HOMEBREW Digest #3798 Tue 27 November 2001

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  RE: Giving your mash kettle a BJ (John Wilkinson)
  Turkey Fryers, Saffron, and Mead Questions ("Greenly, Jeff")
  Re: Re: Turkey cookers and a question ("RJ")
  Re: RE:Gruit, herbs used in beer ("RJ")
  Re: J type thermal couples ("RJ")
  RE: J type thermal couples (Jay\) Reeves" <jay666 at bellsouth.net>
  re: J type thermal couples (John Schnupp)
  Subject: Re:  CPBF ("Micah Millspaw")
  Turkey Cookers ("The Clark's")
  Re: Nitro Faucets (Joel Plutchak)
  Re: Quick and Easy Guinness-style head (Joel Plutchak)
  widgets and tap lines and maize, oh my! (Marc Sedam)
  pH Measurements ("Houseman, David L")
  Re: Brew shop help ("Ken Taborek")
  SS Screen (D Perry)
  Corn flour for CAP? ("Drew Avis")
  Gruit (John Clark)
  Re: Double Pitching Yeast for a Tripel ("Jim Cave")
  Beer in Sweden - Spendrups ("Lonzo C McLaughlin")
  RE: J type thermocouples (Bill Tobler)
  MCAB Update ("Louis Bonham")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 23:59:43 -0600 From: John Wilkinson <jwilkinson at goquest.com> Subject: RE: Giving your mash kettle a BJ >Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 10:45:19 -0500 >From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at mediaone.net> >Subject: Giving your mash kettle a BJ > >Brewers > >A friend of mine, Bill Holmes, brewed with me a couple of weeks ago >and we had a hop flower (I guess) blocking the outlet hose when we >were recirculating the chilled wort. I was going to do the old trick >and blow on it, but he suggested an obvious alternative that somehow >hadn't occurred to me - use the CO2 tank. I turned the pressure way >down to barely a hiss, butted the two hoses together, and Hey Presto! > - no block. Much easier, more sanitary, no burnt lips, and much more >power available if necessary. > >This should have an additional advantage in the case of a stuck mash > - no oxygen to oxidize hot mash. > >Even an old dog can learn new tricks. Every day, hopefully. > >Jeff Jeff, I have had a similar problem from time to time and use CO2, as you did. In my case, I sometimes get a clogged run off from the kettle. I take a CO2 bottle and put the hose near the outlet of the spigot on the kettle and turn up the pressure until it clears the blockage. I don't actually touch the CO2 hose to the spigot so I don't need to sanitize it. The force of the CO2 from the hose is enough to blow through the spigot and clear the block. John in Palestine, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 04:42:43 -0500 From: "Greenly, Jeff" <greenlyj at rcbhsc.wvu.edu> Subject: Turkey Fryers, Saffron, and Mead Questions Hello fellow brewers, As you can see, I am darting from topic to topic this morning as I sit bored in my cubicle. First off, I don't know if it was a regional thing, but my local Wal-Mart (a store I normally despise, but then, I digress) has a Sunbeam-brand, made-in-America, 1-each Turkey Fryer, complete with 30 qt aluminium kettle, 110K LPG burner and all the fixin's for $ 39.95, out the door. I just had to have one, so I bought it and took it home. Of course, being the guy that I am, I took the thing outside on the deck to "fahr it up" and see what happened, while SWMBO stood back at a safe distance with fire extinguisher in hand to save me when (not if) I blew myself up. I filled the kettle with water, coated the outside with soap to save on cleaning time, and let'er rip! It boiled the water in under 10 minutes, and this with no lid on and 40F temperatures out on the deck. I really dig this thing! But SWMBO says no beer brewing with HER turkey fryer, so I'll have to go get one for myself. <sigh> Next thought. Has anyone ever experimented with saffron in beer? I recently received over an OUNCE of saffron as a gift from a friend stationed overseas, and I would like to try some in beer. If anyone has had experience using this extra-ordinarily expensive spice, I would appreciate your advice, as I do not want to overdo or waste it.. Thought last... I have recently come into possession of several pounds of wildflower honey, and I would like to make a mead with it. I understand the basics of making it, but I am not certain of my fermenting temps. Could someone please advise me concerning the fermenting and bottling of mead? Jeff Morgantown, WV (Rennarian coordinates unknown) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 05:21:36 -0500 From: "RJ" <wortsup at metrocast.net> Subject: Re: Re: Turkey cookers and a question Steve Bruns <sdbruns at locl.net> wrote: <snip> "I recently bought one of the "Tap-a-Draft" minikeg set-ups from Williams Brewing. The instructions that came with it address attaching the dispenser/CO2 only. Williams catalog says you can't force carbonate with this set up while another catalog (St. Pat's?? - I can't remember) says that you can force carbonate one mini keg since the regulator is preset for 15# while the others cask condition using 1/2 c. priming sugar in the whole batch." "I realize this "tap-a-draft" system is new but I was wondering if any list members have any thoughts/experience concerning this inexpensive ($50) kegging system.. " Steve, All I can say is that the "tap-a-draft" system is like an ink-jet printer, the main unit is cheap but the replacement cartridge$ will kill you. If you've got the space, you're wasting your dough on anything else but the real thing. I had a mini-keg system when I first started brewing, in one year, I spent more on that, than in 3 years on a real CO2 system and I no longer have to wait a week or two for the brew to prime. Ciao, RJ 43:30:3.298N x 71:39:9.911W Lakes Region of NH Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 05:29:34 -0500 From: "RJ" <wortsup at metrocast.net> Subject: Re: RE:Gruit, herbs used in beer From: "Tim R" <par8head at earthlink.net> <snip> "I have two bags of heather awaiting a Scotch Ale recipe. I just can't remember where I bought them. All my herbs are made by "Brewer's Garden" and I know they sell heather. I thought I bought them at Hop Tech, but can't find them on-line now. I'm sure someone here can help." "Also, anyone have any recipe recommendations for a good "Heather Ale?"" Tim, Thanks for the tip (no pun intended). As for an ale recipe... read on: http://www.heatherale.co.uk/html/fraoch/recipe.html Ciao, RJ 43:30:3.298N x 71:39:9.911W Lakes Region of NH Timmy par8head at earthlink.net AIM: par8head5 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 06:37:05 -0500 From: "RJ" <wortsup at metrocast.net> Subject: Re: J type thermal couples From: Ralph Link <ralphl at shaw.ca> "I recently obtained a 10 channel Fluke digital thermometer. It uses the J type thermal couple. I have been advised that it is simple and cheap to make your on thermal couple with the J type wire. We plan to use the unit with several probes in the mask and hot liquor tank to monitor the temps during the brewing day. Does anyone have any opinions on the introduction of these probes into the mash or hot liquor tank? Thanks in advance for any opinions offered." Ralph, This link should help answer your questions: http://www.omega.com/techref/themointro.html These folks have website/stores worldwide, generally are fast on delivery and reasonably priced... Have worked with them on various (work related) issues over the years. They also provide substantial informational-type books & charts that they will send you for free. My recommendation would be to use a 1/8" dia. grounded stainless steel sheathed probe. Ciao, RJ 43:30:3.298N x 71:39:9.911W Lakes Region of NH Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 06:22:56 -0600 From: "James \(Jay\) Reeves" <jay666 at bellsouth.net> Subject: RE: J type thermal couples > Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 21:56:19 -0600 > From: Ralph Link <ralphl at shaw.ca> > Subject: J type thermal couples > > I recently obtained a 10 channel Fluke digital thermometer. It uses the J > type thermal couple. I have been advised that it is simple and cheap to > make your on thermal couple with the J type wire. We plan to use the unit > with several probes in the mask and hot liquor tank to monitor the temps > during the brewing day. Does anyone have any opinions on the introduction > of these probes into the mash or hot liquor tank? Thanks in > advance for any > opinions offered. I use a Fluke multichannel digital thermometer with J-type thermocouple probes attached to a few of the channels. In the mash tun & hot liquor tank (both SS kegs), I have a type of a "thermowell" attached in the sides below the liquid levels - this is simply a small brass NPT fitting that has an orifice with some sort of a silicon or rubber diaphragm inside that the probe can be inserted through and allow it to come in direct contact with the liquid, but when the probe is removed, it doesn't allow the liquid to come out. Go to www.omega.com - they have a lot of cool toys. I did a quick search of Omega and couldn't find exactly what I have, so they may not really be called a thermowell, or they may not even have them anymore. I do remember that I had a tough time finding them in the catalog I had. If you can't find it either, try calling them and describing this to the sales person - they'll probably know what it is. It's been several years since I bought the stuff, but seems the thermowells were around $12 each and the probes were around $18. I also use one on the output of my CFC, and in the boiling kettle - I know, you don't need one there, but it's sure nice to have the ability to be doing something else and glance over to see if the kettle is coming close to the boil so I don't have an accident. -Jay Reeves Huntsville, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 04:55:17 -0800 (PST) From: John Schnupp <johnschnupp at yahoo.com> Subject: re: J type thermal couples Ralph, >Does anyone have any opinions on the introduction >of these probes into the mash or hot liquor tank? K-type is chromel-alumel (Cr-Al). J-type is iron-constantan (Fe-Cu/Ni). Just nowing Fe is one of the wires makes me want to stay away from it. OTOH, if the wire is insulated, the amount of Fe exposed when you make a junction should be minimal. I use K-type because that is what I have access to. Never had any problems. ===== John Schnupp, N3CNL ??? Hombrewery [560.2, 68.6] Rennerian Georgia, VT 95 XLH 1200, Horse with no Name Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 07:34:44 -0600 From: "Micah Millspaw" <MMillspa at silganmfg.com> Subject: Subject: Re: CPBF Subject: Re: CPBF >"steve lane" <tbirdusa at hotmail.com> writes that he is doing >everything right with his counter pressure bottle filler, but he >still gets foam, then writes: >>I have the keg set at serving pressure and the gas at around 8 psi. Is my >>beer hose too long? It is 1/4 ID flexible clear tubing. Is the beer really cold? 40F or less, that will help with foaming . I use 8 feet of 3/16 diametre line from the keg to the filler. The gas line is 'Tee-d' at the keg so the that the bottle filler and the keg have equal pressures I typically bottle at 15- 18 psi with out any significant problems. Micah Millspaw - brewer at large Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 08:39:49 -0500 From: "The Clark's" <rtclark at citynet.net> Subject: Turkey Cookers I believe Sam's Club has a stainless steel turkey frier. Don't remember the price though. My concern would be the thin metal bottom may allow caramelization of the sugars. Tom Clark Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 08:33:56 -0600 (CST) From: Joel Plutchak <plutchak at uiuc.edu> Subject: Re: Nitro Faucets In HBD #3795, Drew Beechum wrote: >First.. the cheapest faucet can be had for right around ~$45, >but then you'll need all the usual stuff to adapt it to a corny, >or just a $1 faucet wrench to place in a tower. Coincidentally, I shopped around for a "stout faucet" very recently. I found the same thing Drew apparently did-- some homebrew shops will cheerfully sell you a "reconditioned" faucet (don't let 'em snow you, that means "used" ;-) for $100. A bit of shopping will get you a brand spanking new faucet (in chrome or brass) for 1/2 to 2/3 that price. (I have nothing against shops making a profit but that seems more like highway robbery.) >...there's very little like pouring out a nice glass of nitro'd >stout straight from the faucet. Agreed. Had some Boulevard Stout (Kansas City MO) here for a tailgate Thanksgiving Day compliments of the brewery and a friend. It was quite nice. Joel Plutchak Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots Champaign IL Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 08:38:47 -0600 (CST) From: Joel Plutchak <plutchak at uiuc.edu> Subject: Re: Quick and Easy Guinness-style head In HBD #3795 Jeff Renner wrote: >Long time readers will remember that I introduced this some >years ago to HBD (I think I thought it up, but a British brewer >said that Guinness was selling their bottles with syringes for >a short time some years ago, pre-Widget. That would be more than ten years ago, maybe more like 15. I still have one of those stubby bottles and the plastic syringe thingie sitting on one of my brew shelves. I oughta put a photograph of it on the web for future reference. Joel Plutchak Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots Champaign IL Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 09:44:33 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: widgets and tap lines and maize, oh my! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! My brewing setup doubled as a turkey (and duck) fryer on Thursday...now I've just spent the last few days cleaning the pot religiously so I don't make a duckles instead of a dunkles. First soap, then Brillo, then soap, then PBW (to remove soap residue and replenish the oxide coating on the stainless), then boiling water. Oh it's clean all right! Widgets... Guinness has gone through several designs of the widget over the past few years, all of which are patented or patent pending. Search the USPTO website (http://www.uspto.gov) for "Guinness" under the "assignee name" field and you'll get three issued US Patents--5,863,577, 5,514,393, and 5,481,847--the last of which is for the widget itself and a method of inserting it in the package. If you can get through the boring patent language it will tell you EXACTLY how they do it. I was wondering if any homebrew bottled in an empty Guinness widget bottle would have a similar cascading action on pouring. No beer should enter the widget...the physics of why it works are still the same...no reason it shouldn't work. Maybe I'll buy one and try it. Tap lines... Someone else found the magic gunk hiding in their taplines as well. I'm not religious about cleaning my lines at all, but every now and again (esp. when I'm close to running out of beer) I will do an all-out assault on my kegs and lines. Everything gets cleaned with hot PBW, rinsed with near-boiling water, and sanitized with Star-San (NAYYY). Made a little "jumper" hose out of flare fittings which makes transfer between kegs easy, and results in the kegs being sanitized and ready for beer at the end. I will also suggest to people who do not have check valves in their gas lines (if you don't know what I'm talking about you don't have them) to beeriodically clean all gas lines as well. I had an unknown but wicked growth my gas lines earlier this year. Once the lines were changed (I decided to change them and THEN regularly clean them) all of my beers "perked up" and tasted much cleaner. Especially important if you force carbonate your beers. Corn (some call it maize)... Having once upon a time worked at a HB shop, I can assure you that fresh flaked maize does taste nearly identical to polenta in a CAP. I'm sure there's something magical going on when boiling the maize in terms of flavor components, but if I know the flaked maize is fresh then I'll just drop an additional 1/4lb of Victory/Special Roast/Aromatic/Biscuit malt in the grist and save an extra hour of work. But Dave is right--making a CAP with polenta then drinking it while eating the same polenta cooked and smothered in fresh vegetable ragout is a small part of heaven. Enjoy all! I'll be brewing up a split batch of Saison/Dubbel this week. Brewing rules. Cheers! - -- Marc Sedam Chapel Hill, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 09:45:20 -0600 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: pH Measurements I have had and used a pH meter, primarily to determine when to stop sparging. The problem was keeping it in calibration since I didn't brew but once a month or so. Eventually it stopped working. I did buy and now use colorpHast 4.0-7.0 strips. These seem to be quite accurate. However, since I am measuring wort as it is flowing from my mash/lauter tun to the kettle, I'm not immersing the strip in wort for 1-10min as recommended. So perhaps the accuracy is in question. Are there other, recommended, strips that read more instantly? I do have some of the cheap paper strips but understand that they are not all that accurate. Do the lab experts on HBD recommend anything other than the cheap papers, colorpHast or meters? Dave Houseman SE PA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 12:50:02 -0500 From: "Ken Taborek" <ken.taborek at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Brew shop help > Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 09:51:53 -0500 > From: "redbeard47.ny" <redbeard47.ny at netzero.net> > Subject: Brew shop help > > Out of lurk mode: > Does anyone know of a brew shop in the Wash DC, Alexandria, or > Annapolis area? Going to be visiting and might as well pick up some > supplies and save the shipping if possible. Also worried about ordering > carboys via mail. Bob Bob, For brick & mortar stores, you can try: Maryland Homebrew (www.mdhb.com) in Columbia, Maryland; The Weekend Brewer (www.weekendbrewer.com) in Chester, VA; Cheers, Ken Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 10:36:35 -0800 From: D Perry <daperry75 at shaw.ca> Subject: SS Screen Does anybody know where I can get a stainless screen like the one used in Dan's He-Man RIMS, by Dan Schultz. It is just a ss screen that fits above the actual drainage port. You can check it out at: http://www.users.qwest.net/~d2schultz/ Thanks Dave PG, BC Canada [1937.5, 308] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 14:24:02 -0500 From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: Corn flour for CAP? Greetings CAPers, I'm planning to brew my first CAP in a few weeks. A couple of questions for those who know this style: 1) I have a large bag of corn flour (for making tortillias). Has anyone used corn flour instead of grits or flakes to make a CAP before? Is it as "corny" as polenta? How would you handle flour? I was thinking of doing a cereal mash with 2 lb flour + 4 lbs pale malt, and adding to the main mash for a step from 140F to 158(ish) (for a 22 lb mash). 2) Any thoughts on using Saflager-S23 as the yeast for this style? Cheers! Drew Avis, Merrickville, Ontario [694.5km, 56.4] ~ http://www.strangebrew.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 11:39:24 -0800 (PST) From: John Clark <a.jclark at rocketmail.com> Subject: Gruit I have done quite a few non-hopped recipies. I have done Ale, that is yeast water and malt. Gruit using rosemary, sweetgale, and yarrow. I have done an orange peel and coriander, which quite a few people liked. Heather ale, and juniper berry, which was also rather good. The best ones were the ale, juniper, and orange coriander. You might also add a pound of honey to help the flavor (called a braggot). I belong to a medieval group called the SCA and we do quit a bit of brewing using medieval recipes www.atenbrewers.org. I would not recommend doing a first time recipe in bulk. Do a gallon and if you like it move up. I just don't have the same taste buds that they had back then. I like my beer hopped. J.Clark Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 12:12:11 -0800 From: "Jim Cave" <cave at psc.org> Subject: Re: Double Pitching Yeast for a Tripel Subject: Re: Double Pitching Yeast for a Tripel I used this technique for a Duvel spin-off--I thought it would be beneficial to add the required sugar for the recipe, after the beer had got to high Krausen. This was a mistake in retrospect as it really "bonked" the yeast. I then re-pitched with some lively, left over wit yeast that I had remaining. The resulting beer was very similar to Duvel and with the required dry-ness. I also added fresh yeast on bottling. Here is what I would suggest. 1) regular primary--hold for 3-4 weeks to drop yeast. If gravity remains high, proceed to 2), otherwise go to 3). 2) Rack onto fresh yeast, preferably the same yeast. Use a carboy with slightly less head space than the previous primary. 3) When activity subsides, rack to secondary, hold 5 days at room temp. 4) Chill for 4-6 weeks for cold stabilization and removal of chill haze and excess yeast. 5) Rack and warm to room temperature, add priming sugar and mall amount of yeast starter at high krausen at the rate of 1 ml per 350 ml bottle. You will find the beer will bottle condition in 2-7 days. It can be drunk right away as all aging is complete. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 16:32:53 -0500 From: "Lonzo C McLaughlin" <lmclaugh at wlgore.com> Subject: Beer in Sweden - Spendrups I'm in Sweden and just had a great beer. Spendrups Svart Lager It is a dark lager that has a wonderful malt flavor. Anyone have good recipies for this beer? please send to lonkelm at yahoo.com or post Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 18:01:06 -0600 From: Bill Tobler <WCTobler at brazoria.net> Subject: RE: J type thermocouples Ralph asks about Type J thermocouples. I use thermocouples in my brewery regularly. I have a digital dual-thermocouple thermometer which I use to check temps wherever, and two Omega temperature controllers, one for the HLT and one for the mash. I have type E thermocouples on the Omega's, and type J on the digital thermometer. Type J is Iron-Constantan wires. Type J are typically white and red wires. The red is the negative wire. All Thermocouples have a red wire, and then another colored wire, which denotes the type of thermocouple. Type K is yellow, T is blue and E is purple. There are others. If you build one, make sure you match the wire with the thermocouple. You have to use type J wire with a type J thermocouple. I've never made one, and wouldn't know where to start. Omega sells some really nice ones that should plug into your Fluke. Check their page here. http://www.omega.com/ppt/pptsc.asp?ref=JHIN-RSC&Nav=tema12 These are a little pricey, but you can get an idea of what you need. You might want to check e-bay. The one I use in the mash is an 18" long probe that I just slip under the lid of the mash tun. It's nice to be able to move it around in the mash, as I can look for hot/cold spots. I have a HERMS system, and its fully automatic. Well, mostly, anyway. I still have to be at home, usually. (I actually mashed in one morning, went and played 9 holes of golf, and came back and finished up) In the HLT, I have a small, 1/8" Type E thermocouple. Hope this helps Bill Tobler Directly South of Rennerian (0,0) on the Texas Gulf Coast Lake Jackson, TX. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 20:37:54 -0600 From: "Louis Bonham" <lkbonham at houston.rr.com> Subject: MCAB Update Hi folks: Well, contrary to popular belief, I've not fallen off the earth . . . just been incredibly busy doing my lawyer thing since the NHC; also had an e-mail snafu for the lkbonham at hbd.org alias that's now cleaned up. My apologies for being out of touch. MCAB 4 . . . . yes, it *will* be taking place! I'm pleased to announce that a collection of Ohio clubs, led by SAAZ and the SNOBs, and the Great Lakes Brewing Company have now stepped up to host MCAB 4, and it will take place in Cleveland on April 12-13, 2002. This is the same week as the Craft Brewers Conference and the World Beer Cup, which also will be held in Cleveland. We're working with the IBS to coordinate events and venues so that both MCAB and CBC participants and exhibitors will hopefully be able to get the benefit of both events. Truly a great opportunity for the hard-core amateur brewer and beer snob! Speaking of beer snobs, the MCAB 4 chief organizer will be Karl Weeber [beersnob1 at yahoo.com]. If you are interested in helping out on MCAB 4 as a sponsor or otherwise, please drop Karl a line. Entry packets for MCAB 5 . . . will probably go out after the first of the year. However, if you qualified or know someone who did, spread the word *now* so folks can start rebrewing, expecially for things like lagers that will require a bit of aging. MCAB website . . . we now have a new volunteer webmaster (Jack Kephart), who hopefully will get the MCAB site back up to snuff shortly. Watch the usual spot [hbd.org/mcab] for more details. MCAB 5 . . . it's that time again. Gotta select the 2002 Qualifying Events for MCAB 5. In all likelihood, most of the usual QE suspects will be repeating if they so desire, except for the QE's that we have historically rotated. If you wish to nominate a competition to be a MCAB 5 Qualifying Event, drop me a line ASAP. We'll probably announce the QE's for at least the first half of the year fairly quickly, so don't delay . . . MCAB 5 location . . . . if your club is interested in hosting MCAB 5 (Spring 2003), drop me a line. Not too early to start thinking about this . . . . . All the best --- Louis K. Bonham lkbonham at hbd.org Return to table of contents
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