HOMEBREW Digest #4940 Mon 30 January 2006

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  RE: keeping fermenter warm ("Ronald La Borde")
  Keeping fermenters warm ("Stephen Johnson")
  RE: Peter A. Ensminger (Rick Weber)
  Homebrew supplies in Portland Oregon ("GRANT STOTT")
  re:keeping fermenter warm (Nathaniel Lansing)
  Dogs don't eat fresh hops (Thomas Rohner)
  RE: keeping the fermenter warm ("Mike Sharp")
  Pubs in the cotswolds... ("Cave, Jim")
  Denver (Matt)
  Re: Fermenting temps ("Michael O'Donnell")
  Re: Suggestions for England trip? (Jeff Renner)
  warming fermenter ("eric")
  hops, dogs, atuomobiles (Glyn Crossno)
  Pubs in County Kent (Bob Hall)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 22:32:45 -0600 From: "Ronald La Borde" <pivoron at cox.net> Subject: RE: keeping fermenter warm >From: "Peter A. Ensminger" <ensmingr at twcny.rr.com> >I am trying to save on my utility bills this winter by keeping my house >at 50-55 deg F. Not a problem for me, as I simply need to wear a sweater >and wool socks. Bbbrrrrr shiver, really, I need heat when the indoor thermostat is at 65 deg F. You must be superman - just a sweater and wool socks, wow! I just can't imagine what it feels like when you sit on the leather couch. Oh well, I saw on TV the other night some people in Russia at -4 C diving into water. I can't figure how they kept the water from freezing. You might try for your fermenter to place it into a water bath with an aquarium heater set for the desired temperature. I think the heaters are relatively cheap, and they come with a thermostat, but I would double check the setting with another thermometer to be sure. An insulated picnic cooler to hold the fermenter would be ideal, don't worry about the cover, or cover it with a blanket. Ronald J. La Borde -- Metairie, LA New Orleans is the suburb of Metairie, LA New Orleans is the New Atlantis Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 23:46:39 -0600 From: "Stephen Johnson" <sjohnson3 at comcast.net> Subject: Keeping fermenters warm Peter, Depending on your living space, there are several options that you might find helpful. I have a small bathroom in the efficiency apartment attached to my main dwelling that I heat in the winter with an electric oil-filled portable upright radiator. This has a thermostat controlled switch that cycles on and off depending on the ambient temperature in the room. The room is small enough that it doesn't take much to keep that space a nice, even 68F with the door closed, even when the rest of the efficiency space is closer to 45-50, or sometimes even colder. Or, in the event of a warm spell like we had this weekend in Nashville, it hardly comes on at all. I've heard of others who place their carboys in a large tub of water and use a water-bed heater to keep their carboys an even temp. These tubs can be picked up at most home improvement mega stores or rural co-ops. Just be sure it holds water first outside before trying it indoors. Mine leaked the first time I used it, and I had to seal it with some silicone sealant before using it in my brewery. Look for something big enough like you might see at a Halloween party for apple bobbing to have enough water to keep a good thermal mass and avoid big temperature swings. I've also used a seed-starting grow mat to set under my carboys in earlier days of my winter time brewing, but those are tricky to regulate and don't give as even a heat distribution. I found that I would need to place a towel between the mat and the carboy most of the time to keep the bottom from getting too warm. I now use the mat when making my starters in the winter, and place my air-locked growler in a rectangular cooler and put the mat in the general vicinity of the growler and it does a great job of keeping the starter a nice, warm propagation temperature. I'll be curious to hear what others have tried. Steve Johnson, Music City Brewers Nashville, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 00:12:48 -0600 From: Rick Weber <rick.weber05 at gmail.com> Subject: RE: Peter A. Ensminger Peter Ensminger is going to set his thermostat to 50-55. I'd suggest taking advantage and learning how to make lagers. Other than that, you could put it in a seperate insulated box/room and give it a space heater set on a thermostat. Cheers! Rick Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 20:47:23 +1100 From: "GRANT STOTT" <gstott at iprimus.com.au> Subject: Homebrew supplies in Portland Oregon A big thanks to those who emailed with suggestions on beers for my friend to bring back to Australia from his trip to Portland. I now have another question. Are there any decent homebrew shops/suppliers in Portland? We are kind of thinking that if he can get hold of say 4 cornies at a reasonable price it may be worth shipping them back. Depending on the cost of shipping of course. Used cornies go for around U.S.$55 here. Thanks, Grant Stott Geelong, Victoria, Australia Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 09:14:02 -0500 From: Nathaniel Lansing <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: re:keeping fermenter warm Quick and easy method without a lot of added energy consumption. Get one of those rubbermaid storage boxes from Home depot, fill it part way with water, set your carboy in there, insert 100W aquarium heater, dial up desired temperature. You could easily devise a flask holder to keep your yeast starters in there too, off to the side. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 15:44:49 +0100 From: Thomas Rohner <t.rohner at bluewin.ch> Subject: Dogs don't eat fresh hops Hi Bill dogs won't eat your hops, Luna (a Appenzeller--Berner b@$t@rd) now around 17 years old and surrounded with plenty of hops never showed a strange behaviour around harvesting time. (at least not stranger than in the other seasons, despite her age she's playing around all the time... very funny dog) One time my buddy let the gate open, so his sheep went into the hop garden. They chewed away the lower leafs, but noting happened to them or the hops. A free hint: give 'em enough space especially between different sorts. Otherwise it's hard to discern which sort you're looking at in spring when they are small shoots. If space is no problem, grow hops. It's worth just to see it's impressive growth. We use our homegrown for aroma only, or for decorating a Oktoberfest. Picking hops, while having a couple of nice beers with some friends on a late sunny warm day of the season is not as bad a work anyway. Cheers Thomas Homebrewing books: "Dave Millers Homebrewing Guide" is my favourite for beginners as well as intermediate brewers. I still like to read it now and then. I switched to all grain after 4 or 5 extract batches, that was in 1999. I think this is a all-you-ever-need book. (except you are of the curious sort like i am, i bought/read almost every availabe book on brewing in english and german, home and pro (i don't understand every last biochemical detail, but i get the big picture)) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 06:50:19 -0800 From: "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: keeping the fermenter warm Peter A. Ensminger wants to keep the fermenter warm "Can anyone suggest a way to keep my fermenter at ~65-70 deg F? I make 5 gal batches." I have 6 gallons fermenting nicely in my garage, which is in the mid to low 50's right now. The secret is simple. I made a thermostat for my fridge a long time ago, using a mechanical thermostat (not electronic). It has a "form C" contact, meaning one normally open and one normally closed contact, with a common. I wired this to a duplex receptacle which is mounted to the T-stat, so that the bottom receptacle gets power to chill and the top gets power to warm. IOW, as temperature falls past the setpoint, the normally closed contact (which is wired to the bottom outlet) opens, and the normally open contact (wired to the top outlet) closes. Anyway, I use the same thermostat in summer or winter. In the winter, I use one of those portable oil filled heaters (they look like a radiator), and turn it on so that it uses the 600 watt element (they have a double switch with either 600, 900 or 1500 watts). I put this in a big cabinet I use for my other brewing supplies, along with my minibrew conical (or any other fermenter I'm using, like a bucket). This keeps the inside of the cabinet at 68F, no matter what the garage temp is. Before I had the cabinet, I used a large wardrobe box. This is a big super heavy duty box you get from moving companies. It's triple-walled, and has a top flap that's designed to allow you to get in and out of it easily. That worked fine as well. So whether I need heating or cooling, the same thermostat suffices. Let me know if you can't picture this--I'll take a photo and post or email it. Regards, Mike Sharp Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 08:38:26 -0800 From: "Cave, Jim" <Cave at psc.org> Subject: Pubs in the cotswolds... Chris Hofmann asks about pubs in the Cotswolds. I've been to Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds! The Cotswolds are lovely, famous for the yellow sandstone (called Cotswold stone go figure) that all of the older homes are made from. One of my ABSOLUTE favourite pubs is in Great Tew (a tiny place actually) called the Falkland Arms. http://www.falklandarms.org.uk/ A lovely place with a thatched roof. Ancient, of course! And an excellent Plowmans lunch (huge piece of stilton, with a crusty bread and cress salad and Branston pickle). Yum! Also, a fine selection of guest beers on tap. If you check the link, you'll see it is critically acclaimed. I haven't been there since 1992, but it remains a very, very pleasant memory! Jim Cave Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 08:41:22 -0800 (PST) From: Matt <baumssl27 at yahoo.com> Subject: Denver Chad asks about don't-miss places to drink beer in Denver. I'll take a stab at it. - --- Breweries: If you're in town on weekdays I'd definitely make an effort to visit Great Divide (downtown) and/or Avery (Boulder), both of which have friendly people who are generally happy to show you around and let you sample all kinds of great stuff. You may have to wait a few minutes if they're busy--but they'll usually pour you a beer to make the wait more enjoyable. If you can get to Fort Collins (maybe on weekends too--not sure), New Belgium is an extremely impressive and tasty tour, especially for those who know them only as the producers of Fat Tire. There are many other tours but these 3 are the best I've been to. - --- Brewpubs: Which ones are "don't miss" probably depends on what you are looking for. Pints Pub (just south of downtown) is a tiny and very British place that brews and serves good real ale, with maris otter malt (I believe) and a very fruity yeast and all that good stuff. A lesser-known and nice little place if you like that sort of thing. The Bull and Bush makes some nice British-style ales, and they use a lot of hops. I haven't been there as often so I can't say much else. I am not as excited about Wynkoop's beers (maybe the yeast is too clean for my taste) but they do have good food, excellent atmosphere, decent beer, and are deservedly a landmark. The Mountain Sun in Boulder is at least as good as all these places with a huge variety of well-made beers and good food. Hippy atmosphere, and lots of people know it's great so it can get crowded. There is a larger location in south Boulder called the Southern Sun, which I think takes credit cards (Mtn Sun does not). There are others of course. Pints and the Mountain Sun are my favorites. - --- Bars: I can't imagine a much better beer bar than the Falling Rock Tap House. 19th and Blake downtown. Very worthwhile. - --- To me the 3 brewery visits above are the most "don't miss" of the bunch. Just so you know, you will almost certainly be quite impaired after visiting Avery or Great Divide, which aren't much to look at but pour a lot of beers. Great Divide is easy to reach by bus. Avery can be reached by one obscure bus route--email me for details if you want. You likely won't be impaired after a New Belgium tour. - --- Homebrewing content: I think I have noticed that some fusels have aged out of a beer I made. I didn't think this was possible--is it? Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 10:18:02 -0800 From: "Michael O'Donnell" <mooseo at stanford.edu> Subject: Re: Fermenting temps Peter wants to keep his ales a little warmer. I've had good luck with an insulated box and a very small heater. I built a box out of Celotex insulation foam (available at construction supply places... they might even give you damaged pieces for free when they hear it is for beer)... a little duct tape and you've got a box. The heater I used was a "De-humidifying" stick heater... I got mine from West Marine, I think. These are really low wattage (18W, IIRC), but it doesn't take much to keep a foam box full of water 10 F above ambient... it probably can't raise it up very fast, but it can hold. With a temp controller, it will be slightly less crude than the brew belt. Another random idea I just had is to use an aquarium heater and put your carboy in a garbage can filled with water to about 1/2 way up. For about $40, you can get a thermostat-controlled heater that will keep the jacket at the right temp... again, using some insulation around the whole thing would help and allow you to use a smaller heater. cheers, mike Santa Barbara, CA At 07:51 PM 1/29/2006, you wrote: >I am trying to save on my utility bills this winter by keeping my house >at 50-55 deg F. Not a problem for me, as I simply need to wear a sweater >and wool socks. But, this is too cool for fermenting my ales. Can anyone >suggest a way to keep my fermenter at ~65-70 deg F? I make 5 gal batches. > >I'm not too eager to build a glycol-based jacket (with heater, pump, and >thermostat) that fits around my fermenter. OTOH, the "Brew Belt" (see: >http://www.ebrew.com/miscellaneous_equipment/brew_belt.htm ) seems like >a very crude and unreliable solution. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 15:19:30 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jsrenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Suggestions for England trip? "chris hofmann" <chrisrhofmann at hotmail.com> wrote: > I will be in England next week for a wedding - specifically London > for a > couple of days ... > Any other "must visit" pubs and brewery suggests would be greatly > appreciated. Chris You're going to get lots of replies on this, I'll bet. I have to recommend Ye Olde Mitre for purely atmospheric reasons. It's a tiny, Elizabethan pub (but 1930's interior) that managed to avoid the Great London Fire and the German blitz. It's almost impossible to find as it is off of a little, narrow alley (so narrow that you can touch both sides of it) between Ely place and Hatton Garden. http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/15/1564/Ye_Old_Mitre/Holborn I met UK friends there in September, 2004, on a 12 hour layover between the US and Johannesburg, where I went to give the first BJCP exam outside of North America. I got there around 9 am but couldn't find it because the UK Streetmaps map wasn't that accurate, and I tried to find it off of Ely Place, as its address is "1 Ely Court, off Ely Place." I walked all around the area (which was fun because I had two hours to kill) until I found someone who told me to look for a little doorway off Ely Place. It looks almost like a door of a house. It's much, much easier to find off Hatton Garden, especially if you see the sign opposite the alley (see photo 1 on the web site) between number 8 & 9 Hatton Garden. Be sure use the better Google map (gmap link), which, while it doesn't show the lane, is at least higher resolution. It's easy to reach by tube. I sat down with my first pint (Adnam's bitter) at 11:00 am (opening), which was 6 AM Ann Arbor time. We had a light lunch and three pints, then went off to sight see in the area. See other websites for it http://www.pub-explorer.com/gtlondon/pub/yeoldemitrelondonec1n.htm (great photos) http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/review_1126.html I see that they now have Deuchars IPA on tap, too, a great pale bitter that has been Champion Beer of Britain. It is in the newer style of bitters that are nearly all pale malt. I guess that's so you don't look old-fashioned around all the lager drinkers. Wish I were going! Jeff - --- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, jsrennerATumichDOTedu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 ***Please note new address*** Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 13:45:15 -0700 From: "eric" <zeee1 at nebonet.com> Subject: warming fermenter Hello Putting a light bulb in a small wooden cabinet would probly put out enough heat, being careful of course to not start a fire. Plugged into a GFCI outlet in case of liquid overflow. I would put the carboy in a plastic container, inside a wood or even styrofoam enclosure. You could then either use a thermostat, or control heat with the lightbulb wattage. A low wattage bulb could be enclosed in a metal housing, so light wouldnt be a problem with hops. Also ceramic heating elements are available at pet supply stores, that put out only heat, no light. Either of these could be controlled by a dimmer to control heat output, using a thermometer to check temps. After the carboy reached your preferred temp, slight adjustments in the dimmer settings should acheive stable temps. Might take some experimenting the first time, but once you know what setting is stable, the next batches are no more bothersome than putting the carboy in and turning on the heater. This is if the house temp stays somewhat constant, of course. Eric Deweyville, UT Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 14:16:42 -0800 (PST) From: Glyn Crossno <graininfuser at yahoo.com> Subject: hops, dogs, atuomobiles My dogs never bothered the hops, other than running through them. Had several dogs that would help themselves to produce from the garden. I just had my hops on poles in the yard that got mowed around, they try to spread but not a nuisance in the yard. Some people cut the bottom off a 5 gallon bucket, stick that in the gound then plant in that. Glyn Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 20:08:48 -0500 From: Bob Hall <rallenhall at henry-net.com> Subject: Pubs in County Kent We've just received an invitation to a May wedding in Gillingham, County Kent, England. We'll probably spend some time in London, and there are plenty of references to good pubs and tours there. However, I'd like any recommendations for pubs/tours out in the County Kent, Surrey, Sussex area. Also, I'd like to get a copy of the 2006 CAMRA Good Beer Guide, but all of my online searches list sources in the UK. Can anyone point me to a US distributor? Many thanks, Bob Hall Napoleon, OH 65.3, 189.7 Apparent Rennarian Return to table of contents
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