HOMEBREW Digest #500 Thu 20 September 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Bierhous International (Geoffrey Sherwood)
  Kegging on the cheap -- questions on parts (Chris Shenton)
  Question about peppermint (russellp)
  Chilling Wort and Head Retention (Mike Charlton)
  Heat Sanitization (David Lim)
  fruit flies (Peter Karp)
  Wort Chilling (Martin A. Lodahl)
  Beer without body, Todd Koumrian in Belgium (Drew) Lynch <atl at stardent.COM>
  forces beyond our control (florianb)
  Re:  Homebrew Digest #498 (September 18, 1990) (Bruce Mueller)
  wort superchiller and Foxx filler (Pete Soper)

Send submissions to homebrew%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com Send requests to homebrew-request%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com [Please do not send me requests for back issues] Archives are available from netlib at mthvax.cs.miami.edu
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 06:56:32 PDT From: sherwood at adobe.com (Geoffrey Sherwood) Subject: Bierhous International I saw their ad in Mother Earth News (I think it was) about 10 years ago. Making my own beer? Why not? I ordered their kit and made a fairly passable beer. I had a few problems -- Quart coke bottles can have sediment problems and straining the finished, carbonated brew through cheesecloth does not work at *all*. But hey, it was my first attempt. I ordered more ingredients and embarked on my brewing 'career'. I will always be grateful to them.... geoff sherwood Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 10:34:45 EDT From: Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Kegging on the cheap -- questions on parts I took great interest in the recent re-invigorated discussion on kegging by Marty and John, and need some help. I *must* get into kegging now -- I've run out of bottle caps! :-) I've got 8 (ab)used kegs, 4 ball, 4 bin. I was thinking of getting the Foxx kit for $200, but figure I can simply replace the O-rings and busted parts on one set of 4 (pin XOR ball) for less. A couple questions: Has anyone used an old fire extinguisher as a CO2 cylinder? One homebrew shop I visited suggested it, and the last (commercial) keg I rented used one. Do I have to buy a new valve, from Foxx or elsewhere? For each set of 4 kegs above, 3 are Firestone, and 1 is Spartan. Are parts, such as lids, interchangeable? Are lids interchangeable between Pin and Ball styles? In the Foxx catalog, prices for Firestone replacement parts (lids, O-rings, liquid tubes, etc) are twice or more the price of Cornelius parts. Are these interchangeable? (Is Cornelius the same as Spartan?) I've got 3 Firestone lids with no pressure relief valve; should I avoid them? TIA! ____________________________________________________________________________ INET: chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov ( NASA/GSFC: Code 735 UUCP: ...!uunet!asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov!chris Greenbelt, MD 20771 SPAN: PITCH::CHRIS Fax: 301-286-9214 Phone: 301-286-6093 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 11:10:16 CDT From: russellp at cae.wisc.edu Subject: Question about peppermint We finally got a brew kit and a friend of mine wants to try a brew using leaves from his peppermint plant. But being beginners, we have quite a few questions. 1) Is it even worth trying? 2) How much should we use? 3) When should we add it? 4) Would an extract or candy work better? Anyone? ************> russellp at cae.wisc.edu <******************************* | | Russ Perry Jr (russell at uhura.cs.wisc.edu) "Feed my brain with your so |||| 5970 Scott St 104 S Randall Ave called standards; who says || / Omro WI 54963 Madison WI 53715 that I ain't right?"--Metallica / Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 11:49:07 CDT From: Mike Charlton <umcharl3 at ccu.UManitoba.CA> Subject: Chilling Wort and Head Retention I thought I might describe the method my brewing partner and I use to chill our wort since we seem to get our wort down to a cold temperature in a fairly quick time. We use an immersion wort chiller (which we add to the boil for the last 15 mins. to sterilize). Our basic method is to run cold water through it until the temperature reaches 80 degrees F. This takes about 22 mins. and uses about 15 US gallons of water. We then siphon ice water through the chiller (remember to keep the chiller full of water while you transfer from the tap to the pot of ice water -- it's no fun sucking water through 40 feet of copper tubing to get your siphon started!). We keep refilling the pot with tap water (and more ice) until the wort temperature gets to 65 degrees F (the temperature of our water supply in the summer). At this point we use the water that has come through the chiller (adding more ice of course). It takes us about an hour to get from boiling to below 50 degrees F (usually 48). Bill Crick mentioned several possiblities as to what might be the problem with head retention. I had not heard of the over-sparging problems and this could well be what has troubled us. We try to get the best extraction we can, but maybe next time we will be a little less demanding. Also, the poor quality of malt may be a problem. Luckily we have switched suppliers. To give you a hint of what problems we have had, it had not occured to us until just recently that Hallertauer hops were not a dingy orange-brown colour... :-) Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 11:16:58 MDT From: David Lim <limd at boulder.Colorado.EDU> Subject: Heat Sanitization I recently came up with the idea of using my oven to sanitize (sterilize?) my bottles. Of course, my bottles would be physically clean before I "baked" them. Has anybody ever tried this? I do have a dishwasher and have used the rinse/heat-dry cycle to accomplish my goal, but I somewhat wary of my particular dishwashers' ability to really get things hot enough (see - I'm renting my apartment and needless to say, landlords don't always provide the best appliances or maintenance.) Anyway, I think I can fit considerably more bottles in my oven than in my dishwasher. Let's see pressure canning (If i remember) can produce temperatures around 260 degrees F, so I figure 300 or so degrees should be a good setting. Sound like a worthwhile experiment? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 14:08:20 EDT From: Peter Karp <karp at cs.columbia.edu> Subject: fruit flies I recently brewed a batch of beer and found dozens of fruit flies had gotten into my airlock. I doubt that they were able get to the beer but I was wondering how so many had found their way into the two small vent holes covering the lock and if any one else has this nuisance (cleaning out the airlock of drowned flies) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 14:00:53 PDT From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!malodah at PacBell.COM> Subject: Wort Chilling In HOMEBREW Digest #499, Brian Glendenning ... > discovered that the "cold" tapwater here was 80 degrees that day, and > was pretty ineffective at cooling in the way I'd been used to ... And considers alternatives: > 1) Using ice (boiled and then frozen in a sanitized container the > night before). If the infection risk is low (?) you'd think that this > would be the easiest approach and would get the best cold break. I've used this approach, and it works, providing your method of brewing allows for the additional water. You're right about the cold break. > 2) Counterflow chiller. Never tried one. > 3) Rather than counterflow, how about putting the copper coil in an > ice bath - is there any reason why this wouldn't work? Again, never tried this, but Miller's concerns would still apply. > 4) An ordinary "immersion" chiller. My guess is that even if the > tapwater is normally 60's in the summer this would be too slow. True? Not if the tapwater is used as part of an ice bath, and recirculated with a small pump ... > 5) Any other cute wort-chilling tricks out there? What I do about half the time (depending on how my never-ending war against leaks is going) is run tap water through my immersion chiller just long enough to fill my lauter tun with the outflow. It's usually hotter than the dickens, and with a little bleach works well to sanitize the stuff I'll be using in the rest of the process. By the time the tun is full, the temperature of the water is not terribly different from that of the wort, so the rate of cooling has dropped considerably. That's when I switch from tap water to the ice-bath- and-pump routine. The hardest parts of this are finding the right pump and the right connecting hardware. The pump I'm using now is one sold in garden stores, uses standard garden hose connectors on both ends, and works just great. The hardware is another matter, though the issue would be simplified substantially if I didn't stubbornly insist on using "quick disconnect" fittings. Good luck! = Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff = = malodah at pbmoss.Pacbell.COM Sacramento, CA 916.972.4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) = Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 10:12:21 PDT From: Andrew (Drew) Lynch <atl at stardent.COM> Subject: Beer without body, Todd Koumrian in Belgium I have usually brewed very thick stouts, using about 10 to 13 lbs of liquid malt extract. These come out well, lots of body and very high alcohol content. I have recently ben trying to brew a lower alcohol content pale ale type of brew. I usually start with about 6 lbs of malt, add a couple lbs of partially crushed specialty grains, and wyeast british ale yeast. The flavor of these has been fairly good, about what I expected for the ingredients that I used, and they have had good clarity, carbonation and a good head. But, they have been very thin and lacking in body. I even used about a lb of Cara Pils Dextrin malt last time with no noticeable difference in body. Is this likely to be caused by an over-attenuative yeast, and if so, can someone recomend a good alternative to the Wyeast British? And to Todd Koumrian, have a great time in Belgium. I was fortunate enough to be transferred there (in the Flemish speaking part) for about 6 months. I found the Flemish speaking Belgians quite warm and friendly. The Belgians are truly masters at the art of beer brewing, and are not afraid to do unusual things. Try spending an evening matching up the beers and cheeses that come out of the various abbeys, they quite often complement each other. The town of Leuven, where I lived is the home to Stella Artois, the Coors of Belgium, and the largest Catholic University in Europe. It is a town well worth visiting. Also, try to set up a visit to the Duvel brewery. I never made it there, but according to my Belgian friends, it has the best tour available (not to mention my favorite beer). As far as language goes, most of the Flemish speaking Belgians speak excellent English (although this may be a result of living in a University town) and always responded to my butchery of Flemish in perfect English. The French speaking seem less inclined to speak any language but French, so your high school French will help you out there. Expect dreary, rapidly changing weather. I saw a few days that went from clear skies to thundershowers several times in one day! I personally did not find Brussels very interesting, it seemed that Leuven had everything I wanted and less of the congestion and snooty attitudes. Anyway, have a great time (it would be hard not to) and post a complete report when you return! Drew Return to table of contents
Date: 19 Sep 90 16:10:26 PDT (Wed) From: florianb at tekred.cna.tek.com Subject: forces beyond our control John Polstra sez, in regard to the Coriolis effect: >This is one of those myths that "everybody knows," yet which is false. >It goes along with the myth which says that whirlpools rotate one >direction in the Northern Hemisphere and the other direction in the >Southern Hemisphere. Well, I'm a physicist, and I'm very interested in forces beyond my control, such as the Coriolis effect and corporate management mentality. So I would like to know: Does the direction the earth spins after too much homebrew have anything to do with which is the drinking hand? Florian, the dizzy. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 16:22:03 -0700 From: Bruce Mueller <mueller at sdd.hp.com> Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #498 (September 18, 1990) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 21:38:17 EDT From: Pete Soper <soper at maxzilla.encore.com> Subject: wort superchiller and Foxx filler In HBD #499 bglenden at mandrill.cv.nrao.edu (Brian Glendenning) wrote: >ice bath - is there any reason why this wouldn't work? (How much >energy does it take to turn 1 gram of ice at 0C into 1 gram of water >at 0C - I can never remember that number!). 80 or 144 BTUs/pound >4) An ordinary "immersion" chiller. My guess is that even if the >tapwater is normally 60's in the summer this would be too slow. True? Another doggone nonlinear process. As the wort approaches the tap water temperature it cools more and more slowly. Getting to the last degree of temperature difference takes a ridiculous amount of time. But down to within a couple degrees or so the rate is reasonably high. >5) Any other cute wort-chilling tricks out there? Yes! I've been using a scheme that lets me run my wort from boiling to the low 40s fairly quickly and using moderate amounts of tap water and ice. I added a "T" fitting, an inline valve and a little pump to my regular immersion chiller. I start by running (80 F) tap water through the chiller to drop the wort to around 82 in about a half hour. Then I close the water tap, open the inline valve and turn on the pump to switch to "superchiller" mode, circulating water from a bucket of melting ice. The actual amount of ice depends of course on how much cooling you want, the water temperature, etc. My ice maker turns out 7 pounds per day so I just bag up a few day's worth. With about 5 3/4 gallons of wort to go from boiling to 42 F takes me around an hour total. I've fumbled the "priming" of the ice bucket with tap water and by experience have found that you want to minimize the amount of water as much as possible. The ice melts very quickly and just the minimum starting amount is all that is needed for best operation; you have to cool this water too! Other folks have written about freezing plastic milk bottles of water and this seems even easier than collecting ice cubes if your freezer is big enough. One more item that is important. The problem with immersion chillers is that still water makes a great insulator. I have a "stirring rod" in the lid of my Bruheat that allows me to periodically stir the wort during cooling while still keeping room air out and this makes a big difference. But I think when I get my cooling tuned so I can drop to the 40s in perhaps 20 minutes I'll forgo keeping the boiler sealed at all. I've been working on a more detailed blurb on this subject. The problem is that my experience thus far has been with a pump I got for another project that is not submerssible and a wimpy aquarium pump I just tried once. The pump I use now has a serious price that couldn't be justified for wort chilling and needs a GFCI outlet for safety while the wimpy pump will just barely move the water. I hope to report results gotten from an affordable but effective aquarium pump within a few weeks. It goes without saying that a double insulated submersible pump is the way to go. Folks might ask why on earth one would want to cool their wort to the low 40s? First, you can get a cold break that looks like a Boston snow storm. All break, hop trub and anything else that might be around settles out in a matter of minutes so you can rack off it and be done with it. The racking process adds heat from the surroundings so that lagers can pretty much be pitched immediately, while wort for ales can be warmed up in just a few minutes in some warm water. Second, nothing promotes relaxation like handling cold wort. You can just imagine the few inevitable infection critters in the wort, downright comatose with cold and unable to get a jump on the yeast. It makes the whole process downright casual. Finally, real lagers are pitched cold and most tap water (south of Toronto :-) is rarely cold enough to use by itself, so *some* additional cooling is needed anyway. I was using a a refrigerator to cool my wort; six stupid hours to cool from 82 to 55 and then I'd have to haul the stupid carboy out again to pitch, or worse, to rack off the break and then pitch the yeast. Here is a diagram of my setup. I hope to submit a fancy PostScript document to the HBD archives in the next month or so. - --------------------- ********** cold CLOSED * water ********** tap | --===--->--->---============| |-->-- | + wort | | + | | + |===========| ^ + | ^ + chiller | | + | | + |===========| | + v ^ + | | + | ********* + |============== + v *valve/ * + hot wort + | *clamp * +++++++++++++++++++ | *OPEN * |-------------------------< ********* V + ^ + + + + | + + + + .......... + + + + .pump ON .-< + + + + .......... + + + + ice + water + + + +++++bucket+++++++ +++++sink++++++++ Cooling Performance I've recorded ("ice water mode"): Gal------Start--End---Time---ice---water in---Notes cooled Temp Temp min. lb ice bkt. 5 water 76 46 22 14 4 qts Teel 1P677A pump 5 water 78 61 25 7 2 qts Rena C40 aquarium pump 6 wort 82 46 35 24 8 qts(!) Teel 5.7 wort 82 42 30 18 3 qts Teel >On a completely unrelated note, can anyone tell me how well the >counter-pressure bottle fillers sold by Fox (among others) work? I >would have thought that the loss of pressure between taking the rig >out and putting on the cap would be problematical, but maybe >(probably) so little CO2 needs to come out of solution to pressurize >the headspace that this isn't a problem. [There are Digesters that are old hands with this type of filler. They will hopefully submit something or at least keep me straight!] The CO2 stays in solution pretty well during the few seconds it takes to cap. Actually, plan on a second person capping since the filler is a handful and it is a hassle to set it down while capping each bottle. The main function of the counter pressure is to keep the CO2 from jumping out of solution as the bottle is filling. I bought one of the Foxx fillers around April and used it one time, coming very close to wrapping it around the nearest tree. I then put it in a closet and only pulled it out again a couple weeks ago when I could afford to swap the valves out. The valves that came with my filler are not suitable for the job, IMHO. Aside from having too-short, too-sharp handles that take an absurd amount of torque to operate, the valves in my unit leaked. It doesn't take much of a leak in this kind of device to spoil your day since exact balance of pressures is critical. If it were not for the leaking I would have just used the idea someone sent me of putting short pieces of tubing over the ends of the valves to increase the leverage and cover the sharp edges. I replaced the original valves with ball valves (three at $9 each, ouch). The action of these is silky smooth and one trial run with a dozen bottles went very well, leading me to look forward to using this thing again. Based on my little bit of experience it seems important for the beer to be very cold when using this filler. It also seems important for the bottles to be cold and slightly wet on the inside to cut down on foaming as they fill. It is arranging for no foaming during the filling of the bottle that is the key. I can't honestly say I'd try bottling a highly carbonated beer with this kind of filler, no matter what the conditions, but this is hopefully just my lack of experience talking. - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Pete Soper (soper at encore.com) +1 919 481 3730 Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd, bldg D, Cary, NC 27511 USA Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #500, 09/20/90 ************************************* -------
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