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Messages - GrainSpiller

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: There's a thin film on my sour beer
« on: October 24, 2010, 09:51:43 PM »
That's the Wild Yeast (Brettanomyces) in action.  They usually form a white film (pellicle) on top of the beer during secondary fermentation.  If you have an airlock attached to the fermenter, it won't produce much acetic acid (tartness) due to the lack of a aerobic (oxygen) free environment.  The white pellicle will not harm your beer whatsoever.  When it comes time to racking (preferably 6-8 months into secondary), just puncture a hole through the film and start siphoning.    ;D       

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Can't Get Temp Down
« on: August 31, 2010, 09:54:30 PM »
Hmmm....  Maybe dip it halfway in a cooler with 65F water around it, but the sudden temperature change may shock some of the yeast and slow fermentation down.  Your only hope is to cool it down gradually and have a fan blowing on it in a dark area.  Ultra-Violet light from the sun is beer's worse enemy and the 80's temperature range can produce a lot of diacetyl during the lag and the exponential phase (beginning to the climax of fermentation).  I hope the beer turns out though, although cooler temperatures won't allow as much diacetyl cleanup produced during the fermentation phase that was in the 80F range.  Hope it works out for you.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: California Lager Yeast not working?
« on: August 31, 2010, 09:18:25 PM »
When the yeast packet doesn't swell within a few hours, your yeast viability is low.  The activator pack doesn't increase cell count, it just energizes the yeast.  Did you check the expiration date on the yeast packet?  The viability might be too low to start fermentation and as a result can create more diacetyl (off-flavor) during the lag process.  Best bet is to pitch a healthy yeast packet that's within a couple weeks of the manufacturing date.  If it's older than that, make a yeast starter to increase the yeast population.  I usually use a half gallon with 7 oz. of DME (Dry Malt Extract) and let it sit for a few days between 64F-70F until fermentation is complete.  The more yeast, the better and its ability to clean up diacetyl production that occurred during lag phase.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What temp is too high for Wyeast 3787?
« on: August 29, 2010, 06:52:43 PM »
If you started off and remained within the 64F - 78F range during most of the fermentation phase, you're most likely to be safe.  For best results, my best advice to you would be to transfer the batch to another area where it is between 70 - 75F.  Be careful that immediate temperature changes from the mid 80's to lower than the (70-75F) range will likely shock the yeast, resulting in slower fermentation.  Yeast cells are not immune to immediate temperature changes more than +- 10F, which can cause them to stall out for some time.  Higher temperatures (the lower to mid 80's) can lead the yeast to producing off-flavors and speeding up the fermentation to the point where the yeast will starve out, leading to incomplete fermentation.  This will probably give you a final gravity result that is not what should be expected.  The yeast need to ferment in an environment most suitable for stability.  If you're unable to find an area, you might be able to run it all the way through, but you might come across some unexpected off-flavors on the way as well.  For the most part, if your temperature range was between 65F - 75F most of the fermentation phase, I wouldn't worry too much about it.  As for conditioning (secondary fermentation) the beer, 64F-68F is a good temperature range.   :)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Splitting Wort and Hops
« on: March 15, 2010, 09:08:30 PM »
Thanks for the input.  Next time around I'll make sure to distribute it evenly for a better hop balance. :)

All Grain Brewing / Splitting Wort and Hops
« on: March 12, 2010, 08:36:41 PM »
I brewed my first all-grain batch a couple days ago and due to almost 7 gallons of wort resulting from the mash/lauter tun, I had to split it up between two pots and boil separately.  My question is, does the original gravity of the wort have to be the same in each pot during the boil?  Also, does splitting up the hops evenly have any effect as well?  I poured both pots together into the primary and seems to be fermenting well.  I hope the outcome doesn't give a different result using this technique.

Yeast and Fermentation / High Gravity Lagers and Secondary Fermentation...
« on: February 11, 2010, 07:34:17 PM »
For high gravity lagers, do they typically take longer to age in secondary fermenters than high gravity ales would?  I'm talking if a lager has the same terminal gravity and alcohol content as an ale at the end of primary fermentation and is ready to be racked into a secondary fermenter to sit for a while.

Also, I made a mistake of storing a 5 gallon batch of a high gravity ale in a plastic carboy (secondary fermenter) to let it sit for 6 months.  I understand there can be some exposure to oxygen over time, but would it hurt to transfer it over to a glass carboy after it's been sitting in the plastic carboy for a little over 2 months?  I don't want to spoil the beer by doing it.  Rather be safe than sorry.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Possible allergy?
« on: February 08, 2010, 10:38:15 AM »
Sounds like an allergic reaction to me.  He should go to the doctors and find out what's causing it.  Could be one of the various ingredients in there, like yeast, hops, irish moss, etc.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Small batches in Primary Fermenter...
« on: February 06, 2010, 12:23:34 PM »
Thanks for the info a10t2.  I appreciate it.   :)

Yeast and Fermentation / Small batches in Primary Fermenter...
« on: February 06, 2010, 08:39:03 AM »

I just joined the AHA a couple days ago and have been brewing 5 gallons batches for some time now.  A few friends of mine and I are planning to get together to make a couple 2.5 gallon portions, but my primary concern is will I run into any issues if I ferment 2.5 gallons of wort in a 6 gallon fermenter?  Would it be exposed to more oxygen over time?  Also, does the fermentation process end sooner for a 2.5 gallon batch than a 5 gallon batch would?  ???  Never did this before, so any help / advice would be appreciated.  Thanks.

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