HOMEBREW Digest #5227 Wed 05 September 2007

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  Re: Pre-chiller: plate or immersion? ("Danny Williams")
  Re: Pre-chiller: plate or immersion? (Fred L Johnson)
  RE: Why would my heatsticks trip some GFCIs, but not others? ("Kevin Weaver")
  GFCI Circuits ("Thomas Rohner")
  Re: Subject: Why would my heatsticks trip some GFCIs, but not others? ("Pete Calinski")
  Re:  Pre-chiller: plate or immersion (Joe Brandt)
  Pre-chiller Update and Solution (Robert Tower)
  Brewers in Jerusalem? ("Ant Hayes")
  Wahl and Henius's Handy Book of American Brewing ("Spencer W. Thomas")
  Re: Pre-chiller: plate or immersion? (Brian Miller)
  RE: Pre-chiller: plate or immersion? ("Ronald La Borde")
  RE: Why would my heatsticks trip some GFCIs, but not others? ("Ronald La Borde")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 00:09:27 -0400 From: "Danny Williams" <danny at bubrew.org> Subject: Re: Pre-chiller: plate or immersion? Instead of a prechiller, how about a postchiller? Run the hot wort through the therminator chilled with hose water, then directly into the chirron chilled with pumped icewater, then right into the fermenter. A guy in our club (Mike? you there?) is doing this with apparent great success using two therminators hooked up in-line like that. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 07:22:01 -0400 From: Fred L Johnson <FLJohnson52 at nc.rr.com> Subject: Re: Pre-chiller: plate or immersion? Robert, like so many of us, is having trouble cooling his wort when the summer heat has raised his tap water to the mid 80s F. Robert, probably either of your prechillers will work adequately. The problem is not the design of the prechiller. However, you can only tell by measuring the temperature of the wort coming out of the prechiller. I suggest cooling your wort in stages as follows. This will require a pump. 1. Recirculate your wort through the prechiller and the chiller using tap water to cool the chiller until the wort temperature gets to about 140 F or lower. You certainly can go lower, and I'm not sure if 140 F is the best place to stop this step. You'll have to experiment a little. The lower you get the temperature of the wort using tap water, the more likely will be the success of the next step. 2. Start chilling your prechiller with ice. You can continue to recirculate the wort now or you can start collecting into your fermentor if the exit temperature of the wort is low enough. Alternatively, you'll just have to use more ice if you don't recirculate. The recirculating method takes more time and more cooling water, but it gets your wort to the temperature you're shooting for. Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 09:19:16 -0400 From: "Kevin Weaver" <kweaver at brewmation.com> Subject: RE: Why would my heatsticks trip some GFCIs, but not others? Hi Scott, A good place to start is to check the ground connections on your GFCI outlet and also at the main breaker box. If the ground and/or neutral is not properly connected, you will get trips. Do not disconnect any grounds as the GFCI is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and the basis to it's operation is the ground. Disconnecting the ground would not be safe. Based on your post, your kitchen outlet may be connected to a GFCI breaker rather then a GFCI outlet. The breaker has a better chance of being wired correctly since the ground bus and neutral bus are clearly separated (actually doesn't make much of a difference in the breaker box...only in the wiring throughout the house). At times an outlet may get mixed or crossed between ground and neutral. While the outlet will work fine, the ground should not have any current flowing on it. In essence, this is what the GFCI is monitoring. Your hardware store sells "outlet checkers" that plug right into the outlet to confirm the correct connections. I think that may be a good place to start so you don't have to worry about opening up any electrical covers etc. Good luck! Kevin Weaver Brewmation Incorporated www.brewmation.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 15:19:50 +0200 From: "Thomas Rohner" <t.rohner at bluewin.ch> Subject: GFCI Circuits Hi Scott GFCI's measure the current difference between the 2 poles in a one phase configuration. GFCI's for use in home enviroment trip at 15mA as far as i remember, in industrial enviroments they use 30-40mA models. I think there may be some small variation in the tripping threshold. A GFCI doesn't need to be grounded to work, although it should be. To use the test button, it has to be grounded, because it only connects a resistor from phase(hot wire) to ground. This simulates a human touching the hot wire. In a non faulty configuration, the current going into a appliance trough the hot wire(black), comes out through the return wire(blue). If the appliance has a grounded casing for example and there is a water spillage, some of the current flows over the case to ground. The GFCI detects this missing current, and if it's enough, trips. If the ground of this appliance is faulty or removed, the current would flow through you to the ground if you touch the case. So if your heatsticks leak, it's better they leak to ground directly, than through you. For the GFCI it makes no difference. Cheers Thomas Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 09:51:35 -0400 From: "Pete Calinski" <pjcalinski at adelphia.net> Subject: Re: Subject: Why would my heatsticks trip some GFCIs, but not others? Scott, I often have a similar problem although I have no experience trying it in a different GFI circuit. Sometimes a heatstick will seem to pop a GFI after many minutes of use. I always assume it is a leak. Later, when I have finished brewing and have time, I check it and can find nothing wrong. It measures fine with an ohmmeter and also no longer pops the GFI. I have had it happen a number of times with a given heatstick so I disassembled it trying to find the leak. Nothing, not even any sign of wort inside the unit. If there was a leak, I am sure I would find caramelized wort somewhere. It is interesting that we seem to be having the same type problem. I wonder if perhaps it is steam getting into the GFI. Often I am brewing in the dead of winter in my garage with the door closed. I get quite a cloud forming. I know that this causes the clutch in my garage door slip. I have to lift the door manually and let the garage dry out before I can use the opener again. I suppose it is also possible that moisture is getting down inside by following the wire. I didn't do anything to seal that route. To answer your basic question, I DO use the ground on my heatsticks. Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY http://hbd.org/pcalinsk *********************************************************** *My goal: * Go through life and never drink the same beer twice. * (As long as it doesn't mean I have to skip a beer.) *********************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2007 12:58:59 -0400 From: Joe Brandt <vzd1s11k at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Pre-chiller: plate or immersion I live in Florida. What I do is mash in a 10 gallon Gott cooler. During the boil, I clean out the cooler and set it up with ice water. I use 16 to 20 lbs of ice. I run this through my plate chiller (same model as yours) using only gravity. I stick a thermometer in my wort out hose for constant readings. This will cool 5 gallon batches down to 50 degrees if wide open. Throttle the wort and cold water to dial in your desired temp note: it takes several seconds for readings to reflect changes. Add more ice and water for larger batches. Joe Brandt aka Boss Hogg HAMS Homebrewers Association of Manatee & Sarasota Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2007 11:07:31 -0700 From: Robert Tower <roberttower at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Pre-chiller Update and Solution I did indeed brew again the next day after getting less than spectacular results with my pre-chiller. This time I tested my idea that lowerring the water flow into the pre-chillers might have a positive effect. On brew day 1 my ground water was 86 F. and I had the water coming into the pre-chiller at full blast and was able to get the wort down to 82 F. On brew day 2 my ground water was 88 F. and I lowered the water flow coming into the pre-chiller while watching the exiting wort temperature. It definitely had an impact and I found a sweet spot in my water flow rate. Even though my ground water was 2 F. more than the previous day, I was able to get the wort down to 80 F. on the second day. This still is not acceptable, but it is interesting how much a lower water flow rate impacted the cooling efficiency. Several people responded to me with ideas. All of them suggested that I POST-chill rather than PRE-chill. Duh, what didn't I think of that?!?! Fred L Johnson suggested recirculating back into the kettle using my normal chiller to get the temperature down into the low 100s before applying my ice bath cooler. I have two ports on my kettle that I use to recirculate boiling wort simply to sanitize my heat exchanger (works like a charm!) and one time I also used it to do as he suggested. But I think due to the orientation of my ports I'm not getting that much circulation (mixing) and eventually a hot and cold pocket of wort developed in the kettle. I remember the temp in the kettle getting to about 120 F. and then not budging. Of course a good stir with a sanitized stainless steel spoon would probably help but I didn't want to stir up the break material. I think the simplest plan is as Steven Parfitt suggests and just plumb my copper immersion coil onto the end of my heat exchanger circuit. That way I can still pump boiling wort through it to sanitize and then when I'm ready to cool I can plunge the copper coil into my bucket of ice. So simple it's brilliant! Thanks for everyone's input. Bob Tower / Los Angeles, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 19:54:58 +0100 From: "Ant Hayes" <anthayes at btinternet.com> Subject: Brewers in Jerusalem? A friend of a friend who lives in Jerusalem is keen to take up home brewing. Does anyone know a home brewer who lives in the area who might be willing to let him sit in on a brew? Ant Hayes Hildenborough, Kent Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2007 17:04:30 -0400 From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <hbd at spencerwthomas.com> Subject: Wahl and Henius's Handy Book of American Brewing Jeff Renner reminds me > See the classic > 1902 edition of Wahl and Henius' American Handy Book of the Brewing, > Malting and Auxiliary Trades, pp. 466-467 for a discussion of rice as > a brewing material, and 698-706. http://hbd.org/aabg/wahl/ > This resource has scanned pages from about 1/2 of the original 1200 page book. The rest were on basic topics such as arithmetic and mechanics; or on topics not much relevant to how we brewed 100 years ago, such as "brewery buildings". The chapters I scanned (over a decade ago, now) are the following: # Brewing Materials # Pure Yeast Culture # Malt House Outfit # Malting Operations # Brewery Outfit # Brewing Operations # Utilization of the Byproducts of the Brewery # The Bottling Department of a Modern Brewery # Figuring in the Brewery # Miscellaneous Information # Bibliography # Dictionary of Technical Terms # Publications Consulted I'm reminded to announce a second home (lots of copies keep stuff safe, after all) for this material. It is at http://homeroastnbrew.info/wahl, where you can find the same page-by-page view from hbd.org, plus a set of higher-resolution PDF files, suitable for printing. The PDF files include "OCR" text, making them searchable. You can also copy the text from the PDF for use in other documents. I caution you that the OCR has not been corrected, it is just as it was derived by Adobe Acrobat, so there are errors in it. For example, here is the text, copied from the "Brewing Operations" PDF file, that begins the section on spontaneously fermented beers: SPONTANEOUS FERl\1ENTATION BEER~. BELGIAN: BEERS. The first 'beer fermentations knovvn were', of course, incited by yeasts finding their way accidently into the wort, 'and imany local beers in different countries are still produced on this .plan. . But nowhere have such beets so extensive a market as in Belgium, where lager beer breweries are very few and where the top-fermentation beers' divide honors with the spontaneous fermentation types, of ,which there ar~ three: Mars} Faro and Lambie. I spot a number of errors, including "l\1" in place of a capital M, "knovvn" for "known", "beets" for "beers" and "Lambie" for "Lambic". Anyway, there it is, for your reading pleasure. =Spencer in Ann Arbor Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 14:58:49 -0700 (PDT) From: Brian Miller <bjmiller19 at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Pre-chiller: plate or immersion? Robert, I think you'd be better off using the Shirron chiller post-Therminator. Run the wort output of the Therminator into the wort input of the Shirron. Use tap water for cooling the Therminator and use your ice water bath as the cooling water for the Shirron. You ought to be able to chill the ~84F wort to 50F that way. Best of luck beating the heat! Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 18:45:47 -0500 From: "Ronald La Borde" <pivoron at cox.net> Subject: RE: Pre-chiller: plate or immersion? ...I'm only able to get my wort down to about 84 F... ...I was shocked that the ice melted within a few minutes of running the water through it... ...I noticed that the frozen artificial ice didn't melt immediately like my first experience... ...My ground water today was coming out at 86 F... ...I got the lowest temperature I could, 82 F. I was hoping for low 70s... When you use the ice at the beginning of chilling, you are cooling the wort quickly. You trade off quickness for temperature. If you first cool the wort using the tap water at 82F to get the wort cooler, this will take longer than if you pre-chill. However, then after reaching near equilibrium, then you add the pre-chilling ice, you use the ice to get the temperature down lower. You trade time for temperature. In the situation of an immersion chiller, you just add ice until you get the temperature you desire, more ice, cooler wort to a point. The point being the freezing temperature of ice. With the heat exchanger, all your wort will have passed to the holding vessel in a batch run. You can re-introduce the chilled wort back into the kettle and circulate. Just keep adding ice. Ice, ice. ice. Here's a tip from Dixie Brewery in New Orleans' Peter Caddo, brewer. Place the water for your ice in the fridge the day before, you will be surprised how much longer the ice will last! Ronald J. La Borde -- Metairie, LA New Orleans is the suburb of Metairie, LA New Orleans is the New Atlantis Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 19:11:46 -0500 From: "Ronald La Borde" <pivoron at cox.net> Subject: RE: Why would my heatsticks trip some GFCIs, but not others? Well, perhaps here's your answer: "Length of circuit. A GFCI is subjected to tests that simulate long branch circuits. While there are no specific rules concerning the length of the circuit protected or the number of receptacles on the protected circuit, remember that the GFCI will add up all the harmless leakage currents and capacitive leakages. Under extreme circumstances, this could "preload" the GFCI and make it appear overly sensitive or, worst case, result in nuisance tripping. Therefore, you should minimize the length of circuits to the degree possible." Capacitive leakage? That 4 outlet rig could possibly be just too much. I have read somewhere that more recently mfg. GFCI's have tighter leakage specs. The one in your kitchen could be an older less sensitive model. I went with the full 240 volt heating element and GFCI. I used a SquareD 240 volt GFCI and have not had any tripping problems. It is mounted in a box at the end of an extension with a single 240 outlet. I use a pulse time controller with SSR for power control. See my web site for schematic: http://hbd.org/rlaborde/ Ronald J. La Borde -- Metairie, LA New Orleans is the suburb of Metairie, LA New Orleans is the New Atlantis Return to table of contents
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