HOMEBREW Digest #4712 Mon 31 January 2005

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  vegas, baby -brewpub suggestions that is (burnunit)
  re: Glucometer sugar test for beer/Chloramines in brewing water ("-S")
  RE: Bringing homebrew to Canada ("Brian Lundeen")
  Re: Bringing homebrew to Canada ("B.R. Rolya")
  Chloramines/Sulfites ("A. J. delange")
  Beer in Birmingham, AL (K.M.)" <kmuell18@visteon.com>
  Re: cleaning the kettle (Tim Howe)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 22:37:06 -0600 (CST) From: burnunit <burnunit at waste.org> Subject: vegas, baby -brewpub suggestions that is I'm going to Las Vegas this week for a conference. Any brewpubs I can't miss? I'm staying on the strip and mostly depending on taxis/public transportation, so accessibility or reasonable distances from that area would be appreciated. Jon Minneapolis, MN Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 02:31:03 -0500 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: Glucometer sugar test for beer/Chloramines in brewing water Harlan Nilsen writes ... > Being a diabetic I am more than well aware of blood glucose testers. I > really have my doubts about using them for beer as they are designed to read > a blood sample. In fact, depending on which brand you have, they read blood > differently. Some read whole blood and some read blood plasma. Sorry Harlan, but that's ... ehem ... solid misinformation !!! { a less kind and gentle -S might have said "baloney" } *ALL* home use blood glucose meters use samples of whole blood. Unless you are in the habit of coagulating and filtering your blood sample you *ARE* measuring glucose in WHOLE BLOOD only. What is probably confusing you is this; clinical lab tests typically measure glucose in the plasma extracted from whole blood. Some home meters give an adjusted reading, so the result is *roughly comparable* to the plasma glucose figure rather than the whole blood glucose figure. This effectively means that some meters (e.g. the One Touch series by Lifescan) *estimate* a serum reading by taking a whole blood reading and multiplying by about 1.12. That is not the same as *measuring* the serum level. These will read about 12% too high. Even if we ignore the 12% error in certaqin meters, a meter is still comparably accurate and has far greater resolution than Clinitest. You can either test your meter with a glucose solution or read the manual to determine and correct for this if necessary. We can get into all sorts of silly discussions unless you understand exactly what is actually measured by a test. Refractometers for example only measure refractive index, and *if* we accept a bucket full of assumptions we can *infer* sugar solution strength (Brix) from refractive index. If you ignore the assumptions you'll make some wild logical errors. AFAIK all home test blood sugar meters use one of two enyzmes <glucose oxidase or glucose dehydrogenase> to induce either a colorimeter change or to modulate electrical conductivity. These are not necessarily only sensitive to glucose, but some (note that all enzymes are functionally named, and glucose oxidase from two different sources may have different specificity and properties) are sensitive to mannose or galactose or other sugars unlikely to appear in wort. The colorimetric meters usually use an LED and reflected spectrometery. My experience is that the colorimetric meters work well with sugar solutions and wort, but you may need to remove ambient light to get a good reading. In any case blood glucose meters can be used to measure glucose in brewing solutions *BUT* you should both 'calibrate' your meter and read the manual prior to any attempt to do this. They can be fairly accurate as well as having high resolution. Most meters measure from about 20 to 600 mg/dL (0.02P to 0.60P) with a resolution of around 10mg/dL (0.01P). Best accuracy is often from about 50-350mg/dL(0.05P-0.350P). You may need to divide the reading by ~1.12 if it reads-out in serum equivalents. >I also believe there was a thread > on HBD a while back where someone had tried this and found it did not work. Probably ambient light, a guess. > Also, these little units are expensive NO ! They are very cheap. $50US for a meter with these characteristics is cheap-cheap-cheap. Often there are additional coupons, or sometimes these are completley free with a trade-in. >and the test strips are expensive and > outdate fairly quickly and lose their accuracy. About 55-70 cents per strip in the US, but keep them dry, sealed and in the fridge and they'll last much longer. Enzyme denaturing is the issue. > My advice would be to stick > with the Clinitest. Clinitest tablets also have degradation problems, (moisture damage) and are getting very hard to find, but fundamentally Clinitest and glucose meters measure very different things. They are not interchangeable nor directly comparable in application. I don't see any huge practical applications for glucose meters in brewing, but if you are a brew-geek and want to measure rates of sucrose inversion or such your options are a $50 glucose meter & 60 cents per test strips or some seriously expensive lab equipment. I haven't tried it, but it should be possible use either alpha-amylase or acids hydrolysis to break complex starches and dextrins into glucose (and alternate) units, then (neutralize and) measure the glucose concentration with a meter. You should be able to estimate total carbs in wort this way. You could also measure unfermentable carbs in a finished beer this way. Clinitest would work in this application too, but the resolution is miserable, and the interpretation subjective. > ------------------------------ Don Trotter asks about chloramines ... > > [...] Our water is fairly neutral, but > > it contains Chloramines. Our water doesn't taste very bad, but As an aside, I've had unchlorinated well water for the past three years and just over the past 18 months I've come to despise the taste of chlorinated "city" water. It recently tastes moldy to me. I can immediately tell if coffee is made with chlorinated water (brackish afertaste). I seem to have become very sensitive to this flavor. On adding metabisulfite .... > > Since, I have seen nor heard more on this water treatment. It has > > been 8 years. Does this still make sense? Yeah - the chemistry certainly hasn't changed in the past 8 years (nor centuries). AJ can and probably will provide more detailed comments. Also a modest excess of sulfite will act as an antioxidant and is likely to have a very beneficial impact on final flavor. > > I would like to know whether this practice had been found to have > > bad side affects. ... >My question remains the same. Can this > process be bad for the beer in any way? I'd recommend using metabite for the antioxidant action alone 20-50ppm in the mashtun - even if there is no chlorine involved. Yeast will also produce a little sulfite late in the game (1 to 15 ppm or so as I recall). Too much sulfite in the finished beer will leave a too-strong sulfury note and could cause problems for hypersensitive individuals. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 07:57:02 -0600 From: "Brian Lundeen" <BLundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: RE: Bringing homebrew to Canada > Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2005 00:15:26 -0500 (GMT-05:00) > From: Brian Millan <ernurse at ix.netcom.com> > Subject: Bringing homebrew to Canada > > Hi Group -- > > Anyone have the skinny on whether it is okay to bring > homebrew into Canada? I know that visitors are limited to a > case for personal consumption, but I was wondering about any > reactions people might have experienced bringing in homemade beer. > Don't even think about it, Brian. As a nation, we are morally opposed to homebrew. We believe all alcohol should be taxed to support our health care system. Don't make Constable Dawson get off his horse at the border because he hears some bottles clinking around. You will likely spend several hours in a locked room being forced to watch reruns of The Beachcombers, King of Kensington and Front Page Challenge to make you crack and sign a confession. It's just not worth it. Bwian, in Winnipeg Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 10:32:39 -0500 From: "B.R. Rolya" <br at triagemusic.com> Subject: Re: Bringing homebrew to Canada Brian wrote: >Anyone have the skinny on whether it is okay to >bring homebrew into Canada? I know that visitors >are limited to a case for personal consumption, >but I was wondering about any reactions people >might have experienced bringing in homemade >beer. I've never had a problem bringing beer into Canada, homebrew or otherwise (just returned back from there this morning, in fact, and brought friends some local beer). When they ask about alcohol, I simply say I'm bringing some beer as a gift for friends. I also find that the quickest way through Canadian customs is to use the magic password when answering the question "purpose of trip": hockey. (Of course, that tends to backfire on the way back into the US when the grumpy border guard accusatorially asks why we've bought more than one stick while there; the reason "um, 'cause they break" was only grudgingly accepted. I guess she thought there was a big black market for sticks here in New York...) - BR Rolya Malted Barley Appreciation Society NYC http://hbd.org/mbas/ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 15:45:13 +0100 From: "A. J. delange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Chloramines/Sulfites For Don Trotter: AFAIK the techniques described in my article are still accepted. For example, the local regional was being assailed by choramines for the first time last summer and installed a GAC filter. This solved the problem. In your paraphrase of the BT article your 4th point is a little misleading. As your post itself indicates, carbon filtration is effective against chloramines. Other types of filters are not. Also boiling does eliminate chloramine - it just takes longer to get rid of chloramine than it does chlorine. Even standing and aeration work though standing requires days instead of overnight as is the case with chlorine. The original article got into things like this but lots of the material was removed in order to get it down to a few pages. The MS is at http://homepage.mac.com/ajdel/FileSharing8.html Somewhat related: since we had been discussing sulfites in beer a week or so a go a comment in Manfred Moll's article in the most recent Cerevesia caught my eye. He mentions the fuel used to kiln malt as a source of SO2 in beer. A.J. A.J. deLange ERS Project Manager Zeta Associates Inc 703 272 1052 855-6005 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 14:54:26 -0500 From: "Mueller, Kevin (K.M.)" <kmuell18 at visteon.com> Subject: Beer in Birmingham, AL I'll be traveling at the end of Feb to the Barber Museum in Birmingham, Alabama. Figured I'd ask here to see if there is any good beer spots to visit while I'm there, so I can combine my two favorite hobbies while I'm down there... Beer and Motorcycles! I'll be flying in on a Friday, and leaving Sunday morning. Basically wondering if there is a good restaurant or brew pub that I should drag my dad and the rest of the gang to for dinner on Saturday. We'll be spending all of Saturday in the Barber Museum checking out the bikes! Thanks, Kevin Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 19:41:48 -0500 From: Tim Howe <howe at execulink.com> Subject: Re: cleaning the kettle >Hey, you know the stuff that can build up on your ss kettle...that only goes >away with a good deal of scrubbing? Well, I discovered another way a few >months back, and am going to do it again today: fill the kettle with fresh >merlot grape juice! That's right. I don't like using sulphites, so I >heat the >juice up to 170 F, just like some make mead, leave it there for 20 minutes, >then chill and pitch the yeast. > >Well, last time I did this, something in the grape juice (acidity?) >cleaned the >kettle as well. Anyone have any idea if this is the case, and I guess as >importantly, if this will have deleterious effects upon the wine? Well, I wouldn't subject my grape juice/wine to that treatment. I can however suggest a cheaper and I think better alternative: tomato juice. I canned some tomatoes last fall, and I had to use one of my brew pots to heat the tomatoes to remove the skins. Enough tomato juice escaped in the process to make my brew pot as clean as a new whistle. Cheers, Tim Howe London, ON Canada Return to table of contents
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