HOMEBREW Digest #4682 Thu 23 December 2004

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  Yeast Viability, regulator ("Dave Burley")
  RE: Regulator problem (Bill Tobler)
  methylene blue and yeast viability ("Dave Burley")
  viability-pc-plastic-celebration (Steve Funk)
  RE: Regulator problem ("Mike Sharp")
  transfer to secondary early (problem?) (leavitdg)
  Polyethylene ("Martin Brungard")
  Stainless Cleaning ("Martin Brungard")
  Re: Regulator Problem (Kent Fletcher)
  Merry Christmas! ("Pat Babcock")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 09:31:56 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Yeast Viability, regulator Brewsters: /Fredrik is concerned about the definition of viability of yeast and the accuracy of the Methylene Blue reduction by viable cells. I thhink I have read commments on this, but can't remember where. I think it was in a US publication and likely a beer related one. Also check out http://www.jcb.org/cgi/content/abstract/152/3/553 This is the Carlsburg Yeast Laboratory ( not a person) and this reference may provide some way into their publications. - -------------------- Dave Draper has a bound up regulator screw. Dave, I suspect you have someting caught in the threads of the regulator screw or it somehow became cross threaded. Regulators are normally pretty easy to take apart and I would recommend that. Once apart you can clean up the threads. And, of course, that magic fixum, right up there with masking tape, a light application and wipe off of "WD-40 " should be helpful. Just a side note, never use a flammable organic lubricant with an oxygen regulator but with CO2 it is OK. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 08:59:04 -0600 From: Bill Tobler <brewbetter at houston.rr.com> Subject: RE: Regulator problem Dave's regulator from St. Pats froze up and want's to know if it can be fixed. Dave, the only Regulator St. Pat's sells is the NADS model. (according to their web site) These regulators can be taken apart fairly easy and cleaned. Going to the NADS web site, I found a breakdown of this regulator. http://www.nadsinc.com/secondary_reg_spare_parts.htm No instructions, but a pretty good break down of parts. More Beer sells a repair kit for a NSDS regulator for about 7 dollars. http://www.morebeer.com/product.html?product_id=16191 One reason the regulator may have failed is if at some time you got beer backed up into the body. This could happen if you force carbonate your kegs. Most regulators have a check valve on the gas out line, but these could fail. I keep my CO2 bottle high on a table with the CO2 line draped over my shoulder to help keep out the beer. Don't be afraid to take the thing apart. The very worst that can happen, is it won't work when you're done. No big deal, it don't work now. Happy Holidays everyone!! Bill Tobler Lake Jackson, TX (1129.2, 219.9) Apparent Rennerian Brewing Great Beer in South Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 10:06:34 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: methylene blue and yeast viability Brewsters: I did another quick search when I rememeberd it was an article by the American Society of Brewing Chemists where I had seen a discussion of this method using methylene blue for yeast viability and questioning its accuracy. http://www.asbcnet.org/Journal/abstracts/search/1999/0204-03a.htm Publication no. J-1999-0204-03R /Fredrik, Perhaps your library can get you a copy or has online access. http://www.asbcnet.org/discussion/yeastworkshop.htm Here is a test procedure published by White Labs on just this subject of yeast viability testing. Any questions I imagine they will be able to answer any questions. http://www.whitelabs.com/cell_count.html Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 10:32:44 -0800 From: Steve Funk <steve at hheco.com> Subject: viability-pc-plastic-celebration /Fredrik, Is there another way to measure viability besides estimating from cfu plate counts? It would seem to me that dormant cells as well as viable cells reproduce given nutrients. Way back when, I remember using microscopy stains to differentiate between DNA and RNA in bacterial slide preparations of Clostridium bifermentans. RNA quantity was much higher in active cells compared to dormant cells. Maybe acridine orange? Yes, here is a blurb from http://www.molbio.princeton.edu/facility/flowcyt/Cycle1.html ACRIDINE ORANGE: Differential Staining of DNA/RNA with ACRIDINE ORANGE (AO) can be performed for simultaneous assessment of DNA and RNA content of cells. The AO exhibits different spectral characteristics when bound to DNA or RNA that can be excited at 488 nm with either a GREEN or RED fluorescence respectively. Dave Burley, Thanks for the banter on PC and I couldn't agree with you more. However, I don't believe our beloved HBD is the proper venue for such a diatribe. Can we please keep it beer related? Joe Aistrup, I think the general consensus for fermenting in plastic, albeit high- or medium-density PE, is that it is fine for shorter periods of time, let's say up to a couple weeks. This should be adequate for most primary fermentations and even some secondary ferments using ale yeasts. If you're feeling inquisitive, perform an experiment with a split batch and use glass or a corny for one half and plastic for the other half. Age both for a couple months then evaluate and don't forget to report your observations to us. Dave in ABQ, There are regulator rebuild kits available for most mainstream brands. That said, I'd opt for a new one since they're really affordable (search archives for options). I tend to think of rebuilt regulators like rebuilt engine carburetors, they work but never like new ones. HBDers- what are you serving over the holidays? I have a wonderful oatmeal stout that will no doubt be drained before '05. I have commercial back up too; this years SN Celebration is a thing of beauty. I don't remember previous versions of this brew being so tasty. Comments anyone? I would like to wish each and every one you a safe and happy holiday season. Cheers, Steve Funk Stevenson, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 10:45:13 -0800 From: "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: Regulator problem Dave Draper ask about his Regulator problem "Can this thing be fixed? If so how?" Well, I'm going to start off with what might be a stupid question... Does the screw adjuster have a nut on it? This is probably obvious, but it's there to lock the screw so it can't slip. Loosen the nut, then see if the screw can turn. If there is no nut, or it's already loose and the screw won't turn, then it sounds bad. It could be the threads are gummed up. I've had regulators jam before because a faulty check valve let beer or soda back into the regulator, but that clogs the needle valve, and the regulator leaks and the pressure rises in the keg. It sound like something is either jamming the thread, or the spring inside that the screw turns against is broken/dislodged. You can usually take the dome off the regulator (make sure it's not attached to the bottle or the keg. doh!) and the whole screw and the spring underneath are exposed. Be careful of the exposed diaphragm, though it might be under a protective steel plate. My local homebrewing supply has a complete set of parts for most brands of regulator. I've taken old faulty regulators down there, and he's completely rebuilt them for the price of the parts, which is less than 10 bucks I think. After watching him struggle with one particularly old Cornelius regulator, I'm glad I let him do it. You get a new diaphragm, valve seat, etc. That's probably what I'd do--take it to your FNHBS, so that when you find the framistat is busted, or dinglehopper is bent, you can get a new one. Regards, Mike Sharp Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 14:59:02 -0500 From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: transfer to secondary early (problem?) Do you think that problems occur if one transfers to secondary before the yeast has completed its work? I ask in that my last few brews have been up at 1.02 or so after sufficient time had passed. I notice that they continue to work in the secondary (good), but wonder if there are some risks by transferring before the target gravity is met? One of these, by the way, is the London III Yeast from Wyeast, and I see that it is also quite cloudy. Is anyone familiar with this yeast, and is this typical? Happy Holidays, and Happy Brewing! ..Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 13:07:17 -0900 From: "Martin Brungard" <mabrungard at hotmail.com> Subject: Polyethylene I just happen to have a great deal of experience with HDPE and LDPE through my engineering experience in the design and construction of hazardous and municipal landfills and ponds. With regard to the difference between polyethylene grades. Polyethylene is manufactured in several densities ranging from ultra-high density, high density, medium density, low density, and linear low density polyethylene. Obviously, the main differentiator is density, but that doesn't mean much to a lay person. Functionally, the difference between the various grades is the crystallinity of the polyethylene material structure. Higher density grades are more crystalline than lower densities. The result of greater crystallinity is that the material is stronger and stiffer. For instance, low density polyethylene sheet (100 mil thickness) has a breaking strength of 380 pounds per inch at a strain or 850 percent. High density polyethylene sheet (same thickness) has a breaking strength of 405 pounds per inch at a strain of 700 percent. The difference in vapor tranmission between the various grades is minimal. The main thing needed to reduce vapor transmission is thickness. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 13:24:09 -0900 From: "Martin Brungard" <mabrungard at hotmail.com> Subject: Stainless Cleaning Again, my experience in the hazardous waste industry provides guidance for stainless steel cleaning. These procedures are common when cleaning and decontaminating stainless steel samplers and other equipment for use in collecting analytical soil and water samples for environmental testing. The first step is removal of soil and matter from the equipment using a bath and scrub in a laboratory-grade cleaner such as Liquinox or Alconox. I would think that PBW would probably be equivalent. The next step is a rinse with a non-polar solvent such as methanol or ethanol. By the way, water is a "polar" solvent. The non-polar solvent flushes organic pollutants off the metal. The next step is a rinse with a strong nitric acid solution (usually about 1 molar strength). The acid flushes metallic pollutants off the metal. The next step is to rinse in de-ionized water. This removes all the cleaning solutions. Since you're probably not going to use this pump to collect a water sample that will be tested for contaminants in the parts per million range or below, I would say that a rinse with clean tap water would be perfectly fine. This is an EPA approved cleaning methodology, so you can be assured that the method does remove all contaminants. As a quality assurance measure in the hazardous material business, a piece of equipment cleaned in this manner is flushed with more de-ionized water and the water sample is tested for any contaminants. It rarely fails. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 16:46:14 -0800 (PST) From: Kent Fletcher <fletcherhomebrew at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Regulator Problem David's regulator adjustment stem is frozen. First the obvious: Is the jam nut backet off? Don't mean to insult you or anything, but I've seen guys not realize that the jam nut had cinched down, preventing the adjustment stem from turning. After all, that's what the nut is there for: to lock in a particular pressure. Assuming that the nut is backed off, I would say the best step is to remove the regulator from the cylinder, disassemble it, clean all the parts and then reassemble. You may want to consiser putting a check valve on the output, to keep beer from getting in to the regulator and gumming it up, which is a common cause of this problem. Hope that helps. Kent Fletcher Brewing in So Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 20:45:33 -0500 From: "Pat Babcock" <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: Merry Christmas! Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to some of Renner's Egg Nog! Since tomorrow will be pure craziness, I thought I'd take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy and safe Christmas! Please savor the flavor responsibly - be someone's hero: be a designated driver! And since Jeff has neglected to publish his now world-famous eggnog recipe, I repeat herein (tradition, dontchaknow!): - --------- My father was not a big drinker or a cook, but he was famous among friends and family for his egg nog. It had a kick. It was an old recipe that he modified (probably increased the booze!) from one in a magazine ad for Four Roses Blended Bourbon in the 1930's or 40's. Straight bourbon is much to be preferred. Last evening I took a double batch to a potluck party. I made a further modification - an inadvertent, serendipitous mistake, that made it much better as a casual drinking egg nog. I used twice the proper amount of half and half (resulting in proportionally half the eggs, sugar and liquor). Strangely, it seemed still to be well balanced. The original one is twice as strong and is a wonderful drink, but the flavor of the liquor is more evident and it must be drunk with more caution. More like a cocktail, I guess. I like them both, but I think that the milder one is better suited to casual drinking, especially by people who don't like the full flavor of whiskey. And they are both easy enough to make that you'll never buy that horrible stuff from the grocery store again. Harry Renner's Egg Nog 6 eggs, separated 3/4 cup sugar (set aside 1/4 cup) 1 qt. cereal milk [half and half, or one pint each milk and whipping cream] 1 cup straight bourbon 2 oz. Jamaican dark rum Beat egg whites until stiff, fold or beat in 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside. Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar, fold into egg white mix. Add cereal milk, bourbon and rum. Serve topped with grated nutmeg. The mistake I made was to use a *quart* each of skim milk and whipping cream (actually I made a double batch; or was it a quadruple?). Dad always used Myer's rum and Old Forester bourbon, but if you are making it full strength and will be able to taste the liquor, better bourbon will make a difference. Two years ago we used Knob Creek (~$25) and the difference was remarkable. Jim Beam Black Label (~$15) or Wild Turkey 101 (~$18) would be two other, less expensive, but still somewhat premium choices. Of course, these three are higher proof, so drink accordingly. I suspect there are better choices than Myer's rum, too, but it has served us well. And now an amusing anecdote for your holiday enjoyment: Scene: a streetcar in Cincinnati, circa 1950. Characters: Little four-year-old Jeff and his grandma, returning from downtown Christmas shopping, and other passengers. Jeff, in a loud voice: "Grandma, don't forget you said that you needed to stop and get rummy for the egg noggin!" Grandma and passengers laugh. Jeff feels very embarrassed and the memory is seared in his brain, even though no one else remembers. Happy holidays! Jeff ================= See ya! Pat Babcock in SE MI Chief of Janitorial Services Return to table of contents
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