HOMEBREW Digest #4764 Sun 24 April 2005

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  Motorizing a PhilMill ("Gordon Strong")
  Cheap goodies (David)
  Pellets, Flowers & Kettle drains ("Mike Maag")
  re: Corny keg lids ("Michel J. Brown")
  re: strange fermentation - HELP ("Michel J. Brown")
  re: Where to cut kegs for kettles? ("Michel J. Brown")
  re: Kettle Braid ("Michel J. Brown")
  Reculturing yeast from previous bottled brews (Oisin Boydell)
  Re: Current events + lager temps (Jeff Renner)
  RE: Motorizing a Philmill ("Pat Babcock")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 08:28:58 -0400 From: "Gordon Strong" <strongg at speakeasy.net> Subject: Motorizing a PhilMill I'm not sure why a hacksaw is necessary for motorizing a PhilMill. Dan sells little drill adapters to replace the handle. I use mine with a 1/2" Porter-Cable drill and it works like a champ. Also, rather than using a 2L pop bottle, I mounted an inverted 5-gallon plastic water jug (like the kind you see at water coolers, or you use to buy RO water) with the base cut off on mine. It holds about 20-22 lb of grain, good enough for most 5 gallon batches of beer. With a corded drill and a big grain hopper, it's fire-and-forget at milling time. Run the output into a big grain bucket (I use metallic dryer vent hose to move the grain from the mill to the bucket to keep dust down) and you can then easily move it to your mash tun. Gordon Strong "A Happy Phil Mill I Customer Since 1997" Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 08:47:50 -0700 From: David <jdlcr at flash.netdex.com> Subject: Cheap goodies For Randy Pressly...I bought the drill adapter for my Philmill through Williams Brewing. Works like a charm for about $5. Speaking of cheap purchases I was wondering if the HBDrs out there might wish to share similiar inexpensive purchases that have made their brewing so much easier. Here's one: Beverage People (Santa Rosa, CA) has a siphon starter for $4 or so that is just a large syringe that starts flow faithfully. Anyone else? David Brandt Cloverdale, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 20:50:44 -0500 From: "Mike Maag" <maagm at rica.net> Subject: Pellets, Flowers & Kettle drains Rowan: >>I feel that a simple wire mesh screen tube works just as well, albeit not >>for pellets as they will plug a screen right away...[snip] >Therein lies my problem - I almost exclusively use pellets. I note that, >at >least within this digest, opinions tend to vary about the risk of blockages >with braided hose - some do, some don't. Anyway, I'll give it a go and see >what happens, but I'm not looking forward to a worst case scenario of >having >to clean out a CFWC!! I have found, what you need to do is let the wort sit (or set) for about 1 hour after chilling, before you start to drain the kettle. Wirlpool, cover, and let the wort sit for at least 1 hour.. Don't use Irish Moss!! It gunks up's the trub too much.. you don't need it. As long as you let the wort settle out, the pellet stuff will be settled out too. It helps to have a ounce of flower hops in the boil. Just a handfull of homegrown hops will help keep the trub in a nice pile in the middle of the kettle. My system has a copper pipe circle with hacksaw cuts every 1/4 inch on the bottom. But the main point is to let the stuff settle before you start to drain. Otherwise, the pellet stuff in the wort can clog the screen (or whatever) as the wort drains. Hope this helps, Mike Maag Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 09:04:54 -0700 From: "Michel J. Brown" <zymurgyst at comcast.net> Subject: re: Corny keg lids >About a couple years ago I questioned the HBD about cleaning Corny >kegs. I wondered how does Coke clean the kegs. The same way most people clean them in the industry, either with hot caustic soda, or hot glacial acetic acid, followed by a live steam bath. I recommend using an acidic peroxide blend, like Oxyclean for a CIP cleaner. Email me for a price on my own line of CIP cleaner for homebrewers. >Still waiting to find out just how does Pepsi clean their kegs. Never did see their plant, but Imagine it would be similar, as food handling processes vary little by industry. When I worked as a Food Tech, we used caustic on SS, and glacial on tile, worked like a charm, especially followed by either live steam, or hot (180'F) water. >I hear people talking about marking and keeping the lid with each keg. >Hmm, do you think Coke keeps a database on each lid??? It would seem >that the lids should be able to migrate at will to any compatible keg. >Would anyone in their right mind design anything differently? Fwiw, from my own personal experience (YMMV), even though the hole is similar in size and shape, different lids will not seal as well in other kegs. That's why I make mine with my wife's nail polish (not a flavor to be found in my beer) so I don't accidentally mix them up. >With soda, the pressure is certainly more than the 10-12 PSI we use >for beer, so I think that would cause the large lid seal O-ring to >seal nicely. Perhaps the answer is the larger, softer O-ring available >from certain sources. That sounds like an interesting idea, perhaps I'll try that sometime. But in the meanwhile, I'm still using the original O ring as supplied, and it seems to work just fine. Try silicone sealer if you think you may have leakage problems with the lid ring. >Ron Prost! Michel Somewhere in the unfashionable eastern end of Mutter's Spiral in the Milky Way - -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.308 / Virus Database: 266.10.2 - Release Date: 4/21/2005 Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 09:17:48 -0700 From: "Michel J. Brown" <zymurgyst at comcast.net> Subject: re: strange fermentation - HELP >I don't have a wort chiller yet and just usually let the wort cool in the 6 >gal carboy (sealed) till the >next day when I pitch the yeast... Well this >time I waited 2+ days... I also switched from store >bought "spring" water >to well water run through a new whole house filter (in-line on the hose > >outside... its a rental house). Delayed cooling is the single most detrimental cause of bad fermentations IMHO. Get your SO to buy you a chiller, or make one yourself! 2+ days is like playing Russian Roulette with your wort. >Well the fermentation did a very little, no active blow off as before on >day 2 or 3... After 5 days I >again pitched more yeast (thinking I had >killed or weakened somehow the initial batch) and after >12+ hours just a >little bit more activity than before. This sounds more like something in the water, IMHO. The only change besides your cooling and pitching times is the water you are using. Have you checked the filter? Also, do you know the water's composition vs. your previous water? Try the same recipe again, this time using bottled water and see if the results change. May just well be that your household water is the culprit. >Sean McCabe >Greenfield Mills, Maryland > Prost! Michel Somewhere in the unfashionable eastern end of Mutter's Spiral in the Milky Way - -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.308 / Virus Database: 266.10.2 - Release Date: 4/21/2005 Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 09:24:41 -0700 From: "Michel J. Brown" <zymurgyst at comcast.net> Subject: re: Where to cut kegs for kettles? >Getting ready to have kegs cut for use as brew kettles. Is there any >consensus on what size >opening to cut? > Anything from a 12" to a 15" hole is fine. I've used 12" with great success in the past. > >Should we find lids first and cut after measuring for lids? > Why bother? Simply take the 12" section that you cut out, and wrap a 37.7" length of high temp silicone tubing, and slice it open along the inside of the curl, and wrap it around the diameter of the cutout top. Presto! You now have a lid for the cost of about 3 feet of tubing. >Any info or suggestions would be appreciated. Mike > Not a problem, Mike, good luck, and God Bless! Prost! Michel Somewhere in the unfashionable eastern end of Mutter's Spiral in the Milky Way - -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.308 / Virus Database: 266.10.2 - Release Date: 4/21/2005 Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 09:49:27 -0700 From: "Michel J. Brown" <zymurgyst at comcast.net> Subject: re: Kettle Braid >Does the whirlpool lift the pellet debris into the centre of the kettle or >is it the case that pellet >residue is too light and simply settles where >it sees fit after the whirlpool? > The centrifugal force applied results in the (relatively) higher weight (mass) particles to go to the sides and bottom, while the lighter ones stay on top. I prefer to let gravity have its way with my system, and let the whole leaf hops ( one inch plugs are also fine) drop to the bottom, and let the hot break form on top of the hop mass. This results in a very clear wort, that when pulled through the hopback, looks very clean. > >Therein lies my problem - I almost exclusively use pellets. > Hopefully that won't be an issue with the braided SS hose. It works for my buddy, who uses a similar setup with six feet of spiraled flat (like a rope on board ships) braided SS hose. > >I note that, at least within this digest, opinions tend to vary about the >risk of blockages with >braided hose - some do, some don't. > Sounds like different manufacturer's or different sizes of hose to me. I trust in my modified EZ masher tube screen. But then again, I use whole hop flowers, and not pellets, and the odd plug or two upon occasion. > >Anyway, I'll give it a go and see what happens, but I'm not looking forward >to a worst case >scenario of having to clean out a CFWC!! > Easy to clean, IMHO. Just put 1/4 cup of acidic peroxide blend, like the one I sell, in 3-5 gallons of hot (mash hot temp is fine) water, and draw through your CFWC until its all gone, then flush with equal amount of similar temp hot water. Guaranteed to clean out even the most stubborn CFWC's. > Prost! Michel Somewhere in the unfashionable eastern end of Mutter's Spiral in the Milky Way - -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.308 / Virus Database: 266.10.2 - Release Date: 4/21/2005 Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 21:23:12 +0100 From: Oisin Boydell <oisinboydell at gmail.com> Subject: Reculturing yeast from previous bottled brews I am relatively new to brewing and I have the following question which may be obvious to more experienced brewers... I have read about re-culturing yeast from bottled commercial beers. Are there any major problems with doing the same from previous beers that I have brewed and bottled? Recently I brewed a English bitter ale using Wyeast 1098 British Ale yeast which I bottled. If I re-culture yeast from one of these bottles will it have the same viability and performance as from the original smack-pack? I have heard of storing yeast between brews in the fridge using various mediums etc. but it would seem to me far easier just to re-culture the yeast from a bottle of the previous brew, especially since I am not able to brew very often. Thanks, Oisin. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 18:52:52 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Current events + lager temps "Jason Gross" <jrgross at hotmail.com> writes from Mandan, ND >The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting North Dakota production to >be 1.2 million acres, only three-fourths the size of the 2004 crop and the >lowest level in recorded history..." Jason - we count on you guys up there in ND to keep an eye on things and head off trouble before it becomes a crisis! You've been spending too much time on those brewing fridges and have forgotten to do rain dances and seed the clouds. How very selfish of you not to think of the rest of us. >Also heard on the radio this morning that the hops in Washington and Oregon >(80+% of US crop) are starting to feel the effects of draught. This year's >harvest isn't looking good. Yeah, I saw that, too. >I'm looking forward to turning Jeff Renner's CACA into CAP. Sounds biblical. It's even better as a lager! I've got one on now that is top notch. Driest I've ever made - it fermented out from 1.050 to 1.008, for 84% apparent attenuation, and is hopped to mid to upper 30's IBUs. Really nice. Quite different from the ones that have fermented out low 70s%. What I did differently this time, aside from mashing for full attenuation, was to lazily leave it at 48F for five weeks because it just kept slowly fermenting. It was so pale and relatively clear that I could see bubbles rising in it like in a freshly poured glass of beer. Then I lagered it for an additional two weeks at ~32F, then raised it to ~40F for dispensing. Not necessarily a recommended procedure, but it seems to have worked. Normally, I rack to a keg when the fermentation slows and seal it, then drop the temperature to lagering and let the last few points ferment out at lagering temperature - close to freezing. >Now, the yeasts' optimal fermentation temp is 48 F. I've got the Ranco set >to turn on at 53 F and off at 46 F, where the temperature is measured in the >enclosed air. Is this OK? What's an acceptable temp swing? There is a big thermal mass in your beer, so I am quite sure that with those settings, the beer will not vary much at all. >What about when I ease it down to lagering temps? A common rule is to drop it slowly - 3-5 degrees F per day, to keep from harming the yeast. I don't bother dropping the setting each day, figuring that the thermal mass in 7.75 gallons of beer will slow the drop in temperature. I'll set the fridge to 40F for a few days, then drop it to about 32F. But I do find that you can be rather sloppy in this and things turn out fine. >I'd like to increase the range, so I >don't burn out the compressor in one season. Any objections? The fridge is >in a soon-to-be hot garage. What are good settings? My thoughts are 31-39; >but that sounds kind of warm on the high end, although it probably won't be >there too long. I like to lager at ~32F or so, so you could set it to 28-36F. But if you feel that that would be too much energy for the hot garage, then you will certainly get good results with your suggested range. I hope we get hot garages here soon - we've had a spring snow storm over the last 20 hours or so. About 5" /13 cm of snow accumulated, with more forecast for this evening. Probably more has fallen, but with temperatures hovering at around freezing, some has melted and/or compacted. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 21:00:35 -0400 From: "Pat Babcock" <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: RE: Motorizing a Philmill Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your (unused) lager... I return from a refreshing, if unsuccessful, weekend of turkey hunting to find that Dan has written... > Randy Pressley writes,"I'm curious as to why there is a warning in the > manual about not motorizing the Phil's mill? " I am not sure where he got > this idea I think he's mistookenly quoting what the archives may have to say about the Schmidling MaltMill. Don't know if it is still true, but the paperwork received with the beast back in the day used to admonished the buyer against doing so, lest the winged beasts of Warranty would come fly over and void upon you. Or something like that. - -- See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan Chief of HBD Janitorial Services http://hbd.org pbabcock at hbd.org Return to table of contents
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