HOMEBREW Digest #5102 Wed 29 November 2006

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  Better Bottle drain port and availability question (Robert Marshall)
  RE: Better Bottle ("Brian Lundeen")
  ACS HCl ("A.J deLange")
  ancient pregnancy test uses barley and wheat ("Peter A. Ensminger")
  better bottles (Michael Stumpf)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 23:37:29 -0800 From: Robert Marshall <robertjm at hockeyhockeyhockey.com> Subject: Better Bottle drain port and availability question Hi all! I've been following the recent thread about the Better Bottle system with interest. I've never broken any of the seven carboys I own (including a rather thin walled 12.5 gallon container!!), but have worried sometimes, especially when using Chloretergent in winemaking because the stuff is slicker than sn at t!! One question I have though. Does anyone sell the bottle WITH the side port drain already installed? I checked out morebeer.com, which is a stone's throw from where I work, but I didn't seem to find an option to buy it installed? If it isn't available that way, is it easy to install yourself? My imagination is that its akin to building the ship in the bottle, where you've got to use long appliances to get it right, which is something I don't really appreciate! Also, are the 3 gallon bottles ONLY available by special order? I can't find any shops on the BB list that carry this bottle normally (in Calif.). Later, Robert Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 06:52:22 -0600 From: "Brian Lundeen" <blundeen at mts.net> Subject: RE: Better Bottle > Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 10:34:48 -0600 > From: Eric (Rick) Theiner <rickdude at tds.net> > Subject: Better Bottle > > > I cannot recall the name of the guy, but I spoke at length > with one of the guys at Better Bottle and he was absolutely > passionate about getting people to stop using glass. Then he should start marketing the product at little profit to make it more affordable. However, I suspect public safety is not his main motivating factor in this passion. I simply can't justify the expense of replacing a few dozen carboys. All my carboys have been in use for years, and I trust their structural integrity. I am very careful to wash them in a nice soft plastic sink with warm water only to avoid creating areas of stress that can weaken the glass. They never contact unforgiving surfaces, like concrete or each other. While I would be quite annoyed if a carboy failed while sitting quietly on the floor, it's not the end of the world. You clean up the mess, mourn the loss of your precious beer or wine, but nobody gets hurt. I accept that there is some danger in lifting a full carboy, and for people worried about that, there are alternatives. Stuff them in milk crates, so you pick up the whole thing by the crate handles, or use a pump so you don't have to raise up a full carboy. Cheers Brian, in Winnipeg Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 14:19:09 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: ACS HCl Made curious by Steve's post I looked at the lable on a jug of ACS hydrochloric acid. To my surprise heavy metals were listed at less than 1 ppm and arsenic at .01 ppm. To put this in perspective this acid is about 36% HCl by weight so a gram of this solution (1/1.186 cc) would contain 10 mEq HCl enough to neutralize all the bicarbonate in a liter of water of alkalinity 500 ppm as CaCO3. This would add 1 microgram or less of heavy metals to the liter of water i.e. heavy metals would be at the 1 ppb or less level. The drinking water standard used to be 50 ppb for lead and the newer (but perhaps not current) action level is 15 ppb. So still well under that. This does NOT mean that I advocate the use of non FCC chemicals in beer. In fact I don't advocate the use of dangerous chemicals in any grade by home brewers. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 12:22:24 -0500 From: "Peter A. Ensminger" <ensmingr at twcny.rr.com> Subject: ancient pregnancy test uses barley and wheat Greetings! While perusing the NIH web site, I stumbled upon an item that may interest HBDers: One of the earliest written records of a urine-based pregnancy test can be found in an ancient Egyptian document. A papyrus described a test in which a woman who might be pregnant could urinate on wheat and barley seeds over the course of several days: "If the barley grows, it means a male child. If the wheat grows, it means a female child. If both do not grow, she will not bear at all." Testing of this theory in 1963 found that 70 percent of the time, the urine of pregnant women did promote growth, while the urine of non-pregnant women and men did not. Scholars have identified this as perhaps the first test to detect a unique substance in the urine of pregnant women, and have speculated that elevated levels of estrogens in pregnant women's urine may have been the key to its success. *Reference: history.nih.gov/exhibits/thinblueline/timeline.html With a bit of digging, I located the 1963 paper and downloaded a pdf: *Ghalioungui, P., Khalil, S., and Ammar, A.R. (1963) On an ancient Egyptian method of diagnosing pregnancy and determining fetal sex. Medical Historian 7:241-246. Summary of the Ghalioungui et al. paper: (1) Urine from pregnant females, non-pregnant females, and normal males was added to seeds of two varieties each of barley and of wheat, using distilled water as a control. (2) No growth occurred with urine obtained from non-pregnant females, or from males. (3) The inhibitory effect of urine was diminished by aeration. (4) Urine from pregnant women inhibited growth in only I2 cases out of 40. In the remaining, appreciable growth occurred. (5) It is concluded that when growth occurs, the urine is presumably that of a pregnant woman, but the reverse is not necessarily true. (6) The sex of the unborn child cannot be predicted from the kind of cereal that grows faster. OK. Female urine - Pregnancy - Barley - Wheat - Beer ... let the jokes begin! Cheers! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY Apparent Rennerian: [394, 79.9] Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 14:14:11 -0600 From: Michael Stumpf <mjstumpf at pobox.com> Subject: better bottles Rick was commenting on better bottles, and why he became a believer because a carboy fell apart on him while he was holding it (properly, I might add). I'd guess stress and microfractures that built up over time caused something that is unlikely, but given a large enough sample size is far from impossible. Could you elaborate a bit on what happened? Had you ever misused the carboy (hauling by its neck)? Did you ever temperature-shock it? Can you in any way account for what happened? How often do things like this happen? I used to be quite religious about brewing in glass, but I think horror stories like this are going to push me to using plastic buckets. Maybe use my existing glass for secondaries with the "brew hauler" product (no stress at all on neck)? - --Michael Stumpf Return to table of contents
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