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Topics - nateo

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Yeast and Fermentation / Best practice for WY3711?
« on: March 31, 2012, 07:52:24 PM »
I've used this yeast a few times, but I wanted to get some feedback on how people like to use this. It's been a year or more since I've used it and I can't find my notes.

I'm planning a 1.080-ish Saison. Any advice on pitching rate and ferm temperature? Should I use additional nutrients?

General Homebrew Discussion / Unexpected pellicle? I hope I'm wrong
« on: March 28, 2012, 05:19:23 PM »
I added oak to a Belgian Brut a few weeks ago. When I added the oak, fermentation was definitely over, and it was still and clear. I go to rack it off today, and it had a splotchy, sticky, slimy white film on the top. It sure looks like a pellicle, but maybe it's not? I don't know what else it would be.

I tasted the white film, and it didn't taste like much, just kind of chalky and kind of tart. Do I have a Brett infection? It doesn't look like my Berliner Weisses do, so I don't think it's Lacto.

Would adding more oak (and probably whatever bug it is) make it finish faster?

Gravity is 1.010 right now. If it's Brett, how much lower should the gravity drop? I'm planning on bottling in champagne bottles, so I'm not super worried about bottle bombs, but I was really hoping to bottle it before May.

Equipment and Software / Anyone else using Yeastcalc?
« on: March 22, 2012, 01:03:14 AM »

After futzing with Sean Terrill's MrMalty instructions for stepped starters for a few batches, getting annoyed and calculating them out by hand, someone pointed me to a calculator that figures the steps out for me!

This is probably old news for you guys, but in case it isn't, check it out.

Ingredients / How much and when - Nelson for a Brut?
« on: March 21, 2012, 09:33:27 PM »
I'm making a Belgian Brut-style beer right now, and want to dry hop with Nelson Sauvin. It's oaking right now. Should I wait until it gets closer to bottling time to dry hop it, or should I dry hop it now? How much should I use? I haven't dry-hopped any Belgian beers before, and don't want to overdo it. I'm planning on bottling it around the end of April.

EDIT: I'm thinking 2oz, one week from bottling. Does that sound reasonable?

Going Pro / Interesting cash-flow spreadsheet I found
« on: March 19, 2012, 05:13:42 PM »
It's for wineries, but there are a lot of variables you change to make it work for a beer brewery. If nothing else, it's a pretty complete list of expenses and issues you might run into.

It's called the Winery Ten Year Financial Planning Workbook

All Things Food / French Boule advice?
« on: March 16, 2012, 10:11:54 PM »
Hey guys,
I tried my hand at that other use for yeast: bread. Here's the recipe I used:

The flavor was pretty good, but the crust was lighter than I wanted. The bread was denser than I was hoping, but the crust texture was good.

Any advice? I was planning on baking it hotter next time, to help with the color, but I'm not sure what happened to make it not-so-fluffy on the inside.

Yeast and Fermentation / Why does acidity impair yeast performance?
« on: March 14, 2012, 12:07:42 AM »
I think it has something to do with the H+ ions disrupting proton ATPase, and secondary active transport, but I only have a fuzzy (at best) understanding of microbiology.

Yeast and Fermentation / Crazy pH drop during fermentation
« on: March 11, 2012, 12:36:57 AM »
I'm doing six 3L fermentation trials for mead right now, comparing different strains, trying my hand at Curt Stock's Even-speed-mead method, and also the effect of very hard water on mead. I'll do a more detailed write-up later, but the initial results were shocking.

OG: 1.050
500g honey
2g yeast (properly rehydrated)

A1 - 71B with hard water (400ppm CaCO3)
A2 - 71B with lime-softened water (50ppm CaCO3)

Day 0
Added 0.65g Fermaid K to both
Added 0.30g DAP

A1 pH - 5.9
A2 pH - 5.8

Day 1

Day 2 - SG: 1.030
Added 0.65g Fermaid
Added 0.30g DAP

A1 pH - 2.3. Added 1tbsp+1/2tsp of 5% calcium hydroxide solution, which raised the pH to 3.7
A2 pH - 1.8. Added 3tbsp of 5% lime solution, which raised the pH to 3.8

I degassed the samples by shaking them repeatedly in a mason jar, and also by letting them sit out for a few hours. I calibrated my pH meter was calibrated twice, to 7 and 4, because I didn't believe my results.

I really didn't expect the pH to fall that much that quickly. I'm not surprised at all that most mead fermentations take months to finish, since the must becomes so hostile to yeast so quickly.

Equipment and Software / Food-grade buckets at Lowes
« on: March 10, 2012, 06:39:42 PM »
Stopped in to Lowes the other day while waiting for my Bobcat tire to get fixed. Noticed rows and rows of white, food-grade 5 gallon buckets for sale. They also had 2 gallon buckets that looked pretty good too. The 5gal were $3.78 IIRC, and the lids were another $1.25 or so.

I love my LHBS dearly and try to support them as much as I can, but their buckets are like $15 each, and they're an hour-and-a-half drive away.

Going Pro / Looking into starting a meadery
« on: March 07, 2012, 10:46:30 PM »
I've been reading statutes until my head hurts (doesn't take long). Anyway, here are some of the things I've come up against. I'll update this as I make any progress.

In my state (Missouri), there is no mention of "honey" in any statutes or definitions for any type of alcohol. I talked to my local state Alcohol agent, who informed me he "thinks" using honey would require a generic "Alcohol Manufacturer's" license.

I also asked him about specific requirements for the facility (drains, sinks, etc) and he said the state would license whatever the TTB approves. When I asked who is responsible for verifying compliance, he said both the TTB and the state Alcohol and Tobacco Control agency are responsible. The TTB guidelines just say the facility must be "appropriate" for whatever type of brewery/winery/distiller you're running, but don't have any specific guidelines.

The TTB says that "Honey wine" falls under the category of "wine from other agricultural products." So I'm not sure how it'll work if I get TTB approval for a winery, but then have to get a non-winery state license. There are a number of benefits to being licensed as a winery in Missouri, including direct-to-consumer sales and lower licensing fees.

I've contacted the TTB directly about who decides if a facility is "appropriate" and what criteria they use. After that, I guess I'll contact the head office for the state Alcohol control agency re: honey in wine.

The applicable statute I found for Missouri wine: "Domestic wine is wine containing not in excess of fourteen percent (14%) of alcohol by weight and manufactured exclusively from grapes, berries and other fruits and vegetables grown in Missouri."

Apiaries in this state are regulated by the department of agriculture, so I don't understand where honey fits in, if not with fruits and vegetables. I know there are a wineries here that make mead, and I have a hard time believing the alcohol agent who inspects those wineries doesn't know if honey-wine requires a different license than a winery.

Yeast and Fermentation / T-58 + dextrose = extra cloves
« on: March 07, 2012, 07:10:18 PM »
Working on a tripel/Brut type Belgian-y beer with pils malt and sugar, fermented with T-58. Went through primary at 60*F with only malt. After primary it hardly had any clove flavor. I read about a special mash schedule some Weizen brewers use to get a high percentage of glucose to promote clove phenol development.

During secondary fermentation, I was going to use table sugar, but instead I added plain dextrose. I kept the freezer at 60*. Now that it's fermented out, it has a really strong clove aroma. Almost too much clove. Just an FYI for people looking to get more clove character out of their phenolic yeasts.

BTW recipe was 75% pils malt, 25% dextrose, and 25IBUs.

Other Fermentables / Calcium hydroxide instead of potassium hydroxide?
« on: March 03, 2012, 10:00:17 PM »
After reading Dr. England's mead presentation, where he talks about using potassium hydroxide to raise the pH during fermentation, it made me wonder why he didn't use calcium hydroxide. It's a lot easier to get a hold of than KOH. Does anyone know why he recommends KOH over CaOH?

Other Fermentables / Kris England's 2008 NHC Mead presentation
« on: March 03, 2012, 03:34:57 PM »
Does anyone have a copy of this they could post? All of the links I've found are broken.

Wood/Casks / Possible barrel source for people
« on: March 03, 2012, 12:16:10 AM »
Has anyone seen this place?

They're located maybe 10 miles down the road from me. They don't allow local pickup, otherwise I'd probably own one of these already. Not sure how much freight would be, but the barrels are $133 for plain charred, and $260 for heavy toast + char. They're geared toward distillers, but they'd probably make good beer barrels too.

Their sister company sells super fancy oak alternatives, but they only come in 40lb bags

The chips that caught my eye were the specially toasted ones that were labeled, "High Spice, High Mocha, High Vanilla." they also have a few other oak options I've never heard of before.

Ingredients / Source for Nelson Sauvin?
« on: February 21, 2012, 05:28:59 PM »
I'm having a hard time finding any vendors that have Nelson Sauvin in stock. Does anyone have any leads?

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