HOMEBREW Digest #4018 Sat 17 August 2002

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  Re: Burner salvaging ("Kent Fletcher")
  Cornie keg parts (John Scime)
  Counter Pressure Bottling and Filtering ("Dennis Collins")
  Portland Trip (Jeff)
  Re: Brian's judging story (Paul Kensler)
  Re: Star San (Bill Wible)
  Re:  Burner salvaging ("Steve Heffner")
  RE: judging (Brian Lundeen)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 01:28:49 -0700 From: "Kent Fletcher" <kfletcher at socal.rr.com> Subject: Re: Burner salvaging "Barrett, Bob (R.A.)" <rbarrett at ford.com> asked about > With all this salvage talk the past few days I have been wondering if > anyone has ever made a homebrew set up from a discarded water > heater burner or burners? How do the BTU's compare to the > 175,000-200,000 BTU's of the Cajun Cooker? What else do you > need to do to be able to use it? How does it attach to the framing > of your brewing stand? Do you have any pictures? Is one particular > brand better than another? Bob, Bill Owens, of Buffalo Bills, possibly the first brewpub in California, wrote a little book titled "How to Build a Small Brewery: draft beer in ten days." In it's first incarnation, the Owens' brewery used water heater burners. So yes, it's been done. In terms of output, they are pitiful when compared to a propane cooker. Burners from domestic water heaters are generally in the 30 to 40 KBTU/Hr range. While they are geneally not difficult to mount in a brew stand, you will want to fabricate a wind shield. As the original heaters are not rated for outdoor installations, the burner design can lead to even mild breezes causing flameouts. I believe Owens' book, with illustrations, is viewable on line, either on the HBD or Brewery.org libraries. Or you could check your local city library, mine has it. ;) Hope that helps, Kent Fletcher brewing in So Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 04:40:37 -0700 (PDT) From: John Scime <jascime at yahoo.com> Subject: Cornie keg parts Tony Barnsley <tony.barnsley at blackpool.gov.uk> asks about suppliers for cornie keg replacement parts. The MEMBERS of BARLEYment (a pun on Members of Parliament - for you folks unfamiliar with the British and Canadian systems of government, MPs are similar to your Congressional reps) the virtual home brewing club located in Canada's captial city Ottawa, often make bulk purchases through a Canadian supplier called SIMGO <www.simgo.com> (No affiliation, etc., just a happy customer). I can attest to their prices being quite reasonable (about $2 CDN for poppets). They have a vast supply of many beverage dispensing products, and, since the prices are in Canadian dollars, folks in the US and UK will be able to take advantage of the advantageous exchange rate ($1 CDN = ~$0.62 USD at present). Tony, if you contact me off-list I can provide more details. Cheers! John Scime Members of Barleyment (MOBsters) p.s. MOB has been unofficialy refered to recently by yours truly, as the HOZERS - Hull-Ottawa Zymergistic Enterprises and Research Society. However, club names were recently put to the vote and HOZERS lost out to the eloquent MOB, or MOBsters. Oh, the trials of a democratic society! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 09:49:13 -0400 From: "Dennis Collins" <dcollins at drain-all.com> Subject: Counter Pressure Bottling and Filtering A friend and I have noticed that our long term storage (2 weeks or more) of counter pressure bottled beer bears no resemblance to the beer that comes out of the keg. The bottled beer loses hop and malt character and develops a sweet edge that may resemble some kind of infection. My logical conclusion was that our equipment is not clean, except that we have taken our CPBF's apart and scrupulously cleaned and sanitized before the bottling operation. Two different set up's cleaned and sanitized, two different operators, two different operations on different days, and the same result. Has anyone here experienced a problem with CP bottled beer? Is there something inherent in the process that would account for such a dramatic impact on the flavor after 2 weeks in the bottle? Or are we just not quite anal enough about cleanliness? It should be noted that the beer styles in question are mostly lighter styles like APA and Ordinary Bitter where flaws are easy to spot. I can imagine that big and complex beers could hide the flaws that I am referring to. Secondly, filtering. My friend has one of those plate filters from Williams Brewing with the large diameter filter pads. The beer prior to filtering tastes quite good (again, lighter styles like APA and OB), but after filtering, the then crystal clear beer tastes terrible. He is filtering beer from the secondary, then force carbonating. Like I said, the filtering works wonders on clarity, but it's like it filters all the taste out and the beer almost tastes oxidized. Is there some trick to filtering? I've observed the process and the technique seems valid, good sanitation procedures, purging of all the air in the lines with pre-boiled water, kegs purged with CO2, etc. Is a dramatic flavor change just part of the territory and you have to actually adjust your recipe? I didn't think filtering was supposed to affect the taste this significantly, just clear up an already very good beer. Any thoughts? Dennis Collins Knoxville, TN http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 07:06:51 -0700 (PDT) From: Jeff <duckinchicago at yahoo.com> Subject: Portland Trip Heading out next week for a trip back to the best beer town in the US and was wondering if there were any off-the-beaten path places I shouldn't miss. We're staying at a McMenamins and I'm definitely going to hit Bridgeport, Rogue and Full Sail (and probably Lucky Labs, just for old times sake). Anyone have any other places they'd recommend?? Personal email is fine... Jeff Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 07:28:46 -0700 (PDT) From: Paul Kensler <paul_kensler at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Brian's judging story In response to the various responses to Brian's post about the judging comments... and in response to Bill Wible's post about those guys that win first place ribbons every time and how they never complain about crappy score sheets... I'm definitely not one of "those" guys, but I do generally get more out of score sheets for my occasional winning beers, than I do for the "ribbon-challenged" beers (I won't call them losers; they're all special in their own way!). The reason is, if I have a beer that doesn't place (may be good but not in style, or may have a flaw), then the judges' comments are generally consistent with my own evaluation, or with the evaluation I've already received from sharing it with friends and family. I frequently see comments that echo my own opinion, but I rarely see a comment that inspires me to do something different next time. Plus, I often brew to taste, not to style, so judges' comments (relating my beer to a style that I wasn't trying to replicate) may not even be relevant. I just enter those beers in the nearest category to see how they do, see if I can get a fancy ribbon or prize, and to support the local competition. On the other hand, winning beers generally have more comments on them - the judges like them, they find more to like about them, and so they write more. In so doing, I learn more about what another person is tasting - somebody who is concentrating on judging, and not somebody tasting the beer in a social situation - and I get a chance to read what I did _right_ as far as the style guidelines and overall drinking pleasure go. Yeah, I'm happy to have a .25 cent nylon ribbon for my ego wall, but WHY did they decide my beer was worth it? Cheers! Paul Kensler Gaithersburg, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 11:25:10 -0400 From: Bill Wible <bill at brewbyyou.net> Subject: Re: Star San Star San is an excellent product made by a company called Five Star. Here is their website for more info: http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/ Click on the 'Homebrewer' link. Those who still use bleach should check it out. Unlike bleach, Star San is tasteless, odorless, adds nothing to the beer, and doesn't have to be rinsed. The bubbles are no problem. In addition to Star San, they also make a product called PBW, which is one of the absolute best cleaners I've ever seen. PBW and Star San have been around for about 4 or 5 years (at least) that I'm aware, because I've been using both since 1998 or 1999. I found these to be about the best cleaner and sanitizer I've ever used. Star San comes in an 8 oz or 32 oz bottle. You use 1 oz in 5 gallons. It can be re-used a couple times. PBW comes in a single use 2 oz packet, a 1lb jar, or a 4lb jar. You use 2 oz in 5 gallons. Soak overnight, and just about anything comes off. It can also be re-used. They're also sold together in a kit that contains both. And not to put in a shameless plug here, but I sell them on my website. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 12:01:09 -0500 From: "Steve Heffner" <potatopotato at earthlink.net> Subject: Re: Burner salvaging Typical btu ratings for water heaters are 30-32000 for 40 gal. units and 40000 btu for 50 gal. models. Low cost units may have a small, simple deflector that might not spread the flame out well, causing possible scorching problems. I have a 40K btu burner from an A.O.Smith heater with a nice 5" dia. sheet metal 'ring' with corrugations simulating holes. I don't have it hooked up yet, but expect a nice wide radial flame from it. The pilot and thermostat also come attached, but I don't know if I'll hook them up - they would need the gas valve from the heater. Maybe I'll use them and put a needle or small ball valve before the orifice. These burners are obviously much smaller than a Cajun Cooker, but I will be using it indoors where the heat won't get blown away. HTH, Steve Heffner La Grange, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 12:09:06 -0500 From: Brian Lundeen <BLundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: RE: judging Bill Wible responds: > > Brian, there is so much going on here. It sounds like > these might not even have been judge's comments at all, > but could have been something an editor made up. Or it > might have been a 'cut and paste' problem where they > inadvertently used the same comments twice. To your first point, I would say, highly unlikely. They were identified in the book as judges' comments, and to suggest otherwise is a slur on the integrity of the AHA publishers. As to the second point, the comments contained enough differences that it was clearly not a reuse of one comment. (stuff snipped) You raise valid points about people's ability to write and command of English. I would never attack people who are clearly struggling with a language other than their native tongue. However, the ability to verbalize one's perceptions in an effective manner is a necessary component of being a good judge. This is part of what I believe the BJCP tries to ensure in their testing. This could easily have been someone who was not BJCP certified. Obviously judging skills vary, and if we only wanted to use the best, we probably wouldn't have enough judges to run a Biere de Garde competition in Kalamazoo. ;-) Still, it was the just the way these came across to me as "canned comments", I almost expected to see Yada, yada, yada appear in the text at some point. ;-) I can accept that this might be more "my problem" than a "real problem". It just makes me wonder how much thought and effort goes into some judges' evaluations. > > And canned comments like the one you quoted are still far > better than some of the ones I've gotten. I've had sections > on scoresheets that were returned to me that had 3 letters in > the whole section. Something like 'DMS'. That was the whole > comment section. Very true. The comments were at least reasonably descriptive and useful. Now if you had stopped at this point, I probably wouldn't have even bothered responding. Any differences of opinion we have to here are relatively minor or just being repetitive. Where I have a problem is your comments below. > It seems the guys who get a 38 and a first place award every > time out usually don't care as much about what the judges > actually wrote, now do they? And you'll notice its the same > guys every time. You don't hear from them about quality of > comments. Its usually guys who got low scores or who didn't > get a ribbon that are doing all the complaining 'about the judges'. In the few competitions I've entered, my beer has done reasonably well. I have had best of class and best of show, although hardly at any of the major homebrew events. However, I don't have the tasting experience to identify all the flaws in my beers, even if they are minor. If an experienced judge can tell me, Brian, you have fusels in your beer, great, I know how to fix that. But I can't fix a problem I don't know I have. That is why good judging is so important to helping brewers improve their skills. Indeed, there are entrants who could care less about the comments, and whose primary goal is winning. Unfortunately, judges have absolutely no way of knowing who those people are. My belief, and I'm sure I've annoyed more than a few winemakers up here by harping on this ad nauseum, is that every entry must be judged fully and completely, with the assumption that the entrant wants to learn as much as possible about their entry from an experienced taster. Time constraints are no excuse, organizers should plan better. Organizers should not try to do too much. Better to have a well run competition of a few classes, than a poorly run competition that takes entries across the board. Variations in judging ability are also no excuse. There is a place for inexperienced judges at competitions, but organizers should ensure that each table includes at least one experienced and skilled judge. Anything less is a disservice to the people who are spending their money on entry and shipping fees. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it. Cheers Brian Lundeen Brewing (yes, I actually do that occasionally) at [314,829] aka Winnipeg Return to table of contents
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