HOMEBREW Digest #4409 Tue 25 November 2003

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  Hey Dave Burley (re: temp controller) (the Morrows)
  re: Cleaning Stainless Steel ("Mark Tumarkin")
  Unibroue Terrible (K.M.)" <kmuell18@visteon.com>
  Cleaning Stainless Taps (rickdude02)
  RE:  Category 24 not open ("Houseman, David L")
  [Fwd: widmer yeast and carbonation measurement] (Marc Sedam)
  Flocculated yeast, yeast storage,Wyeast Direct Pitch,Green Hops Brews,Stuck Ferment ("Dave Burley")
  Cleaning stainless, copper, etc. ("Jay Spies")
  Request for Gott cooler data (David Towson)
  Fermenter seal ("pddey")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 00:51:31 -0500 From: the Morrows <bret.morrow at prodigy.net> Subject: Hey Dave Burley (re: temp controller) Dave said: On my two freezers I went nuts trying to get them to work properly. We're talking calibration, etc, etc. Don't know why, but when I spent the extra $50 per for the II electronic version, my freezers worked perfectly over all temperature ranges. Me: Could the mechanical version work, but was just hard to calibrate? I am just looking for a constant single temperature ~45 oF. In the general area would be fine--I can tweek it from there. Or did it not work at all? Cheers, Bret Morrow Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 06:48:12 -0500 From: "Mark Tumarkin" <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: re: Cleaning Stainless Steel Steve asks about cleaning stainless steel on some old kegging equip. -"It is not rusty, just really dirty. Is there something I can soak them in to get them clean, or am I stuck with elbow grease?" Try soaking in hot water & PBW. That should get a lot of it off. Then old elbow grease, aided by Barkeepers Friend or similar oxalic acid cleaner, will get the rest. Should come up very clean & shiny. If you use this procedure on your brew kettle, etc; sitting unused for a week or so will allow the stainless to re-passivate, or restore the protective oxidation level on the stainless steel. Yes, this oxidation is a 'good thing.' For more info, check out John Palmer's info - http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixB.html Or do a search of the HBD archives (John's name will pop up a lot on any metallurgy topic). Mark Tumarkin Hogtown Brewers Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 08:07:02 -0500 From: "Mueller, Kevin (K.M.)" <kmuell18 at visteon.com> Subject: Unibroue Terrible http://www.unibroue.com/products/terrible.cfm Has anyone tried this beer yet? I shared a bottle last night with my father-in-law, and we were both very impressed by it. It went very well with our dinner of smoked, grilled salmon (supplemented by Aquavit!) Any hints or tips on re-creating something similar? Thanks, Kevin Canton, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 10:56:30 -0500 (GMT-05:00) From: rickdude02 at earthlink.net Subject: Cleaning Stainless Taps If I had crusty taps (which I do, from time to time), I'd soak them in a Straight-A solution. And, yes, I am affiliated (i.e. I make it), but that doesn't stop me from pointing out that it's a fine product.<g> 1 Tbsp per gallon of water for the solution, soak it overnight, and if there's anything holding on after that, it can be removed easily with a brush or pad. I've done it a hundred times. (It's a good thing I make cleansers, 'cos I'm not much on cleanup until it's absolutely necessary!) Rick Theiner LOGIC, Inc. www.ecologiccleansers.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 10:58:45 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: RE: Category 24 not open OK, Chris, perhaps by your definition of "open" Category 24 is not an entirely open category. But please explain how you'd expect to have any competition with an objective and unbiased judging of an entirely open category? The judge you get, without any guidelines to objectively judge the beer can only determine if there are process flaws, such as sanitation problems -- but wait, it could be a lambic-like blackish beer? And it may be a wonderful whatever but hated by the bias of the particular judge saddled with that category to judge. I'm all for open brewing. I tend to brew most of my beers that way myself these days. But for a competition, if there aren't some objective metrics then it's entirely subjective. So by your definition of open there really couldn't be a competition other than a popularity contest. Not a bad idea in it's own right..... BTW, some competition do exactly as you suggest and provide their own open categories. Competitions aren't limited to only using BJCP styles. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 11:06:07 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: [Fwd: widmer yeast and carbonation measurement] The Widmer Alt yeast is listed in the Wyeast catalog as "American Wheat" #1010. ************************* I like Jeff's ideas regarding the PET bottles to detect carbonation. I would gather many people were doing this but never "classified" it as a public observation and calling notice to it as useful. Kudos to Jeff R. for continuing to promote it's utility. On a similar note, you can make a cheap carbonation tester for about $35. Buy a "Carbonator" tap at your LHBS for about $12. Pick up a keg pressure tester from William's Brewing (http://www.williamsbrewing.com/AB1605000/showdetl.cfm?&DID=7& Product_ID=715&CATID=14) [cut and paste the broken link] for $20. Rack beer with priming sugar to a PET bottle, attach Carbonator cap and hook up a pin-lock pressure tester to the top of it. Watch the carbonation in the bottle go up as PSI. I'm sure some enterprising soul can connect PSI to vol CO2...like at room temperature it should get to about 30PSI to have full carbonation. I think I may do this tonight. I just racked a smoked schwarzbier (OK, it started as a dunkles but I burned the mash so to cover up the "burnt" flavor I added a pound of Carafa III) to a keg with priming sugar last night. I'll give a whirl and report back. - -- Marc Sedam Chapel Hill, NC - -- Marc Sedam Associate Director Office of Technology Development The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 308 Bynum Hall; CB# 4105 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4105 919.966.3929 (phone) 919.962.0646 (fax) OTD site : http://www.research.unc.edu/otd Monthly Seminar Info: http://www.research.unc.edu/otd/seminar/ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 11:47:56 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Flocculated yeast, yeast storage,Wyeast Direct Pitch,Green Hops Brews,Stuck Ferment Brewsters: SteveA seems pretty sure that flocculated yeast cannot metabolize sugars. I am not so sure and would like to see some data to that effect. I also doubt that dropping the yeast had much to do in the way of incorporation of oxygen ( when you consider the size of these commercial batches) and stirring ( which can also reinitiate fermentation) even less. Steve also needs to explain the reason dropping and stirring works if flocculation puts the brakes on yeast metabolism if we both agree that these activities do not deflocculate yeast. Yeast growth ( if by that Steve means yeast <population> growth) has little to do with the metabolism of sugar by live yeast. BUT removing the yeast from the playing field by precipitation or reducing the area swept by a yeast cell due to flocculation will be expected to slow fermentation. - ------------------------ Bill, if you want to store yeast a long time, you can use agar agar slants but I find the infection rate and mutation potential for this to be a problem and that this method is really useful only if you have lots of yeasts and limited storage space. I am sure yeast ranchers will disagree. I simply take the yeast from my secondary, pour off all the beer and rinse it three times with and store it under sterile ( cold ,boiled) distilled water. You can give it an acid wash of 1% tartaric acid followed by the distilled water rinses, but recent suggestions imply this can cause cell wall damage. I have never had a noticeable problem, however. I always use this yeast to start a starter before use in brewing. I have kept yeasts this way for months and in same cases a year or longer. - ----------------------- And speaking of yeasts, I recently was the unintentional recipient ( I thought I ordered my normal mylar bop bag) of Wyeast direct yeast ( the squeeze tube good for 5 gallons direct pitch). I have had problems and wonder if I am just unlucky and the three tubes, one lager and two ales were somehow damaged by poor handling during shipping ( despite a cool bag insert in the shipping package I ordered) or what? Admittedly the yeast were at the end of the manufacturer's recommended period (3 months for lagers and 4 for ales) , but still within the OK dates, as the yeasts were labelled August 2003 and I tried to use them within the last two weeks or so. The yeast in the tube were refrigerated all the time Anyone else experience problems? If I am going to have to make up a starter, I'd rather have the bop bags as they seem to have a longer actual shelf life and less chance of infection. The London III took 48 hours to start without pitching ( I like six hours max) and the Czech Pils starter never started in the freezer at 50 F nor when I took it out and stored it at room temperature. Anyone else have problems? - --------------------- Bob Devine's link to the British Hops board http://www.hops.co.uk/News.htm points out the interest in using green hops for beer without drying. An interesting idea that I will have to try, at least for the final addition of hops portion of the brew. Also, this small amount could be frozen for future use. I have had success with vacuum packing and freezing basil, should work for hops. - --------------------- John in Winston Salem worries that his brew is stuck since the SG is 1.02 from an OG of 1.06 ( not really a high OG as you seem to believe). This should not cause you a fermenting problem unless the grist is not largely malt. Some British malt extract blends ( John Bull is noteworthy here) with lots of sugar can cause some problems with some yeasts. Always use a yeast nutrient in these latter cases. It may or may not be stuck , depending on your starting material and whether or not your hydrometer has bubbles on it, as these bubbles will give you a false high reading. Be sure to degas your sample. To really check this use a Clinitest <Kit> not the Stix and see what the % reducing sugars are. Above 1/4% and there is still some fermenting to do. I suggest you rack this to another carboy and check the fermenting temperature. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 12:35:48 -0500 From: "Jay Spies" <jayspies at citywidehomeloans.com> Subject: Cleaning stainless, copper, etc. There was a question asked recently about how to clean stainless taps and associated barware that has a lot of built up crud on it.....just thought I'd share a discovery I made... I recently built a copper-top bar in my house and was looking for a good copper cleaner... Stumbled onto a site on the internet for a cleaner called Rebel's Metal Polish. It uses cutting agents instead of jewelers rouge (like Brasso) and can be used for almost any kind of metal. Sent away for the free sample and damn if it didn't clean the copper so bright you could read from the reflection. Got excited and cleaned a stainless sink and a platinum wedding ring and half of a brewpot (outside only) before I ran out of the sample. I'll be ordering more. Check it out at www.rebelsmetalpolish.com NAYY, just excited that this stuff works as advertised.... If you have gunky metal stuff you might want to give it a whirl. Jay Spies Asinine Aleworks Baltimore, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 13:28:02 -0500 From: David Towson <dtowson at comcast.net> Subject: Request for Gott cooler data In hopes of luring some of our club's extract brewers into trying mashing, I have built a simple plastic bucket mash vessel using stuff I had lying around, and I have offered the loan of this thing to the club members. In the course of testing it for heat loss, I became sort of caught-up in the project, and it grew well beyond my expectations, to include hours of testing with various forms of insulation. Now, I'm curious to know how the that have become so popular with the homebrewing community. So I have a request. What I'd like to know is how much the temperature of three gallons of initially boiling water drops in one hour after being poured into one of these coolers that has not been preheated. That is, the cooler starts at room temperature, and then the boiling water is poured in and the lid attached. In my bucket masher experiments, the water temperature dropped instantly to 195 degrees F due to having to heat the plastic bucket. With the various insulation schemes I tested, the best temperature I could get after one hour was 182, and I'd like to know how that compares with the performance of a Gott/Igloo cooler. If anyone using such a cooler as a mashing vessel would care to conduct this test and post the result, I'd be very grateful. Please let me know the maximum capacity of the cooler too. Thanks. Dave in Bel Air, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 13:14:31 -0700 From: "pddey" <pddey at netzero.net> Subject: Fermenter seal I'm looking for some tips in sealing a flat acrylic lid atop a Sanke keg fermenter. I made the fermenter last winter with an 11.5" opening on top and a 13" clear acrylic 3/16" thick cover (I wanted to see my beer in action and immerse my hairy arms to the pit at cleaning time). I put a bead of clear silicone around the perimeter of the opening and another bead on the lid. The lid was held down via an oak slat that fit beneath the handle openings in the keg. A large eye bolt through the slat exerted downward pressure on a stainless knob atop the cover, thus creating a pretty snug lid (also, a "pretty" snug lid :). The one time I used it last winter I racked via gravity. However, I need to set it up to be pushed with CO2 cause the fermentor normally resides in a temperature controlled chamber only 6 inches above floor elevation. So I need a better seal between lid and keg to hold a couple pounds pressure. I broke the lid yesterday as I tried hopelessly to create an airtight seal while I was cranking the bolt down and cranking up the CO2 pressure (racking cane inserted through 2-hole stopper, stopper in lid, CO2 in thru 2nd hole of stopper). Gas was escaping around the uneven bead of silicone. I'm thinking I'll build an identical replacement lid but 1) try to create a seal with a bucket-lid gasket around the perimeter of the keg opening, or 2) do a more careful job with the silicone bead idea. Perhaps try a larger bead. Where can I find a bucket lid gasket or two? Other thoughts/suggestions? Paul Cheyenne, WY Return to table of contents
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