HOMEBREW Digest #4729 Tue 01 March 2005

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  Hop Planting ("Chad Stevens")
  Re: Electric HLT (Scott McAfee)
  Hops in TX ("Dave Burley")
  SafAle 56 American Ale Yeast (Scott Birdwell)
  Re: Electric Brewery ("Mike Sharp")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 20:31:48 -0800 From: "Chad Stevens" <zuvaruvi at cox.net> Subject: Hop Planting Randy Scott asks where to plant his hops. I have collected a number of wild hop rhizomes. The vast majority are found on southern or south-western exposures in well drained, sandy soil with lots of decomposed matter and LOTS of water (like a spring) running through the area. Full sun or a few hours of shade at most. Good luck, Chad Stevens QUAFF San Diego Then trust me, there's nothing like drinking So pleasant on this side the grave; It keeps the unhappy from thinking, And makes e'en the valiant more brave. Charles Dibden, Nothing Like Grogg (1745-1814) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2005 00:48:13 -0500 From: Scott McAfee <scmcafee at cox.net> Subject: Re: Electric HLT Thanks for the great feedback on my questions. Craig, Todd, and Kent answered, with good equations, my (poorly asked) question of: 2) How long does it take 2000W to heat up 15 gallons of water? I'm really just planning to use a spare Sankey keg w/element as a second HLT in conjunction with a 15g propane HLT to give me the volume I need without buying a 30g container. I don't mind starting it up hours before sparging. Using a specific heat capacity equation similar to Todd's (I broke down and opened my college Physics text last night. Did you know a Calorimeter is essentially an electric HLT?), I figured I could go from 60F to 180F in about 2 hours if the 2000W element is 100% efficient in transferring heat. So my first follow up question is: Has anyone calculated the efficiency of a hot water heater element on a well insulated system based on its power rating? I guess to be really scientific you'd have to include the heat capacity of the Sankey in measuring the theoretical vs. the real world. I also mentioned I planned to put the element on the bottom of the Keg with the flange adapter. Always read the HBD responses _before_ you drill holes in your Stainless. Todd said: "I'm not sure mounting the element on the bottom is a good idea, that's where any leaks or boil over will end up." I may be unwise, but I'm using a 20amp GFI and since it's just an HLT, I don't expect it to boil over unless I screw up my temperature controller. Whatever I do, I'll make sure I have a good seal and keep an eye on it. Maybe use some silicone sealant and a tube to protect the wires and housing. Kent said: "Good luck with the flange adapter. It has no relationship to a bulkhead fitting, it's made to be able to install a screw-in element on a water heater that has a matching four bolt flange. Might as well return it to HD before you ruin your keg." Sigh, so true. Not the first keg I (maybe) ruined. But that's homebrewing--learning, not failure. I did actually tap the 4 screw holes with a 1/4-20 tap. I now have some SS self-sealing o-ring machine screws on order from Mcmaster-Carr. For those planning to do something similar, listen to your HBD elders that tell you to just get the SS 1" NPS nut. Now I have to decide whether I still put the element on the bottom (might work) or put my unused 1" polypropylene bulkhead on the bottom for a drain, and put the element somewhere else (with the 1" NPS nut, of course). So my second question is: Do you have to flatten the hole wherever you put the element (on the curved side of the keg, for instance)? I know from experience that I'm bad at metalwork that involves hammers. I did add to the order an appropriate hole saw and 1" NPS nut, just in case. Thanks, Scott Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2005 09:08:13 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Hops in TX Brewsters, Randy Scott plans on planting hops in TX and asks where to plant his hops and what kind. Well, you will have plenty of sunlight hours as Washington and Oregon grow the Hops in the US at present, supplanting New York state hops industry of yesteryear. I planted my hops here in SC on the east side of a two story building, just because that end was available and the hops wouldn't cook in the late afternoon heat and lose those hop oils. Check out this Rutgers Univ project ( obviously started by a homebrewer) http://www.rce.rutgers.edu/burlington/hops.htm What is most important is that you can get your hops up a string about 15 -18 ft. That may be the determining factor for you. There are also some innovative ways to string them up and bring them down to harvest if you can't put a ladder up against a building. I have read about telephone poles and the like with a cable between them on a pulley. Twine attached to this cable supports the bines ( not vines) and can be lowered using a pulley system to pick. Remember you are growing a large and heavy sail, so a healthy support is necessary. It is important to not crowd the hops as they are very susceptible to mildews, esp powdery ( but I'd guess downy Mildew did the deed to NYS, as this mildew doesn't exist much west of the Mississippi river) . You may choose to spray them early in the year ( check with your local Ag agent for schedule and spray composition) before bloom. Giving plenty of air circulation is important. Also, cut ( and eat like asparagus) all but about 4 or 5 of the sprouts from each root ( after the first year) in the early spring to limit the amount of vegetation and wind loading. Commercially hops are cut down and harvested all at once, variety by variety. You don't have to do that. You can harvest your hops as they mature ( papery and sl yellow in most cases) and if you plant more than one variety you will have a long harvest season. Pick every 3 days or so. Burn a little sulfur under the green hops in the drying chamber after you pick them to prevent mold from developing during the early drying, and don't stack them too deep, esp in wet weather. This sulfur dioxide treatment ( typical of British hops treatment ) also seems to take away a grassy taste ( from bacterial fermentation??) too common in home grown hops. If you make real lager, go for Saaz. And Ales, go for East Kent Goldings and Fuggles. There are also some funny things about accurate hops ID in US grown hops which has been straightened out by DNA, so ask the supplier for the latest on this subject, esp with German hops. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2005 10:19:15 -0600 From: Scott Birdwell <defalcos at sbcglobal.net> Subject: SafAle 56 American Ale Yeast H. Dowda wrote: "Subject: SafAle 56 American Ale This product is on the Crosby and Baker web site. Is anyone selling it?" If you're interested in this product, contact us off-list. We'll fill you in on the details. Scott Birdwell DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Supplies Houston TX www.defalcos.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2005 08:36:53 -0800 From: "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Electric Brewery 1. "And don't be afraid of 220 V, it's actually only 110 V if you accidentally touch a hot wire, just like "regular" power." While the voltage to ground/neutral is nominally 110 v, I hope it's clear that this doesn't make it safe. It only takes 100 milliamperes through the chest to kill you. Also, 120volt breakers (single pole, 15 and 20 amp) from some manufacturers use magnetic trips in addition to a thermal trip. That means a Square-D breaker will trip nearly instantly in a fault condition. Bryant also has single pole breakers with magnetic trips. A 2 pole breaker usually does not have this magnetic trip. So a 220V circuit is not as "safe" as a 110V circuit that uses a magnetic trip. That said, you should never be careless in either case and depend on this to save your butt. 2. "To anyone thinking electric brewing might not be safe, consider all the people out there bathing and showering in water being simultaneously heated by electricity in their hot water tanks! And those are not GFI protected" Remember, an electric hot water heater is grounded. You don't take a bath in the hot water heater, but you might reach into a pail. The purpose of a good ground connection is to ensure that the overcurrent device will open in the event of a fault. In other words, it ensures that there is plenty of fault current available. If you use an electric heater in your converted keg, make sure the keg is well grounded. Note that electrically heated hot tubs have a "current collector" that completely encloses the heating element. This is redundantly grounded (an internal ground through the power line, and an external ground that is also bonded to the motor). This ensures that the fault current path is from the failed heater to the current collector and through the ground back to the panel. You never want to be R1 to ground! 3. "I bent two of my elements 90 degrees by placing them in a tubing bender, the two legs fit into the bender in the 1/4 and 3/8" slots as close to the threaded end as possible. No need to heat it to bend it, they're made of copper tubing. " Some may be made of copper, others of stainless, and some of inconel. But, yes, they can be bent. How else would the manufacturer get them in that nice U shape? No need to use heat for this! Bending carries the risk of damaging the heater, though. You'd have to bend both legs of a basic U shape at the same time to prevent kinking. Personally, I'd be nervous about bending one leg in a 1/4 die and the other in a 3/8 die. Perhaps you could go back and forth, bending each leg a little at a time. But, yes use a tubing bender! 4. "1) can you heat up and bend those elements without damaging them?" "No. Don't try it, you'll just destroy the element. Think about it: Heater elements burn themselves out in a very short time if energized dry, and it would take a lot more heat that that to be able to bend the rod" Well, don't use heat. You can buy heating rods in straight lengths from various manufacturers, and bend them to suit, as long as you do it in a tubing bender. There is always the risk of damaging the rod, though. Regards, Mike Sharp Return to table of contents
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