HOMEBREW Digest #4062 Wed 09 October 2002

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  pH of saliva and airborne microbes (JohanNico)" <JohanNico.Aikema at akzonobel.com>
  RE: Beeson's Pale Chocolate Malt ("Drew Avis")
  re: Zepto-sized brewing in a growler?? (Paul Kensler)
  RE: Rennerian calculator (Eis) - Eastman" <stjones at eastman.com>
  Rennerian calculator (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Ion/water softener and pH ("Michael Hackney")
  CIP Stuff... ("Dennis Collins")
  Hose length and foam, overnight mash ("Dave Burley")
  Re: Yeast Experiment (Jeff Renner)
  It's Baaaaackkk! (Pat Babcock)
  I'm new so I haven't read every post, so let's talk Rodenbach (jodysdad)
  Metal mesh lint trap filters (David Towson)
  Call For Judges - TRUB XIV (Jmcelver)
  Reverse Osmosis Boost Pumps? (mohrstrom)
  Steam powered rims ("Eric Stiers")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 07:27:50 +0200 From: "Aikema, J.N. (JohanNico)" <JohanNico.Aikema at akzonobel.com> Subject: pH of saliva and airborne microbes Hi, Dave Kerr <dave_kerr2001 at yahoo.com> wrote: >If manpower is not an issue, have your crew chew mouthsful (mouthfuls?) of raw barley and spit into the mashtun - saliva has loads of amylase, doesnt it?> I had problems with manpower. And I found out the pH of saliva is a little to high (6.2-7.4). Mine is 6.7. So you have to mix the grain with some acid (ascorbic acid :-) I got an answer from a specialist about the number of airborn microbes: >I presume you are referring to airborne microbes in indoor environments. Indoor counts depend on two factors, ventiation dilution and source of new contaminats. Household counts are generally low (<50/cubic meter). Barn counts with active animal are much higher, particularly in poultry barns with feathers flying. Summer counts may be somewhat higher than winter in temperate climates, but that is not a certainty.> Greetings from Holland (Europe), Hans Aikema http://home.wanadoo.nl/hoorns.hopbier/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 08:23:59 -0400 From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: Beeson's Pale Chocolate Malt Nils Hedglin asks about Beeson's pale chocolate malt. Nils, you can mail order this malt from Paddock Wood. They used to carry Paul's, and I'm not sure of the difference, if any between Paul's and Beeston's. But if they're similar, this is a fabulous dark malt. In conjunction with some de-husked carafa and Gambrinus honey malt, it makes a wonderful porter. Drew Avis, Member of Barleyment for Greater Merrickville, Ontario http://www.strangebrew.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 05:42:46 -0700 (PDT) From: Paul Kensler <paul_kensler at yahoo.com> Subject: re: Zepto-sized brewing in a growler?? It might be worth mentioning that there are more than one kind of container referred to as growlers... I've seen the "plain" half-gallon jugs (either clear or amber) - similar to what Gallo wine or apple juice comes in - called growlers. I've also seen those nifty 2L German bottles with the Grolsch-style gasketed ceramic swing top and aluminum handles called growlers. I've fermented in the former (meads, leftovers from larger batches, splits to experiment with yeast, etc.), and I've used them to buy beer from a brewery or bring beer to a friend's house (filled straight out of my taps) but I don't know that I would feel comfortable carbonating in them. They seem to be pretty thin glass. Some breweries provide really nice plastic caps with vinyl seals; others provide the plain ol' metal screw cap with that thin film on the inside. The metal ones seem to work when new for bringing the beer home from a micro, but I've never tried to re-use that kind. I have naturally carbonated beer in the 2L German-style growlers on several occasions with no problem and would not hesitate to do so again. They are very thick glass and the closure is very secure. They are easy to clean and replacement gaskets for the growler are available either through a local supply store, or by swapping the growler at a local brewpub. Hope this helps, Paul Kensler Gaithersburg, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 09:18:09 -0400 From: "Jones, Steve (Eis) - Eastman" <stjones at eastman.com> Subject: RE: Rennerian calculator Hi, all. There have been a few posts lately lamenting the inaccessibility of Brian Levetzow's Rennerian Calculator, which seems to have fallen into an inactive state. Some of you may remember that Brian and I both independently developed a javascript Rennerian Calculator a while back, and that I asked Pat to post it on the HBD site mere hours before Brian did so. Subsequently it was determined that mine had an error in it, such that by my accord, Phil Yates was secretly living in Siberia, so rather than figure out the problem I bowed to Brians' superior model and dumped mine. However, I had made a copy of Brian's code (without his explicit permission) and kept it, purely for my own analysis (you buy that, don't you?). Now, since Brian's home page has become inactive, then moved, then become inactive again, I will publicize the existence of it on the site that I maintain. It is on the HBD server, so I don't think it is going anywhere soon. So, the url to the aforementioned Rennerian Calculator developed by Brian Levetzow is http://hbd.org/franklin/public_html/tools/rc.html All the credit goes to Brian - I am merely the messenger. And as Jeff always says, Rennerian Coordinates are really no proper substitute for a name and city/state or province/country in your sig line. It's nice to know where folks are located. Steve Jones Johnson City, TN, USA [421.8 mi, 168.5 deg] Apparent Rennerian State of Franklin Homebrewers http://hbd.org/franklin Proud member of the American Homebrewers Association Have a suggestion on improving the AHA? email me at stevejones at aob.org Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 08 Oct 2002 09:20:35 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at comcast.net> Subject: Rennerian calculator "Hedglin, Nils A" <nils.a.hedglin at intel.com> wrote from an unknown location (but I seem to remember that it's Sacramento or thereabouts): >[I'd stick my Rennerian Coordinates in here, but the link I have for >the calculator is broken.] You used to be able to get to it from the FAQ but there doesn't seem to be a link there. Pat? At any rate, it's at http://hbd.org/rennerian_table.shtml. But more important is to include your location. 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: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 09:41:00 -0400 From: "Michael Hackney" <mhackney at micromationsciences.com> Subject: Re: Ion/water softener and pH Jeff: For the most part I only brew ales. I did get the water test done and here's the results: pH - 6.53 Chloride - 146 mg/L ( I'm not sure this parameter matters in brewing ) Sodium - 169 mg/L The sodium level is high since the recommended limit is 50.0 mg/L, but I'm not sure how this will effect my beer, other then accentuate the hop bitterness maybe. Is CaCl2 work the same as gypsum, and is there a way to determine how much I need to add? Thanks Michael Hackney - -----Original Message----- From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at comcast.net> To: Posting Address Only - No Requests <homebrew at hbd.org> Cc: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at charter.net>; Michael Hackney <mhackney at micromationsciences.com> Date: Monday, October 07, 2002 9:10 AM Subject: Re: Ion/water softener and pH "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> wrote: >Michael Hackney has recently moved from a city water supply to a well and >wonders if pH paper is adequate to check the pH of the water for adjustment. > >The pH of the water is irrelevant as the calcium, and to some extent the >magnesium content, of the mash liquor (brewing water) and the grist makeup >control the pH of the mash. > >If your water source is a well ( as mine was when I lived in NJ) and you >soften it and ion exchange it ( as I did) you should have no problem except >carbon dioxide in it. A quick boil or air scrub should solve that problem if >you want to. > >I'd use the water ( which should be ion free) as you get it and modify it >with calcium for ales and the like. For lagers, I wouldn't touch it. If you >insist, then add 20 ppm as calcium chloride. I'm confused, Dave. Michael says he softens his water, and I presume, as you did, that it is softened by ion exchange, not by reverse osmosis. Ion exchange softeners. For those who don't know (Dave does), this exchanges two sodium ions for every calcium or magnesium ion (these are what makes water "hard". This makes the water "soft" - i.e., it makes good lather with soap. This is because calcium and magnesium ions in hard water substitute for the sodium on the soap molecule, which makes the soap insoluble, and if it can't go into solution, it can't clean. Back to your message. In your fourth paragraph above, Dave, you say Michael should use his water "as you get it." Do you mean as it comes out of his well, or out of the softener? Either way, it doesn't make sense. You seem to have jumped to ion-free RO water. Did the HBD server steal some text again? Michael - here's my advise. Your ion-exhange softened water will have no calcium (calcium is necessary for mashing) and lots of sodium (which is bad for beer, although it doesn't affect the mashing process). Your well water may need treatment for brewing, but you should probably get an analysis. A water softener company or Sears can do this for you if you tell them you are considering buying a softener. My well water here in Michigan is moderately hard (calcium and some magnesium) and relatively high in alkalinity. It works fine as is for dark and even copper-colored beers, but for all pale malt mashes, it is too alkaline. For these beers, I boil and decant, which removes much of the alkalinity. Since it also removes much of the calcium, I also add either CaCl2 or CaSo4 (gypsum), depending on style. pH paper for the mash and runoff is a good way monitoring how your brew is going and if the water is suitable for the style you are brewing. 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: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 09:38:51 -0400 From: "Dennis Collins" <dcollins at drain-all.com> Subject: CIP Stuff... In the homebrew realm, on any particular subject, the opinions cover the full spectrum - the lazy approach and the zealous approach - with each saying that their approach works great. Take sanitation for instance, I read a subscriber letter in BYO about a year ago where a guy wrote in and said he never bothered to sanitize anything and his beer was fine, then at the other end there are people who sanitize their eyeballs before they even look at their beer. Both approaches claim success. All this in saying, regardless of the claims, what works for you is how you should do it. On the Clean in Place thread, I tend to fall at the lazy end of the spectrum. I run a HERMS type system, however, none of it is hard piped - there are QD's at every connection and nothing gets put away still connected. After mashout, I sparge through the pump and through the HERMS coil into the mash tun. After the sparge is complete, I figure that several gallons of hot water through the pump, hoses, and through the coil during the sparge was enough to rinse away anything meaningful that might be there. For clean up, I basically just rinse everything out with water, shake off as much water as possible, and let things air dry or wipe them out with a towel. I try very hard not to put anything away wet. I think this is much more important than how clean it is, especially for pre-boil procedures. For me, I just can't see pumping cleaners through the system after every brew. I'm way too lazy and this simplified procedure works very well for me. Would it hurt? Absolutely not. In fact, about once a year, I will set up my system and run PBW through it as a maintenance cleaning - and yes, I do get some crud out during this process, but not much. And I don't notice a taste difference between the first beer out of the cleaned system and the last beer out of the system before the yearly maintenance cleaning. For a lazy person like me, once a year sounds more attractive than every brew session. My whole point here is that people should know where to concentrate their efforts in brewing. This is a very labor intensive hobby and spending a significant amount of time on a process that affects the beer out in the second decimal place is not really justified in my opinion. Is my beer fine? Of course, otherwise I would be running cleaners through my system every time. I'm not advocating that anyone change what they are currently doing - you have to do what works for you, I'm just stating that there are as many successful approaches for any brewing task as there are brewers. My philosophy is, get the biggest bang for your buck. Find out which end of the spectrum you tend to fall (lazy or zealous), and then balance that against your beer taste threshold. This is just one of those data points at the lazy end of the spectrum claiming success. Dennis Collins Knoxville, TN http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com "In theory, theory and practice are the same, but not in practice". Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 10:06:02 -0400 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Hose length and foam, overnight mash Brewsters: Over the many years I have read lots of stuff about the correct hose length to prevent foaming of beer. Frankly, I am unconvinced. Primary to this issue is the fact that the pressure drop from corny keg to tap is always the same and independent of the hose length, as the tap or business Under non-flow conditions the pressure at the tap end of the hose is the same as the keg. A longer hose will just heat up the beer and increase the tendency to foam IMHO. Under flow conditions there will be a pressure drop per unit length along the hose essentially proportional to the hose length, but the outlet ( where foam formation occurs unless the inside of the hose is not smooth) will still be at atmospheric. I suspect the formation of foam has more to do with the flow mechanics at the valve than anything else, as a partially closed valve will often generate more foam than a valve wide open. Turbulence at the valve undoubtedly plays a big part in the foaming. so do whatever you can to reduce the turbulence ( bigger valve, lower keg pressure, select a gate valve). Does anyone have an actual set of numbers ( like foam volume per foot of hose) to demonstrate or refute this apparent (to me) momily? - ----------------------------- Tom Karnowski mashed overnight at 144F and was surprised to find his beer temprature say 158F and I'll bet you won't have this problem. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 08 Oct 2002 10:32:29 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Yeast Experiment Rick Foote <rfoote at mindspring.com> of the Chicken City Ale Raisers in Murrayville, Georgia posted the results of his club's lager yeast 'spurment. Thanks for the post. I have had good luck with WLP830 and with Weihenstephan 34/70, which is what I think 830 is, from other sources, so I suspect an infection as well. Maybe some chickens**t? Wyeast did a similar experiment for NHC2002 with all of their wheat and Belgian yeasts with a generic kind of a wheat and barley wort. Very interesting tasting. Can't remember the results at this point, though, and who knows where my notes are. Maybe 10 years ago our club did a similar experiment with 55 gallons of a basic ale wort brewed in a steam powered picoBrewing system and 11 yeasts from YCKC. The only thing I remember is that my wort was definitely infected with cooked cabbage smell. I doubt that it was an infected yeast, but who knows where it came from. This is a great club project. I hope others will do it. As Rick says, it's hard to draw conclusions from one test. 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: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 10:56:52 -0400 (EDT) From: Pat Babcock <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: It's Baaaaackkk! Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... For some unfathomable reason or t'other, access to the Rennerian Calculator had been removed from the HBD site. After querying around as to why I might have done this, I have settled upon the explanation that I must have restored the FAQ at some point from an outdated copy, maliciously dropped into my webfarm directory by malicious prohibitionist gremlins. After making this shocking determination, I put the code back in its rightful place to make the thing accessible from the FAQ once again. All was to be right with the world once again!Then, to my utter astonishment, I find posts in the queue once again mourning its loss! How can this be?! Well, my research has shown that I had updated an outdated file in the production directory! Those same malicious gremlins again. In any case, my apologies for its long absence, and for the apparent lack of speed in getting it back on the site, but I had to be sure that I had no records of either the original script's author or Brian Levetzow requesting its removal. And then, of course, I screwed up the site update... - -- - 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 "I don't want a pickle. I just wanna ride on my motorsickle" - Arlo Guthrie Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 12:24:57 -0400 (EDT) From: jodysdad at starchefs.com Subject: I'm new so I haven't read every post, so let's talk Rodenbach After much tireless research into the brewing of Rodenbach, I have become discouraged. It appears that reproducing a similar product at home would be an enormous undertaking. The blend of yeasts, aging for years in barrels, blending. I might as well attempt to produce a bottle of '61 Petrus. As I am a huge fan of Rodenbach's beers, this distresses me to no of techniques, yeasts, etc. has anybody tried and how well did you fare? Thanks a bunch. Michael from Columbus Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 08 Oct 2002 13:46:00 -0400 From: David Towson <dtowson at comcast.net> Subject: Metal mesh lint trap filters Following my recent post about false bottom materials, I received an offline query concerning availability and physical appearance of the rolled-up metal mesh lint traps I use as a "final filter" under the false bottom. In hopes that others may have an interest in this information, I am posting it here. I should have added a caution that these lint traps usually have a coating of oil that I believe to be a remnant of the manufacturing process, and this oil must be removed by cleaning with a detergent. Running the unrolled lint trap through a dishwasher works nicely. Metal mesh lint traps are widely available in grocery, hardware and home improvement stores (e.g., Home Depot). One common brand is "Helping Hand", and you can see a picture of the package at http://www.faucetqueen.com/detail.asp?ItemNum=01000 . The photo shows two traps rolled-up like condoms. If you picture in your mind a condom made of woven metal mesh, that's exactly what the trap looks like when unrolled. You can see a drawn illustration at http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/solutions/article/0,13422,211673,00.html . Dave in Bel Air, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 19:39:16 EDT From: Jmcelver at aol.com Subject: Call For Judges - TRUB XIV Mark Your Calendar! On Saturday November 2, 2002 the Triangle Unabashed homeBrewers will hold our 14th annual homebrew competition in Raleigh, NC. If you wish to participate as a judge, please email the Director Of Judging, John McElver, at jmcelver at aol.com. If you need overnight accommodations, please let us know. Lunch will be provided for judges and stewards. If you wish to enter the competition, details and forms can be found at http://hbd.org/trub/ Please forward this email to persons you know may be interesting in judging, stewarding or entering TRUB XIV. Thanks and many hoppy brews! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 08 Oct 2002 21:47:13 -0400 From: mohrstrom at core.com Subject: Reverse Osmosis Boost Pumps? Several brewers in this area were interested in a bulk buy of RO units from a supplier. One aspect that seemed to kill the deal was the requirement of high water supply pressure for good efficiency across the membrane. For instance, my pump setpoints are 30/50 PSI. IIRC, 70-80 PSI was optimum. Does anyone use a boost pump to supply their RO unit? Any advice? Any bad (or great) experiences with Brand (X,Y,Z) system? Expiring minds wanna know ... Mark in Kalamazoo Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 22:30:38 -0500 From: "Eric Stiers" <ewstiers at chorus.net> Subject: Steam powered rims Hi all- A friend and I are in mid-process of building a RIMS system with a pair of jacketed stainless 20 gal mash/boil vats that he got from our workplace in exchange for giving the boss a six-pack of homebrew <insert evil grin here>. These vats are great for mashing since the jacket acts like insulation, so one of them can be put to use directly. Making a boil vat out of the other one however is a bit tricker since we can't just put it over a propane burner and expect to heat the wort with any kind of reasonable efficiency, again due to the jacket being a good insulator. One thing we are considering is running a steam line into the jacket of the boil vat; it has three openings that could be used for steam input, vent, and condensate drain. I'm not a steam engineer, but I did take a couple of physics classes in school and on the surface this looks pretty do-able. After searching the archives here and the web in general however, I have yet to really find anyone who is doing something similar to this scheme. Does anyone on the list have any experience/suggestions/links that they'd be willing to share? Thanks in advance, Eric Stiers Madison, WI Return to table of contents
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