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Messages - woodlandbrew

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast for gallon sized fermentation
« on: February 21, 2013, 03:23:10 AM »
+1 to eyeballing a fraction of the package.  That should give you a better idea of how your test batch's might scale up to full batches.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Manufacturer Attenuation Figures
« on: February 18, 2013, 08:32:31 AM »
Agreed with the other posters here.  The number is apparent attenuation, but it's more if a relative measurement.  You could likely get close to that if you mash at 150°F, pitch 10 million cells per ml into a 10°P wort and ferment at 20°C, but chances are that's not the beer you are going for. 

Recently I did a matrix of 40 fermentations with wort gravities from 3°P to 15°P and inoculations rates from 30 million per ml to 120 million per ml and was quite surprised by the variation in attenuation.

Data will be on my blog soon.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Determining Yeast Viability
« on: February 10, 2013, 07:06:18 AM »
Brett does seem to require more stain than most of the Sacc strains.  White Labs (and the Yeast book that got their information from Chris White) suggest a 0.01% MB.  This works well for about half of the Sacc strains that I have worked with.  For Brett is seems like 0.06% or 0.1% works much better.  I haven't checked MB staining of Brett against a plate or slide culture, but the numbers that I get with the 0.06% MB seem much more reasonable.  It also seems to "light up" the cells much better.  Also a 0.1M solution of Glycine works fairly well for un-flocculating the cells.  The acetic acid MB solutions do a much better job of un-flocculating, however it also seems to strip some of the MB stain out of the cells making the count more difficult and therefor error prone.

Here is some work BKYeast did on this subject:

And here is my procedure:

Others might beg to differ, but in my experience...

Mash temperature has negligible effect on efficiency.  Ditto for mash time.  Ditto for water to grain ratio (i.e., qts/lb).  If you mash in some water at 148 to 154 F for 40+ minutes, you're going to make beer at an efficiency that is mostly affected only by the extent of the crush.  Beyond the crush, very little matters.

My experience.  YMMV... but I doubt it.
This has been my experience as well.  60 minute or 90 minute seems to provide the same conversion efficiency for the most part.  To get a more fermentable mash, low temperatures and (perhaps to a lesser degree) long times seem to help.

Crush is king when it comes to conversion efficiency.  When it comes to laugtering efficiency it seems mostly driven by the amount of water collected compared to the amount of water added to the mash.

See here for details:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast - refrigerate ASAP
« on: January 01, 2013, 07:22:32 AM »
The lag phase can be pretty long, especially if the yeast has come out of stressful conditions.  You aren't going to see much activity until the exponential growth phase.  Here is some observations I recorded recently when propagating some low viability yeast directly following a fermentation.  It took about 12 hours to start, but 2 days would not be uncommon.

Your plan to stay the course sounds good.  You will want to aerate well.  Pouring the wort between two buckets or a kettle until the foam is threatening to come out of the bucket will ensure that you are at the saturation point of O2.  That will yield 8-9 ppm of O2 which should be plenty unless your OG is above about 1.050

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast - refrigerate ASAP
« on: December 30, 2012, 04:42:22 AM »
How are you checking yeast health?  From what I've read, the methylene blue stain is not accurate below 95% viability.
I've read that too.  It is "not accurate" to some level.  Even the American Society of Brewing Chemists calls it not accurate.

If by "not accurate" you mean that it is not exact then I agree.  There is some error, but that error can be determined so that the accuracy is known.

It is very dependent on the strain and how much Methythele Blue that is used.  WLP004 and WLP566 stain just fine with 0.03% MB, but EC-1118, and WLP650 are better with 0.06% and 0.1% respectively.  It's also very dependent on the operator.  MB staining is very difficult to use on some strains, and there doesn't seem to be one concentration that works for every strain.  If you use too much it will actually start to kill some of the weaker yeast cells.  The method isn't perfect, but it has it's place.

I have a blog post on this coming up. 

One of my batches recently some of the grain escaped from the bag, and I was still fishing them out when it came time to bottle.  Use a bag for sure. 

It sounds like you might have enough grain to warrant the use of a 5-gallon paint strainer bag.  You defiantly want the grains to be able to swim. 

Here's my little BIAB setup:

Ingredients / Re: Water Check - not Happy with "Pale Ale" profile
« on: December 29, 2012, 04:32:14 PM »
Another +1 for lowering the Epsom.  Maybe bring up the CaSO4 to get the SO4 level you are looking for?  Both the yeast and the mash generally like Calcium.

Here are the basics I follow:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast - refrigerate ASAP
« on: December 29, 2012, 04:28:11 PM »
Viability doesn't drop much in a week out of the fridge, but I've never tried a month.  It could work, but will take some time to get going.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Starter for a 12 Gallon Batch
« on: December 28, 2012, 06:29:03 AM »
The Plato numbers are rounded.  The numbers are simply a guess.  The 9 degree Plato Line is from Yeast Calc or Mr. Malty.  They use nearly identical equations.  I'm looking forward to seeing Kai's results as well.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Starter for a 12 Gallon Batch
« on: December 27, 2012, 05:06:19 PM »
Every setup is a little different but the experiments done by Dr. Chris White at White labs indicate a "sweet spot" at 65 million per ml.  If you plot the data he collected as inoculation rate vs growth factor you will see it.

See the 9 Plato line on this chart:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Starter for a 12 Gallon Batch
« on: December 26, 2012, 07:36:55 AM »
Mr. Malty and Yeast Calc are good tools.  I would skip entering the manufacture date.  They estimate viability very low compared to cell counts I have done.  Also, for yeast propagation, a single step of 4L might be a little large.  (It will take longer to generate the cells and use more DME per cell produced)  If you want to get the most yeast for your DME then the inoculation rate should be about 65 million cells per ml. 

If it were me, I would step it up dailiy based on cell counts, but if I didn't have a microscope I would do the following:

1) 1.5 liters with 150g of DME in a 5 liter container or larger.  Culture for one day on a stir plate.
2) add 1.5 liters of water and 300g of DME.  Culture for one day on a stir plate.
3) add 1 liter of water and 400g of DME.  Culture for two days on a stir plate.  Crash, measure slurry in ml.  Estimate 1 billion cells per ml.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: ridonkulous AA%
« on: December 26, 2012, 07:27:40 AM »
A 90 minute mash is going to allow the Beta enzymes more time to work which means a more fermentable wort.  The mash temperature is a little on the low side as well.  Also, as was mentioned, the syrup will be nearly 100% fermentable.  Fermentation temperature also sounds a little high if you were going for a higher final gravity.  The numbers you are measuring sound reasonable.

Here's how I run the numbers:

Mr. Malty's viability by date is very conservative in my experience.  I over pitched by over ten times because of it recently. 

More details here:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« on: December 22, 2012, 04:02:04 PM »
160 ml of a thin slurry is likely about 160 billion cells.  If these were from a slurry that has been sitting for a several days the viability is likely wonderful, however the sterol reserves are likely low.  Which means you likely have enough yeast, but they will need a lot of oxygen to rebuild the sterol levels.  1ppm of oxygen is recommended for every degree Plato, so for a big beer you would need an O2 tank to get there.  Using air the saturation point is about 8ppm of dissolved oxygen.

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