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Topics - haeffnkr

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I just like the title says... I got something going on and trying to figure it out.
I am scrambling to prep for my brew session in the morning.

If you mix what I think is the approved ratio of a fuzz less than a 1/4 oz starsan concentrate to a gallon of RO/DI water, mix it, should there be ANY taste if you try a tiny bit?
I got taste....

thanks Kevin

I want to do something like this and push beer from my fermenter into pressurized kegs.

Is it OK to fill the keg until beer comes out the gas post?  Seems not very sanitary??

Any other ways to fill a pressurized keg besides a scale? Of course you need a spunding valve to release the pressure.

thanks haeffnkr

Like the topic states....
I have had a bad run this past summer and have had 4 batches that have gotten just a bit of belgian/lacto/funk in them. 

I have these nice plastic 14 gallon fermenters w/ screw lids that cost $40 a piece.
Can you bleach bomb or whatever else a plastic fermenter to get it sanitized again or is the recommendation just by new and forget about the old ones?

thanks haeffnkr

Yeast and Fermentation / White labs pitch rate?
« on: August 31, 2017, 03:46:24 AM »
I am on the fence of whether to build up a starter or not for my 12 gallon lager.

I read somewhere 1.5 billion per liter for a 1.050 lager for a pitch rate?
So at 1.5 billion per liter lager pitch rate at 12 gallons = 45.4 liters X 1.5 = 68.1 billion cells.

from Whitelabs site -

Although the PurePitch® packages state a cell net volume of 40 mL, actual volumes range from 40 to 50 mL.

In our production, we allow for cell counts of 1.5 to 3.0 billion per milliliter which will produce 60 to 120 billion total cells if 40 mL. We target the high range of cell counts and fill volumes in our production and packaging processes, however as stated above, the reality of cell biology is that those numbers will vary.

At it says here that 2 packs is what you need for 10 gallons of wort -

So If the pure pack packages for WLP940 lager yeast says it has 100 billion cells per pack, 2 packs should be more than enough right?

But... what if the local brew supply places have yeast that best to use by August 1 and it is now almost Sept? use 3?

hope that all made sense

Yeast and Fermentation / 3 piece air lock keeps blowing out sanitizer
« on: August 28, 2017, 06:07:48 PM »
I have been using a 3 piece air lock with starsan in it for a while,  The airlock assembly is in the stopper in my 14 gallon fermenters.

During the first few days of active fermenation the starsan bubbles all out of the air lock and I have to keep adding more and have the fear it blowing it all out and allowing air into the brew. I usually dont have a yeast blow out problem.

Is there a better air lock design or should I just use a blow off tube or any other suggestions to keep a safe amount of starsan in the airlocks?

thanks Kevin

Yeast and Fermentation / lager yeast - 830 and 940 - pretty close?
« on: August 25, 2017, 02:56:43 PM »
I made a Vienna lager that was basically half pils and half Vienna and was trying to get close to Victoria (Mexican) Lager. 
Last night I did a tasting side by side and could not really tell the difference, they were very very close.

I used 34/70 dry yeast actually which is to be 830 yeast.
I was going to brew a few beers w/ 940 but the fact that my 830 Vienna beer tasted like Victoria brewed with what I assume was 940  were so close has me scratching my head and wondering if I should bother getting the 940 strain going.

So that all said... Can you all taste the difference between 830 (34/70) and 940 lager yeasts?

thanks haeffnkr

Just like the title says...
I see a lot of people use 2 packs for 5 gallons so I assume 4 is is good for 12 gallons?

I dont mind over pitching a lager but I dont want to be throwing an extra $6 at the problem for no reason.

thanks haeffnkr

General Homebrew Discussion / Cold packing a yeast starter?
« on: May 03, 2017, 03:33:42 PM »
Short question -
Anything wrong with cold packing a yeast starter?

Long version of the question -
I really dislike making starters, but I need to make them as brew 12 gallon batches and lots of those are lagers that I used a 2 gallon starter for.
I have progressed to pressure canning my starters, works great, no boil overs takes about an hour total for 4 jars start to finish ( ½ gallon size jars).  If I make a gallon starter I use 2 jars.

A few days ago I noticed I was out of jarred starter and needed 2 jars that day later on so I could pitch the yeast next day and did not have an hour to baby sit the pressure cooker.  I then thought about “cold packing” like my mom used to do sometimes.  So I boiled some water in my electric brew kettle, which was great cause I did not have to baby sit it and no worry of boil over.  Added DME and a few hop pellets to my jars, came back later and added the boiling water to my jars and quickly screwed down the lids, shook the jars to mix the DME and left the jars to cool and they all sealed as expected. I was able to fill all 8 of my jars, not just 4 jars, in minutes, not hours and was still able to work in the yard with no fear of a pressure canner exploding. No more babysitting,  Yes !!

So the question is –
See anything wrong with this process?
Are they any nasties that can survive the heat of boiling water left to slowly cool to room temp?

thanks haeffnkr

Equipment and Software / Gas Solenoid Valves and cheap PID
« on: March 02, 2017, 06:09:38 PM »
Anyone have a link or experience with some cheap solenoid gas valves and a cheap PID to control the valve?

Need a valve and pid for a project I am working on, along with a standing pilot light to light the burner as needed.

thanks Kevin

Equipment and Software / Cleaning kegs with infected beer?
« on: June 15, 2015, 03:40:11 PM »
Hello All,

Last Fall I finally made some changes to my process and was making some great beer.
I finally got rid of the lacto/acto vinegar wang infection I was passing around.

I had/have several kegs that had this lacto ridden beer in them, that I was saving to possibly distill off some day.. but that never happened and I need the kegs as my pipeline is building up.

I made another light lager in a glass carboy and transferred it to a keg that was clean, spotless inside, washed by a rag inside,  sprayed with PBW solution via my keg washer with spinner ball that pumped the solution through the posts also.
I then disambled to the keg, soaked the posts, lid and orings in a bleach/vinegar solution and soaked the keg in starsan to the top for a few days.  I then reassembled and pumped the starsan out with CO2.
I filled the keg and some 1 liter bottles and carbed them up with the  co2 caps
The bottles tasted great, the keg has a slight wang to it...ugh.

So all that said...
How would you/should I go about cleaning a keg with infected beer in it? I have read that this lacto/acto bug is hard to kill and heavy bleach is the only way.
I am thinking about a through of cleaning with PBW, and the spraying with Bleach in my keg washer? Pull apart the keg and replace the orings, fill with star san and soak?

I am baffled....sorry to ramble.


Short summary

Can a dirty blow off tube (and or spunding valve) hold enough nasties that they can travel by AIR up hoses and down into a fermenter and foul a batch of beer?

Long Version ---

Hello All,
I have been chasing a wang/sour/sulfur/cider like infection for months and can not seem to stop it.
In my light lagers, that dont hide any flaws, It is really noticable.
I just made a Munich Helles and American lager and they have a cider/acid wang to them, that I want to stop.

I use RO/DI water with a bit of Acid Malt and Calcium Chloride in my beers.
I have made 20 or so batches before I switched to Keg for fermenters and did not have this infection issue with the carboys.

Bottom line is that I recently made 48 gallons of beer in 4 batches,  3 batches fermented in separate 1/2 barrel Sanke kegs and 1 batch split into 2 carboys.
All the sanke keg batches have the infection and the carboy batch does not.
All 4 batches were made with new 1st run yeast, I tasted the starter beer from 2 of them and they tasted great with no signs/tastes of infection. I dont think the yeast was tainted before it was pitched is what I am saying.

The glass carboys were clean and starsan sanitized and used air locks with starsan in them, fermented and racked into cornys like usual, no infection, it was a Kolsch that I made several times it will be great.

The kegs were cleaned with a heavy solution of PBW, 8 gallons heated to boil dumped in the keg, keg sealed up and I rolled it around and left the solution in the keg for days, a week on some of them.
I dumped out the PBW, rinsed good, looked for any crud left with a lighted inspection mirror, none found.
I rolled a gallon starsan around in them drained and filled with wort and then put on my TC setup.

The TC sanke fermenter setup is shown in the pics below.
I just bought these setups and it was the first time using them, before I was just using the standard sanke spear and modified sanke keg coupler with the same liquid and gas hoses.
I bought these TC setups thinking the coupler/spear was the infection problem... but it is not or at least is not the whole I have the infection with the new hardware.

All liquid side hoses were soaked in starsan and was put together with starsan sprayed everywhere, it was the first run with these hoses.

On the gas/blow off side I used a new hose that goes from cam lock to QD to QD to hose to spunding valve.
I did this so I can take off the gas side/clean and re use spunding valve when I pressure fill the corny kegs.
I dont have a good way clean the spunding valve assembly and have not pulled off it all apart to clean/sanitize this valve/hose assembly. I dont see any gunk in the hose though.
I was thinking though, maybe incorrectly, that no nasties would go airborne, up the mess of hoses and back down into the fermenter... is that wrong?

So the problem with my infection seems to be the keg fermenter or gas/blow off side/spunding valve assembly.

I will make a batch of beer soon and split into a carboy and a keg with a stopper/air lock to try and isolate the issue.

In the mean time, anyone have an opinion on what I am doing wrong?

thanks for your help

Pics of my setups

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