HOMEBREW Digest #600 Wed 20 March 1991

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Beer in Wilks Barre (chip upsal)
  Re: Copper Dupe (Michael Zentner)
  cleaning copper  (Carl West x4449)
  Sanitation (Brian D. Moore)
  Yeast - opinions and comments (Ron Ezetta)
  Private stock liquid yeast (flowers)
  Re: Copper Dupe (John Polstra)
  Cleaning copper ("Eric Roe")
  Uninformed Speculation on Cleaning Copper Tubing (Jon Binkley)
  alcohol content (Brian Bliss)
  Cu and Rocks (adams)
  Derry Air Beer Drinkers (Jack Webb)
  Sanitizing, Sanity, and Multiple Yeast-Caking (rransom)

Send submissions to homebrew%hpfcmi at hplabs.hp.com Send requests to homebrew-request%hpfcmi at hplabs.hp.com [Please do not send me requests for back issues] Archives are available from netlib at mthvax.cs.miami.edu
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 19 Mar 91 06:31:10 EST From: chip upsal <70731.3556 at compuserve.com> Subject: Beer in Wilks Barre I am traveling to Wilks Barre PA to visit with inlaws next week. Thus I will need to know how and where to get quality brews in the area. I had trouble last time I was there so any help would be appricated. Chip Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 91 09:32:21 -0500 From: zentner at ecn.purdue.edu (Michael Zentner) Subject: Re: Copper Dupe Nick Thomas asks about using his 1/2 inch tubing to reconstruct a chiller with 3/8" OD copper in place of 1/4". This brings up a favourite topic, what to do with leftover failed brew projects that don't work out and that your wife doesn't want sitting around. First, though, sure, I'd try to use the 1/2 inch tubing, but I suspect that it will require quite a fast flow rate, given that you have 1/2"ID surrounding 3/8" OD. This leaves you an anulus of 1/16" around, whereas before, you had a 1/8" anulus (with the 1/4" tubing). If your 1/4" one was like mine, you had no problem with cooling efficiency, cooling water being at a mere trickle to get the temperature down to 20C. Using rough estimates, one can calculate an approximate value of increased flow rate: Volumetric flow rate is directly related to the linear velocity (average across the cross section of flow) and the cross sectional area. Suppose that the walls of refrigeration tubing are 1/16" (just a guess). In the two chillers, the ratio of how much hot stuff will be flowing in the 3/8" chill compared to the 1/4" chiller is: 2 [ 1 1 ] [-- - --] [ 4 16] ------------- = 2.776 2 [ 3 1 ] [-- - --] [ 8 16] (the pi's cancel out) this ratio gives us a ratio roughly of how much more hot stuff will be flowing through the tubing in the new chiller. That is, there now will be 2.776 times the quantity of the 1/4" chiller of hot wort flow ing through the chiller in the same amount of time. This is a conservative estimate, since I think the linear velocity will also be greater, but here I've assumed them equal in the interest of being conservative. Now, for the chilling fluid side, we can compare the ratio of the areas of the anuli: (old/new) 2 2 1 1 -- - -- = .1875 (old anulus) 2 4 Now, if we assume that the heat transfer rate will be the same as the old chiller in the new chiller (and it won't, it should be slower since we are dealing with laminar flow of the wort, thus taking it longer to transfer the heat from the hot "middle stream" of the hot side of the chiller), then we'd like roughly 2.776 times the flow in cooling fluid of the old chiller, 2.776*.1875 = .5205. Examining the area (again, not including pi) of the new anulus, we get: 2 2 1 3 -- - -- = .1094 2 8 Therefore, we would need to up the flow rate by a factor of .5205/.1094 = 4.758. What is seen, then is that the chilling will happen 2.776 times as fast, but the required flow of cooling water is 4-5 times as high, thus using more water than the older design. Again, these are conservative estimates, not exact calculations, so the flow rate may even need to be higher. So, go ahead and try the old 1/2" tubing you have and see what happens. What do you have to lose? You can always uncoil it and buy bigger hose. The cheapest source of hose is garden hose. if you don't want to deal with the things on the end of the hose, cut them off. You could try 5/8" hose. I got lucky last weekend and found hose with an inside diameter larger than 5/8" at a store called Big Lots. As for what I'm going to do with the left over 1/4" tubing? Either make an immersion chiller or build a styrofoam box with the tubing inside as coils, which carry ice water from an external cooler in a cycle around the inside of the box, to be used as a lagering system, since I don't have a place or budget for another refrigerator now. Feel free to correct me if you've tried this already and know that my estimates are wrong...I'd be interested. Mike zentner at ecn.purdue.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 91 11:15:16 EST From: eisen at kopf.HQ.Ileaf.COM (Carl West x4449) Subject: cleaning copper Randy, I suspect that hit it on the head when you said: > I think the reason is that the >wort is pretty acidic, and a boiling acidic solution did a great >job of cleaning his copper. How about actually using a boiling acidic solution? A little vinegar in a pot o' boiling water will probably do a fine job of shining up your copper before your wort does it. -Carl West "What are all these bits of green stuff in your beer?" "Verdebris." Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 91 10:21:03 CST From: Brian D. Moore <bdm at fabry.rice.edu> Subject: Sanitation This is obviously a subject which has been beaten to within an inch of its interest, so I will be specific. I realize that people have their own pet routines, but I am quite happy (with the exception of my lungs) just using sodium metabisulfite solution as my exclusive sanitation routine. The question is: is this sufficient in and of itself, or should I be flushing the fermentorswith something with more oomph? I do not want to deviate from my current plan unless I absolutely have to, so be biological! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 91 09:18:13 PST From: Ron Ezetta <rone at loowit.wr.tek.com> Subject: Yeast - opinions and comments A homebrew buddy of mine has a great distaste for dark beers made with Red Star dry ale yeast. He describes the taste as "offensive". However, he does not notice the "offensive" taste in lighter homebrews. Has anyone else noticed this problem with Red Star ale yeast? Does anyone have a recommendation of yeast brands (besides Wyeast, which everyone seems to love, albeit spendy). I have read Martin Lodahl's article describing the two-year-old contamination problem with Edme dry yeast. Any other yeasts to watch out for? Please send email, I will post a summary (promise). - ---- Age 18: - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - Age 30: 1. Sex | Ron Ezetta | Days, weeks, months. | 1. Basketball 2. Beer |rone at loowit.WR.TEK.COM| Who knows? - Eeyore | 2. Homebrew 3. Basketball - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - 3. Sex Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1991 11:24:10 -0600 From: flowers at csrd.uiuc.edu Subject: Private stock liquid yeast Concerning Dan Graham post about The Homebrewer's Store's private yeast product... I was in Bccchus and Barleycorn in Merriam KS (Kansas City for all practical puposes) recently and noticed that they too were selling cultured liquid yeast for about $1.50 a bottle. The bottles were labled Bud Lager I believe, which made me think it was from a Wyeast package. There was no number associated with it though. Anyway, these bottles were ready to go so I used one and the beer turned out great. I don't know if it's really fair for them to do that (reculture and resell the product). I guess it could have been their own yeast, but it didn't look like they had any lab facilities. Is that the same situation with The Homebrewer's Store, or do you mean they have developed their own strain? Give it a try and let us know how it comes out. -Craig Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 91 09:08:06 PST From: polstra!jdp at uunet.UU.NET (John Polstra) Subject: Re: Copper Dupe In HBD #599, nt at Eng.Sun.COM (Nick Thomas) wrote about a flow-thru chiller that he made: > Can I replace the 1/4-inch copper tubing with 3/8-inch copper and use > the the same 1/2-inch plasting tubing for the outter tube? Yes, it works fine. But mine is about 15' long (if I remember correctly) and that's really not quite long enough. My next one will be at least 25'. > The surprise of my week was to discover that the plastic tube cost more > than the copper! Next time, just buy a 1/2-inch garden hose. That's much cheaper. It doesn't have to be food grade since the beer never comes in contact with it. John Polstra polstra!jdp at uunet.uu.net Polstra & Co., Inc. ...!uunet!polstra!jdp Seattle, Washington USA (206) 932-6482 "Self-knowledge is always bad news." -- John Barth Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 91 13:40 EST From: "Eric Roe" <KXR11 at PSUVM.PSU.EDU> Subject: Cleaning copper In HBD #599 Randy Tidd writes: > job of cleaning his copper. Does anyone have any way to clean the > copper BEFORE immersion in the wort? I was thinking of washing with > hot ammonia then rinsing well with water, but I don't know if that > would do the trick. Actually ammonia probably won't work -- it's an alkali (base). You might try a soaking the chiller in a solution made of water and vinegar for a few hours or overnight. That should get the copper nice and shiny. Eric <kxr11 at psuvm.psu.edu> Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 91 12:03:25 -0700 From: Jon Binkley <binkley at beagle.Colorado.EDU> Subject: Uninformed Speculation on Cleaning Copper Tubing In Digest #599, rtidd at ccels2.mitre.org (Randy Tidd) wrote: >I read somewhere (either in the digest or rec.food.drink) about a guy >that tried to clean his chiller, but when he dunked it in the boiling >wort it got REALLY clean, and all the stuff from the tubing came off >and made a film on top of his wort. I think the reason is that the >wort is pretty acidic, and a boiling acidic solution did a great >job of cleaning his copper. Does anyone have any way to clean the >copper BEFORE immersion in the wort? I was thinking of washing with >hot ammonia then rinsing well with water, but I don't know if that >would do the trick. If treatment in weak acid really cleans copper without doing anything nasty to it, why not soak the tubing in some diluted vinegar? Hell, it couldn't do anything worse to it than the wort, as long as you get the pH into the same ballpark. -Jon Binkley binkley at boulder.colorado.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 91 13:58:48 CST From: bliss at csrd.uiuc.edu (Brian Bliss) Subject: alcohol content How can I measure the alcohol content of my beer, without taking two hydrometer readings and subtracting? I don't really trust the initial hydrometer readings of freshly boiled wort - It's usually not mixed up enough. Even if I stir it, the heavy stuff at the bottom settles out before I can get a reading. I'd take out the siphon and get a reading from the middle, but that's a pain - one more thing to sterilize, and it still wouldn't take into account fermentation of the shit at the bottom. Especially in my last batch, the stuff at the bottom showed signs of fermentation (like big gushers of sediment suddenly coming to the top, and then settling out again) bb Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 91 15:17:58 EST From: adams at bostech.com Subject: Cu and Rocks Adding to the copper discussion... The latest Zymurgy indicates that copper deficient rats who drank Budweiser lived 6 times as long as rats who drank water. I seriously doubt that Bud is brewed in copper vessels, so perhaps beer causes the body to absorb copper more readily. This would be bad news if we are making beer that contains near maximal quantities of copper, wouldn't it? In regard to Rolling Rock, there are 2 styles of 12 ounce bottles. One is the twist off, short neck, and the other is the way cool long neck painted label variety. It's a lot of fun to make homebrew stout in Rolling Rock bottles, as long as you keep them in the dark. I've never seen the ponies in New England. They would come in handy, though. - --Dave Adams Boston Technology Return to table of contents
Date: 19 Mar 91 13:51:05 EST From: Jack Webb <JACK.L.WEBB at OFFICE.WANG.COM> Subject: Derry Air Beer Drinkers In HBD #599, Dan Graham writes: > As I am beginning my homebrewing avocation, I realize that I'll probably > brew in smaller than five gallon batches since I am the only person I know > in my immediate vicinity who likes beer. Gee, Dan - sounds like you don't get out of the house much :-) Jack Webb - Wang Labs, Lowell MA "Make it in Taxachusettes - Spend it on homebrew in the good 'ol Derry Air of Cow Hampshire" Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1991 19:59:56 EST From: rransom at bchm1.aclcb.purdue.edu Subject: Sanitizing, Sanity, and Multiple Yeast-Caking SANITIZING, SANITY: The homebrewing world is saturated with a paranoia about cleanliness, sanitization, and even sterilization. I used to be one of the horde of brew freaks that chlorinated, sufitated, boiled, and even autoclaved their wares before allowing wort or beer to see them. I've been brewing for more than eight years, and I've found that this is unnecessary and downright detrimental to a fine brew. Cleanliness is a must. Don't go gonzo and use oven-cleaner scrub pads or difficult to rinse detergents, but get those nasty deposits off your fermenters and other equipment. Rinse bottles well after using and well before putting in beer (my ritual is 3 times after drinking and 3 times before bottling). Old deposits can be removed by soaking in hot hot water, with perhaps a bit of bleach, but rinse well. Sanitization is a waste of time. I know this will draw flack from the horde, but hear me out. Germs and yucky old microorganisms that are in your wort before it gets boiled (I'm talking all-grain mash here) will die in agony in the boil. If your yeast is worth talking about, much less using, it will kick the stuffing out of any organisms that derive from the spores which live through a boil. Yeast produce a host of anti-microbial secondary metabolites, primarily alcohol, carbon dioxide, and the attendant fall in pH which fermentation generates, but there are a host of other compounds which yeast produces that inhibit competitors. The point is that a good pitch will leave the brewing yeast far ahead of the rest of the nasty things you don't want growing in your wort (there are quite a few yeast cells in 14 g). I will outline below my primary weapon in the war against contamination but here are a few other pointers: ---use glass fermenters: those plastic bucket things are an accident waiting to happen. Can't be cleaned completely, allow too much oxidation; come on, spend the extra money. Live a little. ---move up to all-grain mashing: my beers are soo very much better and incredibly cheaper (malt from the local maltster is about 19 cents a pound if you can get a number of brewers together to buy; we get 1000+ lb lots) than when I did it out of cans. Boiling the whole wort is a great sanitizer. ---don't transfer to a secondary: here I get into serious trouble with the horde. I've had more trouble with off flavors and contamination from transferring that all disappeared when I stopped doing it. As you'll see below, I have gone to the opposite extreme. ---rinse, don't chlorinate: tap water has enough halogens in it already, don't add more. Chlorine hasn't helped my few contamination problems, gives me a headache, and ruins my angel-soft hands. I think it gives an off flavor too, but it may be imagination. The main problem is that it inhibits yeast growth, which is like shooting yourself in the foot to cure hangnails. A healthy, hearty yeast strain is all important. ---clean stainless steel kegs with boiling water: a panfull of boiling water added after washing and rinsing your keg is a great step to remove trace detergent, microstains, and to effectively sanitize. Dump in it, seal the keg, put on some CO2, and blow it all out your tapper. Clean and fast. ---rinse problem areas with boiling water: my immersion chiller gets socked with boiling water, etc, etc. ---don't bother!: I never use chlorine, often don't rinse with boiling water, use as little detergent as I can, and in general don't worry about it. I haven't had a bad batch in years. ---keep it cool: well, yes I had some bad batches, but this was in an Indiana high summer, with fermentation temperatures in the 70's and up. Sharp mouth feel and tinny taste is an indication of temp problems. Keep it in the 50's and you're in heaven, but 60's are nice too. Well, enough of that. Now for the really controversial method of insuring a great yeast pitch: ...AND MULTIPLE YEAST-CAKING I brew 10 gallon batches by an all-grain mash, and ferment in 6 to 6.5 gallon glass containers (acid carboys). I generally put 5 gallons of beer in each, so there is plenty of head room. I start "new" fermentations whenever I have taken a break from brewing, every few months or so. The "new" pitch is 1 package of Whitbread Ale yeast (14g foil packets) per 5 gallons. I let my beers ferment for 1 - 3 months (yes, months) without transfer to secondary, and then when ready I brew another batch. When the new batch is done boiling and is ready to be cooled, I bottle and/or keg the last batch. One of the nice things about Whitbread yeast is that the yeast cake in very firm, so I can recover ALL the beer. After siphoning off the beer I replace the lock and finish bottling the old and cooling the new. I then pour (violently) the new wort on top of the old yeast cake. Sound horrid? I have brewed up to 10 "generations" on the same cake and it is wonderful. The beers get progressively smoother and especially creamier, with heads to die for and teeny tiny bubbles. The beers are ready to drink right out of the fermenter, and after three days in the keg with minimal priming are being drunk. Totally finished. Best idea I ever had. Some pointers: ---use Whitbread ALE yeast ---ferment as cool as possible (50-55 degrees F) ---don't let the old cake sit long without beer on it. 20 minutes is a good number. ---ferment at least 3 weeks, or as long as you can stand it. ---this works best for beers in the SG 1.045 and up range, but if you ferment at a low temperature you can make a smashing light. I've also noticed that my beers are very clear very soon after kegging. The yeast has mostly settled by the time I keg, and the second pint is clear as crystal. I've used this method for the last two years with no (NO) contamination problems and no (NO) yeast bite. The fermentation is gentle with no huge masses of foam to blow off (I never have to use a blow off tube), and the hideous looking rings of dried yeast have no effect on the next wort (if you fill the later fermentations past the level of the old one). Before blasting this method, try it. Thanks for listening, lots of love: Richard Ransom (Father Barleywine) rransom at aclcb.purdue.edu Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #600, 03/20/91 ************************************* -------
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