HOMEBREW Digest #3835 Thu 10 January 2002

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  Force Carbonation Question (D/A Wenger)
  RE: AHA membership price +malt mill settings ("Bob Hall")
  samiclaus on draft ("Joseph Marsh")
  re: AHA membership price ("Nathaniel P. Lansing")
  Hop tea / Ringwood yeast / Cold water extraction ("Drew Avis")
  Bubbling Carboy ("David Craft")
  "Guinness Special Export" ,stock ale and brettanomyces ("Gregor Zellmann")
  Water Testing (AJ)
  Re: Beginner's Ode to Homebrewing (Jeff Renner)
  Re: AHA Membership price (Bill Wible)
  2nd running mess ("steve lane")
  Re: poisonous wort? ("Steve Alexander")
  WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Jim Liddil)
  Force Carbonation and Keg Cooling ("Grady, Brandon")
  What the heck is sour mash? (Clifton Moore)
  AHA Pricing ("Paul Gatza")
  brewing with steam? (Joe Gibbens)
  Stability Test ("Houseman, David L")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 23:35:53 -0600 From: D/A Wenger <dkw at execpc.com> Subject: Force Carbonation Question Howdy. How do other keggers out there calculate CO2 pressure when force carbonating their brews? I have an old Zymurgy issue with a chart plotting desired volumes of CO2 versus temp of the beer, and somewhere in the article it talks about how many volumes of CO2 you want by beer style. Though I appreciate the info from Zymurgy, I find it a huge PITA to figure this out every time I want to keg a batch. How do others do it? Is there a formula available that I can put into an excel spreadsheet? Dan Wenger Hartland, Wisconsin [237.6, 284.3] Apparent Rennarian Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 08:06:52 -0500 From: "Bob Hall" <rallenhall at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: AHA membership price +malt mill settings I too renewed my AHA membership online in Oct. at $33 (didn't know about the $28 offer). When the renewal notices kept coming through Dec. I called and found that there was no record of the renewal, though there was a $33 charge to the VISA in Oct. After several phone calls and a copy of the VISA statement I hope we're straight. Still waiting on my Jan-Feb issue of Zymurgy. In all fairness, my contact at AHA (Matt) was extremely courtious and helpful, but there is a major problem with the online system. On another topic, what settings do you guys/gals typically use for your malt mills? Santa left an adjustable BarleyCrusher under the tree, preset at .045. After some work on the web, it seemed that this was a common default setting. Ran my first batch last week ..... 9# Briess two-row (milled twice) mash hopped with 1oz Saaz leaf (added to the last half of the grist), stirred into the brewing water as usual; 5 gal. Gott cooler and Phil's Phalse Bottom. I've never had such a stuck mash. Ladeled in and out of the Gott cooler twice before I could get a flow, then things were OK. Could the grist be the culprit? Bob Hall Napoleon, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 10:00:35 -0500 From: "Joseph Marsh" <josephmarsh62 at hotmail.com> Subject: samiclaus on draft Hi all, Last night I discovered that Samiclaus is available on draft. It's great and quite unlike the bottles I've had. Almost no chocolate overtones. Anyway It's at BW3s in downtown Indianapolis. They also have Old Rasputin on tap but I'd rather lick an ashtray.(:^ppp;;;; Joe Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 10:21:31 -0500 From: "Nathaniel P. Lansing" <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: re: AHA membership price Chuck asked about about the cost of AHA membership. That's easy, it will just cost you your soul. (that's a joke son, a joke) Did you expect them to give you $5 off and a gift? You can *hope the gift is worth the difference. NPL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 10:21:54 -0500 From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: Hop tea / Ringwood yeast / Cold water extraction Randy Ricchi posts in HBD #3834: <quote> What I have done to get tremendous hop aroma (and you can't help but get a lot of hop flavor as well) in a finished beer is to heat 2 or 3 cups of the beer up to the boiling point in a sauce pan, then remove from heat and drop in a half ounce of hops and steep for two or three minutes. </quote> Now this is exactly why I read the HBD - simple, effective techniques for improving my brewing that I would never have thought of myself. My only concern w/ this technique would be wort oxidation - Randy, have you noticed any problems in this regard? A while ago I purchased the World's Largest Teaball (TM) with the idea that I could use it to dryhop a keg to perfection. The problem I realized was getting the teaball back out of the keg! But with this boiling technique, I may be able to have my teaball and use it too. - --- I recently ordered the Ringwood yeast (Wyeast 1187) with the idea that it may give me the touch of diacetyl I need in the ever elusive Sam Smith Taddy Porter clone. I did a search on the HBD but didn't find too many posts about this yeast in the homebrewery - anyone use yeast & have tips on managing it so that I don't end up w/ too much diacetyl? - --- Recent discussion of the latest Zymurgy got me hyped up for my issue, which finally arrived this week, and I agree, it's very good. I used to read 1 or two articles (and the ads!) then toss it in the recycling, but over the past year I've found the quality has really picked up. Read this issue front to back. The Geeks column on cold water extraction of dark grains got me thinking about some of the wonderful commercial dark beers that are black but show very little roast character (Brew Brothers Black Pilsner, and draught Guinness come to mind). I wonder if this technique has been practiced at the commercial level for a while? I'm definitely going to give it a go w/ my next schwartzbier, and maybe for the Taddy clone too... anyone else tried cold water extraction & have an experience to share? Does it work? All for now, Drew Avis, Merrickville, Ontario ~ http://www.strangebrew.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 10:24:22 -0500 From: "David Craft" <David-Craft at craftinsurance.com> Subject: Bubbling Carboy Greetings, My son (8 years old) has always been somewhat interested in my brewing. I just made a larger than normal batch and used a blow off tube. I have never done this. I always make 5- 5.5 gallons batches in a 7 gallon carboy. He was facinated by the gunk that comes out of the tube! Sounds like a good science experiment to me! I am not sure the school officials would appreciate the result though! I have lost about 16 oz in liquid with no apparent loss of volume, has the CO2 taken its place? Regards, David B. Craft Battleground Brewers Homebrew Club Crow Hill Brewery and Meadery Greensboro, NC Apparent Rennarian 478.4,152........I Think! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 17:16:53 +0100 From: "Gregor Zellmann" <gregor at blinx.de> Subject: "Guinness Special Export" ,stock ale and brettanomyces Fellow Brewers, I came across a bottle of "Guinness Special Export" yesterday. The bottle states it has 8% abv and was brewed in Dublin. I was actually never a big fan of stout, as I find the normal varieties a bit on the weak side. But this Special Export I had ysterday was phantastic. In fact so good, that I can't wait to brew something similar. In my book "Brew Classic European Beers At Home" by Graham Wheeler, I found a recipe for "Guinness Foreign Extra Stout". Alcohol content according to the author is 7,2 % bv, OG 1.073. Is this the same as the "Special Export" I had yesterday? If not, does somebody have a recipe for that one? Wheeler's book also states, that the "Foreign Extra Stout" is "...a blend of regular stout and a second beer that is matured in unlines oak vessels for around 2 months. It has the "horse-blanket" aroma that is the result of attack from wild Brettanomyces yeasts in the vats..." My idea is to brew a stout according to the recipe with an OG of around 1.080 and after fermentation with Irish Ale Yeast seperate a part (stock ale) and infect it with the Brettanomyces. Later I want to blend the two again. Does anybody know, how many percent I should seperate and treat with the Brett? What else do I need to know to brew such a beer? thanks Gregor Zellmann [4247.6, 43.4] Apparent Rennerian P.S.: Thanks to all of you who replied to my question on keg lube. I bought some silicon based stuff in a scuba shop and treated the O-rings of the two trouble making cornies with it. No more leaks since! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 16:30:06 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Water Testing Frank Russo asked about testing of brewing water. While there are many companies which do water testing the usual concerns are pesticide residues which means that the inorganic part of the analysis is typically limited. None of the companies that are easily found approach this as the brewer would wish. I have in the past (and may again in the future) offered brewer oriented water testing but the my current situation at work makes that impossible until the summer at least. As many of you know I have long felt that people capable of brewing beer, looking after yeast etc. are qualified to do most of the brewing- critical water tests themselves. The two most important tests are hardness and alkalinity. These tests are excedingly simple to do and inexpensive kits for doing them can be had from Hach, Lamotte, Cole Parmer , the local aquarium outfitter and the hardware store. It is best to buy a kit which tests for calcium and magnesium hardness separately as this will allow more accurate estimation of the residual alkalinity which is the most important water related calculation the brewer does. Most all of the hardness and alkalinity test kits use "drop titration" in which a small sample of the watear is measured into a little jar and drops of reagent are added until a color change occurs. The measured parameter is estimated as some number times the number of drops of reagent used e.g. 5 ppm per drop or 10 ppm per drop. Thus these tests are not terribly precise but are certainly sufficiently so for most purposes. Drop test kits are also made for chloride and somewhat more expensive color based kits (the color developed by addition of a reagent are compared to a color scale provided with the kit) are sold for iron and copper. There are now test strips for copper and iron. Itellectual curiosity aside if you can taste either of these in the water there is too much for beer. There are colorimetric kits for zinc and manganese as well but these are a more expensive as some of them involve photometers or spectrophotometers. Some also use cyanide salts so one must be concerned about shipping, handling and storage. About the only way you are going to get zinc is if you are on a well with brass components in the pump and the presence of zinc usually signals that lead will be present also if the pump is old. Well owners should have a professional lab check their water for zinc for this reason. Sodium is difficult to test for by the tyro. The least expensive approach (that I can think of) is an ion selective electrode and those are as bad or worse to use than a pH electrode to which they are quite similar the significance of which is that a pH meter is required to use them. Fortuanately, sodium is a "don't care" in most brewing unless the water is loaded with it in which case you don't want to brew with it. Potassium is similar to sodium in this regard though there are kits which can be used to test for this ion. There is more bad news with respect to sulfate, an ion we do have an interest in. The only practical test uses barium chloride with some sort of colorimeter/photometer to measure the turbidity when barium sulfate precipitates. You can buy a kit but its $310. Cole-Parmer sells a titrimetric kit for about $60 but its not very sensitive (i.e. OK if you're dealing with Burton-like water but not so good for seeing if your typical North American surface/ well water will let you do a Bohemian Pils). Frank's post didn't mention chlorine/chloramine. The latter of these two is getting to be a common problem for brewers on public water supplies. There are many manufacturers of inexpensive kits for this pair. As for bicarbonate and carbonate - you really don't need to know the actual amounts of these. Knowledge of alkalinity is sufficient but if you do want to know the amounts of these ions (and the amount of dissoved CO2 as well) the pH of the sample needs to be known. The concentrations of carbonic, bicarb and carb can all be calculated from the alkalinity and the pH. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 11:54:10 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at mediaone.net> Subject: Re: Beginner's Ode to Homebrewing Bob Schaffer-Neitz <rschaff at ptd.net> writes from Northumberland, PA of his new smash hit "Beginner's Ode to Homebrewing": >(you'll know what tune to sing it to) In case you don't, you can hear Sam Cooke's original at http://www.wedalert.com/songs/reception/songclips_rm/motown60s_ballad/ram/ What_a_wonderful_world_this_could_be.ram You'll have to cut and paste this as it was originally rejected as >80 characters so I cut it in half. Jeff PS to Bret Morrow - surely Sam Cooke is better than Sh-boom! - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at mediaone.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 12:15:31 -0500 From: Bill Wible <bill at brewbyyou.net> Subject: Re: AHA Membership price Tell me about it, Chuck. I own a homebrew store. I sell AHA memberships. When I sell an AHA membership, the AHA charges me one price, and I make something on it. However, when I renewed my own membership, they would not allow me to renew at the same price I pay for anyone else's. I also had to pay $28, which is significantly more than the wholesale price I get when I renew anyone else. Now I own a HB store, and I advertise in Zymurgy. I get a free copy of Zymurgy every month because I advertise in it. I also buy copies for my store, which I get at a wholesale price. Most people agree that the only real tangible benefit to being an AHA member is that you get Zymurgy magazine. And frankly, I have been getting alot of complaints from my customers as to the size, content, and quality of Zymurgy. And it's funny that Brew Your Own magazine always seems to have similar articles and content every month. I don't get that many copies of Zymurgy for my store, and I don't sell them all every month. So I have to ask now - what is my benefit from being an AHA member - and at full price? As I said, I get Zymurgy anyway. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 11:44:32 -0600 From: "steve lane" <tbirdusa at hotmail.com> Subject: 2nd running mess Did an Imperial stout off of the first runnings of 5 gallons and had planned to pull the 2nd runnings along with sparge for a 10 gallon batch of, well, whatever happens type of beer. 34 lb. pale malt w/ 4 lb. spec. grain. The first 5 gallons (1.114 s.g.) came off without a problem but I then stirred the mash before pulling the second batch of wort and knocked the false bottom off of the the pick up tube. So much for recirculation through the pump. Took the pump apart, back flushed with water and then gave up and emptied the mash tun. By the time I got all of the grain and sweet liquor out of the tun, the grain temp had dropped drastically. Of course, before emptying the tun I turned on the pump and filled it with grain again. Reload the tun. Can't recirc, pump full of grain again, grain is getting cold, night is getting long. I decided to just use gravity and let the mash tun run itself dry and I 1.024. All this for that???? I should have thrown it all on the garden. I think the sugars got held up in this cooled (126 degree) grain and that is why my gravity was so low. My question is what to do to get this gravity up. The ferment is over, (was over in 2 days actually) and the "beer" is in secondaries. I would like to make a blend of some type but to get the gravity up and add to these secondaries. Should I make a second heavy batch, ferment it and then blend or pour the heavy wort straight into these two carboys of "beer"? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 14:24:23 -0500 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Re: poisonous wort? Hans Aikema asks ... > I also read in Kirk -Othmer encyclopedia: beer cannot, because of its low pH > (4,2) harbor any pathogenic germs! > Does this mean, that when the pH of the wort is low (4.2), the risks of > getting food poisened or even dieing are gone? No, but the chances are greatly reduced. I have reliable first hand stories of hard (fermented) cider causing stomach problems despite a lower pH - so low pH is not a cure-all. Yeast quickly remove any free O2, reduce pH and remove the simplest sugars. This makes fermenting or finished beer an unfriendly place for most bacteria. The common exceptions are the brewing infection organisms which are discussed in many brewing books. Large scale human food production & processing has given bacteria more opportunities to evolve in ways that allow them to infect despite human efforts to prevent it. There was a case in the US of a rare Salmonella strain causing 60+ illnesses transmitted in unpasteurized orange juice (pH around 3.3)! Health authorities did not previously suspect Salmonella at this pH. Also E.coli 0157:H has appeared in acidic juices. I believe that if you prevent infection from animal products and fecal matter, that the chances of a problem like this are quite low, even in "naturally" fermented worts, but I'd like to hear more facts (not fear mongering) on the topic. I also think that the notion that fermented beer is 100% safe is wishful thinking too. There are bacterial metabolic pathways that can lead to acetone possible at beer pH. Acetone is modestly carcinogenic. [Some pyrrolysis products in roasted and smoked malts and products of lipid oxidation in stale grain are believed to be carcinogenic too, but that's another story]. Fungal toxins are another issue unaddressed. Fungi typically require O2, and are slow growing but I doubt the possibility of a beer infection can be entirely ruled out. -Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 12:39:37 -0700 (MST) From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at VMS.ARIZONA.EDU> Subject: WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! > ------------------------------ > > Date: Sat, 5 Jan 2002 15:08:27 -0500 > From: "John Pendergast" <johnfpen at earthlink.net> > Subject: Stability Testing Wort > > > DO NOT under any circumsataces taste any unfermented wort product that has > been left unrefrigerated for ant peroid of time! This is a great way to get > food poisoning and die. There are no known pathogens that can live in beer > so the fermented product is safe without refrigeration, but without the > yeast bacteria that can kill you can develop in the wort Not that I care what Steve A thinks, but this is a tad bit extreme. We'd all be dead from any number of things if we did not drink only preserved sterile beverages and eat sterile food. I'd say the chances are some what small that you would die drinking unfermented wort. I'd have to see some data to prove this idea to me. This means that making warm milk and letting it set 5 minutes is a death wish. And refirgeration is no guarantee of it not growing bacteria and molds. Then again maybe you know something I don't so please feel free to enlighten me. Jim Liddil North Haven, CT Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 16:37:06 -0600 From: "Grady, Brandon" <Brandon.Grady at McHugh.com> Subject: Force Carbonation and Keg Cooling My lovely wife (bless her soul) has purchased me a kegging kit for Christmas and I'm just dying to try it out. Unfortunately, I don't have a cooling appliance large enough to put the keg in to keep the beer inside cool. Now, I've read somewhere that it is still possible to force carbonate beer at room temperature, but that the pressure in the keg has to be higher than at lower temperatures, correct? Assuming that I can force carbonate it at a higher than desirable temperature, are there any ideas out there on how to keep the beer in the keg a little cooler without incurring the expense of buying a spare fridge or freezer. The plan is to eventually buy a freezer and one of those Ranco or Johnson control external thermostats to cool my kegs and to eventually brew a lager (other than California Common), but in the mean time, is there a way that I can keep my keg cool so I can at least try this kegging thing out before I drop a couple of hundred dollars on a refridgeration unit? Thanks. Brandon Grady >From Waukesha, WI (close to Milwaukee) - -- Brandon Grady McHugh Software International "No matter how rich you are, you can still only drink 17 to 18 liters of beer a day." - Anonymous German Nobleman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 14:19:41 -0900 From: Clifton Moore <xcmoore at gi.alaska.edu> Subject: What the heck is sour mash? Years ago I had a fellow reporting on his moonshine days. As a child it was his job to turn bags of wet corn in the fields. Presumably some sort of malting was taking place here, but he was unable to report any details as the family quit the trade before he got old enough to learn any details. The question is this. When making corn whiskey or vodka, is a standard mash used with six-row malt in combination with corn or potato adjuncts? Also: Many Scotch Whiskey distilleries malt their own barley. Do they go directly into mash with green malt, or is the kiln set up to produce crystal malt so that subsequent sweet wort production is simply an extraction of the sugars? Is the sweet wort ever run off or boiled? There is so much I do not understand about distillation. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 17:20:17 -0700 From: "Paul Gatza" <paul at aob.org> Subject: AHA Pricing Hi everyone. Chuck M. has raised the issue of not being able to take advantage of the early-renewal discount through the website when he renewed his AHA membership. I met with our membership services lead guy, Matt Lovrinic, this morning. He will be issuing a refund to Chuck for the difference in the price he was charged ($33) and the amount of the offering he went to the web to sign up for ($28). The reason for the low price in the early renewal offer is that, by renewing four months early, we maintain cashflow throughout the year, particularly in the summer. It really helps operationally to receive some of the revenue from fall members in the summer months when new membership and just-in-time renewals are in our low cycle (similar to brewing activity of many members). The problem with the renewal piece is that it forwards people to renew on the web if that is their preference, but we do not have that same offer on the web. It makes sense that a web renewal should at least match our lowest offer due to the streamlined administration provided by signing up online. Our web team will be working to fix this problem. In the meantime, Matt and Kendall (and pinch-hitter Kate) in membership services have been instructed to honor the early renewal price when asked about it. I apologized to Chuck this morning for the confusion. We will continue to strive to improve the quality of the handling of membership service requests and ensure that all members or potential members who contact AHA receive excellent treatment and feel good about being or becoming an AHA member. Here is the preliminary scoop on the upcoming AHA Big Brew. Big Brew will again be the first Saturday of May (May 4th this year). Steve Jones has agreed to provide his Homebrewer-of-the-Year-winning old ale recipe. For lager brewers, George Fix is working up a maibock recipe, based more on the tradition of the style rather than modern interpretations. It should be a blast. Paul Gatza Director--American Homebrewers Association Director--Institute for Brewing Studies Association of Brewers 736 Pearl St., Boulder, CO, USA 80302 +1.303.447.0816 ext. 122 toll-free: 888.822.6273 (888 UCanBrew) mailto:paul at aob.org www.beertown.org Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 20:27:14 -0600 From: Joe Gibbens <jgibbens6 at attbi.com> Subject: brewing with steam? Sorry if this is a duplicate.. Is anyone in this group brewing with a steam heated kettle? I'm looking for superheater design info. My steam generator is a 22qt pressure cooker fired by an outdoor burner. The HBD archives have a 2 part series where the superheater is a SS coil placed directly into the flame. (HBD 1901) Is anyone brewing with this system? Any danger of flame/CO carburization leading to sensitization,or can it be controled by burning in excess air? What danger (aside from melting) if any is there in using a soft copper coil to superheat? Joe (Joliet, IL) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 20:36:20 -0600 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Stability Test I hadn't done a stability test and the recent postings last week got me to wondering if my bottle cleaning techniques were adequate. So I did a brief, but not scientific stability test with 1 bottle sanitized in Iodophor. Three other bottles were previously sanitized. One was from a bottling session a week earlier. The bottle was rinsed with a jet washer (previously rinsed after use), placed in a dishwasher and run on a wash cycle (without detergent) and a heated drying cycle. Upon drying, they were immediately capped with squares of aluminum foil. I had a couple bottles left over and used one for this test. Another bottle was from a similar brewing session about a month ago and the third was from a brewing session about three months ago. That bottle was also baked in a 300oF oven for 3 hours after being capped with the aluminum foil square. The bottles themselves were random and could have been used for any number of types of beer prior to this test, and in fact had been used frequently. An approximately 1.030 OG wort was boiled and cooled. Each bottle was about 1/2 filled with the cooled wort. The just sanitized bottle was first rinsed with my tap water prior to adding the wort and then filled to within about 1 inch of the top with the same tap water. All four bottles were capped with standard bottle caps used out of the manufacture's box (5000 overstock caps will last a lifetime) without sanitizing (per George Fix, this SOP and should not worry about infections). The bottles were shaken to ensure some dissolved O2 and to make contact with all the surfaces on the inside of the bottles and caps. The bottles were placed in a warm place. I planned to test these for changes to aroma and flavor every 24 hours but forgot about them (that's the problem with putting them out of sight) until about 79 hours later. Tonight I uncapped them and checked the aroma and flavor. First, there was no noticeable gas production. None of the beers had any sour, phenolic or other "off" aroma or flavor. The aroma, and flavor, was of weak wort. There was some other flavor that I couldn't recognize but it was at a low level. All the beers had a stringy consistency laticed within them. The consistency of the wort had sort of "gel'd" to some extent. The only time I've seen this in beer wort is when I intentionally exposed a pseudo-lambic-to-be uncovered to my kitchen environment for several days prior to pitching my yeast and lambic cultures. I believe this to some sort of enteric bacterial infection. Does anyone know. Since all four bottles had the same "infection" but were sanitized at different times in similar ways, the common source of "exposure" would seem to be either the ambient air as I quickly poured wort into the bottles or the caps themselves. So, I'm not sure that this test really provided any valuable data. Certainly after 79 hours in a warm location all four were fouled. But in a beer environment of alcohol and low pH, these might have been fine. Perhaps just running a similar but more controlled set of tests is necessary. Thoughts, comments, conclusions welcome. Dave Houseman SE PA Return to table of contents
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