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Messages - Richard

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All Grain Brewing / Re: six row
« on: August 27, 2017, 01:04:03 AM »
As stated above, the biggest difference in content is that 6-row has more protein than 2-row. I know a farmer in New Zealand (where they apparently don't grow corn for animal feed) who used to grow 2-row for a malting house, but switched to 6-row when he started selling grain for feed. The extra protein is a plus if you are feeding sheep, but  not a plus if you are brewing beer.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Question About Chilling
« on: August 20, 2017, 04:08:23 PM »
Chilling a kettle in a fridge would take a long time (I can't give a number without knowing more, but I would guess hours) because air contact isn't a very efficient method for cooling a bulk liquid.

After your wort gets cool enough that the ground water isn't doing much, you can run ice water through your immersion chiller rather than using an ice bath. My kettle is too large for my sink, so I can't use an ice bath. Instead, I have an immersible pump (for water fountains, etc) in a small picnic cooler that pumps water through the immersion chiller. I run tap water into the cooler at first, then begin adding ice later. When the return water gets cool enough I put the return water back into the cooler to make a closed system. This will take roughly the same amount of ice as an ice bath but will cool the wort faster, and it is a lot easier because you don't have to move the kettle.

No, surprisingly, the final product produces a nice head that lasts pretty well. In any case, the next time I brew this beer I am going to try a different base malt and keep everything else the same, just to see what happens.

Yeast and Fermentation / Vigorous fermentation with no krausen -- why?
« on: August 09, 2017, 09:49:53 PM »
Two of my last Irish Red Ale brews have fermented vigorously but without any foam. The first one finished fermenting in 24 hours, and the carboy had a lot of swirling and upwelling action going on. It almost looked like it was boiling, but the temperature was 67 F. I decided I must have pitched too much yeast and that all of the motion essentially stirred all the foam back into the liquid. The beer tasted fine, so there was no infection or contamination. I did several more brews that went normally, then I tried the Irish Red Ale again. This time I made a much smaller starter. When I shook the carboy to aerate the wort I noticed that it did not get a thick foam cap on it as I am used to seeing. This time the fermentation was slower, and there was a bit of foam, but again no thick krausen layer. There was a bit of the brown gooey stuff that forms on top of the krausen and then gets pushed to the edges. The beer tastes fine, so there is no infection or contamination.

The one thing that these two brews have in common that is different than the others is that I used Malting Co. of Ireland Ale Malt for the base malt (8-9 lbs out of 12 total). This malt is supposedly very low in protein, and I wonder if that can be causing the lack of foam. I used WLP004 Irish Ale Yeast, but I have used that yeast before and had no strange behavior, even with this same recipe with a different base malt. Has anyone else had this issue? Has anyone else used this base malt? Any other ideas? ???

Ingredients / How long does ClarityFerm take to work?
« on: June 05, 2017, 11:02:40 PM »
I don't want to start a war about whether ClarityFerm "works" to give clearer beer or to reduce gluten. I use it, and will continue to use it because my wife is gluten intolerant but can drink my beer without problems. The question is how long it takes this enzyme to complete its job. I usually start serving my batches 4 weeks after brewing: 2 weeks for fermentation and 2 weeks for bottle conditioning. I have noticed that sometimes clarity continues to increase with time for the next few weeks. Is this the ClarityFerm continuing to cleave proteins, or has that long finished and am I seeing the result of more flocculation of yeast? I have read lots of information on ClarityFerm, but nowhere have I seen anything about how long it takes to work.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: cleaning bottles
« on: March 13, 2017, 07:34:56 PM »
I personally would not be comfortable using bottles that had not been sanitized shortly before use. There are just too many ways for contaminants to find their way in while the bottles are stored, so sanitation is not an area where I want to take any shortcuts.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Double pitching yeast question
« on: March 06, 2017, 04:00:01 PM »
Increasing the time on the stir plate is unlikely to help. Once the yeast have consumed all the nutrients they will not multiply any more, stirred or not. Increasing the size of the starter will help by giving them more to eat, so they will multiply more before running out of fuel.

I make a two-stage yeast starter. I make a 750 ml starter and let it ferment (on a stir plate) for 36 hours, then I cool it down in the refrigerator overnight. The next day I decant most of the liquid and use the slurry to make a 1.5 liter starter. The online calculator I use says that will make nearly twice as many yeast cells as just making a 1.5 liter starter in one stage. It does take two extra days, though.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Formula for expected FG when OG is known?
« on: March 02, 2017, 11:59:26 PM »
Doing a wee bit of algebra on the equation:
((OG Points/5) + (OG Points/4))/2 = (0.2*OG Points + 0.25*OG Points)/2 = 0.225*OG Points

This is the same as assuming 77.5% attenuation, not very different from the generic 75% discussed above.

I contacted Fermentis and they acknowledged that this is a mistake and will be correcting it "very soon".

I have an old (Oct 2015) spec sheet for US-05 that states the optimum fermentation temperature range is 59-72 F. I just downloaded a new one (Nov 2016) and it says the optimum range is from 64-82 F. This is a substantial change. Did the yeast change at all, or did someone just re-write the data sheet? Everything else on the sheet seems the same, so my guess is that someone re-defined the optimum range and that the yeast is the same. Why would they do this? What would cause them to re-define what is optimum? Have people's tastes changed in the course of a year?


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How cold to cold crash?
« on: November 11, 2016, 08:22:19 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I was looking for more technical information on the consequences of cold crashing. I know it affects the clarity, but are there any other benefits?

Yeast and Fermentation / How cold to cold crash?
« on: November 11, 2016, 05:41:15 AM »
I use an Irish moss/carageenan fining agent in the boil, and I use ClarityFerm to eliminate gluten during the fermentation. The latter is also supposed to eliminate chill haze. My homebuilt temperature control system (swamp cooler with thermoelectric chiller and PID loop) can only cool to about 45-50, so I usually cool my carboy down to 50 for 24-48 hours before bottling. That seems to give a very compact yeast cake and clear beer. Is there any advantage for me to go lower?

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