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Topics - TeeDubb

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Yeast and Fermentation / Defect Diagnosis
« on: January 07, 2018, 07:01:03 PM »
I recently brewed a gluten free Pale Ale using the Ground Breaker Brewing recipe (with different hops) that was posted a few months ago. I racked to keg last night and something was clearly off.

I normally brew all grain, so a partial mash brew seemed fun with the intent to make a GF ale for a few gluten sensitive friends that don't drink beer. Brew day went without issue. I started with RO water, added a little gypsum and calcium chloride to suit the style. Wort pH was 5.35 before the boil. The wort tasted fine going into the fermenter. I used US-05 which became active about 12 hours after pitching.  I kept fermentation at 66-67 for 5-6 days and ramped up to 68-69 after activity seemed to subside. OG was 1.052 and FG was 1.009 after 11 days.  Fermentation seemed slower that usual, but steady.

After racking to keg and adding dry hops, I evaluated a sample from the fermenter. Appearance was as expected (light gold / orange).  Aroma was earthy with some rubber in there!  Maybe a touch of phenolic.  I did not get band aids directly, but maybe there is some of that in there too.  Flavor matches the aroma if that makes any sense. I also noticed that there was a thick layer of very loosely flocculated yeast at the bottom of the fermenter. I think I lost at least .75 gal during racking to keg. I have never seen that with US-05 or from the 4-5 other liquid strains I typically use. Photos at link below - note that I did seem to transfer some hop matter from the boil kettle because my revised whirlpool method did not work as planned to collect trub in the middle.

My question is if anyone has experienced this type of defect and/or the yeast flocculation behavior.  I suspect that I got an infection somewhere, despite my usual liberal use of Star-San and extensive equipment cleaning. Maybe my RO water source gave me some chlorine? I'm trying not to blame the GF ingredients :) but the next batch is likely go back to my usual recipes.  I'm going to let this one sit in the keg for 1-2 weeks and then likely dump it, but it would be nice to understand what may have happened.

General Homebrew Discussion / Building Water for Gluten Free Pale Ale
« on: December 07, 2017, 09:44:41 PM »
I'm planning on trying take myself out the comfort zone and brew a gluten free pale ale for a few friends that have pretty severe gluten sensitivity.  I have been trying to do as much reading on the topic and Denny's podcast (episode 38) earlier this year was a huge help understanding the basics.  I decided to try a modified version of the Ground Breaker Brewing recipe that was posted here:

My only changes are the hop bill (hop type) using the guidance that James Neumeister from GBB gave in the podcast.  Aim for lower bitterness, focus on late additions - sounds great and a personal preference anyway.

The question I have is on the water for the recipe.  I was not able to find much information on building water for a GF beer.  My gut feel says to do my usual which is: start with RO water, add salts to suit the style. But the unknown is pH. It does not seem that pH is major factor in the mash starch conversion, but there is likely a target range for healthy fermentation, mouthfeel, flavor and preservation.  Right now I'm leaning on taking some measurements during the mash and then adjusting the pH with lactic acid before the boil (I suspect it may need an adjustment down).  Has anyone else worked through this?

Yeast and Fermentation / Viability of Harvested Yeast
« on: October 19, 2017, 05:17:46 AM »
After wanting to try and re-use yeast for many years I finally gave it a shot.  My previous IPA fermented very quickly using fresh purchased WLP090 (San Diego Super Yeast) so I harvested about a pint from the bottom of the fermenter as I was draining the beer to the keg.  I turned the dip tube down and got essentially a mix of whatever was at the bottom.  WLP090 flocs well and I did not used any hops in primary, so I'm confident that it was a clean sample.  I washed 3 times with distilled & boiled water to get rid of trub, and saved a 35ml sample (re-using an old White Labs plastic vial).

Here is my question: the next batch of beer needs about 260B cells.  I made a 1.6L starter using the 7 week old harvested yeast.  Normally with fresh yeast the starter takes off within 4-8 hours but this one took about 18-20 hours to get creamy and show evidence of fermentation. With the way I took my sample and the lag noted, will I have a low cell count in the finished starter? I'm assuming I had 1B cells/ml in the sample.

I'm trying not to fuss about this, but want to learn and get an opinion.  I think I will pitch the 2nd gen WLP090 starter and if I see a huge lag maybe pitch a packet of US-05. OG on the second batch is 1.068

All Grain Brewing / Stuck Stout or Just Fine
« on: November 01, 2015, 03:35:23 AM »
So, this is my first time posting.  I appreciate all of the great info and camaraderie on this forum!

I have an all grain chocolate milk stout that just finished primary.  OG was 1.068, a 5.2 gal batch, 16 oz of lactose was used (yes a bit high, but researched this a bit). It was fermented with White Labs WLP090 (1.0L starter) which has always been great and fast for me on ales. I did oxygenate with pure O2 for 60 sec. It took off after 6 hrs and pretty much finished after 3 days (looking at gravity) but I let it sit another 4D for a total of 8D in primary. Fermenter was controlled to 63-64F for the first 2 days, then allowed to free rise to 68 for the rest as it seemed to taper off.

It's at a gravity of 1.030 now, but I was expecting something closer to 1.023. I need a sanity check: my gut says to leave it be, let it rest in the keg for another week at 70F, then cold crash, fine with gelatin, and carbonate.  Call it a "sweet stout."  There is the temptation to add some Safale S-04, but I have never done this. I'm wondering if it really stuck, or the lactose (never used by me) had an impact on the fermentation.  By my calculations, the lactose raises the FG by about 6 points.

Any help or reassurance would be appreciated.  Happy Halloween!

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