HOMEBREW Digest #3783 Fri 09 November 2001

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  re:Industrial vs. Medical Oxygen (Bill Tobler)
  Re: Bottle conditioning vs. kegging (Steven S)
  hydroxide (Jeremy Bergsman)
  Yeast starters and stir plates (Dean Fikar)
  Re: Caustic Comments ("RJ")
  Re: Yeast Starters & stirrers (jal)
  Teeshirt Competition Final Tally! (Pat Babcock)
  Re: CF Chillers and using the water ("Drew Avis")
  Calwer Eck-Braeu (Rick)
  Chilly times ("Greg Hunter")
  RE: Wheat Aroma - Berliner weisse ("Joel Plutchak")
  Full Wort Boil For Extract ("Neal Andreae")
  Warm Beer ("Ralph Davis")
  Puzzling lager fermentation - any thoughts? (Dean Fikar)
  Re: Yeast Starters & stirrers (Demonick)
  vegan soapworks (Jeremy Bergsman)
  Trip to Belgium ("Klauss, John")
  Re: Coffee oils in Stout (Bob Paolino)
  Draft box ("Doug Marion")
  what is the best way to make a starter? ("Stephen Fiete")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 01:48:38 -0600 From: Bill Tobler <WCTobler at brazoria.net> Subject: re:Industrial vs. Medical Oxygen Stefen, I use Industrial grade from my Oxy/Acetylene rig. No problem. I got the same answer you did when I checked. Medical and Industrial usually comes from the same tank, but the medical is tested and the industrial is not. Same stuff as far as I understand. \ Bill Tobler Lake Jackson, Tx. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 05:55:39 -0500 (EST) From: Steven S <steven at 403forbidden.net> Subject: Re: Bottle conditioning vs. kegging "Crouch, Kevin E" <Crouch.Kevin at emeryworld.com> wrote some interesting remarks which parallel my observations but I'm still uncertain exactly what process is involved. I came to this idea after a recent "happening" at a local eatery. I became really obsessed with making the perfect Hoegardden clone. Its my favorite lighter brew. Sadly i've only come somewhat close. (Shockingly my brew tastes exactly like Shiners new Hefe but mine is better.) To make a short story long, I was sipping a couple of glasses of Hoe from the keg. To my horror they ran out but luckly they had it in bottle also. Whats surprising is how different they are, so it seems Kevin Crouch's experience might be right on? Steven St.Laurent ::: stevensl at mindspring.net ::: 403forbidden.net [580.2, 181.4] Rennerian ::: Lilburn (atlanta) GA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 06:23:09 -0500 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremy at bergsman.org> Subject: hydroxide While apparently there is food grade NaOH, for many chemicals used in food manufacture there is no "food grade" source. All "food grade" means is that some manufacturer (or someone down the line) is willing to say that it doesn't contain significant harmful impurities. So if having someone risk liability for their product is what you need, maybe CaOH can be used? This is the lime sold for canning. I can't believe the Na is doing much for you (and could be supplied by NaCl), nor that the small amount of Ca would hurt. - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremy at bergsman.org http://bergsman.org/jeremy "Once again we see terrorism; we see terrorists, people who don't believe in democracy, people who believe that with the destruction of buildings, with the murder of people, they can somehow achieve a political purpose." - --Colin Powell 9/11/01 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 07:13:29 -0800 From: Dean Fikar <dfikar at swbell.net> Subject: Yeast starters and stir plates Steve Jones, proud owner of a new stir plate, sez... "I realize that my initial step up is higher than the usually suggested max of 10x, but since I got such a quick start on my fermentation, I think it worked well. I don't really think that the 10x rule of thumb applies when using a stir plate. I was wondering if I might be able to shorten the times between steps. I suspect that I can drop the first stirring stage to 2 days, and the second one to 1 day." Steve, I think that you're on the right track here. I've had my stir plate for about a year now and find that not only does it grow more yeast but it does so much quicker. I never have to go more than two days per step as long as I'm keeping the starter near room temperature. In fact, a one day step up is not uncommon in my brewery. As for the ten times step-up rule, I have successfully flouted it for the last year with no problems. At the AHA NHC last summer this was discussed. I don't remember the specifics but the speaker, who uses a stir plate, also performs larger step-ups. I have been known to take yeast from a slant, inoculate a ten cc vial of wort, and later (cringe) pitch into a one liter starter directly. Maybe this isn't a such a good idea but it has worked for me so far. It goes without saying that your sanitation practices must be really good to pull this off . If I'm making larger than a 1 liter starter, which is the usual case, I will go from the ten cc vial to a 100 or 200 cc volume and then to the final volume (usually 1.5-4L). Hope this helps! Dean Fikar Ft. Worth, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 08:35:37 -0500 From: "RJ" <wortsup at metrocast.net> Subject: Re: Caustic Comments "Bob Sutton" <Bob at homebrew.com> wrote: <snip> Look for a "Reagent Grade" which meets or surpasses specifications of the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), the National Formulary (NF), the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), the European Pharmacopoeia (EP), and/or the British Pharmacopoeia (BP). So... where do you go if your local bakery won't share its inventory of food-grade lye..." Well all, aside from Bob's suggestions <snip>, you might also look into water treatment chemicals. This site, http://www.jcichemicals.com/jcipages/jcifrm.html , states that "Product meets provisions of Food Chemicals Codex, 4th Edition, upon request. Meets the provisions of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) B501-98 Standard. Certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) for the ANSI/NSF-60 Standard at a maximum use doseage of 200 mg/L." RJ <aka Olde Phenomian> 43:30:3.298N x 71:39:9.911W Lakes Region - NH Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 07:41:17 -0600 (CST) From: jal at novia.net Subject: Re: Yeast Starters & stirrers Domenick Venezia declares he chills his starters after they have fermented out to "drop the yeast into a nice cake, so the supernatant can be decanted off". This is great for disposing of the beer-like growth medium, but at this point isn't the yeast dormant and won't it require reinvigorating before pitching? Jim Larsen Omaha, NE Hundreds of miles west (and a bit south) of Mr. Renner Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 10:26:47 -0500 (EST) From: Pat Babcock <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: Teeshirt Competition Final Tally! Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... The Teeshirt Design Competition has run its course! The results, ordered by "place", are... Design G submitted by Pat Babcock 142 or 33.65 % Design F submitted by Phil Wilcox 103 or 24.41 % Design E submitted by Phil Wilcox 76 or 18.01 % Design B submitted by Kevin Bailey 53 or 12.56 % Design D submitted by Phil Wilcox 25 or 5.92 % Design A submitted by Mike Bronoski 10 or 2.37 % Design H submitted by Dan McFeeley 7 or 1.66 % Design C submitted by Ross Potter 6 or 1.42 % TOTAL voting: 422 or app 12% of our subscribers The corresponding designs can be viewed at http://hbd.org/ by selecting "teeshirt contest" from the menu. If you didn't vote, go see what you missed out on :^) With luck, teeshirts can be made available for the holiday season (I didn't say WHICH holiday...) Limited edition! These tees (and whatever else the desig gfoes onto) will only be produced until replaced by the 2003 teeshirt. Watch the website for more info as it becomes available. Special thanks to those who participated in this year's competition: to those who voted and, especially, to those who submitted their creativity! Those who submitted ideas, please email your snail-mail address to teeshirt at hbd.org - We've got something for you! And, to all prospective teeshirt designers, next year's competition voting will start earlier than this year - August 2002, to be precise. Get your conceptual engines running! teeshirt at hbd.org will accept entries from now until one week prior to the start of voting (tentatively 8/12/02). Even though we have that "becomes the property of..." legalese surrounding design concepts submitted, any non-winning design or concept submitted this year is still eligible for submission (by the same designer, mind you :^) next year, too! And, an "addition" to the rules: if the winning design is deemed "unreproducable" on teeshirt, the next design, in order of "place" will become the official design for the year, receiving duplicate notoriety and prize to the first place winner. (Should have thought of that earlier...) - -- - God bless America! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at hbd.org Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org HBD Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brew Page http://hbd.org/pbabcock [18, 92.1] Rennerian "The monster's back, isn't it?" - Kim Babcock after I emerged from my yeast lab Saturday Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 09:25:43 -0500 From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: CF Chillers and using the water Mark Tumarkin responds to Marc Sedam, who is responding to someone else (I can't keep track of all these threads...): "Yes, an immersion chiller uses more water - but that's not a problem for me. My brewery is fairly close to my garden, so I simply attach a garden hose to the chiller and water the thirsty plants with the run-off. It's water I'd be using anyhow." Here's another eco-tree-hugging-water-conservation-or-at-least-recycling tip: When the garden is frozen over (which seems like 10 months of the year around here) and I don't want to turn it into a skating rink, I collect the warm CF water in carboys and then dump it into the washing machine when doing the next load of laundry. You'd be amazed at how many gallons of water go into a single load (7.5 with my machine). Cheers! Drew Avis, Merrickville, Ontario [694.5km, 56.4] Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 06:37:22 -0800 (PST) From: Rick <ale_brewer at yahoo.com> Subject: Calwer Eck-Braeu David Edge writes: I couldn't be bothered filtering - and comparing the glorious nutmeg and apple flavours of Calwer-Eck Braeu (unfiltered) with normal German Pilsners wouldn't want to. David I couldn't agree more. On my last trip to Germany (Stuttgart) I was treated to this fantastic brew at a small restaurant. No one could give me any information on it other than it was a local brew. It seemed like an unfiltered Koelsch, but I was limited to only 0.5l because it was a business meeting. All I remember was it was very soft on the palate, had a wonderful aroma and was extremely drinkable. I'd love to try to duplicate this beer, does anyone have any more information about it? Rick Seibt ale_brewer at yahoo.com Mentor, OH [132.7 d, 109.0 b] (I once was fortunate enough to spend a night at the center of the brewing universe [0,0] as Mr. Renner was kind enough to provide a bed for a few judges for the Taste of the Great Lakes back in '91. Thanks again Jeff!). Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 09:50:09 -0500 From: "Greg Hunter" <ghunter at plimoth.org> Subject: Chilly times I have been using a counterflow chiller for the last few years. I made it out of copper tubing, 3/8"and 3/4" wrapped around a 5 gal fermentor. I utilize two pumps, one scavenged from a soda machine to pump water and the second a peristaltic pump to pump wort. The peristaltic pump was $15 plus shipping on E-bay. A great find a did a search for "peri*" and got hits with various spellings. The various discussions about excess water usage forced me to write. I use a large plastic joint compound bucket full of water and ice cubes. This fuels my chiller and one pail of water and ice will drop the temperature of my wort in under five minutes. Total water usage about three gallons, and some electricity to make the ice. I assume you could use the same technique to fuel an immersion chiller. All you need is a scrap pump. Easy to find and easy to set up. The benefit is you can cool your wort and place you want to, you aren't confined to a water source. I usually leave the brew pot on the stove and pump into my primary on the floor. Gregory F. Hunter Director of Finance Plimoth Plantation P.O. Box 1620 Plymouth, MA 02362 (508) 746-1622 (508) 746-3407 FAX [674.2, 91.5] Rennerian ghunter at plimoth.org www.plimoth.org Return to table of contents
Date: 8 Nov 2001 07:06:53 -0800 From: "Joel Plutchak" <plutchak at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: Wheat Aroma - Berliner weisse Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 15:06:53 +0000 Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed Regarding wheat aroma/flavor in Berliner Weisse, I've had (only) a couple commercial examples, a few homebrewed examples, and have brewed one pseudo sour mash weisse. I don't recall a particularly notable wheat aroma from any of them, and not a whole lot of wheat flavor. In fact, the guidelines say nothing at all about needing wheat *aroma*. Donald Lake wrote: >For better feedback, try entering a bigger competition >with possibly more experienced judges (i.e. Blue Bonnet, AHA, >Sunshine >Challenge & Dixie Cup). I would respectfully disagree that bigger competitions correlates to better judging. Some of the (IMbiasedO) worst judging of my beers has been very large competitions that apparently had to either scrape the bottom of the barrel for judges or severely overworked the judges they had. I know my palate would be numb after judging a dozen or more IPAs, lambics, barleywines, or Berliner Weiss beers. Yes, there are large competitions that do a fine job. There are also plenty of smaller competitions where the number and experience of the judges matches favorably with the number of entries. Joel Plutchak Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots Champaign Illinois Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 10:36:30 -0500 From: "Neal Andreae" <cstone at shentel.net> Subject: Full Wort Boil For Extract Okay guys here's my quandary. I've only been brewing for the last year and have done 18 successful batches. I am an extract brewer and don't have the interest/time for all grain brewing. I have a 32 quart pot that I brew in. When a recipe calls for steeping a particular grain or grains in 1or 2 gallons of water, what is the difference if I steep it in 5 or 6 gallons of water? Also, is there any benefit to boiling the entire batch of wort when you do extract beers? Most recipe's call for a 2 or three gallon initial boil and then add it to the water already in the carboy. I did a full wort boil on my last batch but have yet to try it. TIA Neal Upperville, Virginia Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 11:53:22 -0500 From: "Ralph Davis" <rdavis77 at erols.com> Subject: Warm Beer I'm sure most of you are aware of this....but for the few that aren't--the perfect beer temperature (depends a bit on the style, but usually considered around "cellar" temperature, i.e. in the 50s F) can be easily acquired, without a cellar, by putting your beer glasses in the freezer. Store the beer at room temperature, poor into the frozen glass, and shortly thereafter you have a happy medium of less than room temp, but not (shiver!) "ICE COLD" beer either. Of course some beer, particularly home brew, can spoil quickly at room temperature, so you have to be flexible--but most commercial micro-brew does just fine un-refrigerated. Only cheap beer tastes good ice cold in my opinion. As a side note I was in Germany last summer and noticed that the little hotel fridges with the over-priced stuff in them were clearly only celler temperature.... I think we Americans are the only ones who think beer SHOULD be ice cold! Of course not all of us do... I must admit the best beer I've ever had is Tupper's Hop Pocket cask conditioned from a hand pump--at about 65 F --only available at the Brew-Pub which produces it...(Old Dominion) You Brits and your warm beer have something going!!! Ralph W. Davis [6699, 91.9] Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 12:15:43 -0800 From: Dean Fikar <dfikar at swbell.net> Subject: Puzzling lager fermentation - any thoughts? I'm a little stumped by the relatively low attenuation achieved after brewing a batch of Munich dunkel recently. The original gravity was 1.060 and the final gravity a whopping 1.027. Usually this would mean that something went wrong with the yeast but I don't think that this is the case with my batch. In fact, I force fermented a 100 ml sample in the low 70's after sprinkling in half a pack of Nottingham dry yeast. There might have been an additional one or two point gravity drop at the most after several days. Here are the pertinent specifics of the batch: Brewed on: 10/12/01 Batch size: 6.5 gal. OG: 1.060 FG: 1.027 Grain bill: Carafoam 8.0 ozs. Belgian Aromatic 1 lbs. + 8.0 ozs. Moravian Munich 4 lbs. + 8.0 ozs. Belgian Munich 10 lbs. Belgian Chocolate 5.0 ozs. Yeast: Wyeast 2206 (2 qt. starter) Mash Specifics: 1.) Infused 6.25 gal. water at 170F for a 25 min. rest at 158F. 2.) Pulled 5 gal. of thick mash, heated to 212F then boiled for 30 min. Decoction then returned to main mash for a 25 min. rest at 165F. 3.) Infused 2 gal. water at 190F for a 10 min. rest at 172F. Boil time: 75 min. 1/2 tsp. Servomyces added 10 min. before knockout. Pitched yeast on 10/12/01 at 52F 10/12/01 - temp. set to 48F The fermentation seemed to proceed relatively well after getting off to a bit of a slow start. I can see two things that likely contributed to the low attenuation. First, it seems that the batches that I brew where the grain bill is dominated by Munich malt tend to be a little less attenuated than those brewed with mainly pilsner or vienna malts. Secondly, the lowest mash temperature was a relatively high 158 degrees. Obviously, one would expect relatively low attenuation. However, I would of thought that this would be somewhere in the mid to low 60's rather than mid 50's. Fortunately, the beer tasted rather good at racking today. Amazingly it is not sweet but is malty and full bodied which is what I had hoped to achieve with the high mash temperatures. Since the beer looks like it will turn out relatively well after lagering, I don't think that any heroic measures are needed at this point and I do not plan to pitch any more yeast. I am curious if any of you all-grain brewers out there have had a similar experience where your attenuation was barely more than half of the original gravity and it does not appear that the yeast pooped out. I'd be interested in any thoughts or comments. Cheers, Dean Fikar Ft. Worth, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 10:39:54 -0800 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Re: Yeast Starters & stirrers - ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Jim Larsen jal at novia.net Thu, 08 Nov 2001 07:41:17 -0600 (CST) >Domenick Venezia declares he chills his starters after they have fermented >out to "drop the yeast into a nice cake, so the supernatant can be >decanted off". This is great for disposing of the beer-like growth >medium, but at this point isn't the yeast dormant and won't it require >reinvigorating before pitching? I do what I declare! There is dormant and there is chilled. They are not necessarily one and the same. Dormancy is a state of very reduced metabolism that the yeast enter when food stores get low. They shutdown certain metabolic functions, and gorge themselves to build-up reserves to survive the coming lean time. Yeast do this routinely during brewing. When yeast drops of its own accord, they have become dormant. My guess is that chilling already dormant yeast changes little. Chilling yeast simply slows their metabolism and cellular motive functions so that they drop. This may or may not induce a metabolic change like dormancy - my guess is not. Slow chilling also induces flocculation. Whether this clumping of the yeast is due to metabolic changes or simply the result of electrostatic attraction overcoming the chill-reduced brownian motion - I do not know. In practice the issue may be irrelevant. Many have pitched with great results onto a yeast cake left over from a previous fermentation in which most certainly the yeast was dormant. In my experience when pitching onto such a yeast cake, even after chilling, the fermentation starts within an hour or two and is alarmingly rapid. My standard yeast starter practice is to ferment out, then chill for 24-48 hours. On brew day, the starter is decanted, and fresh wort from the CFC while the fermenter is filling is diverted into the starter and the yeast cake resuspended. I've never failed to have foam on the refreshed starter within an hour. Remember too, that I am an unrepentant yeast abuser, and my opinions are probably a couple of standard deviations off the mean :-) Other's opinions do differ. I don't step up my starters. I innoculate straight from plate or slant or unsmacked pack into 1700 ml of media. Yeast are hardy buggers! They have evolved in a stressfull environment of feast, famine, and weather extremes. What I do to them is tame by comparison. Domenick Venezia Venezia & Company, LLC Maker of PrimeTab (206) 782-1152 phone (206) 782-6766 fax Seattle, WA demonick at zgi dot com http://www.primetab.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 14:19:01 -0500 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremy at bergsman.org> Subject: vegan soapworks I contacted this supplier of food grade NaOH. $41 worth of NaOH seemed like a lot to me when I can buy Red Devil for a couple bucks. They are willing to sell individual 63g bottles for 7.50 plus 6.50 for shipping and handling. (I hope this doesn't bring back the free shipping thread!) - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremy at bergsman.org http://bergsman.org/jeremy "Once again we see terrorism; we see terrorists, people who don't believe in democracy, people who believe that with the destruction of buildings, with the murder of people, they can somehow achieve a political purpose." - --Colin Powell 9/11/01 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 14:28:17 -0600 From: "Klauss, John" <john.klauss at eds.com> Subject: Trip to Belgium I'll be traveling to Belgium for a few days on my way to Florence, wanting to sample some of brew and local venues. Any suggestions on stops from the audience would be most appreciated. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 16:44:25 -0600 From: Bob Paolino <nowgohaveabeer at brewingnews.com> Subject: Re: Coffee oils in Stout "Berggren, Stefan" <stefan_berggren at trekbike.com> asked: > >I am planning on brewing a coffee stout soon and would like some advice >about using coffee in the recipes. I am worried that the oil from the >coffee might ruin the lovely creamy head that I am searching for. I've brewed a coffee stout before and had no problem at all with head retention. I had the same concern about the oils, so I didn't make the coffee in the usual fashion (not that my usual method would produce sufficient volume for use in beer, or at least it would be very time consuming to make that many cups ;-). Instead I used one of those old "drip coffee" makers with the basket and paper filter under the water supply, figuring that the paper filter would absorb some of the oils. Doing that gave me a large volume of coffee quickly and, if there was a chance that oils would pose a problem, the paper removed some of them. I added the coffee to the boil rather than to fermenting beer, but still got adequate coffee flavour and aroma in the finished product. (I can't say exactly how much I used, but it was a full one of those 10- or 12- cup coffee burner pots. >Stefan Berggren from Madison, WI Yah, yah, me too [288.2, 281.6] Stop by and visit us at a Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild meeting sometime. Now go have a beer, Bob Paolino Columnist, Great Lakes Brewing News Member, North American Guild of Beer Writers Quill and Tankard Awards winner: 2001--Culture Feature (Gold), 2000--Travel Feature (Silver) Great Lakes Brewing News advertising information: 800.474.7291 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 17:02:54 -0700 From: "Doug Marion" <mariondoug at hotmail.com> Subject: Draft box I'm wondering about building a draft box with a 48qt cooler. I'm curious if I can build a two handle draft box cheaper by using vinyl tubing inside instead of stainless steel or copper coils. I know I can buy draft boxes ready made. They're expensive. I can also buy the stainless coils to build my own. Also expensive. Understanding that the stainless or copper tubing is used because of its superior heat conductivity, and therefore much more efficient at cooling beer flowing through it, and vinyl tubing is a poor conductor of heat respectively, would it still work to use vinyl tubing coiled inside the cooler with ice inside to cool the beer effectively? The draft box could be built a lot cheaper that way. Does anyone have any experience trying to use vinyl? How much tubing would you need inside for each tap to make it cool effectively? Yea, I know. Its all scientific. What temperature is the beer in the keg starting out at? What is the serving temp that I'm shooting for? It all matters I know. The kegged beer would obviously start cold or cool and warm up as the day goes on. You know... pretty standard stuff. Just wondering if anyones experienced building one this way and if it works or not. Thanks Cheers, Doug Marion Meridian Idaho Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 21:24:29 -0600 From: "Stephen Fiete" <sfiete at hotmail.com> Subject: what is the best way to make a starter? I have been doing some reading, and would like some opinions. One book says that wort should be sterilized in a pressure cooker before putting yeast in. The Korzonas book says that the author simply boils wort in an erlenmeyer flask, with a glass airlock attached. This sanitizes the wort, airlock, and fills the airlock with sanitized water all at once. This sounds appealing, but I would think that as the flask cools it suck back outside air, which would bring in contamination. I am planning to use the wort for a starter immediately after making it (and cooling of course). Anyone have a favorite method for doing this? If so, why is your method best for you? Thanks, Steve Fiete Return to table of contents
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