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Messages - oly

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter
« on: September 20, 2012, 09:55:17 PM »
Just curious as to how much benefit you get from the yeast nutrient addition.  I have not done this yet and after my current porter batch blowing through the fermentation lock 4 times in the last 3 days, I wonder if I need to ever add yeast nutrient.  Current wort temp is 64 degrees so it is not over heating.  I do make a 2.5L starter of about 1.040 SG, give it a swirl everytime I go by and have always had good fermentation starting within 12 hours.

My understanding is that adding the nutrient is more about assuring yeast health in the case that you want to harvest the slurry for re-use, than it is about getting a good fermentation in the beer you add it to.  I think for normal gravity beers (~1.060 or lower) you can get away just fine for that beer without any nutrient, but if you want to harvest that yeast then nutrient is a good idea.  For big beers, nutrient may be a good idea whether or not you are going to harvest the yeast.

I don't have any reference to point to for this info, it's just what I've gleaned from various reading. Maybe someone else can chime in as I've wondered the same thing myself.

Yeast and Fermentation / MrMalty question: yeast harvest date?
« on: September 10, 2012, 04:26:04 PM »
I'm going to be re-pitching from slurry for my next batch. The MrMalty calculator says I need ~400B cells.  The beer I'm harvesting from has been in primary, on the yeast for 55days. I'm going to pitch the slurry to the new wort the same day I 'harvest' the yeast. So the calculator says I need 200mL of slurry to get the 400B cells. But I'm just thinking, this yeast has been sitting at the bottom of primary for a long that harvest date really accurate for predicting the viability?  If I just play around and say it was harvested 25 days ago, then I would need twice as much slurry.

So, I'm just trying to figure out, is the viability of the yeast slurry a function of when I harvest it? OR is it more a function of when it finished fermenting and settled out? They yield significantly different answers for required mL of slurry for re-pitching.

Thanks for that reply and link Narvin. Just the info i was looking for. Couldn't find anything related on the Hanna site.

I'm reading with interest the thread over in all grain, "regarding optimal mash pH ". A lot of the disussion over there is about temperature of the measurement.

I didn't want to de-rail that thread so I'll ask here: my Hanna pH meter has ATC. What does this mean in practice?  Is it supposed to mean that I can read a pH at elevated temp, say 140F, and it will correct it for what it would read at room temp? That is, if i start reading at 140F and let it sit there over time (in an ice bath) and let it drift down to room temp, that the reading should not change?

Just curious. I normally let my sample cool first so as not to confuse things, but it would be nice to know.

Pretty good guess.  It is actually 1.053 g/l per the CRC handbook.  Just a word of caution, brewing water spreadsheets only give a ballpark number for additions of acid IME.

Alternatively, you can buy a measuring thingy at the pharmacy for measuring liquid medicine to give to kids.  These things are marked in 1-ml increments.

+1.  Our vet gave us one for the cat medicine, it dispenses 0.1mL increments. Cheap and precise.

I went through the phase of over engineering my water. I am back to the less is more approach. If you have a pH meter you can measure the mash pH, and if it is good, don't mess with it any more.

You want Calcium in the 50-100 ppm range, and you need to know that some will come from the mash. Use gypsum or CaCl2 as the added calcium source, balancing the SO4 and Cl for the beer you are making. Mg I don't bother with anymore, enough comes from the mash to make the yeast healthy. I avoid chalk and baking soda to raise the pH, pickling lime is the tool I like for that. If the pH needs to be dropped, I have phosphoric and lactic acid for that, but I have only been using the phosphoric for the last few years.

I subscribe to the above approach. The only question I have is for Na. My water has almost zero Na. It is often said that Na provides roundness or accentuates the flavor of a beer. And the suggested range is from zero to something like 100ppm, a huge range.  So I generally dont add any (it would seem odd to add Salt to my brewing water) but I wonder if I'm missing something. Is there any suggested minimum Na level to bring out that 'roundness' that is discussed?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast London Ale III
« on: July 02, 2012, 02:28:59 PM »
Brewcraft makes a nice 8 gallon bucket.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dealing with trub
« on: July 02, 2012, 02:10:45 PM »
Are you using hop pellets with your method?

Most of the time I use only whole cone. When I do use pellet it'll be < 25% of the hops, and I keep the pellets in a paint strainer bag. Never tried putting the pellets in loose with this setup so I can't say whether they'd catch into the whole hop filter (or plug the pump for that matter).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dealing with trub
« on: July 02, 2012, 02:01:33 PM »
how do you do your whirlpool? I use a sanitized silicon spatula and get a really good whirlpool going

Anyone using the JZ whirpool gizmo with a pump?

Until a year ago I was trying to whirlpool with a spoon, and used a bazooka screen at the bottom of my kettle as a filter. Got a poor whirlpool and a lot of trub, similar to what you mention.

Then I wanted to try the Jamil whirlpool, not so much for trub removal, but so I could do extended post-flameout hopstand while whirlpooling.  In my system, the Jamil whirlpool works great for recipes with few hops, and just ok for recipes with a ton of late hops (whirlpool is hard to keep going).  But as far as wort clarity, it has done wonders.   I added a falsebottom to replace the bazooka screen and the hops form a great filter bed on top of the falsebottom. The pumping/recirculating causes almost all the break material to get caught in the hop filter bed and the wort is very clear, all the way down to the last quart maybe, and even then it is not very trubby.

Equipment and Software / Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:47:48 PM »
I use venturi tube with great success. No problem to ferment 17 Plato beers.

I like this idea, seems simple and elegant.  I like the results using mixstir just fine, but it's messy and generates a ton of foam so have been thinking about other methods.

Are there any data showing how much ppm O2 gets disolved with the venturi? Can you point me to where you got yours?

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: June 25, 2012, 02:27:02 PM »
Bobby Brown - Frank Zappa

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First try at a session IPA
« on: June 18, 2012, 12:08:16 PM »
You might try 1332 NW Ale.  I like the flavor of this one in APA and IPA. I think it was an English strain that made its way over to the states and is now used by a few breweries in the PNW.  Not super attenuative so could work with this style, and it flocs well.

Flocculation: high
Attenuation: 67-71%
Temperature Range: 65-75° F (18-24° C)
Alcohol Tolerance: approximately 10% ABV

Kegging and Bottling / Re: How Full Should We Fill Our Kegs?
« on: June 17, 2012, 09:06:59 PM »
I fill to just below the gas-in dip tube. Getting beer sucked into your gas lines is a pain in the rear.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 3864 - Canadian/Belgian Ale
« on: June 16, 2012, 04:17:04 PM »
To date, one of my favorite beers was the Belgian IPA I made with 3864.

I may have to try that. I have made Belg IPAs in the past with 3522 and maybe it's time to switch it up.

Anything that you want plum and cinnamon flavors with.

I may have to give that a think....something to make with the IPA yeast cake. Dubbel? Saison?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 3864 - Canadian/Belgian Ale
« on: June 15, 2012, 10:14:25 PM »
I bought a pack of this yeast a while ago and it's sitting in the bottom of my fridge awating some starter wort and a recipe.  What would you make with this?

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