From the HBD Archive
From: (Bill Szymczak)
Subject: Chilled Wort and Hop Pests
Date: 1992-06-25 19:27:34 GMT

In HBD909 Steve Casagrande writes
> From:
> Subject: Wort Chillers for Extract Brewers?

> My current procedure is to boil only about 2 gallons of wort (from
> extract/H20), adding hops/grains as necessary, and then dumping this
> into the fermenter with 2-3 gallons of cold H20. The temperature drops
> from boiling to pitching temperature instantly, and I can pitch right
> away. There's no "cold break" that I can notice with this method;
> I imagine the trub eventually precipitates out into the primary
> yeast cake.

Steve, I have also been an extract brewer for about one year,
but have not had the experience that the temperature drops from
boiling to piching instantly. Indeed, even if you mix 2 gallons
of boiling wort at 212 degrees F to 3 gallons of ice cold water
at 32 degrees F you get 5 gallons in the fermenter having a
temperature of

T = (2 * 212 + 3 * 32) / 5 = 104 degrees F.

Piching at such temperatures can cause your yeast (even Wyeast) to
do wierd stuff. Even worse, my cold tap water in the summer
(in Maryland) is about 68 degrees F. I cool the ingredients
in the fermenter by immersing the entire fermenter (covered)
into a large container filled with ice water. This cools
my brew down to pitching temperature (about 75 degrees F) in 40
to 75 minutes depending on the temperature of the tap water.

However, I am planning to move on to all grain and am planning
on building a wort-chiller using some of the excellent ideas that
I've read in HBD.

There has also been a lot of articles on hop pests recently. In
HBD910 Ron Karwoski writes:

> My hops have a couple of problems. I have only two plant growing
> and I fear I may have lost them for the year. The tops of both plants
> have been lost. On one, a few days of wicked storms weakened the plant
> where it latched on to the twine I have hanging from a tree. I'll make
> the twine tighter. I noticed the second top (just the top inch) was missing
> about a week later and closer inspection revealed an army of ANTS! marching
> up and down the twine. My question: Will these tops come back and the plants
> resume climbing or are they stuck for the year? How do I get rid of the
> ANTS!? Soap?

No, ants will not harm your hop plants. Ants, however, are
attracted to a secretion (honewdew) of aphids. If you look
carefully, you should also be able to find aphids. In their nymph
stage they are light green in color, with roundish bodies about
one sixteenth to one eighth on an inch long, and are soft bodied
(will squish easily if you touch them). They will change in time
developing small wings and become darker in color.

Two additional ways of controlling these pests are

1 Squish them between your fingers (they tend to cluster).
2 Mist them with water, then dust them with household flour.

One problem with these methods and the other organic treatments
of using rotenone, pyrethryn (sp?) or insecticidal soap is that
each method is a direct contact method only, (rotenone breaks
down quickly) and if you have bad aphid problems you may have
to treat them almost every day. This is probably why Al Korz
mentioned in HBD910 that Sevin worked better than Safer's soap
for him. Sevin is not organic, and will last a few days so
it is not needed as frequently. I myself try not to use
inorganic compounds, but Sevin isn't too bad, and its the
only thing I've found effective on Japanese beatles. (A
friend of mine, who is a fanatical cat lover, dips his cat in
a Sevin solution to rid it of fleas. He's so careful about the
health of his cat that he'll take his cat to the
vet whenever it sneezes!)

Also, don't worry about losing the tops of the hop plants. Last
week, while increasing the height of my hop trellis, I
accidentally cut off the top of a hop plant. It now has grown
two branches near the top and both are already over a foot long.

Bill Szymczak

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