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Messages - Robert

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1
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dried yeasts and pH
« on: Today at 02:44:20 AM »
Oh, it's absolutely not equipment related.   Good thought though!  (One might suspect you'd had a career involving troubleshooting systems... oh you did.  Thanks for your service.)  As noted, I keep good records.  I know what a normal fermentation record looks like,  and what's interesting is that the same yeast, in the same conditions,  behaves differently in first and subsequent generations.   Which, with respect to this parameter, does not occur with liquid cultures,  IME.  I have a fairly small number of data points, but enough to establish a clear pattern, raise a red flag, and suggest a hypothesis, or I wouldn't have started this thread; I haven't found a confirmed exception.  Before I decided to explore for myself the possible advantages of dry yeast,  I'd noticed plenty of mentions on the forum of tartness with dry yeast.   I realized that my habit of monitoring pH, and reusing yeast, might have peeled back  a layer others hadn't noticed.  What I lack is the ability  to identify a likely mechanism, and remedy.  Forgive me if I'm rambling.  The practical assessment of product is going well.

2
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
« on: Today at 01:07:10 AM »
^^^^
My local outlets seem to always have a sixer of Redhook IPA on the shelf.  Maybe the same one for years.  Widmer?  Nowhere. Kona has had a good chunk of shelf space for several years and looks not to have peaked yet at all.  BTW it just says "brewed and canned by Kona Brewing Co., Wherever, Hawaii" or whatever.  Wonder where the stuff here is really made?  No indication of actual production site.  (Most brands seem to list the headquarters and various other sites.)

3
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dried yeasts and pH
« on: Today at 12:55:05 AM »
Some ignorant musings of an amateur, trying to work through stuff a bit over my head.

I know most of the pH reduction occurs very early on, and this is crucial to a healthy fermentation.   The majority of organic acid production, as I understand  it, occurs during the anaerobic repressed fermentation phase.  Could dried yeast,  by bypassing the earlier aerobic (I said aerobic,  not respiratory,  so don't go all Crabtree on me) phase  and proceeding straight to anaerobic metabolism, have more opportunity for acid production?   In which case the making of a starter, run to completion and decanted,  might just do the trick?   I wonder if some part of the excess acidification might be a stress response (shock excretion,) which might be alleviated by rehydration.   But a starter would address either mechanism.   Help with this welcome.   Anyway.  Enough of the books for this evening,  time for a practical assessment of the end product.

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hydra wort chillers
« on: October 19, 2018, 11:38:41 PM »
My point about whole leaf hops and the Hydra was that the hops get stuck between the IC coils and copper wires. It takes forever to get the hops out of it.
I kind of wondered about that looking at pics of it.  I made mine as a loose double coil with no wire frame,  and it's easy enough to shoot the cones out with a spray hose,  though they do get lodged in there and really try to stay.  How about general cleaning -- I find soaking in PBW doesn't prevent buildup and tarnishing unless I also use a sponge or brush on it.  That could be tricky too, no?

5
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dried yeasts and pH
« on: October 19, 2018, 09:00:06 PM »
 
Like Goose, I also use liquid yeast almost exclusively.  So I don't have any personal experience to add to this discussion.  That said, I agree this is a fascinating topic.  It sparked a memory of a Brulosophy article on rehydrating dry yeast vs not.  It's here if anyone wants to check it out: http://brulosophy.com/2014/09/15/sprinkled-vs-rehydrated-dry-yeast-exbeeriment-results/

I pulled it up and read through it again.  In the two batches Nottingham yeast is used.  In the discussion at the end, it is stated that the batch made with non-rehydrated yeast had a "subtle apple-like tartness".  Although it doesn't appear that this flavor was something most of the taste-testers were able to detect and/or identify.  Definitely interesting.
I've always been exclusively liquid, real dry yeast noob, maybe that's why this jumped out at me.  Hundreds of batches behaving similarly, and then suddenly an unexpected effect. Too bad Marshall didn't record pH data.  But the tasting data is interesting.

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hydra wort chillers
« on: October 19, 2018, 07:42:31 PM »
I may have to think about this.  I mean if I can rationalize it as a practical home improvement that just coincidentally has brewing applications.  ;)
Is Hydra really better than a 50’ immersion chiller? That’s $170 for the chiller and more bucks for plumbing for a few minutes of savings per brew day.

But, I guess knowing thermodynamics is your $&@#% is priceless.

World's better in my case.  1/3 to 1/4 the time of my 50 ft. 3/8 in.
But is that at the same flow rate?  Or is it just running the same amount of water faster?  That would make it more effective,  but not more efficient, like with my rig.   So it's down to what your time is worth, as Tommy suggested.  If you're in an area where water usage is a critical factor,  I think I'd want to know if that would really be reduced.   If so, fantastic.

7
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dried yeasts and pH
« on: October 19, 2018, 02:41:03 PM »
I love this forum.  Glad to know there's interest in pursuing this.  For further clarification of my methods and what I've so far compared:  Dry yeasts have all been direct pitched, no rehydration or aeration;  that's what Fermetis and MJ recommend, and Lallemand yeast seems to respond just the same.  Repitched yeast was treated as I would any repitch: slurry stored under beer, used within 5 days, aeration as usual.  I've not tried rehydration or a starter to see if that leads to a more normal fermentation and pH in the first generation.  And it would be nice to have corroboration of my observations about repitching vs. first generation.

At some early point the value of record keeping was impressed on me.  So from mashing in to packaging,  every time I pull a sample I record four parameters: time, temperature,  gravity and pH.   Asked why, I've said "just so I know things are going normally, or not."  Guess it's been worth it.

8
WY2001/WLP800 is Urquell H strain, the one used alone since c.1990. 

9
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hydra wort chillers
« on: October 18, 2018, 10:02:08 PM »
I may have to think about this.  I mean if I can rationalize it as a practical home improvement that just coincidentally has brewing applications.  ;)
Is Hydra really better than a 50’ immersion chiller? That’s $170 for the chiller and more bucks for plumbing for a few minutes of savings per brew day.

But, I guess knowing thermodynamics is your $&@#% is priceless.
No, in fact it's not any more efficient when you look at it:  Hydra at 6gpm reportedly does the same job in 3 minutes as my chiller at 1gpm in 18 minutes.   That's 18 gal of water either way to go to 10F above groundwater.  Or, in my case, 10F above prechilled water temperature, well below groundwater, so really my rig gets more bang for the gallon, if you will.  But if you already have 6gpm flow available,  and you're buying your first chiller, and don't want to build one,  it would at least be worth considering.   And if I ever had to replace mine, I'd think about it.  Time and materials, I probably am into it for not too much below the price.  But then the Hydra would require a pump to finish the job with ice water, so that changes the equation.  Again, if you already had a pump available, and the right water supply, worth looking at. It's not for me right now.

 But now I'm thinking about that spigot.  I could run my RO off that instead of the utility sink in the basement, at even higher pressure differential for better rejection, and not lug the water upstairs.  And maybe someday a different chiller.  But I've got a lot of projects that are queued up way ahead of this.

10
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hydra wort chillers
« on: October 18, 2018, 08:41:12 PM »
I may have to think about this.  I mean if I can rationalize it as a practical home improvement that just coincidentally has brewing applications.  ;)

11
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dried yeasts and pH
« on: October 18, 2018, 05:11:47 PM »
Denny, Nottingham and S-04 are definitely major culprits IME.  I have found  very low first gen pH and tartness) with those two,  but normal thereafter. I think other yeasts show it in varying degrees.

Dave, this is exactly where my train of thought is going -- a
decanted  starter/propagation could be just the thing!  I've never tried it but it would be a great experiment. The initial convenience of dried yeast over liquid as a new pitch would be lost.  But if dry yeast is your only viable source, as I know it is for many who don't have a reliable LHBS, then it's quite reasonable.  It would be better than having abnormal fermentation and flavor on every new pitch.   If you try it, please report.  (I just got a pitch of a particular liquid culture which I plan to run for a few batches, so it will be a while before I get the chance.)

I'm still curious -- especially knowing I'm not alone in this -- whether any microbiology experts could identify why this happens. 

12
Yeast and Fermentation / Dried yeasts and pH
« on: October 18, 2018, 02:09:25 PM »
I have been trying dried yeasts a fair bit of late, and have noticed something interesting.  The first generation fermentation finishes with an unusually low pH,  around 3.8, with (unless I'm deceiving myself and tasting what I expect to find) a predictable slight tartness in the beer.  On harvesting and repitching the yeast, subsequent generations seem to perform just like normal liquid cultures, with a finished pH of around 4.2.  Can anyone explain this?

Possible exceptions are W-34/70 and Windsor,  both quite powdery; but this may well be a red herring or just an outlier,  because I'm reporting only a nearer-normal first generation pH, having made no comparison with a repitch.

13
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: 5 year old Bigfoot
« on: October 18, 2018, 02:15:06 AM »
Sorry, when I saw the topic title something completely different flashed in my head.   Li'l guy was kinda cute though....   ;D

14
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hydra wort chillers
« on: October 17, 2018, 09:57:28 PM »
At one point, just for a moment, I found myself considering what it would take to plumb in a full pressure garden spigot under the kitchen sink to run a Hydra off of.  Then I realized this might be a sign of an unhealthy obsession.    8)

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hydra wort chillers
« on: October 17, 2018, 08:56:06 PM »
^^^^
No, I'm old school, 10 gal stockpot on the stove.   IC in, stir with a spoon, agitate the pre chiller in the ice bath,  and I take 6.5-7 gal from boiling to the 60s in ~18 minutes.   Looks like with my flow rate I can't beat that right now.   The Hydra looks like it's better suited to the brewer who's outdoors with a garden hose,  not to mention a bigger batch than me.  By no means do I suggest there's anything fundamentally wrong with the Hydra. 

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