Brewing With Total Confidence
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Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by TheZel66, Mar 12, 2013.
Anyone know the best way to mark a ss brewpot inside for measuring gallons of wort collected?
A sight glass would be the neatest way to go, but is some work to retrofit.
Other than that, a DIY measuring stick can be submersed in the kettle to measure the volume.
I made a simple measuring stick with a thin pvc pipe that is made for hot water. I put caps on the ends and then marked the measures I needed (gallons and half gallons) with a permanent marker, cut into those markings with a saw and remarked them. The cuts help the marker to stay on and not wash off. I had previously marked my paddle but that washed off. Works great for me.
Five-gallon paint stick from Home Depot, ruled and varnished with polyurethane.
What's the temperature rating on that?
I thinking polyurethane is not a good idea. There are so fairly nasty chemicals in there, that could leach in a boil/acidic environment
I used a center punch to mark one of my old boil kettles. I liked it because you can see the marks on both the inside and out and you don't have to dip anything in your brew.
May go to acrylic: Everything I can read on varnishes says they are all safe once fully cured. 30 days to dry.... Until then, I can use the "carved" beer stick.
Besides, I'm not going to soak the thing - a quick dip to check volume then I'm done. I used paint on a plastic stick - the paint flaked off. So there's a risk with just about anything. If I let the stick dry long enough, I'd deem it minimal.
Everything in my brew system is SS and copper, with a few small brass fittings (mash tun, and the chiller). I am extremely cautious about making sure I'm using food safe materials everywhere. A copper pipe with notches in it would be a good way to go, maybe with some kind of handle. Unfinished wood would work too. As for plastic, I tend to avoid that for anything hot. Once I had a plastic spoon melt in the bottom of the kettle (was using a propane burner) - had to throw out that batch. I do ferment in plastic buckets and better bottles without any trouble.
Nosy, I completely agree with you. For me it comes back to a personal preference, in general I try to avoid anything that can leach chemicals into what I consume. At times my cheapness does get in the way, take for instance my aluminum brew pot. Yes, boiling acidic wort will cause leaching of the aluminum into my wort, and aluminum acts on the nervous system the same way lead does. On the other hand you would have to consume the entire pot in order to get the same effect as full on lead poisoning, but it is still there. Also anyone notice how nice their copper wort chiller looks after using it? The hot acidic wort is dissolving a small amount of copper into your wort. To be fair stainless steel is not immune to this either (can anyone say chromium/nickel), it just resist it a lot better. The only sure bet is glass because the grain structure effectively traps everything in its makeup, rendering it virtually inert. In my personal opinion plastics are the worst and I try to avoid using any type of plastic with anything hot, or for long term exposure.
One thing I have been concerned about is my wort chiller, because it has solder joints that I am sure are being affected by the boiling wort. I built it myself and used plumbing grade solder, but I never realized how acidic wort was until I used my chiller for the first time and it went from dull to all most polished. On the other hand it works so well I am reluctant to give it up (it has two 25' 1/4 sections that follow water simultaneously in opposite directions for even cooling of the entire pot).
I am a little odd when it comes to what I consider safe, but its more of personal preference than anything. Its all relatively safe unless you are in California, then it will cause cancer .
All in all the less chemicals I expose any of my food products to the better, which is why I use glass when ever practical, especially iv the contents are hot or the exposure time is lengthy
You are not dissolving copper in your pot. With that logic, your chiller would eventually dissolve. I am an organic chemist by training ( long time ago) so my inorganic chem knowledge is sketchy. You are doing a redox on the surface, leaving shiny copper behind ( I think).
I worked as a bench chemist out of college for 6 yrs. I wish I had access to some of the apparatus I used back then now!
I am certainly no chemist, but I do have a fairly understanding of metallurgy. The question is does wort react with copper oxide, which is what makes the copper look dull. I would guess that is does since the chiller looks polished after exposure to the hot wort. On the other hand if not exposed to heat and oxygen copper will oxidize very slowly.
The FDA does not allow the use of copper in food preparation were the PH is below 6.0 because of the danger of copper poisoning. However they do allow it in beer brewing, because the level of copper that will kill yeast is much lower than the safe limit for humans, plus low levels of copper is metabolized by yeast as an essential nutrient.
End state I am not giving up my copper wort chiller. Just food for thought, what we believe as safe 100% is not always so.
So I know I have kinda highjacked this thread, but since I got on the topic of using a copper wort chiller I did some digging.
Turns out studies have shown copper is antimicrobial, and nearly all microbes die within 48 hrs of contact, most in as little as 3 hrs. What is the so what? Well I for one don't like the idea of letting my chiller sit in the wort for extend periods, and these studies would suggest that sanitizing copper would be redundant.
This makes sense to me because copper is commonly used to treat pressure treated lumber, (that is were it gets its green color from, and yes they did and may still use arsenic).
Bottom line I will not longer expose my copper wort chiller to 15 mins in boiling wort. One min should be enough to kill any airborn baddies that have landed on it the last 24 hrs.
Great find Foster! Makes perfect sense.
Back to the thread, my 2nd hand brewpot has scratches on the inside for calibration
A dremel would be perfect. (I tried to add using a nail. Not very high tech)
This may be an overly simple solution, but I have engraved the gallon lines on my stainless spoon. I only use it for brewing, its long enough, and its in the pot anyway. I used this calculator to find the measurements (use centimeters, its easier).
Just stand it up straight against the side. One hint, engrave the gallon number above the line so you can read it. Guess how I figured this out.