HOMEBREW Digest #458 Thu 12 July 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  304 stainless ("remember, beer is food")
  bleach in beer; keg kettles (Carter Stein)
  cost to cut & weld keg for brew kettle... (Carter Stein)
  Xingu (Todd Koumrian)
  Getting wort out of the brew pot, & Ginger Beer (Patrick Stirling (Sun HQ Consulting Services))
  More Bud Keg Ideas  (Dave Brown)
  304 Stainless Steel (L_LEE1)
  some info on soda kegs (florianb)
  Oatmeal Stout, Brewpubs, etc.. ("Jay H, the metallic")
  flat beer and bottle caps (Chip Hitchcock)
  Incompetent mashing by a novice leads to confusion (but no worry) (Chris Shenton)
  Re: Blow-off tube (was: When to pitch starter) (Chris Shenton)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 11 Jul 90 10:09 EST From: "remember, beer is food" <CASEY at ALCVAX.PFC.MIT.EDU> Subject: 304 stainless With great trepidation, I offer this info which is grossly out of context for this forum, with the hope of ending this (albeit interesting) discussion: type 304 stainless is a high-nickel content, or austenitic alloy. it is great for instrument construction. very tough, ductile, and resistive to corrosion. also sensitive to heat treatment and cold working. it is the most non-magnetic of the 300-series (high nickel) alloys. useful for applications where it will be worked into a shape (like a beer keg), but loses some of its corrosion resistance (due to carbon precipitation) when welded (can be offset by annealing after welding). There should be no problems using a modified keg as a kettle, other than scorching on the bottom from uneven heat distribution. - --------------- While I'm on the line, whoever mentioned Cambridge Brewing Co lately was correct. It has been consistently good for the last six months at least. They always offer a golden, amber, and stout, plus at least one special. Lately their special has been a heavenly Weissbier. It inspired me to try my own. I chickened out on using a special yeast for (clove) esters, and stuck to Whitbread and high temp to get it right. It would be superb once it ages, but it will never get there. Its been in the keg less than two weeks and is nearly history already. happy brewing. Jeff Casey MIT-PFC 617-253-0885 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 90 08:38:57 PDT From: Carter Stein <carters at sirius.cax.tek.com> Subject: bleach in beer; keg kettles An update on the brew I made that I had dribbled a bit of chlorox... I bottled about 10 days ago, and tasted for the first time last night. There was perhaps a very, very minimal phenolic taste that I could detect, however, my roommates could not discern it. I did get, however a bit a astringency in the after-taste. But, I think this might be because I boiled my 1.5 oz of cascade hops (6.5 alpha) for 90 minutes rather than 60 (comments?). I procured a stainless steel beer keg that I converted to a brew kettle before I started all grain brewing. I took it to a metal shop in Portland and had them cut and grind a hole in the top. I had them leave a 1 inch ring (or so) ring of the top, to serve to hold a lid. I also had them weld a 5/8" fitting (bushing?) about an inch from the bottom into which I put a 1/2" ball valve. I connected a short, 2" X 3/8" piece of copper tubing to that. When it's time to run the wort through the chiller, I connect a piece a plastic tubing to the copper from the ball valve to the chiller and then open the valve and let the hot wort flow through the counter-flow wort chiller. The only problems that I have run into with this configuration is I sometimes get an air lock in the chiller. So, I have to suck on the outlet of the chiller to get the syphon started. The other problem is sanitizing the chiller. I do this by boiling water in the kettel while I'm mashing in another container. Then, I run the boiling water through the chiller (without running the cold water counter-flow) for about 20 minutes. Does anyone else have better ideas for sanitizing a counter-flow wort chiller? Finally, thanks to Ken Weiss, florianb and others, for there analysis of my chlorine problem! Still not worrin'... - --Carter Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 90 08:46:53 PDT From: Carter Stein <carters at sirius.cax.tek.com> Subject: cost to cut & weld keg for brew kettle... I mentioned in a previous note that I had a keg top cut, and a stainless fitting welded, but I neglected to not the cost: The stainless steel fitting cost $15.00 list (I got it for about $5.00). Cutting and welding costs $40.00. Hey! I'm not worried, it's an investment! - --Carter Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 1990 09:22:17 PDT From: todd at NISC.SRI.COM (Todd Koumrian) Subject: Xingu I read that artical in last years SF Chronicle Food section, and as I remember, Xingu is the result of German (yes German) brewers living in that Amazonian area who decided to make a beer combining German brewing traditions with the local techniques. This meant roasting the malt until it was basically charred, and maybe some other things which I have forgotten. Needless to say, the beer is definately the work of modern industrial methods of brewing. The colorful bit about Indians chewing the grains and spitting them into a pot applies to lots of native South American alcoholic beverages (I recall my high-school Spanish teacher telling about one where corn was chewed, spit into a pot, buried, and later dug up and the contents consumed) and the original native beer that Xingu was partially derived from, but not Xingu. Sorry. If anyone is still interested in more on Xingu, I can dig up what I have around on it and give you more accurate details later. Todd Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 90 09:21:36 PDT From: pms at Corp.Sun.COM (Patrick Stirling (Sun HQ Consulting Services)) Subject: Getting wort out of the brew pot, & Ginger Beer Ken van Wyk asked about getting the cooled wort out of the brewpot (an ex-Bud keg) and into the primary. Well, I ladle it out with a saucepan. Works fine. Of course, I only brew up 2-3 gallons at a time. but you could use a bigger saucepan! Alternatively, I've seen a system whereby you insert steel mesh into the brew pot 2 or 3 inches above the bottom, and install a tap. Then after cooling just turn on the tap (after placing the promary below it!) and presto, auto filtering and straightforward sparging too. You would need to cut off the top of the keg to do this, though. Ken Weiss talked about Ginger beer. I've made this several times, with great success. I have always peeled the ginger. I think you should try it again! I assume that you like ginger or you wouldn't have tried it in the first place. So don't be discouraged, go for it! I've found that I prefer it in a dark brew. It adds a "clean" flavour - I don't know how else to put it. I got the fist recipe from Papazians Joy of HB, (Vagabond Ginger Ale), which call for 2 - 4 oz fresh ginger. With 4oz you'll get a pretty strong flavour; I typically put in 2.5 to 3 oz. And now for the round up. I recently brewed a raspberry ale. A standard "Texas Brown" (ie amber malt extract with crystal and chocolate malt adjuncts), with 2 packs (10oz) of thawed frozen raspberries added at the peak of fermentation. Success! It's great! The only down side is the syrup that the raspberries were packed in. It seems to be unfermentable, as there's a definite "syrupy" sweet undertaste. It's not bad but I'd rather it weren't there! Next time I'll try fresh raspberries. Any ideas on how to sanitize them? Perhaps fresh frozen (i.e. in a bag, like forzen peas) would be better. My last beer was an espresso porter - 2 cups of fresh brewed espresso. But a week after bottling, oh no! The dreaded ring around the collar. Every bottle. I can tell that it would have been good, except for that yucky infected taste. My first bad batch! patrick Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 90 09:54:09 PDT From: brown at ocelot.llnl.gov (Dave Brown) Subject: More Bud Keg Ideas --<>-- Ken van Wyk writes: Case settled, right? *One* more question ;-} - has anyone using these things come up with a good technique for pouring the (cooled) through a filter system and into the primary? It would appear that the handle "ring" (for lack of a better term) at the top would at least partially obstruct easy pouring of the wort, and siphoning would be next to impossible with the whole leaf hops in my wort. Suggestions anyone? Since our friends at Buffalo Bill's haven't let us down yet, I'll give you his suggestions. The first is to weld a spigot to the bottom side of the keg to drain it. He used black steel(?) gas pipe, because he claims that this can be welded to stainless steel. You then attach some sort of faucet to that. Now my questions is do you want this kind of steel in contact with your wort? How about brazing copper to the keg, will that work? What are people's opinions on copper? I notice all the good breweries use *large* copper boiling kettles, so it can't be bad, right? I don't like the idea of using gas pipe, so if some one has an idea about how to obtain economical stainless or copper fittings and faucet that would be a good addition to our ideas. The other thing that I am not crazy about is welding or brazing. Can you just use some sort of pressure fitting. Like a threaded pipe and a nut with lockscrew. I would think this would work as long as you had a good gasket. The question is what kind of gasket I suppose, maybe cork? To anticipate your next question, how do you fire the thing? If you just stick this keg on your stove, you'll find it welded to the stove top after your first brewing session. The lip on the bottom is too large to rest on the element, so it will no doubt, rest on the stove top, transferring large amounts of heat to it. How they did it at Buffalo Bills is to create a stand to hold the pot (15.5 gallon) and Used an old gas water heater element to fire the pot. They used the gas main from the house, but an important point is that they used a gas regulator from a fire-place and some other fittings to ensure a professional and safe apparatus. I would check with someone knowledgable about these things to ensure that you get this right. You might burn down the neighborhood if your not careful. I believe someone has suggested using the apparatus from a gas grill, this might be safer. Looking forward to some good suggestions. David Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 90 13:09 EST From: <L_LEE1%UNHH.BITNET at MITVMA.MIT.EDU> Subject: 304 Stainless Steel The composition of 304 stainless is roughly: 0.08% Carbon 2.00% Mangenese 1.00% Silicon 18.0-20.0% Chromium 8.0-10.5% Nickel 0.045% Phosphorus 0.03% Sulphur with the balance being Iron. This is taken from: METALS HANDBOOK, 9th edition, Vol. 3: properties and selection Stainless steels, Tool materials, and special purpose metals. American Society for Metals, Metals Park, OH Hope this helps in you undertakings. Woody Lee Ocean Process Analysis Lab Universityof New Hampshire Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Jul 90 12:40:54 PDT (Wed) From: florianb at tekred.cna.tek.com Subject: some info on soda kegs Recently, I have tried to increase my inventory of soda (Cornelius) kegs. In a past posting, I indicated that the local Pepsi bottling company was selling me used kegs for (cheap). These were old kegs, mostly of the Firestone type (racetrack lids), or possibly Cornelius kegs which had had wine in them. The bottler didn't want to use ones which had contained wine. I had been purchasing parts from Foxx or Rapids and rebuilding the kegs so they were sanitary and functional. In this process, I have learned several things which may be of value to others going down the same path. 1 One should avoid the old John Wood kegs. Although these have the racetrack lid, it isn't the same as the Firestone type, and it's not possible to find replacement lids. 2 Replacement parts for the Firestone kegs can be obtained from Foxx, but there are several different varieties of valves, both gas and liquid. Be careful about these parts when ordering, since it's easy to get mixed up. 3 Bother to replace the valve inner parts, gaskets, and the lid o-ring. This helps a great deal in getting the kegs to seal properly. 4 Art's brewing supplies in Salt Lake sells used kegs for a fair price. I haven't purchased any, but this looks like a good source. Finally, after hassling with the John Wood kegs, I got the production manager of the local Pepsi bottler to allow me to buy used, good, Cornelius kegs at approximately 1/3 of the price in the catalogs for new units. Perhaps this is worth a try in your area. Florian [Disclaimers: My employer is in no way connected with Pepsi, Foxx, or Art's. Prices are not formal quotes or guarantees.] Return to table of contents
Date: 10 Jul 90 23:33:42 EDT From: "Jay H, the metallic" <75140.350 at compuserve.com> Subject: Oatmeal Stout, Brewpubs, etc.. The NYC club is called the NYC Homebrewers Guild, very nice fellows (at least the ones I least the ones I've met at competitions) See the back of a Zymurgy for phone numbers or addresses or call the AHA in Boulder. They can also tell you about other NYC supply shops I'm sure there is more than one. On oatmeal stout, the typical oats americans are familiar with have been soaked and rolled. I have made many differnet variations on a basic oatmeal stout recipe. When I started using steel cut oats, (not soaked or rolled) I found I got more oat flavor and aroma out of them. I would typically boil them down along with the dark grains. To russ G.... I would dispute that cambridge is better than commonwealth. While I enjoy both breweries I prefer some of the brews at commonwealth. Certainly they do have very different styles. Cambridge is much improved over the past year or so. Two of my friends work as brewhousemen there but that doesn't change my slight preference for commonwealth.\ - Jay H. p.S. If you'd like one of my oatmeal stout recipes e-mail to me direct. If response is large I'll post it otherwise I'll just send it along Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 90 14:00:45 EDT From: cjh at peoria.eng.ileaf.com (Chip Hitchcock) Subject: flat beer and bottle caps > Upon inspecting > the bottlecaps that I was using, it was clear that these cork lined > caps tend to dry out and crack, allowing the carbonation to escape > and infection to enter. I didn't realize cork-lined caps were even made anymore! I certainly wouldn't use them for homebrew, since caps should be sterilized before bottling; bleach probably wouldn't rinse out of cork, and I'd expect boiling to ruin the liner. Overrun soda caps with plastic liners cost around a cent apiece at homebrew supply stores, so the risk of cork-lined caps isn't worth the savings if you get them for free. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 90 10:34:56 EDT From: Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Incompetent mashing by a novice leads to confusion (but no worry) I just mashed my second all-grain, and my naivete has prompted some problems, the main one being sparging. I read with fear all the warnings about ``stuck runoff'' and ``set mash''. I have the opposite: the flow is rather quick, and the big problem is that it never runs clear, even after recycling the first 2 gallons or so. My setup uses the food-bucket-with-holier-than-thou-false-bottom, a la Miller. I used his second method which has larger but fewer holes, and employ a grain-bag. What am I doing wrong? Holes too big? I'm planning on making a new mash/lauter tun similar (perhaps even identical) to Pete Sopor's: I'm making a new lauter tun based on the "slotted pipe" scheme. I've got 3/8" OD copper pipe arranged in a coil in the bottom of a 5 gallon cylindrical Gott cooler. The coil covers the bottom surface (which is about 10" diameter) with 1/8 to 1/4" gaps between turns. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 90 10:21:47 EDT From: Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Re: Blow-off tube (was: When to pitch starter) cckweiss at castor.ucdavis.edu writes: > I had a thought on a blow-off system I'd like to bounce off the group. I've > noticed in my tours of microbreweries that their blow-off system is simply > a tube that comes out the top of the fermentor, and bends 90 degrees, extends > out past the side of the vessel, and turns 90 degrees down. The tube simply > dangles there about three feet off the floor, and a bucket is placed below to > catch the blow-off. What I'm thinking about is the exact same system, but > scaled down to 5 gallon carboy size, and using pyrex lab tubing instead of > stainless. That way I could just immerse the tube in bleach solution to > clean it, and boil it if things got really nasty. Reactions? Pyrex seems like over-kill, and a bit too fragile. I got a 4 foot length of -- uh -- 1 1/2 inch or so diameter plastic tubing from the Brewhaus. Its outer diameter fits snugly in the neck of my 7 gallon primary. I put the end of the tube in a bowl with an inch or two of water to act as an airlock (more water creates excessive back-pressure). Works fine. I bleach the tube to clean it, just like everything else. I hooked up with this after having some of my heavier batches blow the lid off my first plastic primary. Perhaps it's because I'm now using liquid culture, or because the 7 gallon carboy has plenty of headspace -- I'm not sure -- but I haven't gotten sufficient blowoff to come out of the tube. If I used a 5 1/2 gallon carboy, I'm sure I would. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #458, 07/12/90 ************************************* -------
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