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Messages - etbrew

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Creating recipes
« on: January 17, 2015, 06:32:16 PM »
So much great info it's difficult to quote everything on my phone. Thanks for all the input and keep it coming. I found something useless in damn near every post.

I assume you meant to say useful... :D

Great advice here as always. 

Agree completely with the suggestions of Designing Great Beers and keeping it simple

I also suggest drinking a lot of beer ;D I drink many examples of every style I can find and take copious tasting notes.  At first I could not pick out many flavors but over time I learned.  I am no expert but that exercise really helped me learn what certain styles should taste like and when I brewed an example I could compare it to what I had tasted before.

All Grain Brewing / Re: How well do you clean your mash tun?
« on: January 17, 2015, 05:54:45 PM »
Hot water rinse, clean with a little dish soap and rinse.  Leave ball valve open and leave cover open until completely dry.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing for the New Year
« on: January 09, 2015, 05:33:08 PM »
My goal is to drink only my own beer this year...of course I say that with a Heady Topper in my hand.  I thought I had enough beer to keep me going and then the holiday's happened.  Kicked the keg of IPA filling growlers to bring to parties, keg of 60/- is just about kicked for the same reason, and gave away almost all my holiday ale.  That leaves me with just about nothing left :'(

I have a barley wine fermenting but that ain't gonna be ready too soon and a smoked porter that should be ready to keg this weekend but I will be out of town.

That said I do want to brew a sour of some sort this year and my first lager.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Temperature during fermentation
« on: December 30, 2014, 04:29:49 AM »
That is exactly what the ambient temp is in the room I start most of my fermentation in. I find once fermentation is active the fermentation temp is closer to 65-66 and is right where I want it. I usually move the beer to a warmer spot in the house to bring the temp up to around 68 to finish up. 

Depending on the beer style and yeast strain I'll make adjustments to that general schedule but I think you'll be fine even if you can't get it any warmer.

I had the opposite problem when I first started brewing.  I was regularly fermenting in the low to mid 70s with poor results.  I used to drink my beer because I spent all that time making it but now I drink it because I like it  ;D


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Viability
« on: December 26, 2014, 03:09:58 PM »
I second the advice to make a starter but half a cup in one pint is too strong. 100 grams to 1 liter/quart of water. you might well want to step it up again but if you do I would decant and pitch the slurry into at least 2 and preferably 4 liters of new starter wort (200 grams of DME in 2 liters water)

Good call.  You are correct. Should have been 1/2 cup per quart. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Viability
« on: December 26, 2014, 12:25:14 PM »
The starting gravity on this beer is 1.070 and if I was brewing it I would make at least a 1 quart starter. 

Basically you need more yeast depending on the gravity of your wort and stepping up means essentially to make a bigger starter (bigger starter=more yeast).  In this case I would suggest letting the starter you have going now ferment so you know the yeast is healthy.  When done cold crash it in the fridge like I mentioned before and make another batch of the starter wort using with 1 cup dry malt extract to 1 quart of water and add the yeast from the first starter.

Wyeast has some instructions for making starters here:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Viability
« on: December 26, 2014, 12:00:45 PM »
Assuming the yeast is good and it starts fermenting the starter wort I would give it a few days to ferment out completely so you are sure you have a bunch of fresh healthy yeast in there. Then I would put it in the fridge, at least over night, which will cause the bulk of the yeast to drop to the bottom of the growler.  I pour off most of the wort from the yeast leaving behind just enough to swirl around and get all the yeast off the bottom of the growler.  It then goes into the wort. 

Out of curiosity, is the kit a Heady Topper clone?  Never heard of VT Ale yeast...if it is a heady topper like beer you may need to step up the starter size to have enough yeast.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Viability
« on: December 26, 2014, 10:01:15 AM »
I would make a starter with it and see what happens.  Boil 1/2 cup dry malt extract with a pint of water, cool, and pitch the yeast into the starter wort.  I use sanitized growlers with and airlock on top to make starters but if you don't have an airlock you can cover loosely with foil.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Reusing yeast
« on: December 14, 2014, 07:22:13 PM »
Do you just pour the slurry into a sanitized container and store in the fridge?  How long will it be viable?  Do you wash it?


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Reusing yeast
« on: December 14, 2014, 07:11:48 AM »
Sounds like I've wasted a lot of yeast over the years...

Do you just pour the slurry into a sanitized container and store in the fridge?  How long will it be viable?  Do you wash it? 

I've been reusing my yeast for several years now.
My two normal yeasts are WLP001 and WLP002.
I've found that I can get 10-12 repitches from the 001 before I notice any change.
However, the 002 starts to change around pitch number 6 or 7.
While it does save some $, I do it because it gives me a ready supply of yeast.

When you say 001 and 002 what do you mean?

Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer
« on: December 13, 2014, 01:00:31 PM »
If the location of your freezer drops below the temperature you want to hold the temperature of the freezer then you should consider a heat source.  If it will always be warmer I would not worry about it.   

Yeast and Fermentation / Reusing yeast
« on: December 13, 2014, 12:55:34 PM »
I have reused yeast twice but because I'd like to save some money, and hate throwing away what looks like perfectly good yeast, I'd like to reuse more. I How many times do all of you reuse yeast?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sanitizing method
« on: November 21, 2014, 10:30:54 AM »
Perfect!  Thanks! 

General Homebrew Discussion / Sanitizing method
« on: November 21, 2014, 09:44:18 AM »
I use star san to sanitize my equipment and have always filled a bucket with sanitizer and let it soak.  I feel like I am wasting a ton of water doing that and am think of just spraying my fermenter with a star san solution from a spray bottle.

Do any of you do this and/or do any of you know if that method would be effective? 


Equipment and Software / Re: Beersmith2
« on: October 05, 2014, 06:32:52 AM »
Thanks. Looks like I'll be up upgrading  ;D


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