HOMEBREW Digest #4069 Thu 17 October 2002

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  Steam powered RIMS report ("Eric Stiers")
  cyser help (johncampbell)
  Mash capacity (SpamZapper)
  Homebrew for Sale? ("Charley Burns")
  RE: Just wondering ("David Houseman")
  CPBF Oxidation ("Dennis Collins")
  RE: Just wondering ("Doug Hurst")
  RE: carboy cleaning (Sean McDonald)
  Warning!!!!!! ("Jeff Beinhaur")
  Steam & Jackets & Pcookers ("DRTEELE")
  Drilling Holes in SS (jayspies)
  FW: Re: 10 gal Gott capacity ("Paul Stutzman")
  The Real Iodine question. (John Sarette)
  Shipping to Competitions ("Mark Tumarkin")
  Re: Food Grade Paint... yum ;-) ("Bob Sutton")
  Paint yer flaggon (Pat Babcock)
  Astringency & pH - where is the data ? ("Steve Alexander")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 00:24:30 -0500 From: "Eric Stiers" <ewstiers at chorus.net> Subject: Steam powered RIMS report Hi all- Sorry to set off the great steam debate of '02 and then run off - it's been a busy week and I haven't kept up with my email. Anyway, thanks to all who posted their opinions, either for or against. I just wanted to jump in with a bit of a progress report and to clear up some of the misconceptions I've seen regarding our system. First off, we're using the steam to boil with and not for mashing. Our mashing setup is heated by a PID with a couple of water heater elements. To me, the 240V on that part of the circuit is the most dangerous thing about the setup - we've been careful to ground all metallic parts of the system that are in contact with the heaters just in case, and to insulate any exposed wire contacts. It's a really nice system tho - we've had +/-0.1C control after a bit of tuning with test batches of plain water. On to the steam system... We are using a pressure cooker rated for 25psi, with a blow-off port (left as-is!) that is supposed to go off at around 20psi (we operate the system at 5psi). As someone correctly noted, there are two ports on the system that are threaded; one for the petcock pressure control and one for the pressure gage. Since the petcock is required to set the pressure in the cooker, we unscrewed the gage from it's port and re-plumbed it as close as possible to the cooker on an output line - minimal mechanical changes to the pressure cooker. The line then runs with no further connections to the input port of our steam jacket. On Saturday, we managed to boil about five gallons of test water using this system. While I understand the concern about steam burns, I have to think that with a bit of common sense the probability of having a catastrophic accident is pretty low. To explode the cooker (a) the output lines would have to become plugged, (b) the petcock regulator would have to get stuck closed, and (c) the blow-off valve would have to fail. Since either of the first two items would be detected pretty easily by noticing that the pressure in the vessel had risen beyond the 5psi that we operate at, explosion seems unlikely. My major worry is a leak in one of our plumbed lines that shoots steam into some place that it wasn't meant to go. We tried to counter this possibility by insulating the entire line so that any escaped steam would have a chance to dissipate and cool a bit before reaching the outside world. Again, thanks for all the comments so far. While there have been honest differences of opinion, it's been pretty informed and civil. I'll let you know how the project comes along. Eric ======================= Eric Stiers ewstiers at chours.net Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 00:42:07 -0500 From: johncampbell at comcast.net Subject: cyser help Cyser is truly a wondrous thing. In the beginning, you will see a large deposit of what appears to be sludge, but as fermentation progresses, the depth of this sludge will decrease considerably. Give it plenty of time before you rack it to a secondary. It won't hurt it to leave it on the dregs for six weeks or more. I don't rack mine for months. I have never had any off flavors develop from this. Once in the secondary, it may take a month or more to really clear. Don't worry, unless, of course, your sanitation is poor. I don't make too many small batches of cyser. I usually make it by the barrel, and allow three to four months before racking it into carboys to clear, and then once cleared, I bottle it, still, in wine bottles, some spiced, some not. I don't do sparkling because I make high alcohol cyser (20% +/-), and don't really think I could prime it, though I have found a 25% tolerant yeast and may try it on the next batch. This would be good in Alaska, as I can guarantee that it will not freeze, even at -45 degrees over many days. I tried it once in upstate NY trying to make apple jack, and finally had to give up. You don't really need to dissolve your honey in water if you don't want to dilute your product. I pour my honey directly into the barrel. The mill then fills it with pasteurized no preservative cider. One of the side effects of flash pasteurization is that the mill then flash chills it to 34 degrees. Believe it or not, I pitch a one gallon starter into the chilled cider with no ill effects and the yeast generally takes off when the temperature reaches about 52 degrees and usually within less than 12 hours. A happy by product of this cold start is I usually lose less than a gallon per 50 gallon barrel when it takes off. I let the fermentation carry on at cellar temperature. Since I am in Tennessee now this averages around 60 degrees but can go as high as 70, as only two sides of the space are earth banked. If you check the hbd archives, you can find a detailed account of one such expedition, to which several wags replied "oh God, not another barrel cult". (what the hell do they think cider was made in the last several hundred years?, but I guess they never lived in cider country) Whether you use barrels or carboys, stainless kegs or gallon jugs, I am all about promoting the making of cider and cyser. It is truly a divine nectar. It certainly doesn't take away from the home brewing as you need to brew a lot of beer to have something to drink while you wait for the cyser to mature and properly age. If you have other cyser questions, feel free to mail me off list. I don't want to rile the trolls too much. Much of what I have said here is heresy to those that have not done it, so I will throw in the obligatory YMMV (your mileage may vary) keep on brewin' Hail the Brewers! John "Cyserman" Campbell Kingston Springs TN (just outside of Nashville) http://www.musiccitybrewers.com [6987.3, 7.4] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 01:54:17 -0600 From: SpamZapper <SpamZapper at comcast.net> Subject: Mash capacity Reading Paul Stutzman's post about mash tun capacity reminded me of the old saw I call "Rule of 42". The rule of thumb to use when calculating volume of mash is: a pound and a quart = 42. Those of you who are familiar with Douglas Adams writing should have special pleasure to discover what 42 answers. For you mathematicians and engineers, the equation is 16 + 32 = 42 (huh?) Way it works is a pound of grain + a quart of water will occupy 42 liquid oz. If you add more than a quart of water, add the extra to the final volume - e.g. - If you add 1.5 quarts (1 qt, 16 oz) then it would work out to 42 oz + 16 oz = 58 total ounces of volume. 1.1 quarts (1 qt 3 oz) would occupy 42 + 3 = 45 total ounces of volume. Maybe not precise, but close 'nuff for practical application. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 03:46:16 -0700 From: "Charley Burns" <CharleyBurns at SBCGlobal.Net> Subject: Homebrew for Sale? I went to a local pizzaria last night to hear a friend's band and found that they were selling a couple of really delicious beers on draft. When I asked who supplied the beer the owner (its not a chain, but a family owned business) mumbled something. I asked three times before he finally said that they went to a local Brew Your Own (name changed to protect the guilty) and made it themselves. They were selling it for $3.25/pt and it really was quite good. Question: Does anyone know if this is actually legal? Is it homebrew or is it commercially made beer for resale. I doubt seriously if they've paid the taxes normally associated with making beer for sale. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 07:31:41 -0400 From: "David Houseman" <housemanfam at earthlink.net> Subject: RE: Just wondering Wayne, can we use steam to kill off botulism spores? Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 08:34:18 -0400 From: "Dennis Collins" <dcollins at drain-all.com> Subject: CPBF Oxidation Hello all, A couple of months ago I posted regarding oxidation of counter pressure bottled beer. My question was, why does the beer from my keg taste fine for weeks and weeks, but the bottled beer tastes like crap in about a week? The general consensus from my description of the flavor pointed to oxidation. As to the cause of the oxidation, there were no concrete conclusions. I'm confident of my technique and sanitation practices, it just seemed very strange. Then yesterday, I'm reading the Mr. Wizard section of the latest BYO where he addresses brass, and copper in contact with wort/beer. He stated that pre-fermentation contact with copper and brass does contribute to the presence of copper in the wort, but that this metal content is either consumed during fermentation or bound up in other chemical reactions. I got the impression that it was not that big a deal. However, as fermentation progresses and the pH drops, flavor compounds are produced that are very susceptible to oxidation. He states that: "....brass, copper, and carbon steel should never touch beer....never." I'm making an assumption that by saying "beer", he means post fermentation, and he is not referring to "wort". Anyway, he states: "Once fermentation is complete, however, metal ions will make beer taste metallic or oxidize it. When beer comes in contact with these elements, the first thing that becomes apparent is an unpleasant metallic flavor. After a while the beer will begin to taste oxidized if enough metal is present, just like it would if it were in contact with air or oxygen." Then he goes on to describe an experiment by a company that makes an all stainless steel faucet where beer from the same keg is dispensed through brass and stainless steel faucets with a profound taste difference between the two. The name of the company is Stainless One (www.stainlessone.com). So I go to the website where I find an 8 page study (in the products section) of the effects of brass vs. stainless beer faucets and the bacteria /yeast content, copper content, and taste differences. The study seemed pretty thorough. So, the meat of my post is this: If post fermentation contact of beer with brass causes a significant increase in the copper content of the beer, and copper contributes significantly to beer oxidation in sufficient quantities, then should I be blaming my BRASS counter pressure bottler for my oxidation problems? I encourage the interested folks in the forum to look closely at this and give me your thoughts, BUT, read the BYO article (the first letter in the Mr. Wizard section), and the study at stainlessone.com first. Is there enough evidence here to build a stainless steel CPBF? 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: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 08:47:45 -0500 From: "Doug Hurst" <DougH at theshowdept.com> Subject: RE: Just wondering Zymie writes: "When the steam debate dies down, can we start up the Botulism thread again?" Personally, I was thinking of either aluminum or clinitest. Oh, and by the way, everyone's got it wrong; a 10 gallon Gott holds 10 gallons. Thank you, I'll be here all week. Doug Hurst Chicago, IL [215, 264.5] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 08:58:54 -0500 From: Sean McDonald <seanmc at irga.com> Subject: RE: carboy cleaning For the guy that's having problems cleaning his carboy, I bought a "water snake" that is used for cleaning out pipes. It essentially blows water out at a high pressure on all sides and is awesome for cleaning carboys. I believe that it cost about $6 at wal-mart or any other similar type store. That, along with a carboy brush and dish soap should do the trick. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 10:10:17 -0400 From: "Jeff Beinhaur" <beinhaur at msn.com> Subject: Warning!!!!!! Police warn all clubbers, partygoers and unsuspecting pub regulars to be alert and stay cautious when offered a drink from any woman. An insidious date rape drug called "beer" is being used by many females to target unsuspecting men. It diminishes judgment and visual acuity and increases libido to a dangerous level. The drug is generally found in liquid form, comes in a variety of attractive colors from green to red, but usually golden yellow and brown, and is now available almost anywhere. It comes in bottles, cans, from taps and in large "kegs." "Beer" is used by female sexual predators at parties and bars to persuade their male victims to go home and have sex with them. Typically, a woman needs only to persuade a guy to consume a few units of "beer" and then simply ask him home for supposedly no strings attached sex. Men are rendered helpless against this approach. After several "beers" men will often succumb to desires to perform sexual acts on women to whom they would never normally be attracted. After drinking "beer" men often awaken with only hazy memories of exactly what happened to them the night before, often with just a vague feeling that something very bad occurred. At times these unfortunate men are swindled out of their life's savings in a progressive scam known as "a relationship." It has been reported that in extreme cases, the female may even be shrewd enough to entrap the unsuspecting male into a longer term form of servitude and structured punishment referred to as "marriage." Apparently, men are much more susceptible to this scam after "beer" is administered and sex is offered by the predatory female. Please! Forward this warning to every male you know. However, if you fall victim to this insidious "beer" and the predatory women administering it, there are male support groups with venues in every town where you can discuss the details of your shocking encounter in an open and frank manner with similarly affected, like minded guys. For the support group nearest you, just look up "Golf Courses" in the yellow pages. Jeff Beinhaur, Yellow Breeches Brewery Camp Hill, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 11:04:53 -0400 From: "DRTEELE" <drteele at bellsouth.net> Subject: Steam & Jackets & Pcookers All of this debate on the safety and/or stupidity of using steam in brewing systems is very enlightening, but here are a couple of logistical problems I see. The original post author wanted to use the steam as a heat source for a jacketed kettle. So here are my questions. 1. Is the kettle and the jacket fittings rated for steam temperature/pressure usage? 2. What is the volume of the jacket and is a consumer sized pressure cooker sufficient for the steam volumes required? 3. Is there an accomodation in the kettle jacket for removing the condensate (condensed steam that invariably accumulates within the jacket) either during or after the mash/boil? Also, would the jacket not also require a pressure/vacuum relief valve on the off chance that the steam supply line becomes vapor-locked or blocked in some other way? If you ask me, even if you have only 1 negative response to any of the above questions, you are better off not using a steam source in you system. Dan in Sunny South Florida (where it is still too hot, even without throwing steam into the mix). Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 15:03:44 +0000 From: jayspies at att.net Subject: Drilling Holes in SS All - Having recently acquired Tolodo Metal Spinning's 12.2 gallon SS hopper and Zymie's Konical Kit and Bottom Dump Valve (great, solid pieces of hardware, BTW.....), I am in need of the most effective way to drill the 7/8" holes in the side and bottom to mount the valves. Since the conical hopper was on the expensive side, I'd hate to drill it out with something that won't work well or will damage the SS. I've heard several options, but was wondering if anyone had any "tried and true" methods of creating the hole(s). The guy at Home Despot said that plumbing shops have this little contraption that works by drilling a small hole on center and then attaching two circular clamp/cutter thingys which screw together and punch the hole. This sounds funky. Experiences and/or help would be appreciated because I only want to drill these holes /once/. TIA, Jay Spies Charm City Altobrewery Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 12:11:01 -0700 From: "Paul Stutzman" <Paul.Stutzman at airborne.com> Subject: FW: Re: 10 gal Gott capacity One point of clarification regarding my previous post on mash tun capacity... The gain to water ratios are in pounds of grain to quarts of water. 1:1 = 1 pound of gain in 1 quart of water 1:1.5 = 1 pound of gain in 1.5 quarts of water I hope this clears up any confusion. Paul Stutzman Seattle, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 13:58:13 -0700 (PDT) From: John Sarette <j2saret at yahoo.com> Subject: The Real Iodine question. Yes, others have answered more eloquently than I, why an Iodine test is useful. However, what I need to know is How do I get the splashed (don't ask) iodine out of my shirt? As long as I'm asking simple questions can I beg your indulgence for another? I'm making a hazelnut porter as one of my Christmas brews and it calls for 2 Oz's of hazelnut flavour added at bottling time. Just under an ounce of noirot essence is $3.95 US. I can get 5 ounces of a hazelnut syrup for $2.50 in the supermarket coffee section but it contains perservatives. I know that perservatives are bad for yeast. Will a short boil of the syrup drive off the perservatives or should I take the more expensive option? Thanks John Duluth Mn. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 18:50:06 -0400 From: "Mark Tumarkin" <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Shipping to Competitions The issue of problems people have when shipping beer to competitions comes up from time to time. Some people have trouble shipping beer via UPS or FedEx as their regulations prohibit the practice. This often seems to be a local issue, with a particular employee choosing to look closely at contents. Most of us don't have any problem shipping via these carriers, a plain box isn't generally questioned. If contents are questioned, the answer of yeast samples for evaluation generally does the trick. But here's an unusual situation, it almost comes under the heading of Stupid Brewer Tricks. One of our club members works in a bio lab at UF. He packaged his wife's Kolsch to send off to the Queen of Beer competition. He put it in a box that had previously been shipped to his lab, with the trefoil hazard symbol on it. The UPS driver returned it the next day saying they couldn't ship hazardous material. Duh!!!! A little judicious application of magic marker and the box was on its way again to the competition. Hopefully, it will arrive before the deadline. The brewer shall remain nameless, but let's just say that I don't think 'George' will do this again. Mark Tumarkin Hogtown Brewers Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 20:38:20 -0400 From: "Bob Sutton" <Bob at homebrew.com> Subject: Re: Food Grade Paint... yum ;-) Jon Sandlin is looking for a food-grade paint that is heat resistant to boiling temperatures... Speaking with very little first-hand knowledge I'd look into paint for outdoor grills... hopefully you have something "black" in mind. Bob Fruit Fly Brewhaus Yesterdays' Technology Today Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 22:09:45 -0400 (EDT) From: Pat Babcock <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: Paint yer flaggon Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... Jon Sandlin is looking for a food-grade paint for his pot... Hmmm... What about the enamel they use to repair enamelware pots? Should be able to find it in a down-home hardware store (as opposed to the gargantuan boxes). Just a thought... - -- - 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: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 23:18:13 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Astringency & pH - where is the data ? Dave Houseman writes ... >The extraction of tannins causing astringency >happens whenever the temperature is high and the pH rises to above 6.0. >Note that we BOIL the grains in decoctions and this doesn't extract >excessive tannins because the wort has settled to a pH of about 5.2-5.4. You know I hear this all the time anymore - from guys I trust like AJ deLange, Dave Housemen and recently Chas Bamforth. I've so far seen no data that leads me to think this is more than a brewing momily. Does anyone have a reference to a paper that covers this point ? Having read several thick tomes on plant phenolics cover to cover I can say w/o fear of contradiction that generally speaking there are two sorts of bonds which hold phenolics to plant matter and these are reasonably stable at in-vivo plant conditions (pH around 4.5 for barley). Much more more acid or basic and some of the bonds *may* break - but where is the evidence that 5.5 vs 6.0 makes a critical difference ? If someone can give a citation on this - thanks. -Steve Return to table of contents
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