs. The mash tun uses a "Sabco" false bottom. My efficiency numbers, I feel, are low. 55-59%. This is the same if I do a 5 or 10 gallon batch. I sparge slowly (at least 1 hour) I always have a significant amount of runoff left over (3-5 gallons) after sparging to the required volume. I don't know if this has anything to do with it or not...." I'll answer this with a question... What do you do with the left over 3 - 5 gallons????? My guess is that you just need to include the left over... I generally do multi-step infusions and quite often boil 8-9 gallons to get my final 5-1/2 gallons (that extra 1/2 gallon is generally lost to cold break).... I know I'll probably get flamed on this, but I could never understand these recipes that call out 5-1/2 gallon starting point! My boils are vigorous to say the least. Generally 90 min. for a standard strength brew (PS: I use a 200k BTU cajun cooker, with a flame spreader). Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 06:03:03 -0700 (PDT) From: Chad Clancy <chadclancy at yahoo.com> Subject: Digital Temperature Controllers Dan Temple writes: - -------------------------- I've been looking for a "total solution" to fermentation/lagering/serving temperature measurement and control, and all I could find was the usual $20 indoor/outdoor thermometer, or - neat - a $50 refrigerator controller (from e.g. St. Patrick's of Texas). What I want in addition is the ability to control a wort-warmer, to keep my Ales fermenting nicely in the winter months, plus ability to record maximum/minimum temps reached. Haven't seen anything suitable, so, I'm building my own! Once it works, I'll post the design.. Dan - ------------------------- I don't know if its something Dan's looked into already but I have been using one of the Ranco digital electronic temperature controllers to control refrigerator temps for my fermentation, lagering and serving. For the most part it does what Dan wants. The possible exception is the recording min/max temps. However, it does have a user selectable differential that allows the user to set the desired temperature range to control cycling of the compressor. My experience has been that whatever range you select is what you get. The single-stage Ranco models can be used in either heating or cooling modes through a selection at the control keypad. To use the heating mode, one would plug in a heating device placed in the refrigerator/freezer and set the controller appropriately. The two-stage Ranco models are terrific because there are two independently controllable relays each of which can be set to heating or cooling mode. With these, you can attach the fridge into the relay programmed for cooling and the heater into the relay for heating. Of course when you program it, you'll want to have a small "dead space" in which neither the heater nor the compressor is running. Another neat application for these things is to use them for a recirculating mash setup with a coil in the HLT (HERMES). Morebeer.com uses this type of setup in their SMART mashing systems. The controller is hooked to the pump that cycles the wort through the HLT coil to step up temperatures. I bought a bunch of these (more than I needed) so now I'm having to sell off the extras in the HBD fleamarket. For those interested, here are the links to the ads for more info. http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.cgi (See the section labeled "Brewery Items for Sale"). If you can build one of these (or something better) Dan, go ahead and go for it - I too get a lot of satisfaction out of designing and building my own brewing gadgets as do many others who frequent this forum. I don't want to dissuade you from a potentially interesting project. If you do go ahead with it, please do post your design and comments on how well it works. I'm looking forward to it. Chad Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 09:07:08 -0400 From: "Dennis Collins" <dcollins at drain-all.com> Subject: Ball Valve Cleaning Lately I've been reading posts on cleaning ball valves. Take it from me, cleaning ball valves is a pain in the a$$. Ball valves that most homebrewers use are of two types - two piece and three piece. The two piece valves consist of two halves with the ball, ball seats, and stem all put inside and then the pieces are screwed together. They are NOT meant to be taken apart. Granted, I know people have done this, but the makers of the valves truly meant for them never to come apart. The three piece design consists of three pieces (duh) with the same components inside as the two piece, but the pieces are held together by four tie rod bolts on the outside. These were definitely meant to be taken apart. The tie rod design makes it fairly easy to do this, but it is usually to replace the worn Teflon seats and not for regular cleaning. BTW, Teflon seats should last 800,000 to 1,500,000 cycles (ymmv) before they wear out; that's a lot of beer. For beer wort, or yeast slurry, I don't think it is necessary to take the ball valve apart to clean it. The portion of the valve that stuff gets trapped in is the cavity around the ball and behind the Teflon seats. This area can be cleaned the same way it got dirty. It got dirty when the ball was in-between the full open and full closed position, allowing liquid to get into that area, then trapping it there when the valve is in the full open or full closed position. Simply remove the handle of the valve and use a wrench to turn the packing stem. Next put very hot water (boiling preferably) through the valve and while the boiling water is flowing, turn the packing stem 45 degrees (instead of the full 90) in one direction, then turn it in the other direction to the opposite 45 degree mark. Repeat several times while the boiling water is flowing. This will flow boiling water around that trapped area and wash out any nasties that are lurking there. After about 10-15 minutes of this, the area around the ball should be sufficiently flushed out. You can get sanitizer into this area the same way. I can hear the next comments already...."When I've taken the valve apart there are stalactites in there and there's no way that boiling water will wash that out!". Well, why didn't you flush out the valve after you finished using it? Using the method described above should sufficiently wash out a valve after use so that you should never have to take it apart. If you bought a 3 piece valve so you could clean it out, try this method for a few batches, then take it apart and see if it worked. There's already enough stuff to clean in homebrewing without having to take the valves apart too. Dennis Collins Knoxville, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 13:15:57 -0500 From: Brian Lundeen <blundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: RE: Oxygenation via hydrogen peroxide Bret Morrow writes: > As a pharmacist and PhD pharmacologist, the idea of putting hydrogen > peroxide into your wort to supply oxygen for the yeast is a > pretty bad one. > Some of these yeast cells that you are > trying to help > will be damaged and killed by the oxygen. Secondly any H2O2 left in the wort > will be consumed > by you, the drinker. These are both worthwhile considerations in this matter, but I still think Marc has the germ of a good idea, it's just a matter of working out the details to do it in a safe manner and, also important, seeing if it is cost effective. Here are some of the questions I would like to see someone with a chemistry background answer: I don't think I want to work with pure hydrogen peroxide (if I can even buy it) nor would I want to use the weak solutions we use for treating our boo-boos. What would be a reasonable concentration for meeting our needs? This ties into question 2, how much hydrogen peroxide do we need to saturate the wort with oxygen, and what would it cost? (Yea, I know, that's two questions, call them 2a and 2-2). It seems to me that if we put in an appropriate amount, there should not be any problem with splitting off all those nasty extra O's and leaving behind only water. This ties into question 3, how long will the decomposition process take, given typical wort pH levels? If there is a danger to yeast during this process, waiting until after it is finished to pitch should address that problem. One big advantage I'm hoping to see in this is that it will offer a significant time saving over blowing air in with my little aquarium pump. (Sorry, I'm not comfortable having an oxygen tank in my house. I just won't go that route). This ties into question 4 (I'm just having too much fun with this now to stop), how much heat will this process generate? There's no time saving advantage if you have to spend additional time cooling the wort to compensate for the heat introduced with the oxygen. If someone can provide us with answers to these questions, then we just have to wait for Marc to try it and report back to us. On a totally separate topic, can someone please let me know when the fermenter geometry debate pushes the Clinitest debate out of first place on the Official HBD Top 10 Contentious Topics list? I want to make sure I salute the occasion in an appropriate manner. ;-) Cheers Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 17:56:37 -0400 From: "Eric Ahrendt" <rock67 at peoplepc.com> Subject: Old Book Source Not sure how many HBD'ers are familiar with this resource so I thought I'd mention it. www.alibris.com is an online reseller of used books. I think it is more of a cooperative or consignment store than it is a big warehouse full of mouldy books. In any event, most of the books mentioned here lately can be found there. All available copies of a title are described in detail, allowing you to spend as your budget allows. You will almost certainly pay more than you would at a flea market, but you might spend a lifetime looking for a particular title otherwise. Old books. Just what I need....another hobby. Eric Ahrendt Oak and Iron Brewery "Where the hops are finally growing." Fremont, OH, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 22:11:10 -0500 From: "2brewers4u" <2brewers4u at home.com> Subject: Anyone try the ShurFlo pump? I have tried several pumps. Look, not to be harsh, spend the time and go to movingbrews.com. This guy has all of the answers. Give him your situation, he has a solution. I have a march pump, no problems now. Movingbrews was a tremendous help. Trust me, I have spent twice as much $$$$ trying to do things with no data to back up my actions....live and learn I guess. Return to table of contents
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