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Old 10-24-2012, 03:17 PM   #11
surume
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You know, you could always ask for help. Get all the hard work off your liver and all that... I'm sure there are plenty of homebrewers in Japan who would be delighted to give a hand.

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Old 10-24-2012, 09:39 PM   #12
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Will keep that in mind. But would never want to impose.

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:23 AM   #13
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Just got a bottle of Ginga Kogen Wheat Beer - Silver Bottle.
Here's one I opened a few months back:



It has a nice layer of sediment on the bottom, so I might get a few vials from Tokyu Hands pretty soon and see if I can culture yeast from it.

This beer is pretty cheap for craft beer, at 250 yen a bottle, and because the beer is made in Japan (Iwate Prefecture, I think) it should be better suited to Japanese climates.

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Old 10-25-2012, 11:01 AM   #14
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Let us know how it goes. Might have to do it myself.

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Old 10-25-2012, 01:10 PM   #15
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I agree that Tokyo hands is good for the lab supplies but I bet we can find a better source! Tokyo hands is generally a bit more expensive for everything, and if we can find a lab or science supply company that takes personal accounts (or figure out group buys) we could be looking at substantial savings... the tubing is cheaper at hardware stores, they all seem to carry soft plastic, braided, and rubber tubing of various sizes. Surume, you were telling me about agar for culturing yeasts. I am interested in someday doind stuff like that, can you post the name or kanji we might find agar under? Is it in the baking ingredients section of supermarkets with gelatine or somewhere else? I would probably start with building tempurature controls and a magnetic stirplate before I did any culturing though. Have you guys seen anything/anywhere to get temp controls? Pretty often people throw out rice cookers and i thought they must have some of the same electronics in them as well as a thermostat... could maybe figure out a hack to turn those into either temp control units or autoclav(ish) sterilizers for small tools. Mpearce, where abouts in Japan are you? Im in the Yokohama area.

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Old 10-25-2012, 01:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OppamaBrendan View Post
I agree that Tokyo hands is good for the lab supplies but I bet we can find a better source! Tokyo hands is generally a bit more expensive for everything, and if we can find a lab or science supply company that takes personal accounts (or figure out group buys) we could be looking at substantial savings... the tubing is cheaper at hardware stores, they all seem to carry soft plastic, braided, and rubber tubing of various sizes. Surume, you were telling me about agar for culturing yeasts. I am interested in someday doind stuff like that, can you post the name or kanji we might find agar under? Is it in the baking ingredients section of supermarkets with gelatine or somewhere else? I would probably start with building tempurature controls and a magnetic stirplate before I did any culturing though. Have you guys seen anything/anywhere to get temp controls? Pretty often people throw out rice cookers and i thought they must have some of the same electronics in them as well as a thermostat... could maybe figure out a hack to turn those into either temp control units or autoclav(ish) sterilizers for small tools. Mpearce, where abouts in Japan are you? Im in the Yokohama area.
For temp control I would look at aquarium supplies. I know that some fish need certain temps. If you are thinking external temp controls you could use a simple heated blanket or even the foot warmers that they have at the home centers. I am sure there is a place to get lab supplies. A good place to ask would be a high school. I bet they have a catalog to order from like Askul or something.

I live in a small town called Noda-shi. It is about an hour and a half by train from Tokyo. I work in Tokyo though. So I have a nice commute everyday. So currently I am listening to the Brewing Network podcast. Funny stuff and good information about beer and brewing.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:10 AM   #17
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Indeed Tokyu Hands is a little expensive, but for some people it may cost less since you don't have to go too far to find one. Amazon also sells some. Another option is at near the JR Kanda Station in Tokyo, called 高野理化硝子株式会社 (Takano Rika Garasu K.K.) which should sell science/lab supplies. The address is:

東京都千代田区鍛冶町2丁目3-1 神田髙野ビル
Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kaji-machi 2-3-1, in the Kanda Takano Building.

Their phone number is 03-3252-2641 and they are open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and they are closed on weekends and holidays. Although I already got some supplies at Tokyu Hands already, I myself am interested and might take a trip Monday morning next week, so if there are any prices you want me to report on then drop them by.



The thread I was talking about culturing yeast on agar is this one:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/slanting-yeast-133103/

Agar is called 寒天 (Kanten) in Japanese. It should be in any supermarket near gelatine and other cooking supplies, in sheets or in powdered form. I've seen one in powdered form sold in sticks, 4 sticks each containing 4 grams for 240 yen.




As for temperature control, the Yeast Slanting instructions asks you to stick the vials dabbed with yeast in the fridge, so no need for special gear in that phase. When reviving yeast to prepare a starter, I'd probably improvise and just use a thermos/vacuum flask or Mahou-bin (魔法瓶) as they are called in Japan. Or maybe my ghetto external hard-drive method. Of course, there are instructions on making stir-plates on the internet as well.

Stir plates are called マグネチックスターラー (Magunechikku Suta-ra- = Magnetic Stirrer) in Japanese, and the decent ones seem to cost 10,000 yen at the cheapest. I'm currently looking for cheaper deals but I don't have high hopes on this one.

This is the cheapest I have found so far:
http://www.protoolshop.net/paint/etc/54132.htm

The one sold for 8,400 yen supposedly can only stir up to 100ml and runs on batteries only. The one for 10,500 can do up t o 500ml, and I'm hoping it can do a little larger. It runs on AC and comes with a 25mm long stirring rod.

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Old 10-26-2012, 11:47 AM   #18
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Also: Brendan, the die-cast burners I mentioned the other day are known as 鋳物コンロ (chuubutsu konro) in Japanese.

http://www.e-yanagiya.com/shop_l.shtml?239:0

They aren't that expensive, just make sure you get the LP (Liquid Propane) types.

It looks like you can rent out LP gas tanks, found a shop in Tokyo, Omori here:

http://www6.plala.or.jp/kf0328/rentalgasu.htm

10,000 yen is required as a deposit but you get that back when you return the tanks.
I'm sure you can find similar deals in your area.

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Old 10-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #19
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I want to make a temp controlled fermentation chamber, or multiple chambers. The summer I couldn't brew at all, and two batches that I had bottled before summer got so hot in their bottles that they have off flavours. The winter is so far looking a lot less of a hassle, warming up is easier than cooling down so I am not in a rush to build the chamber(s) but a pet store sounds like a good bet for this season, maybe a reptile warming mat would do the trick.

There was a brewing network episode where Chris from Baird brewing called in the drunk line while over in the states, I don't listen to a lot of episodes so it was pretty funny to hear someone local.

Surume, if you are in the Kanda area be sure to stop by Devilcraft! If you haven't been there yet its a great craft beer bar and I have met several homebrewers there the single time I visited.

Slant tubes with lids would be something I'd be interested in the price of. After a quick look at the link for instructions I realized that is just the simple microbiology I did in college and it would pay off to start a library sooner than later. SWMBO isn't going to be overjoyed at the fridge filling up with tubes but trading slants with other brewers would be cool. Simplest magnetic stirplate I have seen was a computer fan with a small magnet glued to it and put inside a lunchbox. Daiso has strong magnets 8 for 100 yen for the smallest ones. Cost less than 2000 yen to build easily.

The big double burner LP gas stove is only 23000 BTU, although the price is the lowest I have seen for one of that power it still doesn't seem a good deal compared to those Bayou burners the American forces can order from Amazon to an APO address... It doesn't need to be heavy cast iron does it? There is a tutorial on here for a high BTU jet burner and on backyard metal forge enthusiast websites that seems very cheap and safe to build... someday...

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Old 10-26-2012, 03:24 PM   #20
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Unfortunately, I will be going before my classes so I won't be able to stop for drinks... unless they open in the morning

FYI, this is what I got at Tokyu Hands today:



4x 10ml Screw-cap vials
1x Small test-tube
1x Rubber bung for test-tube
1x Syringe
1x Metal Syringe tip
1x Small plastic funnel (not in photograph)

Cost about 980 yen total. I'm going to stick the sediment in the test-tube with some wort, pour some wort in it, cap it, shake it, and leave it to ferment a little. Once it begins to ferment, I can take some wort out, flame the plastic tip for disinfection, then stab it into the agar and give it 0.1~0.2 ml of wort.

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