HOMEBREW Digest #3981 Fri 05 July 2002

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  PVC pipe as pressure vessel ("perryrt")
  Electric Element ("Mark Ellis")
  Plato versus Specific Gravity ("Phil Yates")
  Cleaning etc. ("David Root")
  Re: Dry Hopping a Pilsner (Jeff Renner)
  RE: Clean Up ("Hache, Marc")
  Re:  PVC Pipe as Pressure Vessel? ("sdcollins")
  RE: PVC Pipe as Pressure Vessel? (Don Price)
  Gadget Store Closing (The Gadget Store)
  Re: Clean up (Bill Wible)
  Re: Miller's Books (Bill Wible)
  French ale story ("H. Dowda")
  cereal mash (Jeff Renner)
  lager virgin (Peter Collins & Sara Wilbur)
  Re:  BJCP exam preparation (Peter Torgrimson)
  Convoluted copper wort chiller (Randy Ricchi)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 21:23:56 +1200 From: "perryrt" <perryrt at hotmail.com> Subject: PVC pipe as pressure vessel >Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 14:20:18 -0400 >From: mohrstrom at humphrey-products.com >Subject: PVC Pipe as Pressure Vessel? > >Does anyone have experience using run of the mill Schedule 40 PVC Pipe >(~4inch dia) as a pressure vessel? I'm having a vision of using it as a >low-pressure (20-40PSI) reservoir of CO2 to dispense (at regulated >pressure) the two cornies in my brand-spankin' new undercounter fridge >(Sanyo 4.9ft^3, thanks for all of the input!) Any caveats - cycle life, >catastrophic failure reports, decreased virility, etc.? > >Mark in Kalamazoo Mark: This can be done - if you do it right. (How's that for a disclaimer!) Anyway, about a gazillion years ago when I was in college, I was working as a "lab assistant" in the Aviation Maintenance section (read: very low paid scum-sucking manual laborer) at the University I went to. One task I was given was building a system to allow a full class of 24 students to use air-tools (riveters, drills, etc) at several large tables. I put in a PVC pipe system as a manifold - ran a main 6" pipe down the center of each table, then sockets off each side with the standard air hoses attached. Stuck it all together with PVC cement and a little Teflon tape (for where I screwed the air lines through the side of the PVC pipe) and three years later when I left school, the system was still working fine without leaks. Now, I'm racking my brains, and I can't remember if I used schedule 40 or 80. All I can remember was that it was white (duh!) and had a pressure marking on the side of the pipe (printed on?) 125#? Also, the standard line/tank pressure we used (like most shop air) was about 100 pounds, so (I'm guessing) either SCH 40 or 80 should handle 20-40# easy. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing most municipal water systems are probably higher than 20 pounds, and after all, that's what the pipe's designed for! One caveat - DON'T DON'T DON'T use the (typically) grey pipe used for drains (it's usually labeled on the side). I tried it as an experiment at the time (we had some, and it was a lot cheaper) - it blew up quite dramatically at about 50 psi after a short time. Realistically, decent size pipes are fine ways to get decent storage volumes with reasonable space requirements. Good luck! Regards, Richard T. Perry perryrt at hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 20:57:16 +1000 From: "Mark Ellis" <mark at artisansrus.com> Subject: Electric Element G'day, I bought a element today to fit to my lauter tun to hopefully be used as a efficient heat source for boiling the wort. My lauter tun is a converted 50 litre ss keg. Do you think that a 2400watt element will be sufficient for boiling temp on 40 litre batches? Thanks for you help. Mark E. in Oz ****** http://www.Artisansrus.com ******* Promoting the Ancient Fermentable Arts ******************************************* Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 21:20:45 +1000 From: "Phil Yates" <phil.yates at acenet.com.au> Subject: Plato versus Specific Gravity I was interested to read Steve Alexander's recent post on the above subject. Having recently undergone a major change in what I do for a living, I have had a lot more to do with "professional brewers" lately than I ever had in the past (which was very little). I have noted the extensive use of density measurement using Plato rather than specific gravity amongst professional brewers. I didn't want to express my ignorance by asking why, but I have wondered why. Steve summed up very simply what I was thinking when he said: >The "Pros" use the >Plato scale and so do pro journals, but the reality is >that density is all we really know from any floating >instrument. I have my own set of calculations for approximating alcohol volume, percentage extract efficiency etc, all of which are based on specific gravity readings. Given that Plato only relates to sugar as a % weight of the medium in question, I can't see any reason to adopt it for my own brewing purposes. When people are talking to me in Plato (with regard to their beer) I am mentally multiplying the figure by four to approximately convert to specific gravity readings. I went through this sort of exercise many years ago when we changed from imperial to metric measurements in Australia. That was a long time ago. Just recently I was pulled up riding my Norton by a pimply faced Police Officer who threatened to put me in jail for doing nearly 160 km/hour in a 90 km/hour speed zone. I exclaimed with feint disbelief "When did they change it to km/hour"? "About 30 years ago you silly old turd!!" was the response. I might have slowed up a bit on the Norton but there is no way I am going to start talking in Plato, not unless I get into making wine. I'm right behind Steve on this one. Cheers Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 07:10:28 -0400 From: "David Root" <droot2 at rochester.rr.com> Subject: Cleaning etc. Wow I haven't read the digest in a couple of years. I haven't brewed for a while but since I started to read the digest again I am getting the itch. It is nice to see many of the old names here. It is also nice to see the S/N way down. The article on the AHA was timely and good to read. Jason Koehler asks about a less expensive B brite. I have used powdered Automatic dishwasher soap for a long time. I still do. It cleans well. I brew in 1/2 kegs and keg all my beer because I am too lazy to wash bottles. Nothing fancy, mostly equipment made by yours truly. The only thing I purchased new was my Maltmill. Where I live now I am going to have to import my water because we have a well here that is way too rich in calcium. I tried a batch a couple of years ago with the water here and I never finished drinking it. It was that bad. Thanks Everyone It won't be long now David Root West Shelby NY (less than 1 minute from Jeff by Email) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 2002 09:14:50 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Dry Hopping a Pilsner William Menzl <menzl at concentric.net> emerges from the shadows in Midland, Michigan to write: >I am making a Pilsner Urquell clone and recently racked it to a secondary. >I took it up to 60 deg F for 36 hours for a diacetyl rest and now have >it down to 35 deg F for 7-8 weeks (as per my interpretation from many >sources including John Palmers "How to Brew".) for lagering. The recipe I >am using indicates to dry hop after racking and then bottle when >fermentation is complete. I am a unsure if I should dry hop now or wait >until later in the lagering process. Any suggestions for improvements? >Thanks again for allowing me lurk and learn! I must confess to a prejudice against dry hopping lagers. The Pilsners I've had that were have suffered from a grassy aroma that wasn't pleasant. This is probably why dryhopping isn't done traditionally, at least as far as I know. The hop aroma is better achieved by an addition at the end of the boil. However, if you want to do it, I would dry hop now and leave the hops in during lagering. It is often recommended that dry hopping of ales be done for only a week, but I have found no detrimental effect from leaving them in far longer if the keg is kept at cellar temperatures (50-55F). I suspect that at the cold temperature of lagering, it will take longer than a week for the flavors to diffuse anyway. Hope this helps. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 10:25:50 -0400 From: "Hache, Marc" <HacheM at PIOS.COM> Subject: RE: Clean Up "Jason A Koehler" <Jason.Koehler at ipaper.com> asked about clean up and sanitizing. I use TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate) for clean up. You can find it in your local hardware store. It's used for everything from preparing walls for painting to removing grease from driveways. A couple of tablespoons in your keg or fermenter, fill with hot water and soak. Rinse and voila, sparkly clean. Cheap too. For sanitizing I use Iodophor. Bought 4L (1 US gallon) at a restaurant supply store for about $13 Canadian. Given that I use 2-4 ml every time I brew, I'll probably be dead before I use it all. I like Iodophor because you don't need to immerse your gear, make up a couple of litres, swish it around for a few minutes and dump. No rinse, no fuss. I also put some in a spray bottle to re-sanitize lids, the outside of the racking cane etc. Marc Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 11:12:17 -0400 From: "sdcollins" <sdcollins at mindspring.com> Subject: Re: PVC Pipe as Pressure Vessel? Mark in Kalamazoo asks about using PVC as a pressure vessel. Mark, The pressure ratings for PVC pipe are for liquid (water), not gas. Since water is incompressible, a failure in the pipe will results a stream of water. A gas on the other hand is very compressible (duh) and can occupy many more cubic feet at atmospheric pressure. In other words, when your vessel fails, you get an explosion. PVC is a ductile material, but can fail in a brittle fashion. I have personally witnessed this. Big noise, shards of PVC flying every which way, quite a spectacle (in other words, it scared the living &% at #! out of me and I'm glad I have no visible scars from it). That was only with a 2" pipe. A 4" pipe like you are talking about......whoa nellie. This is why the manufacturers state specifically that PVC is absolutely for water lines only. PVC is definitely the wrong material to use to store any kind compressed gas. Stick with something metal. Dennis Collins Knoxville, TN http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 2002 11:27:06 -0400 From: Don Price <dprice1 at tampabay.rr.com> Subject: RE: PVC Pipe as Pressure Vessel? PVC is not rated for use with compressed gases. Quite simply put, you are planning a PVC pipe bomb powered with CO2. Of course 4-inch schedule 40 PVC is rated for 100-120 PSI H20 (if memeory serves) so it might work for a lifetime without a problem. I would use an extra corny keg (120 psi rated?) as your CO2 resevoir since it can be easily cleaned/sanitized, uses the same fittings, and can be used for beer if your needs change. Don Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 08:55:52 -0700 (PDT) From: The Gadget Store <gadgetstore at yahoo.com> Subject: Gadget Store Closing After more than a year in business, we are closing the Gadget Store. Klaus has relocated so it is not possible for us to produce Chiller kits anymore. There are a few Chillers and Carts remaining. See our website ( http://www.gadgetstore.bigstep.com ) for more info. Our sincerest thanks to all our customers and everyone who supported us. Ken Schwartz Klaus Messerer ===== The Gadget Store 3400 Lee Boulevard El Paso, TX 79936 http://www.gadgetstore.bigstep.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 2002 12:23:54 -0400 From: Bill Wible <bill at brewbyyou.net> Subject: Re: Clean up I use PBW as a cleaner, and Star San as a sanitizer. I used dish detergent to clean and bleach to sanitize before discovering these products about 3 years ago. I can't say enough what a difference there is. PBW is the most powerful cleaner I've found. Caked on crud falls right off, carboys and kegs are cleaned with just an overnight soaking, no scrubbing. Star San is by far the best sanitizer I've used. I've never had as much as one infected bottle of beer since switching to it. I use it on kegs, carboys, lines, hoses, racking cane, airlocks - everything. I even use it to sanitize corks when I bottle wine. No corrosion, no staining, powerful sanitizing. (Note: Bleach corrodes stainless steel. Do NOT use bleach to sanitize anything stainless! Iodophor works on just about anything, but stains and discolors plastic. Star San has neither of these problems.) Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 2002 12:36:41 -0400 From: Bill Wible <bill at brewbyyou.net> Subject: Re: Miller's Books Both fine books in their time, but there is a new introductory brewing text/guide book out now. It's probably been out for about a year, called "How To Brew" by John J Palmer. I've reviewed this book personally, and I like it better than the Papazian standby "New Complete Joy of Homebrewing" and others, such as Miller's books. Palmer's book has more up to date material, with actual information on such things as pitchable yeast, ie White Labs and Wyeast Tubes, even pictures of such things. It's written at a beginner's level, and is packed with useful information, not esoteric discussions about yeast in space or other such nonsense. And its not full of pictures from the 70's, with people in bad hair-do's standing in the avocado green kitchen that you can just see, even through the black and white photos, either. I plan to carry this book on my shelves, and I may even replace the others with it altogether, I like it that much. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 10:53:07 -0700 (PDT) From: "H. Dowda" <hdowda at yahoo.com> Subject: French ale story Seems in the last year or so one of the mags ran a good piece on French ales from the Normandy/Brittany area. Mentioned locations of a couple of small craft brewing operations. Also talked about Norman cider (uuuumh, Norman cider). Anyone remember the story? Appreciate communication from anyone with info who has been there. e-mail fine. Thanks Harold 4th Annual Palmetto State Brewers Open September 28. http://www.sagecat.com/psb.htm Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 2002 16:39:55 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at comcast.net> Subject: cereal mash Brewers An HBD reader found that I didn't make cereal mash instructions clear enough, and after my answers, felt that they were good enough that he suggested that I post to the general readership. Here it is: >Jeff - I did not understand the meaning of the following in your >recent HBD post. > >>To cook, add about 30% malt ("premalt) (that's 30% of its weight, not >>30% of the malt in the recipe) > >Would you please explain? Ah, yes. This seems to often cause confusion. Here's the deal. For my basic 8 gallon recipe, I use 11 lbs. of 6-row malt and 3 lbs. of cornmeal. So, for the 3 lbs of corn meal, I use 30% malt, or 15 ounces, with the corn. Actually, I use a pound, but that's the idea. The premalt helps keep the cornmeal from turning into a lump of cornmeal mush. I mash it at ~153F, then boil for 30-40 minutes, then add it to the main mash. If this still isn't clear, fire away again. - ------- >Jeff - Thanks for the speedy reply. I think I have it now: you add >to the cornmeal an amount of malt equal to roughly 30 % of the >weight of the cornmeal, and then mash the mixture before boiling it >to gelatinize the cornmeal. But what is the purpose of mashing >before cooking? Boiling will destroy the enzymes in the malt mixed >with the cornmeal, but surely there are plenty in the main mash to >do the job. So I would not expect the small mash to be the only way >to convert those starches. But perhaps there is some benefit to >holding the cornmeal at 153 degrees for a while? > > I have followed with interest the posts relating to CAP, and I >look forward to doing one before the summer is over. But for right >now, the next HBD gleaning to be put to good use will be beer can >chicken on the fourth. The grill is ready, the fixings are on hand, >and I'm hot to trot. > > Happy Fourth! You've got the idea. This pre-mashing isn't to convert the starch in the cornmeal for the yeast, it's for ease of handling the cereal mash. For the most part, the starch isn't gelatinized - that's the purpose of boiling. Most of the it is converted in the main mash by the balance of the malt. But there is some available starch in the cornmeal from starch bodies that were damaged by the milling process, and this starch can make the whole thing set up like stiff porridge. Mashing this before boiling keeps it liquid. I've tried the process both with and without the premalt, and the difference is remarkable. This is more important in commercial scale brewing where the cereal mash has to be pumped. I suspect there is also some breakdown of protein in the premash, but I don't know. When this process was developed in the 1870s or 80s, it made a big difference in the handling of corn and rice in beer and in the quality of the final beer. Glad you are planning to brew a CAP - I have one fermenting now for my daughter's wedding in August. I also have a Vienna mild (George Fix's recipe with changes for modern malt) lagering, and will brew ginger wit and a mild porter. Have a great Fourth. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 2002 16:48:27 -0400 From: Peter Collins & Sara Wilbur <sarapete at sympatico.ca> Subject: lager virgin Hi all, I am just in the midst of primary fermentation of my very first batch of pilsener and had some questions regarding the process etc.: 1. It has been in the primary since June 26 but didn't start to really take off until the following day or more. It has sat at 50F for the whole time (in a spare fridge). High krauesen seems to have come and gone but the activity is still pretty active (about 1 bubble in the blow off tube every second or so, if this makes sense). I am going away on July 6th for two weeks and thought that I would have it in the secondary by then but am not sure if I should rack it now or not. Advice? 2. Suggested temperature for the secondary? 3. Suggested duration for the secondary? 4. Technically, is the secondary the lagering stage or once it is bottled is that the lagering stage? 5. I am also curious what chemicals other people are using for cleaning and sanitizing. I currently use diversol for sanitizing but have always just treated clean-up like washing dishes and used detergent. Is there a way I could improve on this? Things seem generally clean but I know that there is a bit of a sour taste to my beers when I don't dry hop. Connection? I appreciate your input into my brewing and hopefully I will have a better beer for it. Peter Collins Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 2002 17:01:27 -0500 From: Peter Torgrimson <petertorgrimson at prodigy.net> Subject: Re: BJCP exam preparation David Doak wrote a few weeks ago about preparing for the BJCP exam. One excellent way to learn more about beer is to join a homebrew club. Here in Austin we have the ZEALOTS. If you send me your email address, we can put you on the list for the email newsletter. Peter Torgrimson petertorgrimson at prodigy.net Austin, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 2002 22:48:42 -0400 From: Randy Ricchi <randyr at up.net> Subject: Convoluted copper wort chiller Has anyone used the counter-flow wort chiller made of convoluted copper that St. Patrick's sells? Looks like a very promising product. The only thing that worries me is that it may be harder to clean because the convolutions on the inside of the tubing would make for a narrower space for crud to build up. This may be negated by increased turbulence of the cleaning solution. One other thought; if any air was getting into the chiller with the wort (say, if the vinyl tubing wasn't a real tight fit on the chiller), would the increased turbulence mix the air into solution more than a regular counter flow chiller? Return to table of contents
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