HOMEBREW Digest #5120 Wed 03 January 2007

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  Re: peltier cooling ("Michael O'Donnell")
  Re: Beer line cleaning... (Scott Alfter)
  Re: Beer Line Cleaning (Signalbox Brewery)
  Re: Secondary Hopping w/Pellets (Fred L Johnson)
  Load Cells; Cleaning Lines ("A.J deLange")
  RE: Beer line cleaning ("Ronald La Borde")
  RE: HBD n' MIME ("Ronald La Borde")
  Re: cloudy cider, and brett (Mark Beck)
  RE: To HERMS or not to HERMS... ("Dirk Bridgedale")
  RE: Controlling Fermentation Refrigerator Temperature (Christopher Burian)
  Temp of kegged beer once chilled... (Michael Eyre)
  RE: Beer line cleaning... ("Timothy LaFrance")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2007 22:13:56 -0800 From: "Michael O'Donnell" <odonnell at msi.ucsb.edu> Subject: Re: peltier cooling A couple of thought on Peltiers... note, that I"ve never used them for brewing, but I've often thought about doing so, and if I had a bit more time, I'd give it a go (David Lewinnek's gloomy success story notwithstanding). There are certainly commercial devices being sold to do this, e.g., I think peltiers are what B3 uses for their conical coolers http://morebeer.com/browse.html?category_id=1095&keyword=&x=1&y=1 I've even seen some guy selling complete units on eBay, but YMMV. If you're thinking of rolling your own, in my travels around the net, I've seen some promising suggestions. First, the electronics to control them are now relatively simple to put together. Maxim makes a single chip that will handle all of the control circuitry with very few external components. This looks like the way to go, although the evaluation board costs $100, the chips themselves are relatively cheap (and a single sample is free). As people have observed, you'll need a big power supply. I have had good luck converting old computer power supplies to give me regulated bench supplies... they can source a lot of current (although the + and - directions aren't equal... something to keep in mind if you are trying to drive a TEC with the -12 side)... for details, check here: http://www.wikihow.com/Convert-a-Computer-ATX-Power-Supply-to-a-Lab-Power-Supply If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes! One thing I notice on the B3 site is they talk about how much effort they put into lapping the cooler contact surface onto the fermenter... this would probably be critical (same effect that Dave Lewinnek achieved with aquarium pumps and a water bath) so don't leave that as an afterthought and just stick it on with some duct tape. cheers, mike Santa Barbara, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2007 22:46:41 -0800 From: Scott Alfter <scott at alfter.us> Subject: Re: Beer line cleaning... Michael Eyre wrote: > ...for line cleaning, I don't see any reason why I can't just fill a keg > with the line cleaner solution and run that through my lines and faucet, > no? That, then flush 'em with clean water and I should be good, correct? That's what I do, except I follow the hot-water rinse with iodophor solution to sanitize the lines and taps. For cleaning, I've used both PBW and OxiClean. They both work, but I'll probably stick with OxiClean in the future as it's cheaper and more readily available. One gallon of each solution (cleaner, rinse water, sanitizer) is fed through the line and tap from a 3-gallon keg. Setting the regulator to 3-5 psi will push them through without wasting too much carbon dioxide. (I suppose you could rig up a small compressor (or an air tank if you have a larger compressor in your garage or workshop) and the appropriate gas quick-disconnect to use air instead, but CO2 is already nearby.) I usually only need to clean one line/tap at a time (when a keg runs out), but if you save the cleaner and sanitizer in buckets, you can clean/rinse/sanitize multiple lines with one batch of chemicals. >Is there a problem with putting solution in a SS keg? As long as you're not using chlorine-based bleach, there shouldn't be. _/_ Scott Alfter / v \ Visit the SNAFU website today! (IIGS( http://www.nevadabrew.com/ Top-posting! \_^_/ rm -rf /bin/laden >What's the most annoying thing in email? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2007 11:09:45 +0000 From: Signalbox Brewery <signalbox.brewery at ntlworld.com> Subject: Re: Beer Line Cleaning Michael Eyre asks about running line cleaner from (presumably Cornelius) kegs to clean lines. In the UK, line cleaner is essentially caustic soda (lye) solution with some bleach and you might therefore not wish to leave it in the keg for more than an hour followed by a good rinse. But one never know what's in US products, does one? David Edge, Derby Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 07:10:28 -0500 From: Fred L Johnson <FLJohnson52 at nc.rr.com> Subject: Re: Secondary Hopping w/Pellets David says that Ralph Olson of Hop Union recommended rehydrating hop pellets before adding them to a secondary to improve aroma. Did he mean that one should use hot water to rehydrate the pellets? Otherwise, I can't imagine why mixing the pellets in cold water would be any different than adding them straight to the secondary. Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2007 13:04:38 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Load Cells; Cleaning Lines It was suggested that putting load cells under the kettle might be a good idea. This idea came to me a couple of years back, I did it and I've been reaping the rewards ever since. At the beginning of the brew the proper amount of water is metered into the kettle easily but the real advantage comes when the wort is collected and thereafter. Pounds of wort times Plato divided by 100 is the pounds of extract which, divided by the pounds of grain used, is the mash efficiency. Losses from boiling are easily monitored and the amount of makeup water required, or additional losses needed to hit any desired wort strength are easily calculated. Finally, when the Plato strength is right, convert Plato to SG, multiply this by 8.3 and divide into the wort weight to obtain the room temperature volume. Downside: load cells and display rigs are expensive. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Beer line cleaning requires little of the cleaner solution. It is run into the lines to fill them, allowed to soak within them for a few minutes and then run out. Turning the flow off and on a few times may result in breaking some soil loose after it has softened. Thus, while a keg will certainly serve to replace the Micromatic plastic jug the jug is handy, easier to maneuver etc. Note that the jug is designed to work with conventional kegs and is available with several different screw-in tops for U.S. Sankey, European Sankey, Slider etc. Cornelius fittings is not one of the options. There are other rigs made for beer line cleaning which may be more suitable for home brewers. One consists of a plastic jug with a picnic pump fitted to the lid. A stand pipe is also fitted into the lid and the hose from this standpipe has a fitting which threads onto the faucet shank. Cleaner is pumped backwards through the line. Don't forget to disassemble, soak (in cleaner) and clean the faucets' bores (brush) and equalization holes (wire). The most amazing things grow in them. Reassemble with a bit of probe lube. No, beer line cleaning products will not harm stainless but be sure to rinse them thoroughly. I don't think they would taste very good judging from the way they smell. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 10:13:27 -0600 From: "Ronald La Borde" <pivoron at cox.net> Subject: RE: Beer line cleaning >From: Michael Eyre <meyre at sbcglobal.net> > > ...for line cleaning, I don't see any reason why I can't just fill a keg >with the line cleaner solution and run that through my lines and faucet, >no?... Sure, it should work out just fine for you. If you think about the commercial cleaning systems, probably they are for large beer dispensing bars. Just consider some place like Cooter Browns in New Orleans. They probably have dozens of kegs on tap at all times. Now imagine some employee using a keg of beer line cleaner, then getting distracted and then later someone serving a pint of cleaner to a customer. So, my guess is that for your personal operation, the idea is fine, but I can also see why the special cleaning pumps are used commercially. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie Louisiana New Orleans is the suburb of Metairie Louisiana New Orleans is the New Atlantis littera scripta manet => the written word remains Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 10:16:50 -0600 From: "Ronald La Borde" <pivoron at cox.net> Subject: RE: HBD n' MIME Subject: HBD n' MIME Oh no, MIME, and next what? SOUND!!!! Nooooooooooooooooo. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie Louisiana New Orleans is the suburb of Metairie Louisiana New Orleans is the New Atlantis littera scripta manet => the written word remains Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2007 08:41:53 -0800 From: Mark Beck <beckmk at whitman.edu> Subject: Re: cloudy cider, and brett At 10:09 PM 1/2/2007, you wrote: >Second: I've got a couple of gallons of cider that won't clear. I started >with two gallons of cider from the local mill, and fermented with some >nutrient and White Labs English cider yeast in a 5 gallon carboy. >Fermentation went well, and I transferred to a 2 1/2 gallon carboy for >further conditioning and clearing. At the same time I added some store >bought cider to top up the carboy. I also added some pectic enzyme. Now >I've got some very lightly colored, but murky, yellow/gold cider in the >carboy. This was 3-4 weeks ago. > >Any suggestions on how to clear it? Just wait. I let my cider sit for 3-4 months to clear before I bottle. If you want it to go faster, chill it down to the low 30's. Orval definitely contains Brett (from what I've read they add it to the secondary.) At the moment I don't recall if Brett by itself can create a pellicle. Despite that, from what I've read, reusing this yeast at this point may not give you the flavor profile you want. Orval ferments with brewers yeast, then pitches Brett in the secondary. The problem with repitching yeast that has other goodies in it (lactic bacteria, Brett, etc.) is that the balance of the combination gets off--it's possible for souring organisms to dominate instead of playing a secondary role. If you want to brew a beer with Brett, I'd suggest you buy a separate Brett culture and pitch it in the secondary. Just my $0.02. Mark Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 09:23:11 -0800 From: "Dirk Bridgedale" <dirk at bridgedale.net> Subject: RE: To HERMS or not to HERMS... Don't Bother. Invest the money in some good heat blanketing material. I have experimented in HERMS, Steam Injection, and Direct Heat. First I tried Direct Heat. I had some bad days and burnt the mash. A Pale Ale turned into a Schwarzbier. Yuck! Second I tried HERMS. It took way too long to raise the mash. (Underpowered? Maybe?) Third I tried Steam Injection. This was working great until I found Some Hot Spots at the end of the mash. Requires constant stirring. (Also... VERY dangerous). I told a Pro. Brewer how I was having trouble finding the right mashing equipment. His response, "Why bother ?- Just Mash in, Insulate, Mash out". Uhhhhhh... So I went back to the "Keep It Simple Stupid" philosophy. I bought some 1" Thick Foam Insulation from McMaster - Carr. I wrap My keg from head to toe and top and bottom. I only lose 2F in a 1 hour mash step. Which is very acceptable. Then I use boiling water to raise mash to mash out. I still use a pump, but only to pump the hot water from the HLT under the mash tun. If the pump were to fail, I could just pour the water in from a small pot. Now I can sit back, relax and enjoy a homebrew. Here is some good info I came across. http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com/HERMS.html - -- Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin Dirk Bridgedale Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2007 12:24:21 -0500 From: Christopher Burian <cburian at burian.net> Subject: RE: Controlling Fermentation Refrigerator Temperature Hi, Thought I'd throw in my experience with temperature control. I only receive HBD sporadically (recently received 5111, then 5114, then 5117, 18 and 19--three in a row, great winning streak!) so I missed most of the thread. I use a temp controller switch from a flea market junk box made by Hammond for controlling a fan in telephone pole electronics boxes (for example). The entire switch, not just a sensing bulb, is inside my 'lagering chamber' (a top-opening chest freezer). I run a heater (a 25W bulb) with fan inside the chamber too, thus the compressor runs 24 times a day instead of once or twice as intended, plus the interior is rusting since it was never meant to be above freezing, unlike a fridge. And the thermostat switch is probably going to die prematurely from the humidity, too. Not an exercise in longevity, obviously, anyway... The reason for using the heater was that the thermostat works better when there are balanced excursions in temperature. Without the heater, the chamber cools really fast (1/4 hour), and goes too cold, then takes a very long time to warm up (depending on outside temp, obviously), getting too warm in the process. I've hooked up recording temp probes, too. I sensed interior temperature of the chamber with a bare probe next to the thermostat switch, and sensed the temperature of the carboy by taping the probe to the side of the carboy, and then taping a wad of bubble wrap over the probe to keep air away. I use 2" vinyl tape (have a roll of Shurtape and a roll of 3M 471 and these both work great, no gooey gum or residue, and peels off cleanly without taking paint, etc.). Additional data would be to submerge a probe into the center of the volume of the beer and compare to the carboy surface temp, haven't tried that since I don't have waterproof stainless probes. Observations were that the chart shows very erratic chamber temp and somewhat bobbling temp on the carboy without the heater or fan. Swings were much greater than the expected 10 degreesF the thermostat is rated for. But with the heater and circulating fan (both always on), the chamber temp is a steady sawtooth of +/- 5 degreesF, and carboy temp is almost flat, +/- 1 degreeF, both centered nicely at the setpoint on the thermostat. My recommendation is to control the chamber temp with a probe in free air, rather than a probe in or on the beer, because in the latter case, air temp would possibly swing way too far in each direction by the time the beer temp changed enough to kick the thermostat on and off. If you felt that temp cycled on and off too frequently, then a small bottle of water should be used as a thermostat moderator, rather than 5 gallons, I suspect. My other recommendation is to run the interior fan continuously, not just when cooling. I think it keeps interior temperature more stable. I plan on getting rid of the freezer chest and replacing with a fridge. Will see whether the heater is still needed or not. Best regards, Chris Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2007 10:09:55 -0800 From: Michael Eyre <meyre at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Temp of kegged beer once chilled... Ok, so I kegged up a batch of brew for a party I was having, and put it in the fridge to cool it while it force carb'd. That was a couple days before the party. I only have room for one keg in my small kegerator. When that was done, I was put on another couple of kegs first, of which I expected both to kick that evening with my home brewed keg (the first two were local micro's..) as the backup. Much to my surprise (or not??? Commercial beer, in *my* house??), the two commercial kegs did not empty, and I've been inviting people over regularly now for the past couple days for "free beer" parties. But still, the Berkshire Imperial stout won't die! I've had my beer out in the garage in the mostly 30's to near 40 degree temps for almost a week now. I'm sorta wondering now if there's any bad aspect to chilling home brew, and then letting it warm up? I know I have bottles of home brew downstairs that've been on the shelf at cellar temps (58-64 here) for over a year now with no ill effects... but what about beer that's been chilled? Any problems with that? Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2007 11:07:50 -0800 From: "Timothy LaFrance" <Timothyla at insite.com> Subject: RE: Beer line cleaning... On Tue, 02 Jan 2007 10:45:06 -0800, Michael Eyre wrote: > ...for line cleaning, I don't see any reason why I can't just fill a keg >with the line cleaner solution and run that through my lines and faucet, >no? That, then flush 'em with clean water and I should be good, correct? >I was just reading the Micromatic site and see their pro cleaning kit >with the pressurized bottle apparatus... the only difference I see >between that and using a keg is that their vessel is made of plastic. Is >there a problem with putting solution in a SS keg? I can't imagine, but >figured I'd ask first.... There is a significant difference between the using a cleaning bottle and a keg. The cleaning bottle 'usually' (I am not sure of Micromatic) meters in a small stream of bubbles when the solution is flowing. This will impart a slight [non-damaging] water hammer to the lines and increase the turbulence. Generally speaking, the greater the turbulence the better the cleaning. Most draft systems are designed so that when you draw beer from a keg, it creates the least turbulence. In my experience, you want the pro system if A) You have a long draw, all stainless steel system, B) If you are cleaning draft boxes (Jockey Boxes) or C) you do this service commercially. For a "normal" homebrew system, it is cheaper to use a SS keg as you mentioned between kegs. Every 3-6 months or so, disassemble and clean the faucet, then replace the keg -to-tap line every year or so. Of course some of us homebrewers go for overkill, and we want the best, even if we don't "really" need it. If you want the same features as the pro system, add a tee inline with a small needle valve on the sidearm of the tee. Hook this line up to you CO2 or compressed air. Pressurize the keg and cleaning solution and let it flow. Adjust the needle valve to get a stream of air and cleaning solution that is about 50/50. Let it run 1 minute, sit for 5, then run for about another minute. Rinse with warm water until you are happy. Return to table of contents
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