HOMEBREW Digest #4982 Mon 27 March 2006

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  Fwd: Accurate Thermometers (Fred L Johnson)
  dry ice carbonation - warning (ALAN K MEEKER)
  Big beer efficiency... ("Michael Eyre")
  Water Test (Pete Limosani)
  AHA Governing Committee Election ("Gary Glass")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 07:51:45 -0500 From: Fred L Johnson <FLJohnson52 at nc.rr.com> Subject: Fwd: Accurate Thermometers If a thermometer isn't NIST certified or NIST traceable, there's little guarantee that the thermometer will be very accurate. One should calibrate such a thermometer. It is standard procedure in the lab to calibrate whatever thermometer one is using against an NIST certified thermometer. For many thermometers, no adjustment can be made to the value displayed on the thermometer. "Calibration" for such thermometers means making notes on the value displayed at various temperatures (as several have pointed out in this thread), constructing calibration curves from those values, and making adjustments to the displayed value using the calibration curves. I have used NIST traceable thermometers made by Control Company for many years. They are sold by several dealers (see the web site below). The prices of the thermometers vary depending upon features, but there are several that are quite affordable. (I have no affiliation with Control Company. I'm only a satisfied customer always looking for an inexpensive way of getting what I want.) www.control3.com Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 14:48:13 -0500 From: ALAN K MEEKER <ameeker at mail.jhmi.edu> Subject: dry ice carbonation - warning For those of you that may be thinking quick carbonation of beer in the bottle using dry ice might be a handy trick - think again! In the interest of safety I relate the following embarrassing anecdote: A while back I had made an insanely strong barleywine that failed to carbonate despite a fresh addition of champagne yeast at bottling. It ended up being completely uncarbonated, likely due to the high alcohol content inhibiting or killing off the yeast. So, here I was with a case and a half of barleywine that tasted great but was totally flat. It would be near perfect if only it were carbonated. Adding more yeast to the bottles was unlikely to help and I certainly didn't want top go to all the trouble of emptying all those bottles into a new container for force carbonation, not to mention the oxygen pick up that would occur during the transfer. So, I decided I would try to carbonate them in the bottles using dry ice. Knowing I wanted about 1.5 volumes of CO2, I easily calculated the mass of dry ice I'd need to add to each bottle using the ideal gas law. Just to make sure I hadn't screwed anything up, I weighed out this amount of dry ice and placed it in a balloon to make sure the volume produced by the sublimated dry ice looked about right. Sure enough it came out perfect. Time to carbonate the BW. I carefully weighed out the correct amount of dry ice, uncapped one of the bottles, dropped in the dry ice chip and immediately re-capped the bottle. Unfortunately, what I had neglected to consider was the fact that, although CO2 dissolves in water very quickly, this is by no means instantaneous. Thus, The CO2 gas generated by the rapidly sublimating dry ice hitting the room temperature liquid, rapidly accumulated in the headspace of the bottle. Instead of having 1.5 volumes of gas distributed throughout the bottle, it was all cramming itself into the ~1cubic centimeter headspace, leading to a couple of hundred-fold higher pressure than anticipated. Needless to say, this was more than the bottle could handle and it promptly (and dramatically) exploded! Luckily I escaped injury, but what a mess! The bottle pretty much vaporized, spreading small glass shards and sticky barleywine all over the kitchen. Took about 3 hours to clean up the mess. I was eventually able to carbonate a few bottles using dry ice by adding the full amount in several small stages, giving each stage plenty of time to equilibrate, but this was a royal pain, so I can't really recommend it. Alan Meeker Lazy Eight Nanobrewery Baltimore, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 09:30:37 -0800 From: "Michael Eyre" <meyre at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Big beer efficiency... Hello all... There's a nasty rumor going around that the bigger beer you try to make (all grain, btw!) in a given mashtun, the less efficiency you *tend* to get. I seem to be seeing this in my brewery when I make a barley wine... any truth to this? Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 07:14:49 -0500 From: Pete Limosani <peteLimo at comcast.net> Subject: Water Test Hi, Folks, I bought a water quality test kit at Home Depot yesterday. The strip revealed only pH, Total Alkalinity, Chlorine and Total Hardness. My results were: pH=5.5 Total Alkalinity=60 Chlorine=.5 Total Hardness=50 From these numbers is it possible to estimate Ca, Mg, SO4, Na, Cl, Carb/BiCarb? At least enough to make reasonable adjustments to emulate other water styles? Thanks in advance for any thoughts. /Pete Limosani/ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 16:28:34 -0700 From: "Gary Glass" <gary at brewersassociation.org> Subject: AHA Governing Committee Election Hi All, This is the last week of voting for the American Homebrewers Association Governing Committee Election. All online ballots must be submitted by April 1. See www.beertown.org/homebrewing/election.html to review the candidate statements and submit your online ballots. We have an excellent slate of candidates this year. The people you choose to serve on the Governing Committee will have a very direct impact on guiding your organization, so I urge you to vote. AHA members casting ballots in this year's election are eligible for an additional entry into the Lallemand Scholarship drawing for a scholarship to the Siebel Institute's two-week Concise Course. Voters can also renew their membership for a special $29 renewal rate. Cheers! Gary Glass Director American Homebrewers Association gary at brewersassociation.org www.beertown.org Return to table of contents
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