HOMEBREW Digest #4923 Fri 30 December 2005

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  c02 full? ("Spencer W. Thomas")
  RE:  1056/1728 Comparison, CO2 tank ("Kyle Jones")
  C02 (leavitdg)
  CO2 ("A.J deLange")
  Re: Keg conditioning (Scott Alfter)
  how do I know if my 10 lb. CO2 tank is full? (Randy Ricchi)
  Re: Water Analysis ("Martin Brungard")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 20:35:43 -0500 From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <hbd at spencerwthomas.com> Subject: c02 full? Larry, The gauge will read the same until the tank is almost empty. The reading depends only upon the temperature, as it is the vapor pressure of the liquid CO2 in the tank at that temperature. What you need to do is to weigh it. Stamped on the tank somewhere is a "tare weight" that indicates how much the tank weighs empty. For example, my 5 lb tank has a tare weight of 11.2 lbs. Thus, the tank, when full, should weight 16.2 lbs, because 11.2 + 5 = 16.2. Find your tare weight, weigh the tank, subtract the tare weight, and you'll know how much CO2 is left in the tank. If you don't have an appropriate scale, or you can't find the tare weight, go get it refilled. I use a local "fire safety" outfit -- they refill my tank on the spot, instead of exchanging it. They're cheaper than the welding gas places, too. They can probably tell you how much CO2 is in the tank, and whether you need to refill it. Check your "yellow pages." =Spencer in Ann Arbor Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 01:11:57 -0500 From: "Kyle Jones" <kjones1 at ufl.edu> Subject: RE: 1056/1728 Comparison, CO2 tank That is some cool data, Ken. And re other discussions that have taken place lately on the HBD, this data may not be of any particular use to me, but it sure is neat to see. Thanks for the continued updates from your CO2 monitoring system, and I hope there are more to come. And to Larry Maxwell, your best bet is to weigh your tank, just as you would a propane tank (the tare weight of your tank should be stamped on the neck). The high side pressure reading doesn't really give you any info on the amount left in the tank, and will remain constant as long as there is any liquid CO2 in the tank. Kyle Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 05:46:40 -0500 From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: C02 Ken; Why does the 1728 appear to have 2 lines rather than one? Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 13:31:36 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: CO2 The best way to determine the amount of CO2 in your cylinder is to weigh it. This requires, of course, that you know its empty (tare) weight so next time you go to get it filled empty it completely, but close the valve as soon as gas stops coming out so air (it's really moisture we're concerned about) won't get in and weigh it. Then weigh it again when you get home from the filling plant. You probably won't like what you see (your "5 pound" fill will probably be more like 4.5 pounds). This scheme does not work so well at places that swap your empty aluminum bottle for a full steel one but if you swap aluminum for aluminum it should give you a reasonably accurate indication (and as it's the larger outfits that tend to do this you will probably be getting a better fill). Another method (which works best in the summer) is to put the bottle in the freezer and leave it there until is is thoroughly chilled. Take it out and set it upright in a humid place (batroom where the shower has been running may work in winter). The metal of the bottle will warm faster than the CO2 liquid so that after a few minutes the upper portion of the bottle should be dry while the lower part should be covered with condensation up to the point where the surface of the liquid is located. The gauge is not terribly informative. As long as liquid is in the bottle the gauge reads the constant vapor pressure of CO2 which is indeed around 750 psig but which does vary appreciably with temperature. When all the liquid has evaporated the gauge reads the pressure of the remaining gas in the bottle and will, consequently, drop as gas is drawn off. When you see the needle start to decline it is time to think about getting another bottle though at that point you should have enough to finish a keg (15.5 gal). An exception to this is if the bottle is outside in the summer and the temperature is above 87.8 F. CO2 cannot exist as a liquid above this temperature so the bottle will be full of gas. A full bottle will read about 1000 psig and the displayed pressure indicates the amount of gas remaining e.g. when the gauge reads 450 psig about 45% of the CO2 remains. So this suggests another method - lower the bottle into hot water i.e. around 100F (do not put it into the oven or heat it in a fire or by any other method - that is a)unsafe and b)will give you the wrong answer). Keep the water above 87.8 and when everything has equilibrated read the pressure gauge and temperature. If the bottle were full and the water boiling the pressure gauge would read 1300 psig. For the scientifically minded this is the critical pressure of CO2 (1070 psi) adjusted by the ratio of the critial temperature to temperature of boiling water (373/304 - both in Kelvins). Even though 1300 psig is well within the ratings of the bottles I just don't feel comfortable receommending that boiling water be used though it would make it easier to insure that things are at equilibrium. Continuing with the example at boiling temperature if the bottle is half full it will read 650 psig and so on. For other temperatures the full tank pressure would be 1070* (273 + Centigrade Temperature)/(273 + 31) and should be applied to the outdoor situation as well if it is appreciably warmer than 87.8F. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 11:41:04 -0800 From: Scott Alfter <scott at alfter.us> Subject: Re: Keg conditioning "D. Clark" wrote: > Does anyone out there do keg conditioning on a regular basis? This was > accidental for me, but I don't see why you couldn't add corn sugar or DME > to a keg of finished beer and let it go. Would the time be the same for a > keg as it would be for a bottle? More things to try I guess. I've done that a few times in the past with both 5-gallon corny kegs and 5-liter party kegs. You want to cut back on the priming sugar a bit (one number I've heard says to use 1/3 cup of corn sugar instead of 3/4 cup). If you're using a corny keg, you'll need to put in some gas to get the lid to seal. (Party kegs don't have this problem; just push in the stopper.) Let it sit at room temperature for the usual couple or three weeks, then chill and serve. I figured I'd start doing force-carbonating when I got into kegging. I suspect, though, that keg conditioning more thoroughly scrubs residual oxygen out of the keg than repeatedly pressurizing and venting the keg, but I have nothing to back up that assertion. At the very least, it'd save gas. (Not that I've been using it all that quickly; I've used the same 10-lb. cylinder for at least a year and a half.) _/_ Scott Alfter / v \ Visit the SNAFU website today! (IIGS( http://snafu.alfter.us/ Top-posting! \_^_/ rm -rf /bin/laden >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 15:42:38 -0500 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at houghton.k12.mi.us> Subject: how do I know if my 10 lb. CO2 tank is full? Larry, When a CO2 tank is full, the reading on the guage is near, or a little below 800 psi, and it stays at this reading until you're almost out of gas. When the pressure as shown on the guage does start to drop it still takes awhile to completely run out. I think you'll have plenty for New Years eve. If not, you can always think you should have :^) Whenever your tank does run out, weigh it before refilling, and mark the weight of the empty tank on the tank itself so you don't forget. Then, you can just weigh the tank to see how empty or full it is. A full 10 lb tank will weigh 10 lbs more than an empty one. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 18:01:57 -0900 From: "Martin Brungard" <mabrungard at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Water Analysis The water analysis that Mike Long provided was not as complete as you would like, but there was enough to point out an indication of what the water will likely perform like. >From the analysis, the calcium and magnesium concentrations were back-calculated as 29.5 and 5.5 ppm, respectively. The alkalinity was shown as 'M Alkalinity' which is the preferred pH endpoint for brewing usage. The reported water pH (7.2) indicates that the alkalinity is predominately composed of bicarbonate. For the 50 ppm alkalinity, the bicarbonate content is 61 ppm. For the given sulfate and chloride contents of 44 and 8 ppm, respectively, the overall ionic balance of the water suggests that there should be about 6 to 7 ppm of another cation to go along with the calculated Ca and Mg content. I would expect that the missing cation is probably sodium. So figure that there is 6 ppm Na. The short listing of the ionic concentrations is: Ca = 29.5 ppm Mg = 5.5 ppm Na = 6 ppm HCO3 = 61 ppm SO4 = 44 ppm Cl = 8 ppm The residual alkalinity of the water comes out at about 26. This suggests the water is well suited for pale beers. But, Mike should be careful when hardening the water with additional Ca or Mg or when mashing a grist darker than about amber. The relatively low alkalinity could make it necessary to add chalk or sodium bicarb to keep the mash pH from dropping too low. This caution applies only to the mash. The sparge should not be made more alkaline. Based on the residual alkalinity, Mike probably will not ever have to acidify his mash water. Sparge water should always be brought down to a pH of 5.7. For Mike's water, it would take about 1/4 tsp of 88% Lactic acid in 5 gallons of sparge water to bring the pH to about 5.7. Overall, it looks like pretty good water. Mike should be good to go. I recommend that an additional inquiry be made to find out if the missing cation is sodium, although it doesn't really matter that much. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
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