HOMEBREW Digest #4225 Mon 21 April 2003

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  Star san in Europe? ("Groenigen, Jan Willem van")
  Re: Old Fashioned Hand Pumps (Teresa Knezek)
  Draft cabinet construction advice (Kate Keplinger and Rob Hanson)
  re. sediment in fruit brews ("John Misrahi")
  Beer Engines (james ray)
  fuel alchohol, chimay, fruit beer residue etc (johncampbell)
  vienna lagers ("greg man")
  Hops Book (Bill Wible)
  RE:Harvesting & Ranching Chimay Yeast? (CONN Denny G)
  Re: Using Hops (Bill Wible)
  re: : Sterling hops ("Steve Alexander")
  Sunshine Challenge 2003 ("Howard & Patty Curran")
  Vienna Lager ("Patrick Hughes")
  Beer Competion ("Rising, Jonathan")
  re: Attenuation Questions ("-S")
  re: veterans of the stuck fermentations - need advice ("-S")
  Re: Harvesting & Ranching Chimay Yeast? (David Radwin)
  First Brew: Kegging? (Ryan Neily)
  Competition Annoucement: Bay Area Brew Off ("Bryan L. Gros")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 09:09:57 +0200 From: "Groenigen, Jan Willem van" <janwillem.vangroenigen at wur.nl> Subject: Star san in Europe? Hi all, I've had very good experiences with star san as an easy-to- use, environmentally safe sanitizer (no affiliations yada yada). However, I've moved from the U.S. to Europe a year ago, and am starting to run out of the stuff. I picked up two bottles in the U.S. on a recent trip, but they were picked out of my luggage at the airport and I had to dispose of them, since they contain phosphoric acid. Then I asked Northern Brewer whether they could ship it to me, but they said they couldn't because of the phosphoric acid. So, does anybody know whether there is a supplier in Europe that carries star san? Or whether there is a U.S. supplier who can ship it to Europe? I'm getting desparate here.... Take care, Jan Willem Wageningen, the Netherlands. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 00:05:43 -0900 From: Teresa Knezek <teresa at mivox.com> Subject: Re: Old Fashioned Hand Pumps At 12:26 AM -0400 4/19/03, Dave Larsen wrote: >Do companies make those new, or is this >something I should keep my eye on Ebay for, as an antique? :-) They're not antiques. They're still manufactured new, and sold used on ebay all the time. Enter "beer engine" (in quotes) into the ebay search, and you'll find a few for sale pretty much all the time. But... they're heavy. It cost me about $160 to buy one through eBay and have it shipped here. Then again, when you consider "reconditioned" beer engines through retail outlets cost upward of $300 in the US, eBay's not such a bad deal after all. I hook mine up to a 5L minikeg on it's side, using the pull-and-pour spout as an air vent. It's enough beer to drink in a night or two, which means it won't go stale.... beer engines don't get hooked up to pressurized CO2 systems, so the traditional method of hooking them up is to put an air vent in the keg, and as the engine pulls the beer out, air replaces it. You can get cask conditioners that vent low pressure CO2 to "blanket" the beer to extend storage in a full size keg, but I imagine it will still go flat pretty quick, so why bother with the extra expense. Instead, I opted to make a tap for the minikegs, figuring I wouldn't have to worry about storage with such a small quantity of beer. I went to England last year also... that's what inspired me to start homebrewing. :-) Researched the heck out of the engines, once I found out I could in fact make beer good enough to be worth the expense. ;-) Go for it! Do a few web searches for "beer engine" and "real ale" for more info. - -- ::Teresa : Two Rivers, Alaska:: [2849, 325] Apparent Rennerian "It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." -- Abraham Lincoln Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 07:34:47 -0400 From: Kate Keplinger and Rob Hanson <kate.rob at verizon.net> Subject: Draft cabinet construction advice As members of a famous collective say: Resistance is Futile. In my case, the futility is in resisting SWMBO's desire not to have a chest freezer sitting in our dining room for serving beer. And I see her point. So I hit on this other idea, which she's okay with so far. I am seeking this collective's advice, thoughts, etc, especially if you've done something similar or can apply your refrigeration or draft technology experience to my problem. Some caveats: - --I'm not a carpenter, plumber, or welder, but I have some basic woodworking skills, and only know how to fix a sink because I've been messing around with homebrew plumbing. - --I'm going to be doing this project on the cheap and incrementally as I can buy materials and have the time, adapting some IKEA furniture pieces since they fit the space, and building a box to hold the taps and tap handles in between pre-fab pieces. Here's the plan -- build a combination draft cabinet, beer glass and extras storage, and beer book bookshelves into an odd nook in our dining room, running the beer lines from the chest freezer located in the basement directly below. I thought I might build a collar on the freezer as many on this digest have probably done, and run a large PVC pipe out the side of the collar and up through the floor into the cabinet. I'd run the beer lines through the PVC pipe and insulate the PVC pipe with foam insulation. We have a shallow basement (7' ceilings) so the draw from keg outlet to tap wouldn't be more than 8-10' approx. One of my questions is: do you think the insulated PVC pipe will keep the beer lines sufficiently cold that I won't have to waste beer trying to get a cold pint? Private e-mail response is okay, too. Thanks! - --Rob Hanson the Closet Brewery Cheverly, MD - ----------------- I recommend bread, meat, vegetables, and beer. --Sophocles - -- - ----------------- I recommend bread, meat, vegetables, and beer. --Sophocles Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 09:17:03 -0400 From: "John Misrahi" <lmoukhin at sprint.ca> Subject: re. sediment in fruit brews Steve B observed that his blackberry wheat beer has a lot of fruit puree sludge in the bottles... Steve, I am about to bottle a peach-wheat beer, and what I am doing is racking the beer from the secondary with fruit into a third fermenter in order to let the fruit settle out as much as possible. I also used pectic enzyme at the start of fermentation which is supposed to help with fruit beers. Was the beer crystal clear when you bottled, or still very hazy? If so, there may have been a lot of fruit particles still in suspension. good luck, blackberry wheat sounds good. I just got a can of boysenberry puree cause the LHBS only had elderberry, peach, and boysenberry remaining in stock (had a big sale). Anybody ever make a boysenberry or elderberry beer? I'd love to hear about it, and see your recipe(s). much appreciated John Misrahi Montreal, Canada [892, 63] Apparent Rennerian (km) "Actually John it uses a very complex algorithm to determine your average time between "Generate" clicks, and from that can it figures out how drunk you are, and what styles of beer you prefer. Obviously, you prefer obscure Belgians!" - Drew Avis Seen on a tee shirt - "The internet is full. Go away!" Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 06:53:17 -0700 (PDT) From: james ray <jnjnmiami at yahoo.com> Subject: Beer Engines A good source of real ale despensing equipment is http://www.brewinbeagle.com/. I have used a beer engine with a corny keg. I have had the best results by keeping the dispensing line as short as possible to prevent foaming. Vent the keg and pull slow and steady. Hope this helps. James Ray rjraybrewer at aol.com Montgomery, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 09:36:59 -0500 From: johncampbell at comcast.net Subject: fuel alchohol, chimay, fruit beer residue etc WLP099 is listed as 25% alcohol tolerant. I have been using this yeast for a number of brews, including some meads, cysers and ciders. It seems to ferment all the available sugar, whether you think there are unfermentables present or not. As most of these batches are still fermenting, I will have to post the end results later, it is too soon to give it a full evaluation. (You can also check out a Wyeast wine yeast Eu de Vi or Water of Life 21% tolerant) There are also quite a few other beer and wine yeasts with a high Wyeast 1214 is a Trappist yeast that is said to be Chimay, and I have no reason to believe it is not, and if it is not, it is too close for me to discern. Belgians have always been my favorites and I cloned Chimay for years before this yeast was available. The yeast is the same in all three Chimays, both in the primary and bottling phase. If you are going to clone it, use the lower alcohol brews as the triple is much slower to take off as the alcohol level seems to have "pooped out" (technical term) the yeast. I am also a fan of La Trappe and have cloned it often. While some breweries do use a different yeast at bottling after pasteurizing the beer, most Belgians do not do this as far as I have been able to determine. If you search the web there are several charts that claim to know what beers do use different yeasts and which do not. My experience has been that many of the Belgian yeasts, once cloned, will ferment at a slow steady rate, no matter how much sugar is available to them. My most common practice when brewing a Belgian clone is to use a commercial yeast, Wyeast or White labs or what ever is most appropriate in the primary and at the same time start a big culture, starting with a bottle or two and building up to a liter or two and pitching the cloned yeast into the secondary. Orval is another Belgian that this works very well with, as it has very distinctive characteristics. I often keep Belgians in the secondary or a tertiary for several months before bottling. As for fruit beer residue, when you use a puree, you get the same effect that you have with a cider or cyser or other pressed fruit concoction. Much of the pulp is so small as not to be seen with the naked eye and can only be seen as a haze. While you can filter or use finings, I personally feel these are taking something away by being in too much of a hurry. (but that is just me) I have had ciders that looked almost clear, but still had a slight haze and it can take several months for this to drop out of suspension due to the minute size and minuscule weight of the particles. So the choice is yours, you can wait for what seems like forever, or you can filter or fine or you can put up with the sediment, or if you are very ambitious, you can bottle or cork and invert your bottles and months later when all the ultra-fine pulp finally settles out, you can freeze the necks in glycol and remove the cork or cap and remove the sediment that way. (just thinking of this labor intensive method is enough to give me added patience when waiting to bottle and I will go brew something else while I am waiting) As always ymmv. Homebrewing is all about experimentation and I can not guarantee your results will be the same as mine, I can only tell you what has worked for me. Hail the Brewers Cyserman http://musiccitybrewers.com can't find my apparent renairian and I'm to lazy to recalculate Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 11:56:43 -0400 From: "greg man" <dropthebeer at hotmail.com> Subject: vienna lagers A long time ago many European people especially from Germany started to migrate to Mexico an the southern texas area. Now the climate was certainly not fit for brewing lagers at that time, however after the late 1800's refrigeration was made available. Those Immigrants started making vienna style lagers again. Kind of funny when you think about it, Great German beers form Mexico? Anyway to answer someone's question about Sam Adams Vienna style lager, I'm no judge but quite the critic an that beer is ok, but does not represent the style very well. However I can think of two beers that do, One my personal favorite in the world: Negra Modelo. The other is a little more bland but will show the great degree with which this lager style is made, Dos Equis. Remember too that these beers can sometimes take a while to get to us here so the real flavor maybe be different than what was originally made. For a real taste test brew a lager with a single or double Decoction, an 100% vienna malt ;) gregman Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 12:17:50 -0400 From: Bill Wible <bill05 at brewbyyou.net> Subject: Hops Book This might be a good time to ask when someone might write a NEW and up to date book on hops. Maybe if I had such a reference available, I would have "known" that Sterling is considered as a valid replacement for Saaz. The most up to date book on hops still says that there really is no replacement for Saaz, and that Spalt is probably the closest thing. There are a ton of 'new' hop varieties that are not even listed in most references - Columbus, Amarillo, Pheonix, Ultra, Stricklebract, Yakima Magnum, and yes, sterling. Using Hops is one of the best references I know of, but it is so out of date now to be almost useless. I have posted this before. Obviously, I'm not qualified to write such a book. Anybody out there think they are? I'll buy (and sell) it. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 09:37:39 -0700 From: CONN Denny G <denny.g.conn at ci.eugene.or.us> Subject: RE:Harvesting & Ranching Chimay Yeast? Charles Boyer asks about harvesting Chimay yeast from a bottle... Charles, i do it several times a year. As a matter of fact, I've gotr a Chimay slurry stored in the fridge right now. I can say for a fact that the yeast in the bottle is not a flavor neutral strain. If it's not the fermentation strain (and I'm pretty sure it is), it's close enough that the difference doesn't matter. I've had the best luck harvesting from the red label. I suspect that's because the slightly lower gravity is a little easier on ther yeast. Even though Wyeast 1214 is supposedly the same starin, I've found that the biotlle culture is a little more restrained on the bubblegum/banana esters that you get from 1214. --------->Denny Conn Eugene OR Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 14:32:23 -0400 From: Bill Wible <bill05 at brewbyyou.net> Subject: Re: Using Hops Wow, this is encouraging! https://hoptech.com/hopbook.html "Usig Hops" - We are working on anupdates "second edition." It will only be available on CD-ROM, but at that point it will become a :live" book which can be updated via the web. Using Hops now has its own website - Go there for the latest info: http://usinghops.garetz.com/ The CD-ROM version of the book is due to be published in early 2003. You can get on a waiting list. I'm signed up. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 14:42:23 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: : Sterling hops Like many here, I wouldn't know Sterling from Styrian Golding without a websearch ... and that's a problem. This is a good place to point out that there continues to be a *LOT* of change in the hops field(sic). Hops that have been with us, even revered, for many decades are fading rapidly out of existence as they succumb to ever more virulent and spreading plant disease. Just as rapidly new varieties are bred which seem to have superior flavor, storage and growth qualities. What is clearly lacking is a hops critic with a strong, articulate, discerning and opinionated palate. Someone who can sample these new varieties and give us all a sensible 'heads up' as to what the hops breeders are throwing over the wall. Someone who can say if the new hops are good, bad or indifferent and what use might be made of these. George Fix served that role for many years. Two hop varieties I most like - Columbus & Ultra - were introduced to me by George Fix's posts to HBD. Santiam and several others were noted by George as well. There is a discernible void here. If Mark Kellums or another serious hop-head wishes to be the hop-news-reporter/leading-critic they'll certainly find the brickbats waiting, along with a good deal of appreciation. -S(Steve Alexander) Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 08:10:52 -0400 From: "Howard & Patty Curran" <OCurrans at cfl.rr.com> Subject: Sunshine Challenge 2003 It's time to make your travel plans, reserve a room, buy your tickets and prepare entries for this years most fun beer experience; SC03! See the official website (www.cfhb.org) for a full description of all the events, ticket prices, order forms, etc.. Payment can be by check or credit card online via PayPal. Our guests of honor include Greg Noonan, noted author and Vermont Brewpub owner and Matt Glass, master brewer for Hops who along with others will sermonize at the beer revival. Entry forms are on the official website (www.cfhb.org). $6.00 for online entries - $8.00 for non-electronic entries. Hotel reservations; 800-327-1364. Event coordinator - Ed Measom; 407-493-9940; sc at cfhb.org IMPORTANT DATES May 1st - Room Reservation Deadline May 4th - Entry Deadline May 9th - Start Early Judging May 16th -18th - Sunshine Challenge Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 09:04:06 -0500 From: "Patrick Hughes" <pjhinc at eriecoast.com> Subject: Vienna Lager David Towson asks for opinions on Sam adams Vienna Lager. I am a Boston Beer Co. fan . I feel they make consistently good true to style beers at reasonable prices [compared to other micro/ regoinal breweries] . Although they bill their Boston Lager as a Bohemian Pilsner which I don't agree with. To digress a bit, what about the dry hopping of this lager? A few weeks ago the HBD was chock full of advise about not dry hopping pilsners. This "Pilsner" has been dry hopped with Mittlefruh, from what I have read, and it has a wonderful hop aroma. How do they get away with this? I tried it and happen. I feel this beer is more of an Export, any other opinions on that. The only beer I have ever purchased from them that wasn't good was the Vienna. It was faulty, cloudy, tasteless. I even wrote a note on their website it was so bad, they did not reply. Under normal circumstances though I would think this beer would be authentic. Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland has made a Vienna for years . They too brew wonderful beers although I think that this beer is a little over the top for a Vienna, really more like an Marzen, but their history has always been to produce beers that push the limits of their style guidelines.Try Capital City brewery they make very authentic German beers IMO. Patrick Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 14:11:19 -0400 From: "Rising, Jonathan" <Jonathan.Rising at jetblue.com> Subject: Beer Competion Competition Announcement: The BrewMasters of Alpharetta, Atlanta, GA, are pleased to announce the BrewMasters Open, an AHA Sanctioned Homebrew Competition, May 17th, at the Alpharetta Buckhead Brewery. We will be judging all BJCP categories including Ciders and Meads. For details, check out our website at www.georgiabrewer.com/brewmastersopen for details. If you are available to judge, please fill out the judge's registration form on our website and email it to Ken Rybnikar: kjryb at netscape.net, or call 678 300-7841. Those wishing to assist the judges and help with the operations as Stewards, please email Russ Wilkins: rwwilki at bellsouth.net, or call 678 566-3874. Sincerely, Craig Sikes The BrewMasters Of Alpharetta CraigSikes at aol.com - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- The contents of this message have been scanned for viruses by the TruSecure ShadowMail Service, and no viruses were found. - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- * This message has been processed by TruSecure's ShadowMail service Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 09:47:10 -0400 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: Attenuation Questions Dave in Tuscon says, > when reading a description of a yeast it >gives a number (e.g. - White Labs WLP300's attenuation is 72-76). What does >this actually mean? It actually means very little. It's a measure of the apparent attenuation of this yeast in some wort under some conditions. > Is attenuation something I can measure in my homebrew >batches and compare to this number? Yes, apparent attenuation is (1 - ((FG-1)/(SG-1))) * 100 expressed as a percentage drop in excess gravity degrees. [ e.g. SG=1.048, FG=1.012, apparent atten = 75%] >[...] that does not make much sense because this can vary >upon what temperature(s) you mash the grain and the ratio of fermentables to >non-fermentables? That is exactly the problem. In order for the 'relative apparent attenuation' to mean anything you must standardize both the wort and the fermentation conditions. Even if you do this, your real-world brewing conditions won't match the standard and so those results will be at best a vague indication of which yeast *might* attenuate better. More to the point - why is attenuation incomplete for some yeasts ? When yeast cease to grow (multiply) their energetic reqs drop drastically and the rate of fermentation does as well; this defines the practical 'end of fermentation'(EOF) even tho the yeast may still be fermenting sugars slowly. The failure to grow is caused by stress or nutrient inadequacy and these stresses trigger a number of effects. Stressors trigger flocculation which is a result of stress, not a cause of EOF. Specific stressors trigger the accumulation of storage carbohydrates - trehalose and glucogon in yeast. The cessation of growth also appears to cause yeast to convert potentially toxic growth intermediates which are no longer required into esters, causing the burst of ester formation late in fermentation. In a perfect beer fermentation the reason for cessation of growth is the lack of fermentable sugar (great for the beer, not so good for the yeast). In real world fermentations many stressors build up like ethanol, low pH, higher CO2 in solution, osmotic pressure, lack of oxygen derived lipids, lack of amino acids and lack of minor nutrients & enzyme cofactors. Often these stresses cause growth to cease and so EOF. Yeast differ in their sensitivity to these stressors and that is the ultimate cause of the differences between yeast attenuation under comparable condition. If you can correct for the stressor you should be able to get similar attenuation from any yeast that will ferment glucose, sucrose, maltose, and maltotriose. Those are the only commonly fermentable wort sugars which significantly impact attenuation. A common example of 'stressor induced EOF' occurs in barleywine fermentation. Barleywine or other hi-gravity wort is just concentrated conventional wort and the amount nutrient per unit fermentation required is the same as any other beer. If you add healthy yeast (proportional to extract) then on the face of it you'd expect comparable attenuation, yet usually these worts attenuate poorly as a result of yeast stress. Why so? First there is less O2 in 1 gallon of aerated 30P wort than in 2.5gal of aerated 12P wort - even tho both have the same extract. Less O2 means less oxygen derived lipids, which means compromised cell membranes and higher stresses. Even if we correct this, we still have paper after paper which demonstrate that adding specific amino acids, or adding nucleation sites to reduce CO2 in solution, or controlling pH make big improvements in hi-gravity attenuation. Even so, hi-grav wort will always stress yeast with higher osmotic pressure and higher ethanol levels. Reducing any of these stresses *may* improve attenuation. You usually can't point to a single cause of stress induced EOF. -S (Steve Alexander) Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 10:10:40 -0400 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: veterans of the stuck fermentations - need advice Mark Bayer says, >I've got 2 batches of ale in carboys, and they have both >stuck at about 1.018; they should have come down to, >at most, 1.015 [...] He pitched, repitched and >[...] when I took the gravity it was still 1.018. >what next? should I try a huge starter or a ton of dry yeast? AlK has a stuck fermentation FAQ at the brewery website, but in a nutshell I'd suggest you agitate to remove excess CO2, add yeast nutrient and re-pitch (rehydrated dry yeast is fine) with a different yeast variety. It's impossible to pinpoint a specific cause for a stuck fermentation so a shotgun approach is required. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 16:51:19 -0700 From: David Radwin <dradwin at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Re: Harvesting & Ranching Chimay Yeast? > Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2003 08:54:24 -0400 > From: "Charles Boyer" <cboyer at ausoleil.org> > I'd like to recreate as authentically as possible Chimay and the some of > the other Belgian Ales. Since these beers are bottle-conditioned, it > would seem to follow that ranching the slurry at the bottom of the > bottles would yield good results, but it's been mentioned to me that the > monks filter their unique fermentation yeast at bottling time and > substitute in a more generic flavor-neutral one for bottling. Does > anyone have any experience with or knowledge of this? I've successfully harvested Chimay yeast several times following the instructions in various Dave Miller books. It usually takes about a week for the yeast to show signs of activity. It does not seem to matter whether I use an (approximately) 12 oz. or 22 oz. bottle. The beer tastes similar to Chimay, but it's not identical. Of course, I am not trying to "clone" Chimay. Incidentally, one time I tried fermenting the same batch of wort with yeast from the three different types of Chimay: white, red, and blue. I could not detect any difference in odor or taste in the finished beer. David in Berkeley CA - -- David Radwin news at removethispart.davidradwin.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 22:06:34 -0400 (EDT) From: Ryan Neily <ryan at neily.net> Subject: First Brew: Kegging? Hi, I am going to be attempting my first brew batch in the next couple of days, and would like to know what I need to do to go about kegging my first batch. I have a few empty 1/4 barrel Sanky kegs that would work with my sanky direct draft system already installed at my home and would like to use these to keg my first brew. I figure I'll skip the messiness/expense of the bottles since I already have kegs available. Is there anything special I need to do for this? I am thinking that I only need to prime the brew (just like if I was bottling) but rather dispense to bottles, just siphon to my 1/4 keg, and seal. Anything wrong with this? - -- Ryan Neily ryan at neily.net Random Quote: 186,000 Miles per Second. It's not just a good idea. IT'S THE LAW. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 19:25:53 -0700 From: "Bryan L. Gros" <bgros at aggienetwork.com> Subject: Competition Annoucement: Bay Area Brew Off Announcing the 16th annual National Bay Area Brew Off, again in conjunction with the Alameda County Fair. Open to all entrants across the US, Canada, and beyond. Best of Show prize is a stainless conical fermenter from Beer Beer & More Beer. Many other prizes available. Details at the web page: http://www.draughtboard.org/babopage.htm Note that, due to fair rules, Entry forms and fees must be in by May 10, 2003 to the fair. Beers are due by June 7. Forms are at the web site or email me at babo at draughtboard.org Judges can also email me or register online. Stewards also needed. Thanks. Bryan Gros bgros at aggienetwork.com Oakland, CA Draught Board Homebrew Club http://www.draughtboard.org Return to table of contents
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