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Messages - rbowers

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1
Yeast and Fermentation / Jolly pumpkin dregs
« on: December 19, 2014, 08:23:55 AM »
I managed to acquire several bottles of Jolly Pumpkin (big fan) of which I am hoping to harvest the dregs and add to a little wort to sustain them until I'm ready to toss into some wort.  Does anyone know if the yeast and/or bugs located within the bottles are all the same or different for each bottle?  Do sour beers like Jolly Pumpkin typically contain live cultures of lactobacillus or Pedio?

2
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belgian Saison Blend (WL568) starter?
« on: December 16, 2014, 01:37:55 PM »
Yeah I've heard the same thing about a blend such as Roselare from Wyeast but wasn't sure about one simply containing different saccharomyces strains.

3
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Just say "no" to yeast rinsing
« on: December 16, 2014, 12:35:17 PM »
I was referred to this thread not too long ago when I asked a question about yeast rinsing and so I tried the new method of swirling the yeast with a little of the left over beer then decanting off once settled.  It really worked great- it seems the washing process at best is just an extra unnecessary step and at worse may lead to other problems.  I went ahead and made some fresh wort to feed it and it's bubbling away in a flask ready to go for brew day in a week or two.  Thanks for the good advice!

4
Yeast and Fermentation / Belgian Saison Blend (WL568) starter?
« on: December 16, 2014, 12:28:06 PM »
Planning on brewing up a big batch of saison in 10 days or so.  I wanted to split 10 gallons into two separate 5 gal worts- half to be a traditional saison the other half to be pitched with Brett Trois/lambicus left over from a 100% Brett farmhouse that finished up fermenting (saved some of the yeast).
LHBS only had WL568 belgian saison yeast blend which came highly recommended.  I need to build it up though over the next few days for the total 10 gallons.  Since it is a blend, will making a starter alter the characteristics much of the final beer and if so would it be bad to do anyways?

5
Beer Recipes / Re: Fruit to add to winter saison
« on: December 14, 2014, 08:55:59 PM »
Thanks for the tips.  Dark cherries do sound like maybe a good way to go.  I'd heard the same about Brett using primary fermentation by-products as it's fuel as well.  However the only other time I experimented with it was throwing some Orval dregs into secondary of a small portion of tripel I brewed.  Sat on it awhile (8 months) but the character was not all that prevalent in the end- could have been the dregs I suppose.  Just tinkering around and thought some fruit may boost the character and add some different aspects to the beer compared to the other 5 gallons I will be enjoying shortly.

6
Beer Recipes / Fruit to add to winter saison
« on: December 14, 2014, 03:21:35 PM »
I brewed up a large batch (8 gal) of the winter saison (saison d'hiver recipe on AHA website).  Treated 5 gal as per recipe but decided to add Brett Brux to 3 gal as an experiment.  The gravity after primary fermentation was fairly low (1.008) so not a lot left in terms of sugars for the Brett I added after primary fermentation.  I was toying around with idea of adding fruit to the secondary for the 3 gal for Brett to munch on and maybe add some interesting flavor but not sure what would be best.  I omitted the vanilla and cinnamon for the 3 gal with Brett.
Plan to let it sit in secondary awhile (several months).

I've considered currants, dates, and raisins but I'm in uncharted territory in terms of my experience.

Any suggestions?

Recipe is as follows (scaled up for 8 gallons)

For 5.5 gallons (20.8 L)
11.5 lb (5.21 kg) | Belgian Pilsner malt
0.60 lb (0.27 kg) | Crystal 120L
1.0 lb (0.45 kg) | Munich malt
0.4 lb (0.18 kg) | Vienna malt
0.4 lb (0.18 kg) | Wheat malt
0.25 lb (0.11 kg) Carafa malt
0.50 lb (0.22 kg) | Turbinado sugar
0.75 lb (0.34 kg) | Dark Candi sugar
1.4 oz (40 g) | Styrian Goldings hop pellets, 4.7% AA (60 minutes)
0.5 oz (14 g) | Saaz hop pellets, 3.5% AA (20 minutes)


7
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Washing Brett
« on: December 04, 2014, 01:25:32 PM »
So if I harvest the yeast and feed it a little bit (500ml wort) how long can I expect it to remain viable and ready to pitch in another batch?  Probably would feed again a day or two prior to next brew day just to rev it up a bit

8
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Washing Brett
« on: December 03, 2014, 11:39:43 AM »
Very interesting.  So if I understand this correctly- I can simply rack my beer, swirl the remaining beer ((1/2 inch or so), pour into sterilized container and decant liquid with yeast after a brief settling time to a separate sterile container and store that beer and suspended yeast for later use?  With Brett I guess I'd worry about it continuing to propagate in whatever sugars may still remain and in a closed container may not be a good idea.  Could always store with an airlock I guess.  It'll be in the fridge so certainly going slower whatever the case.  Feeding it extra beer up front seems less necessary if I expect to use in a few months.

9
Yeast and Fermentation / Washing Brett
« on: December 03, 2014, 07:30:37 AM »
I have my first 100% Brett beer fermenting (about 20 days in).  I used a 3L starter of Brett trois and 1.5L starter of Brett lambicus all pitched together in primary.  I haven't taken a reading yet but likely plan to transfer to secondary soon.  I wanted to wash the yeast and re-use if this beer turns out good as it took awhile to build up all that Brett in the starters.  Is there anything I should know about washing Brett before I transfer?  Anything different from normal sacc yeast washing practices?  I know it will be a mixed culture obviously but I am ok with that especially if the initial Brett beer comes out well.  Thanks.

10
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 100% Brett First Attempt
« on: November 09, 2014, 01:55:15 PM »
Separate question:  I have a split batch of dark saison fermenting now of which I wanted to take 3 gallons and pitch some brett as a secondary fermentation once primary fermentation is about complete.  Would it be better to:

a) Rack the beer off the saison yeast then pitch brett with beer into a new carboy
b) Simply toss in the brett and let beer sit on all the yeast (old and new)
c) Is it possible to rack the beer to a small 3 gallon keg and do a secondary fermentation there with the brett, periodically releasing pressure so as to prevent excessive CO2 buildup. 

Knowing that not too much extra growth would occur with the brett addition due to not many sugars being left in the beer I wouldn't be too concerned about excessive yeast build up in the final beer.  Also its fairly dark and a saison so not excessively concerned about brilliant clarity.  Is that sound logic?

11
Yeast and Fermentation / 100% Brett First Attempt
« on: November 04, 2014, 01:34:42 PM »
Going to try a 100% Brett fermentation and needed some help.
I was going to use the recipe from the AHA website (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrew-recipe/beer-recipe-of-the-week-100-brettanomyces-belgian-specialty-ale/) which describes using a mix of two different strains of Brett.
Questions:
1) will the Brett perform well at the low temp recommended (65F)?  Seems well below the optimum temp recommended by white labs.
2) will Brett Brux Trois strain also work well for a primary fermentation (if I can't get my hands on Brett brux/lambicus)?
3) there seems to be a lot of variety in how fast I should expect these to ferment out- some say months, others something not too longer than a typical ferment schedule.
4) are starters necessary?

Thanks.

12
Equipment and Software / Re: Heating element for HLT
« on: August 12, 2014, 12:47:05 PM »
Very helpful.  As I know little of electricity these are the things I overlook.  Guess I will need to talk to an electrician.

13
Equipment and Software / Heating element for HLT
« on: August 12, 2014, 07:19:45 AM »
I am slowly working towards increased control of my current brew system and wanted to add an electric element to my HLT thru which a 50ft herms coil circulates.  I have little to no knowledge of electricity and prefer to buy a prefabricated model.  I was looking at the blichman 120V boil coil 10 gal models.  The HLT will likely end up being a old 15.5 gal keg but would only hold 10-12 gallons for the HLT and herms coil.  My question is does anyone have experience with these?  Will it work well on a old keg for an HLT?  Again, not looking to boil water obviously in the HLT but more hold temp between 150-180F.  Would use a Johnson controller to do that.  The heat efficiency calculation blichman lists states it would have an efficiency of ~1-1.5 degrees F per minute heating capability which seems reasonable.  Ideally I would opt for a 240V model but that incurs the cost of creating a new outlet which I'm not too interested in.  Any thoughts?

14
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Super carbed keg
« on: June 11, 2014, 07:23:38 AM »
So I checked the gravity and it is around 1.026, down from 1.030-1.032 at the time of kegging.  Didn't add any priming sugar as I had planned to force carbonate it.  It tastes fine so I imagine it simply was still fermenting.

15
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Super carbed keg
« on: June 10, 2014, 12:26:11 PM »
Yeah working on that now.  I pulled off about a gallon of foam that has the consistency of yeast slurry and waiting for it to settle down.  Thanks for the advice

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