HOMEBREW Digest #4401 Sat 15 November 2003

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  RE: bottle washer (Brian Lundeen)
  cloudy beer (Darrell.Leavitt)
  conicals and mill power (Marc Sedam)
  5th Annual Palmetto State Brewers Open, Dec. 6 ("H. Dowda")
  Re: Refractometer specific gravity conversion ("Rob Dewhirst")
  RE: Basement Brewing ("Sam Boman")
  RE: Origin of Hops? (CM Henry)
  re conical racking port ("Stephen Weiss")
  the virtues of dark beer ("Christopher T. Ivey")
  RE: Motorizing a Mill (Jeff Berton)
  refractometer calibration and st pats cfc (stpats)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 23:57:51 -0600 From: Brian Lundeen <BLundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: RE: bottle washer Mike Sharp writes: > > I saved my old dishwasher when I replaced it. I've been > thinking about ripping out the dish rack, plumbing some > pipes inside, connecting them to the pump, and every few > inches, stub a small (1/4") pipe up to hold the bottles. A > brass pressure washer nozzle might be nice for the end of the > small pipe/tube, but may not be necessary. While most of > the water would > be directed inside the bottles, I think leaving one of the > rotating sprayers to clean the outside of the bottle would be > a good idea, assuming it doesn't rob too much of the water pressure. > Well, fate smiled on me today and deposited a Kenmore dishwasher into my hands at no cost. Apart from the hit my karma takes every time I impose on friends with pickup trucks. Pressure is my big worry. I wonder what kind of pressure dishwasher pumps put out, and how many bottle nozzles that could realistically support. Since I keg, this project will be for my wine bottles, so I want to make sure I've got a good strong stream that can blast the top (well, bottom) of a 750ml bottle. I'm also thinking the extended spray nozzles are probably a good idea to get the water outlet above the level of residual water as it tries to drain out of a restricted neck opening. How do I determine the volume of water that is brought in to mix with the detergent for the wash cycle? Does it all come in at once? I think this is important to know to get the right concentration of cleaner. The choice of cleaner is also important. I use PBW but largely for soaking. I did try spray washing with it using my bottle sanitizer, and it got most bottles clean, but some persistent red wine deposits did not come off. Maybe the longer cycle times of a dishwasher would help, but I do notice that the Cask commercial unit uses a chlorinated caustic cleaner. Not sure I want to mess around with that stuff. With regard to leaving the upper arm in to clean the outside of the bottles, it's a nice idea if it doesn't take away too much from the pressure, but then you need to be worried about labels coming off in mid-cycle and gumming up the works. If you are going to have an external wash, I think pre-removal of the labels is essential. Now maybe I'm just missing it, but I get the impression the idea of building a multiple bottle washer hasn't been pursued very much. Perhaps this will start a whole new wave of bodgering and that one day, dishwasher conversions will be as common as keg conversions in amateur circles. Cheers Brian, in Winnipeg Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 07:58:32 -0500 From: Darrell.Leavitt at esc.edu Subject: cloudy beer Tim; Without the recipe, ie grain bill, it is hard for us to advise you or guess as to the reason for the hazy beer... Sometimes if you add some wheat, for ex, and the mash temp is too high, then the large proteins don't get degraded sufficiently... Please post the recipe, and some will help, I am sure... ..Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 08:43:12 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: conicals and mill power I use a 15 gallon plastic conical from Hobby Beverage, which is way cool and much cheaper than the stainless options. I have brewed in this for almost a year now and absolutely love it. My version has a 1" full-port valve on the bottom for dumping yeast and a single hole as side-port (with ball valve) for wort samples. I check the fermentation more regularly now that I don't have to open up the fermenter. As for not having a rotating racking arm...the beer runs clear out of the side port. When the volume in the fermenter comes close to the hole I just tip the fermenter to get the rest of the beer. I may waste about 6oz of beer this way yet I save $100 by not having that arm. Whatever beer is left in there gets shaken up with the yeast and dumped/stored/reused for the next batch. I've been very interested in the whole "powering your mill" discussion. I have a 16v Porter-Cable cordless drill that hooks right up to the post on my Schmidling mill. Just tighten the chuck on the post and it's all good. I've crushed hundreds of pounds of grain this way. Easy. - -- Marc Sedam Chapel Hill, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 06:34:44 -0800 (PST) From: "H. Dowda" <hdowda at yahoo.com> Subject: 5th Annual Palmetto State Brewers Open, Dec. 6 Final call for entries and judges for the bigger and better 5th Annual PSBO. Entry deadline for fee and paper, November 29!! The competition site: http://www.sagecat.com/psb/psbo5.htm The prize donors site: http://www.sagecat.com/psb/psbo5donors.htm A site for jerks: http://www.sagecat.com/justforyou.htm Highlights of this years competition: 1. All you want to enter for $54 (13th and up are free) 2. 3rd Annual Just Good Beer Brew Off. 3. Separate competition for mead and cider with 1-2-3 BOS or those classes. 4. Cash awards ($50, $30, $20) for 1-2-3 in the sanctioned beer competition. 5. Lunch 'on the grounds' (home-cooked brats, burgers, beer and trimmings) for judges and stewards. 6. Low pressure venue for quality judging. 7. Finals of the hotly contested Carolinas' Brewer of the Year and Club of the Year Competition. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 09:04:45 -0600 From: "Rob Dewhirst" <rob at hairydogbrewery.com> Subject: Re: Refractometer specific gravity conversion > While the subject is on the table, is there such a thing as a quick and > easy chart to show refractometer readings with a corresponding specific > gravity number? > > All I have been able to locate is (for me) a very complex math formula > for conversion. I am an artist and gosh darnnit, it's just over me head. I believe there is on in "New Brewing Lager Beer". Promash will also do this for you, even the demonstration version. If you had a little patience, you could construct your own chart from its conversions. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 09:34:13 -0600 From: "Sam Boman" <srboman at earthlink.com> Subject: RE: Basement Brewing Jim, I also brew in the basement with natural gas. I have a hood over the brew kettle and I alos open a window to let outside air in to keep the danger of CO to a minimum. Like Todd says it is a good idea to have a CO monitor in the house as a safeguard and check your gas lines periodically for possible leaks. I have found that the CO levels even with the window closed is kept down with the vent hood running at full steam. The only drawback so far has been the heat build up in the summer, hit has required me to use a double counterflow system in the warmest months to pull the temperature down on the wort going to the conical. The burners really get the room warm! Sam Boman Lincoln, NE Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 10:03:10 -0800 (PST) From: CM Henry <windsailor97 at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: Origin of Hops? As far as I know, Hops were arrived at due to their preservative properties. Apparently other types of additives or what we might call spices/herbs were used long ago to help preserve alcohol. My guess is no one would really relate to beer made a thousand years ago. But it is easy to see why hops may have been the herb of choice due to its pleasing aroma and potential medical benefits at that time. There are comments out there of name origin. The English name Hop comes from the Anglo-Saxon hoppan (to climb)etc. Here is someone's interpretation... http://www.coopsmaps.com/beer/hops.html Interesting but unverified. Enjoy! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 13:29:52 -0500 From: "Stephen Weiss" <stephen_weiss at msn.com> Subject: re conical racking port I agree that due to side wall adheasion of yeast, that you can't use the bottom drain. I however have a low cost method of draining clear beer without having to drill another hole and invest in a rotating racking port. The bottom of my dump valve points straight down and has male threads, I screw on a sanitized nylon nipple for 1/2 tubing. A 10" piece of stainless steel racking cane just happens to fit snugely inside. To the other end if the SS tube I attach a 3/8" clear vinyl tubing, pinch clamped closed. Once assembled I open the dump valve and slide the SS tube into the conical, I open the pinch valve and drain the fermenter. I can then withdraw the SS tube until I see yeast in the tubing and re close the pinch valve. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 14:52:40 -0500 (EST) From: "Christopher T. Ivey" <cti3c at unix.mail.virginia.edu> Subject: the virtues of dark beer Dark Beer May Be Better for the Heart Flavonoids in Dark Beer May Help Prevent Blood Clots By Peggy Peck Reviewed By Michael Smith, MD on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 WebMD Medical News Nov. 11, 2003 (Orlando, Fla.) -- The real beer argument is not "Tastes great" vs. "Less filling." It's dark vs. light, and the winner, according to a University of Wisconsin heart researcher, is dark brew because it can help prevent blood clots. John D. Folts, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the coronary thrombosis research laboratory at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, tells WebMD that dark beer is rich in flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant effects. "It's about color. You can see the flavonoids in products on the shelf," he says. The rich flavonoid content makes red wine more heart friendly than white wine and purple grape juice a better choice for toddlers than white grape juice, he says. Folts presented his dark beer-light beer study at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003. Folts and his colleagues fed dark and light beer to dogs that had narrowed arteries in their hearts, similar to the narrowing observed in people with heart disease. Only dogs fed dark beer had less stickiness of their blood clotting cells, says Folts. This was true even though the blood alcohol level in the dogs was the same. He says he is currently conducting similar tests in humans. In that study, volunteers drink two bottles of either light or dark beer a day. Early indications are that dark beer again is more active at fighting blood clots than light beer, he says. "We are also testing purple grape juice and non-alcoholic red wine," he says. In each case, the dark beverage demonstrates superiority to light colored beverages. Are Flavonoids the Key? Valentine Fuster, MD, PhD, director of the cardiovascular institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, says he is not convinced that flavonoids add anything to the already well-known heart protective effect of alcohol. "We know alcohol works," he tells WebMD. In order to prove that flavonoids add anything to the alcohol benefit, human studies are needed. Also, Fuster, who was not involved in the study but who has studied the relationship between alcohol and reduced risk for heart disease, says all alcohol studies should be approached with caution. "There is always the risk that the data will be misinterpreted and people will consume too much. Any more than two drinks a day is too much." For those who are dark beer drinkers -- or drinkers of red wine or purple grape juice -- Folts says they can gain the maximum heart benefit by "drinking these beverages with meals" so that they can fight the increase in free radicals that occurs when the body begins to metabolize food. Free radicals trigger oxidative stress, which has been linked to heart disease and inflammation, says Folts. - ---------- SOURCES: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2003, Orlando, Fla., Nov. 9-12, 2003. John D. Folts, PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 16:01:10 -0500 From: Jeff Berton <jeff344 at galaxy.lerc.nasa.gov> Subject: RE: Motorizing a Mill Jeff Halvorson wrote: > With the above concern in mind, is there a good way to motorize without > have to have exposed pulley system? Of course you can build a box > around the pulleys to keep them hidden, but are there other options? ... > Are DC motors an option? Outside of needing a power transformer, are > there any advantages/disadvantages to them? There are plenty of motors available with built-in gearboxes. Gearbox motors are compact and they can be inexpensive. I chose a motor that more or less duplicates the human physical effort of cranking a mill. For $40, I bought a reconditioned AC gearhead motor that delivers an arm-like 30 in-lbs at 62 rpm (continuous duty). They're still available at the e-tailer I used, whose name I can provide on request. However, some AC motors do not come equipped with all necessary power conditioning gear, and this e-tailer ran out of the companion 10 MF capacitors. If you got something similar from another source, you could just plug it into a household outlet as I do. I directly connected the motor to my Glatt mill using inexpensive (under $5) Lovejoy jaw shaft couplings. I bolted everything to a 2x1 ft piece of plywood. As it happens, I brewed last week and I finally joined the others whose plastic Glatt mill gears gave out. Jack Schmidling's warnings came too late for me. Regards, Jeff Berton North Royalton, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 16:49:15 -0600 From: stpats at bga.com Subject: refractometer calibration and st pats cfc Sorry to jump in but I think the most likely source of the gentleman's problem has been overlooked. A REFRACTOMTER WITH ATC MUST BE CALIBRATED IN A ROOM AT 68 F. Calibration at another temperature leads to errors. For example, calibration at 75 F will lead to large errors. The error is not simply an offset, i.e., you might be off by 5 Brix on a 20 Brix solution and 3 Brix on a 10 Brix solution. From a practical view, I have found that calibration in a room at 70 F results in quite small errors. This is the far and away the most common user error with refractometers with ATC. Part of the problem is the incorrect or vague info in articles (see BYO a month or two back for example). This info is in the instructions but it is at the end, (after you have already nulled the instrument and messed it up!) and usually not stated bluntly. A refractometer with ATC is distinguished from one without by the "20 C" that is visible when looking at the scale through the eyepiece. This is the temp (=68 F) that the instrument must be nulled at. I have a refractometer that is 3 years old and I have never calibrated it and it works fine. Just a plug, we will soon have 0-10 Brix refractomers with greater resolution than the 0-32 Brix. These will be more appropriate for brewers. Also will have refractometers that measure alchohol 0-80% (not potential alcohol which is simply Brix with different numbers) As regards the thread on the chiller--The convoluted copper in our chiller has convolutions on both inside and outside of the inner copper tube. Both the chilling water and the wort experience turbulence. The only cleaning problem I am aware of is the tubing brush that got stuck and resulted in the gentleman buying another unit. btw, I have cut open every competitive counterflow. The size of the inner coil of our chiller was determined by simply measuring its volume and comparing that to conventional refrigeration tubing volumes. There is something called finned tubing that is straight walled tubing with fins spot welded to it. We played around with that several years ago but its nearly impossible to coil without bending the fins. There is also tubing with channels on the inside (greater surface area) and smooth on the outside and we played around with that as well. We also looked at 0.020 wall thickness copper (as opposed to the 0.035 standard refrigeration copper) but that would crimp in a slight breeze ;-) Hope this helps, Lynne Return to table of contents
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