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Messages - beersk

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast shipped warm.
« on: July 02, 2015, 02:18:55 PM »
I'd also favor ordering dry yeast in the summer months.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« on: June 30, 2015, 10:57:55 AM »
And I also think Mark is making all this stuff up. Galactose? That some kind of inter-galactic sugar?

Galactose is the main sugar produced by Dilithium Crystal malt
Drugs, in other words. Right...cheers!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« on: June 30, 2015, 06:28:58 AM »
To perhaps add another wrinkle to the discussion is that prior to industrial refrigeration and yeast strain isolation it is thought that German brewers (and likely others) brewed with mixed fermentation cultures that would bottom ferment in cold months and top ferment in warmer months. These beers were lagered and sold continuously as the same style of beer. Did these beers go from being a lager to not a lager although always lagered?
Maybe everyone else brewed, but the Germans didn't brew in the warmer months for that reason - it was too warm to ferment their lager yeast strains.

I think we know what lagering a beer is, but I don't think that is THE thing that defines a true lager. I think it is simple enough an answer to point towards yeast.

And I also think Mark is making all this stuff up. Galactose? That some kind of inter-galactic sugar? :) Kidding of course.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mashing Experiment
« on: June 30, 2015, 06:14:38 AM »
I have not, as of yet, had the time to do a complete all grain brew session and have been confined to doing test mashes to get my system dialed in.

This past weekend I conducted my fourth experimental test mash. This time I chose a simple grain bill:

1 lb. Weyermann Pils
1 lb. Dingeman Pale
1/2 lb. Weyermann Dark Munich
1/8 lb. Dingeman Debittered black

I bought two identical versions of this grain bill and had them Milled twice and bagged separately.

I chose to mash one at 148 deg F. I chose to step mash the other from 136/148/154/168 deg F. I wanted to see for myself the effects if any of step mashing.

The results are of course not in any way scientific but I feel I used good process and technique.

The single infusion mash was coughed in with 162 deg F water. It equalized to 149 deg F and I left it undisturbed, save for 2 good stirs halfway and 3/4 way through. I batched sparged both mashes with 180 deg F water.

I used a stiff initial mash for the step mash in order to meet my water to grist ratio requirement by the final step. Stepping went well and I was within all my temps by 1 deg F.

After stirring both mashes vigorously and sparging, I calculated 74% efficiency on the single infusion and 77% on the step mash. YMMV. wouldn't have tried it with American malts due to the modification but I may just do this from now on when I use Dingeman  or Weyermann malts. 
I step mash everything. Just cus'.  It's easy, it gives me a boost in efficiency, and a longer rest at 160F gives a nice body and head retention. I do a Hochkurz step mash, 145F or so for anywhere from 20-45 minutes, infuse with boiling water to 158-160F for 30-60 minutes. I make it so the mash, altogether, is 90 minutes. Most modern malts, European or otherwise, are well modified.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« on: June 29, 2015, 01:00:05 PM »
Sorry if I had started a dumb topic. That was not my intention. I guess the only prerequisite for a lager is lager yeast. I suppose temp doesn't matter.
Sorry, man, didn't mean to offend, directly, anyway. I just thought it seemed like a fairly obvious answer. As a brewer who brews mostly lagers, I guess I'm a bit biased? It would seem Mark has a more scientific answer, even though I don't agree with the cold storage argument. Maybe he didn't read my post about Zwicklbier, zoiglbier, kellerbier, etc. Those beers aren't lagered for long periods of time, although kellerbier is longer than the other two, but's typically still cloudy and young. You think Germans call those lagers? You bet they do. And by that same logic, altbier is typically lagered for long periods, but they don't call those lagers, same for Kolsch.

Any beer can be fined and dropped bright or filtered, making it look like a lager with very little time in cold storage. Does this make it not a lager since it isn't being stored cold for long periods? Still think that's not good enough of an argument.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« on: June 29, 2015, 11:39:31 AM »
That's why this whole discussion, as rabeb25 is questioning, seems to be just to kill time.

We're on the internet, thus by definition we are killing time, no?
Yes, I suppose so. But we're also here, on this forum especially, to learn and discuss. There are topics worth discussing, then there are those that we discuss just to kill time, I feel. The "flame out/knock out" was an example of frivolity. This one is only slightly less frivolous. I feel like the answer is pretty obvious - a lager is a lager because of the yeast. There are lagers that aren't lagered - zoiglbier, zwicklbier, kellerbier...
It's just one of those things where the yeast defines the beer, regardless of similarity to other beers with different yeasts. As I stated earlier, hefe = hefe yeast, Belgian = Belgian yeast, etc.

But I suppose by that logic, this topic is a learning topic...

Interesting. Very interesting! Wonder how much difference it makes having the stir plate versus intermittent shaking a starter...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« on: June 29, 2015, 06:28:40 AM »
I am confused...

A lager is a lager because of yeast used(lager). Lagering is to cold store, which can be done to any beer.  What am I missing?

It's a purely semantic discussion. If it looks like a lager, tastes like a lager and quacks like a lager, but has been made with ale yeast, is it a lager?
In my opinion, no. That's why this whole discussion, as rabeb25 is questioning, seems to be just to kill time. Bet if you ask any German brewer they'll tell you immediately that, no, it's not a lager unless it's made with lager yeast.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« on: June 26, 2015, 08:55:59 PM »
Interesting topic.

Yeast will change it's fermentation characteristics and taste on multiple factors.

Shape of the vessel,
Open vs close vessel,
Depth of the vessel.
Temperature of fermentation.
Pitching rate.

I use the same yeast all the time.

if I want to get lager (clean) characteristics I pitch more yeast and ferment cooler.

If I want to get more ale (eatery) characteristics I pitch less yeast and ferment warmer.

It is all about the taste and not about definition in my opinion. Grab a yeast strain that can do both, learn it and use it to your advantage.

To me, the perfect yeast strain for this is Wy2124 (Saflager 34/70). Good points everyone.  Not sure about the true Scotsman point, but alright!

I think what makes a lager a lager is the yeast. It's what makes a Trappist a Trappist, a Belgian Strong a Belgian strong, a hefeweizen a hefeweizen, is it not? You wouldn't use a neutral ale yeast in a hefe wort and call it a hefe? Well, I suppose you could, but it sure wouldn't taste the same. Maybe it's a little more subtle with lagers vs clean ale yeast, but still, I think you see what I'm getting at...

EDIT: dang it, my post went in just shy of 10:56. Such a magical time, isn't it?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« on: June 26, 2015, 01:05:07 PM »
Very interesting on the isovaleric acid. Thanks for the info! I've perceived a dirty feet/sock aroma in IPAs I've brewed before, wondered what could've caused that. Another homebrewing friend suggested that of one of the beers as well. Nice to know that's what it is and not an infection.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mocktoberfest?
« on: June 26, 2015, 08:22:54 AM »
72F is pretty warm for any yeast. I'd say if you can get it cooler, ferment with Saflager 34/70. It's a very versatile yeast, even into the 60's it ferments clean.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brew day 6/24/15
« on: June 24, 2015, 05:32:33 PM »
I've got a bunch of Nelson hops in the freezer and am thinking of a pale ale soon. Not today but soon.
You found organic Nelson's? I thought you were organic only.  I am not a fan of Nelson's...blech. It must be like some people with Simcoe...just doesn't taste right. I, personally, love simcoe.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« on: June 24, 2015, 05:30:23 PM »
Someone - I think it was AJ DeLange - once commented that Buffer 5.2 has the remarkable property of only working for people who don't own a pH meter.

Haha, that's funny.

It's worthless crap. It gives your beer a minerally off flavor. Don't bother, and like others have suggested, get Bru'n water and start with RO if you can. You'll be happy you did. Or check out AJ DeLange's water primer on Homebrewtalk.

Wonder what the master, Gordon Strong, would say about these two beers.

Nice experiment, Marshall. I've fermented Bohemain lager strains warmer (Wy2124, Saflager 34/70, WLP830) and it produces a nice clean beer. Curious that the 800 fermented so clean.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: This sucks!
« on: June 22, 2015, 09:51:45 AM »
Yikes, that really sucks. Hope it tasted good. Don't know how you'd clean that up...carpet vac I guess.

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