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Messages - s rails

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Brett IPA help
« on: March 30, 2014, 07:47:35 PM »
I have made many Brett beers. Brett needs some stress to produce the "off" flavors you want.  Listen to the Brewing Network episode with Chad Yakobson from Crooked Stave. 

He suggests making a starter at least 10 days in advanced.  I have had better success with getting tropical flavors when I under pitch.  I would make a 1 liter starter with one vial of the Trois about 2 weeks before brew day.  After pitching it will be a slow ferment at first.  Don't panic activity might take a few days, but it will.

I also oxygenate half of my normal amount of time.  Do not use yeast nutrients.  Stress the Brett a bit, it will work don't worry.

Ingredients / Re: Coconut Extract
« on: January 17, 2013, 10:23:16 PM »
I have made my coconut stout twice using the Malibu Rum method.  If you do the math in a 5 gallon batch it doesn't add that much more alcohol.  I like a half of a 750 bottle for a more subtle coconut flavor and aroma; but my wife likes the whole bottle.  I think she wants to know she's drinking something with coconut.  I tried extracts, but just didn't get the amount she liked in it.  It has made me realize I could use any fairly neutral flavored alcohol (i.e. vanilla vodka) to add a flavor to a beer.  I haven't experimented with any others yet but it is an option.  I think you should do whatever you want to get the flavor you are looking for.  We're homebrewers...we don't need no stinking rules.

Ingredients / Re: Coconut Extract
« on: January 16, 2013, 10:03:10 PM »
I've made a coconut stout before.  My solution was to lower the alcohol a bit and add Malibu Rum when I kegged.  Came out perfect!  I used the whole bottle but you can try blending in a glass to see how much you think it needs.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour Worting
« on: July 25, 2012, 07:16:40 AM »
No, I'll taste. I just want to get below 4.3 ph so the bad bugs can't reproduce.  The last experiment was a little unsettling and I don't want to repeat it.  The smell has ruined my Igloo and I'd feel better knowing those bugs are not going to be a problem.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour Worting
« on: July 25, 2012, 06:44:46 AM »
Good news- I have lots of carbon dioxide activity this morning in the carboy.  I checked the ph using strips but it isn't at the high end of the strips yet at 4.4 ph.  I tasted it; little tangy and still sweet.  I'll post once I get around 4.0 or 3.8 ph.  It smells much better; slightly fruity.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP644 Brett B Trois
« on: July 24, 2012, 08:44:51 PM »
I used it a few weeks ago to try a RR Sanctification like beer.  It's 3 weeks old and doesn't have a big brett character.  Slight flavor, more like fresh lemons or a lemony flavor.  It still needs to ferment a little longer so it can get below 1.010 (it measured 1.013 a weekend ago).   Here's the recipe.

Recipe: Blond Brett   TYPE: All Grain
Style: Belgian Blond Ale
---RECIPE SPECIFICATIONS-----------------------------------------------
SRM: 4.8 SRM      SRM RANGE: 4.0-7.0 SRM
IBU: 19.4 IBUs Tinseth   IBU RANGE: 15.0-30.0 IBUs
OG: 1.057 SG      OG RANGE: 1.062-1.075 SG
FG: 1.010 SG      FG RANGE: 1.008-1.018 SG
BU:GU: 0.341      Calories: 187.2 kcal/12oz   Est ABV: 5.1 %      
EE%: 65.00 %   Batch: 5.50 gal      Boil: 7.02 gal   BT: 90 Mins


Total Grain Weight: 13 lbs 12.0 oz   Total Hops: 21.30 g oz.
---MASH/STEEP PROCESS------MASH PH:5.40 ------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
8.0 oz                Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM)                     Adjunct       1        3.6 %         
5 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         2        36.4 %       
5 lbs                 Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)            Grain         3        36.4 %       
1 lbs                 Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)                    Grain         4        7.3 %         
1 lbs                 Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)                   Grain         5        7.3 %         
12.0 oz               Acidulated Malt (3.0 SRM)                Grain         6        5.5 %         
8.0 oz                White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               Grain         7        3.6 %         

Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 17.19 qt of water at 170.7 F        158.0 F       60 min       

Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, , 4.37gal) of 168.0 F water

---BOIL PROCESS-----------------------------
Est Pre_Boil Gravity: 1.049 SG   Est OG: 1.057 SG
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
12.30 g               Magnum USA [12.90 %] - Boil 60.0 min     Hop           8        17.9 IBUs     
1.00 Items            Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)        Fining        9        -             
9.00 g                Liberty [3.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min         Hop           10       1.5 IBUs     

---FERM PROCESS-----------------------------
Primary Start: 7/7/2012 - 14.00 Days at 70.0 F
Secondary Start: 7/21/2012 - 42.00 Days at 75.0 F
Style Carb Range: 2.20-2.80 Vols
Bottling Date: 9/1/2012 with 2.4 Volumes CO2:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour Worting
« on: July 24, 2012, 08:39:05 PM »
Tonight I tried again.  This time I made a liter starter for the lactobacillus (apple juice) 2 days in advance.  It had lots of carbon dioxide activity.  I also put the 100 F wort in a fermenter, purged with carbon dioxide until the Star San dissipated.  Finally I placed a one way gas valve on the fermenter.  I should get the souring results I want.

I heard Chad say the same thing about butyric acid and Brett.  I got to tell you this was BAD!  The Igloo has been ruined and is permeated with the awful smell.  Not even worth the try to me.

I will update just in case some else searches this thread on the subject.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour Worting
« on: July 24, 2012, 09:19:31 AM »
Update-  The sour worting in the Iglo was a failure. To quote from my Facebook page, "The experiment smells like failure. Sophia walked into the garage and said she thought we had dirty diapers in a diaper genie. A bad sign since that's a smell associated with enterobacter. Not good. At a double header Futsal game will check it when I get home." 

I definately had an enterobacter infection (the smell was more then horrible- think of super ripe diapers). The bad wort went down the gutter. On day two I didn't have any ph change so I threw some two row in.  The ph was at 4.0 by the next morning but the infection had already taken hold.   Who knows how I got it; just need to prevent it going forward.

What I've learned- the bad bugs can't reproduce below 4.3 ph, survive without oxygen, or with 2% alcohol present (all in Wild Brews; pg 115).  When I pitched a single vial in 5 gallons I didn't pitch enough.  Make a starter (give the lacto a head start).  Chad Yacobson of Crooked Stave recommended bringing the wort up to 180 F for 15 minutes to give yourself a blank slate to work with (on the Brewing Network interview).   

I will try again this week- big lacto starter, big yeast starter (Wild Brews states saccharomyces can't reproduce below 4.5 ph; pg 115).  I will make a wort again, bring it to 180F for 15 minutes, drop to 110F, pitch the lacto starter, cover the wort with CO2, seal the fermenter with an air lock, place in my garage (over 100F right now), wait at least 48 hours to check ph and taste, if satisfied with souring pitch yeast after droping temp to 68F.  I have added 10% acidulated malt to get the ph down as well in the grist.  My grist is 50% pilsner/two row, 40% wheat malt, 10% acidulated (Wheat by Stan H is another good book with tips on BW and Gose).  I will be adding raspberries if all goes well (haven't determined how much yet).  This will not be to style since I expect a abv close to 6%; guess I will call it an Imperial.  I plan on updating so others can get some ideas.  By no means would I say this is the only way to sour a beer, so I wouldn't argue with all the other processes mentioned.

The question about the commercial brewery-  This is a brew pub.  They have a limited number of fermenters and all appeared to be in use.  I didn't ask since I hadn't tried this yet about how long it ties up the equipment.  I asked how long it took to get to where he wanted it and he said he checks using a wine tritrate kit and when its done he boils like a normal beer.  I assume maybe a day or two.  I think they must pitch a large amount of lacto to do the work.  This beer beat Russian River Supplication and Allagash Mattina Rossa for the gold at the 2012 world beer cup in the American Sour Category.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour Worting
« on: July 24, 2012, 07:23:32 AM »
Here's my question and then the answer I received from White Labs:

White Labs,

I inoculated  wort with WLP677 in a 5 gallon round Iglo water cooler last night.  I left very little head space and even placed plastic wrap across the wort to keep out oxygen.  I then securely placed the lid on.  The wort was at 117 F when I pitched the vial.  I am concerned about possible pressure build up in the closed system.  I wanted to know if WLP677 will produce any gas while creating lactic acid?  Should I be venting gas somehow to avoid blowing the lid off the Iglo or worse?

Hi Sean,

    Lactic acid production will produce some CO2 so it's probably best to have some sort of pressure relief in your Igloo cooler, or just put the lid on loosely so the CO2 can escape.  The last thing you want is a sour beer bomb in your house!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour Worting
« on: July 20, 2012, 08:19:04 AM »
I just sent the following email to White Labs

I inoculated  wort with WLP677 in a 5 gallon round Iglo water cooler last night.  I left very little head space and even placed plastic wrap across the wort to keep out oxygen.  I then securely placed the lid on.  The wort was at 117 F when I pitched the vial.  I am concerned about possible pressure build up in the closed system.  I wanted to know if WLP677 will produce any gas while creating lactic acid?  Should I be venting gas somehow to avoid blowing the lid off the Iglo or worse?

I will post the response.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour Worting
« on: July 20, 2012, 08:07:58 AM »
I thought the same thing.  I have made yogurt before and had seen no gasses like a yeast fermentation creates.  I asked because I was on the Mad Fermantationist website and read about his 100% Lacto Berliner Weisse experiment.  It looked like there was a lot of CO2 coming out of the fermenter.

Yeast and Fermentation / Sour Worting
« on: July 20, 2012, 12:28:00 AM »
On a recent vacation I met with a Head Brewer at a brewery that shall remain nameless (I didn't check if I could share his technique).  He was making a Lacto soured beer.  The technique is to keep the wort in the kettle holding the temp somewhere between 100 F and 120 F and innoculating with a Lacto culture from Wyeast.   Once he reaches his desired sourness he boils the wort and ferments it.  This way equipment is not in contact with a live Lacto culture.  I liked the idea so I decided to replicate it home brew style.  I mashed my Berliner Weiss tonight.  Ran it off into my kettle, held a temp of 180 F for 15 minutes (thank you Chad from Crooked Stave and the BN), cooled it to 120 F and then ran it into an extra 5 gallon round Igloo I had.  The Igloo is filled to the top, the temp is 117 F.  I pitched the White Labs WLP677.  I had read in Wild Brews that it is critical to keep oxygen levels as low as possible for Lacto or to prevent Acetobactor.  So I took plastic wrap and covered the wort; pushing the wrap down until it touches the wort.  I then placed the Iglo top securely on and left it.

Now my question-Will the Lacto produce a gas like CO2 that might build some pressure?  I'm concerned if it does it will blow the lid or something.  Long story short question. 

Ingredients / Re: Where to buy Corn Sugar?
« on: May 22, 2012, 11:16:36 PM »
I have to agree that cane and corn sugar will frement out the same.  Using darker candi sugars and brown sugars will add color and can impart some flavor.  Other then these when a recipe calls for sugar to increase fermentability cane sugar will work just as well as corn sugar.  Save your money and just grab some regular sugar from the market if you need to increase fermentability.  I just dissolve it in the boil.

Ingredients / Re: soaking oak chips in red wine
« on: May 22, 2012, 08:49:45 AM »
My 2 cents...
Wine doesn't seem to be a good choice by itself.  Some vinegars are made from wine.  So obviously acetobacter has no issue with the alcohol levels in wine.  In fact Balsamic Vinegar is made from red wine stored in Oak Barrels for decades.  Acetobacter does need oxygen to convert the alcohol to vinegar.   If you want the wine flavor try steaming the oak or putting it in a pressure cooker.  Then you have sanitized oak that you can soak in wine or whatever.  Make sure the container is topped off to limit oxygen as much as possible.
I've used cubes and chips over the years and always start out by steaming them first.  Then I soak directly in the beer or another alcohol to pick up the flavor I want.

Beer Recipes / Re: Help on a lemongrass farmhouse!
« on: May 10, 2012, 10:02:46 PM »

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