HOMEBREW Digest #3826 Mon 31 December 2001

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  Keg Lube and Leaks ("Kirk Fleming")
  CO2 sources ("Lee Hiers")
  Keg Lube ("John Zeller")
  re: Something new (Bierschnapps) (Robert Marshall)
  Re: Bakery malt extract (blutick)
  Re: Grapefruit Beer (Steven S)
  Yeast Reproduction Limit? ("Dave and Joan King")
  RE: keg lube ("Dave Beedle")
  keg lube (Scott & Cherie Stihler)
  Coffee maker as a mash tun (Indwagj)
  RE: Wort recirculation thru CFC ("Steve Jones")
  beer and gps (ensmingr)
  Refractometer vs S.G.? ("Richard T. Perry")
  bottled porter carbonation (SLHMJL)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001 23:24:32 -0800 From: "Kirk Fleming" <kirkfleming at earthlink.net> Subject: Keg Lube and Leaks In 3825 Gregor ("Gregor Zellmann" <gregor at blinx.de>) asks about Keg Lube. This is a silicone-based product--you won't want to use a petroleum based product (such as Vaseline) because such lubricants attack so many materials including various rubber and latex seals. You can probably find a number of commercial silicone lubricants--Keg Lube is, I believe, a commonly available silicone grease re-packaged for the amateur brewing supplies trade. One technique I found useful in stopping leaks is to run the tank pressure up well above what you want to end up with--say, 30-40 psi (sorry, I can't convert into KPa without hurting myself), then lowering the pressure to the 5-10 psi desired using the bleed valve on the tank (I'm assuming Cornelius type tanks). Also, some suppliers offer the large O-ring (the one that seals the keg lid) in soft silicone, which I understand helps. Finally, you might try the complete disassemby of the ball valves themselves, to ensure they are free of any particles that may be preventing the poppets from closing completely. In addition, some home brew shops carry replacement parts for these valves. Once again, I'm embarassed to give English units, but I really don't have easy access this minute to conversion tables and I'm too lazy to do the math. Kirk Fleming BSAE, MSAE, FRSL, FRSE, etc., etc. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 01:46:12 -0500 From: "Lee Hiers" <lee at dixieliner.com> Subject: CO2 sources On 29 Dec 2001, at 0:19, Bill Toble wrote in the HBD: > I also use industrial O2 to aerate my wort, with no problems. It > all comes from the same place, medical grade O2 requires certain > testing whereas industrial does not. Back when my mother was on O2 and I was complaining to my pharmacist buddy about the O2 supplier ripping off Medicare to the tune of $40+ for a large cylinder of O2, he told me he had a number of customers who had no insurance coverage who would buy O2 at the welding shop for $5 for the same cylinder. Like Bill says...it all comes from the same place. Right now I'm just bummed I didn't have time to run down to the fire extinguisher joint and get a refill today...I've got a batch ready to keg that needs to go to a party on Monday! Happy New Year! Lee - -- Lee Hiers, AA4GA Cornelia, GA lee at dixieliner.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001 23:04:06 -0800 From: "John Zeller" <jwz_sd at hotmail.com> Subject: Keg Lube Gregor Zellman asks: "What is keg lube? Is it a sort of gel? What does it consist of? Are there more widely known commercial replacements in Europe that do the same job? Would Vaseline or K-Jelly work?"(snip) Gregor, Keg lube is actually silicone grease. Vaseline is a petroleum based grease and will damage rubber o-rings and gaskets. I'm not sure about KY-Jelly, it might be OK. You might try a Scuba Diving shop in your area if there are any. Divers use silicone grease on their equipment o-rings. It might be better to locate the source of the leak and see if you can fix the problem without the keg lube. You shouldn't really need it. I suggest that you pressurize the keg and then brush some dishsoap mixed with water around all of the seals. The leak should be visible as it will bubble. You could also submerge the tank in a bathtub or other tank and look for bubbles. The problem could be in your regulator or CO2 tank so check it with the soapy water too. Pressurize the keg and then disconnect it from the CO2 bottle and see if it will hold pressure overnight. You can isolate the problem this way. -john zeller Cincinati, Ohio 220.7, 190.8 Rennarian (It is distance, bearing right?) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 00:06:47 -0800 From: Robert Marshall <robertjm at hockeyhockeyhockey.com> Subject: re: Something new (Bierschnapps) I fell into this trap a couple of weeks ago. This stuff is NASTY!!! For the price I paid I could've bought a case of SNPA at Costco. Do yourself a favor. If you see this stuff run in the opposite direction as fast as you can. Robert ============ > Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001 18:52:24 -0800 > From: Marc Tiar <marc at tiar.reno.nv.us> > Subject: Something new > > Went to my local homebrew supply today and found something new and so > intriguing I couldn't pass it up. Essential Spirits has out Sierra > Nevada Bierschnaps. It's SNPA distilled to 80 proof crystal clear > liquor. Haven't tasted yet, but smells like...well, like good vodka > with hops and malt. $25 for a 375ml bottle here. Apparently they > also produce their own version from their own beer, but this one is > done with SN as a partner. Robert Marshall robertjm at hockeyhockeyhockey.com http://www.hockeyhockeyhockey.com/rob ertjm.html Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 09:17:31 -0600 From: blutick at juno.com Subject: Re: Bakery malt extract Alexandre Carminati reports problems in making beer with the malt extracts available to him in Brazil. He has experienced low fermentability when using liquid malt extract and high viscosity when using dried extract. Of the two malt extracts that you have tried, I think that the liquid presents an easier problem to deal with. I suggest increasing the wort fermentability by using sugar to make up a portion of the fermentables. The sugar can be either dextrose or sucrose, it probably doesn't matter which. As a starting point, 0.5 kilos of sugar and 2.5 kilos of liquid malt extract in 20 liters of wort should get you a starting gravity of about 1.046. Give it a try and see what happens. If you feel that the result still has not reached a reasonable final gravity, you can increase the sugar/extract ratio or try adding a yeast nutrient to the next batch. On the other hand, have you considered making an all-grain beer? Perhaps malted barley is easier to find than suitable malt extract. Maybe there is a brewery near you that will sell a few kilos of malt. Let us know what you find. Jim Layton Howe, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 10:42:03 -0500 (EST) From: Steven S <steven at 403forbidden.net> Subject: Re: Grapefruit Beer I had the same thing happen with my belgian wit i've been perfecting. First Wort Hopped with 2oz of Saaz, Dry hopped with 1oz of Saaz. I used white labs Belgian Wit yeast. There was a pronounced grapefruit flavor (more sweet than bitter) that everyone quite enjoyed. It was very interesting. I'm trying to duplicate it this time around with tomorrows brew session. The spices i used (coriander, black pepper, orange peel) went into the boil at the very end and were sucked into the primary. This time around i'm going to throw 1/2 my spices and a dash of hops into the primary. Not sure yet what caused it, I suspect its hop aroma blending with some ester causing a grapefruit like flavor. Steven St.Laurent ::: stevensl at corp.earthlink.net ::: 403forbidden.net [580.2, 181.4] Rennerian "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem." -- President Ronald Reagan, 1985 Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 11:00:33 -0500 From: "Dave and Joan King" <dking3 at stny.rr.com> Subject: Yeast Reproduction Limit? What governs the max yeast population in a primary? I know the more healthy, the better the nutrients, the higher the population. They need oxygen during that stage, so good aeration is important. But how do they know it's time to stop multiplying and time to make HOOCH? The reason for the request was that I racked an IPA off the primary and dumped a fresh wort directly into that primary. Knowing that the 1st batch fermented vigorously, and it had only been in the primary for 6 days, still going strong, I figured the yeast were in great shape, but I still used my normal spray device from the cooled brew pot to the primary, which oxygenates the wort very well. I thought about not oxygenating, since I probably had plenty of the critters but I know the extra oxygen will get scrubbed out, so it won't hurt anything. In 4 hours the new batch was going crazy, indicating a huge yeast population. All is well, just curious. Dave King (BIER) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 10:16:44 -0600 From: "Dave Beedle" <dbeedle at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: keg lube "Gregor Zellmann" <gregor at blinx.de> sez: > I have read about keg lube (which I would like to try) in HBD and r.c.b. but > this product seems not to be available in Europe. > >What is keg lube? Is it a sort of gel? What does it consist of? Are there > more widely known commercial replacements in Europe that do the same job? > Would Vaseline or K-Jelly work? I guess not. But I don't know. The keg lubes I have seen are silicon paste (gel) or spray. A number of mail order places carry it, look in the kegging section of their catalogs. You can also find silicon paste (gel) in scuba shops. It is used to lube the O-Rings in the regulators when serviced. It is food grade. I would not use Vaseline or other as they are or may be petroleum based and have a marked aroma and probably flavor. Use silicon gel or spray sparingly, just a tiny bit is enough. TTFN Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 07:52:01 -0900 From: Scott & Cherie Stihler <stihlerunits at mosquitonet.com> Subject: keg lube Gregor Zellmann wrote: >What is keg lube? Is it a sort of gel? What does it consist of? Are there >more widely known commercial replacements in Europe that do the same job? >Would Vaseline or K-Jelly work? I guess not. But I don't know. Keg lube is a product sold by Williams Brewing (http://www.williamsbrewing.com) in San Leandro, California. I've used it myself to stop keg leaks. It is an tasteless and more of less odorless food grade lubricant. I probably would not use Vaseline which is petroleum based. K-Jelly probably should work just fine though I'm not certain of this. To play it safe you might look into purchasing a food grade lubricant from a company that sells various supplies to restaurants etc. If I recall I've seen lubricants of that sort listed in a wholesale catalog selling restaurant supplies though I'm afraid I can't remember the specific company. Oh well.... I hope this helps. Cheers, Scott Stihler Fairbanks, Alaska [2873.8, 324.9] Apparent Rennerian P.S. Most of the sealing problems I've had with kegs has been from the large O-ring. I've found that by turning the keg upside down for 10-15 minutes the weight of the beer/wort will usually cause the seal to seat properly without the need for keg lube or other lubricants. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 21:26:32 EST From: Indwagj at aol.com Subject: Coffee maker as a mash tun I picked up two Fairly large coffee makers (2.3 gallons) on clearance at the local super store. They are made of stainless steel and are thermostatically temperature controlled from 130-180F. I was planning on using one to mini-mash in and the other to heat the sparge water. Does anyone use this type of system?? Would it be a good idea to do internal recirculation using the percolation apparatus? Should I worry about oxidation if I did this? John Wagner Angola, Indiana Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 21:50:52 -0500 From: "Steve Jones" <stjones1 at chartertn.net> Subject: RE: Wort recirculation thru CFC Steve Lane asks if anyone else recircs hot wort thru the CFC. I've been doing this for about a year now. In late '97 I built a 3-tier gravity fed system using sanke kegs, but last fall I got a new Hi Temp pump from Moving Brews (NAJASCYY) for my birthday, so I decided to rebuild my too tall 3-tier into a 2-tier with pump. I also built my own copper in copper counterflow chiller to incorporate into the system. The whole thing is made from welded 1 1/4" angle iron and is mounted on 2 fixed & 2 rotating casters for portability. The upper tier is 18x18 and is 56" high for the HLT, with a gadget shelf below (very handy), with the propane tank below that. The lower tier is 18x36 and is 32" high for the mash/lauter tun & the kettle. All 3 vessels have homemade jet-style burners under them; the kettle has the CFC mounted underneath, and the pump is located below the MLT at the lowest level of the rack. I also have plumbed it so I can connect a garden hose to it to supply the CFC with chilling water, and for a mounted activated carbon filter for brewing water. I do 10 gallon batches, and I have a false bottom in the kettle to catch the hop flowers. I won't go into the details of mashing or sparging, but with about 10 minutes left in the boil, I begin flowing hot wort thru the CFC to the pump, and back into the kettle to sanitize the CFC/pump loop. The kettle has a barbed fitting thru the sidewall at the top, and is connected inside to a 3/8" copper tube going all the way to the bottom of the kettle, with a right angle bend at the bottom. This recirculation sets up a small whirlpool action, and after the boil is finished, I turn on the chilling water and continue to recirculate. For the first few minutes of the chilling cycle I splash the output water onto the kettle on the outside to remove the built-up heat frin the skirt of the keg. Once the wort (in the kettle) gets down to 140 or so (about 8-10 minutes) I will then divert the output to the fermenters, cracking open a valve at the output of the chiller to draw in some air (thru a HEPA filter) to aerate the wort. At this point I can run with the valves about half open. My last brew, I incorporated a change based on Jeff Renner's recent post about chilling & pitching right in the kettle. I put my old immersion chiller in the kettle at the time I began the recirculation, and connected the water output of the CFC chiller to the immersion chiller. When I began chilling, I continued recirculation the whole time while chilling the wort in the kettle down to about 75F, then cracked open my air valve to aerate. I pitched the yeast and continued to chill down to 65F. Then I diverted the wort to the fermenters. I must comment that this worked out very well, as I was able to run the valves wide open, and the wort was crystal clear. The 2 carboys fermented nearly identically, and rather quickly. After cleanup of the MLT & Kettle, I put 3 gallons water in the kettle & bring to a boil. I then recirculate it thru the cfc/pump loop for 5 minutes or so, then drain. I close all the valves and put it away. About every 5 or 6 batches, I'll add a step to recirculate hot PBW solution thru the loop, followed by another boiling water recirc rinse. 16 batches since rebuild with no problems. Steve Jones Johnson City, TN stjones1 at chartertn.net http://users.chartertn.net/franklinbrew Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 01:24:16 -0500 From: ensmingr at twcny.rr.com Subject: beer and gps Given the interest in Rennerian coordinates, some HBD'rs will be interested in this geospatial beer news I just discovered on CNEWS (July 24, 2001) ... Cheerio! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY Writer, Life Under the Sun: http://www.yale.edu/yup/lifesun Homebrewer: http://hbd.org/ensmingr http://www.canoe.ca/CNEWSTechNews0107/24_beer-sun.html : - ---- BEER HUNTERS TO TRACK DRINKERS Toronto -- If you happen to be sucking back a bottle of Coors Light somewhere in Quebec over the next couple of months, you might find yourself being tracked by a military satellite system and hunted down by a pack of beer promoters. Molson Inc. planted three special "tracker bottles" as part of an instant-win promotion that ends Sept. 28. The tracker bottles don't contain beer. Instead, each is filled with a GPS satellite transmitter that allows the Global Positioning System of satellites maintained by the U.S. military to pinpoint a person's location to within 10 or 12 metres. A twist of the cap activates the satellite transmitter and a tiny cellular modem in the bottle sends the geographic co-ordinates to a base station. Software is then used to generate a map of where the person is located and a team of Molson representatives is dispatched to track down the winner. Winners will get an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Los Angeles. - ---- [Seems like the real prize is that there's one less bottle of Coors light that you've gotta drink. - PAE] Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 12:01:28 +1200 From: "Richard T. Perry" <perryrt at hotmail.com> Subject: Refractometer vs S.G.? Greetings to the collective - So Santa was good to me this year. My wife presented me with a gift certificate for my favorite homebrew source - Homebrew Heaven in Everett WA (NA,yada,yada, but MAN, they make a good kit.) Anyway, I'm moving into all-grain, and they've got a package deal on a pH meter and a refractometer which looks pretty good, price-wise. ($160 for both.) Now, a pH meter is obviously useful for mash pH and water testing. Refractometers are a little more of a mystery, though. I understand the idea behind them - they measure sugar content in %Brix, and I can see where one would be useful in two places - seeing the rise in sugar levels in the mash, and the fall during fermentation. But how does a refractometer relate to S.G./hydrometer readings? Is there a direct correlation (X.X % Brix = Y.YYY S.G.)? Or is it more complex than that? I can't find any references to its use in what books I have handy (Miller, Papazian, and Marty Nachel's "Homebrewing for Dummies"). In short, given that I'm an intermediate brewer, is buying this thing worth my time? Particularly considering I can make 4 or 5 batches for what this thing will cost? Suggestions/comments are welcome here or via private email - I'll summarize later. Thanks for the help - Richard T. Perry perryrt at hotmail.com Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands 8 deg 44.22 N, 167 deg 44.39E [6725.8, 289] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 19:48:20 EST From: SLHMJL at aol.com Subject: bottled porter carbonation Greetings all, I have been kegging homebrew for a while, but recently tried my first bottled batch. I brewed up a batch of porter, fermented in primary and secondary, and bottled it in EZ-Cap bottles. I used Primetabs at an English Ale rate. I put 3 tabs in a 16oz bottle, and 6 in a litre. I opened the first bottle last night, after two weeks of conditioning, and it is somewhat flat. The taste is OK, but it needs a little bit more carbonation. Are there any tricks to rescue the brew in this situation? Can a person carefully "recharge" the bottles with more yeast/sugar? Please let me know if you have run into this situation. Thanks. Sid H. Fargo, ND Return to table of contents
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