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Messages - nateo

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I'd have subbed US05 for a recipe calling for alt yeast.  Highly attenuative and low esters.

I thought I read somewhere that the Chico strain, at some point in the past, was a German ale strain. Does anyone know if this is true?

Going Pro / Re: Brewing on a schedule
« on: April 09, 2012, 10:33:54 AM »
I think I'll bump up my primary time to 14 days, and see how that goes. I'll also try to get down there more often to check on fermentation progress.

Agreed with Lennie and Denny. I fermented around 67* with Notty and it turned out really poorly. It was a few years ago, so I don't remember it exactly, but it gave me all the wrong kinds of flavors. Maybe if you fermented it a lot cooler, it would work out better.

Going Pro / Re: Brewing on a schedule
« on: April 08, 2012, 06:40:44 PM »
Much better to set a desired production capacity and size the system and cellar appropriately. Say you're starting a brewpub with a target capacity of 2,000 bbl/year. With two brewers you can probably brew comfortably three times a week, so your batch size needs to be 13.3 bbl. In practical terms, you need a 15 bbl or 20 hL brewhouse. If your average turn-around time on a tank is 20 days (to account for the occasional lager) you need: 3 brews/week * 2.85 weeks/tank = 8.6 fermenters.

My brewhouse calendar lists everything I have planned for each day for at least the next two weeks. Brewdays with FV#, transfers with FV/TDV, cleaning ops, yeast crops/counts, etc. right on down to which days I'm squeegeeing the floor vs. a full scrub-down. IME that's the only way you'll *ever* be able to schedule a day off (assuming you can at all).

That is really interesting. Thanks for the detailed response.

I've been reading through threads over on the probrewer forums about brew scheduling and grain-to-glass timelines. It seems like the consensus (as much as there is one) is 10-15 days for ales, with some people saying 15 days for them would be an impossible luxury, and others say they can turn around their "house" beers within 7 days, grain-to-glass.

One guy who had worked at a brewery in Germany said a lot of lager brewers there are using high pressure fermentations at like 90*F to ferment in 3 days, and package in another 3 days. The "traditional" breweries are going under or being bought-out because the high-speed guys are so much more profitable, and the consumers don't notice or care.

Going Pro / Re: Brewing on a schedule
« on: April 08, 2012, 08:15:48 AM »
I agree. At one of the presentations at last year's NHC the brewer said, "the yeast run the brewery", not you.

How do we make good beer quickly?

When the yeast start paying the rent, I'll let them do whatever they want. Until then, I'm sure there are things the brewer can do to help them along. Rouse? Pitch at higher rates? Increase ferment temp? You can't sell beer if it's sitting in the primary. I'm not arguing to make a bad product for the sake of speed (although this seems to be exactly how most brewpubs do it), but there must be an intersection between making a good product and making a profitable and reliable product.

Going Pro / Re: Brewing on a schedule
« on: April 08, 2012, 07:44:21 AM »
So it sounds like in a pro setting, I would want as many primary vessels as I could manage? How did you guys plan your production capacity? How often do you run out of product? How detailed are your production calendars?

All Grain Brewing / Re: on a whim
« on: April 08, 2012, 07:08:29 AM »
Thick mashes used to be necessary to protect enzymes in malts with low diastatic power. Modern malt has so much more DP than you'd ever need, that you could denature half the enzymes and still have plenty left to convert the mash.

IIRC thinner mashes have higher extract efficiency, all other things equal.

Going Pro / Brewing on a schedule
« on: April 08, 2012, 06:46:40 AM »
On the advice of some of the guys here, I've been trying to brew on a weekly schedule, in anticipation of brewing commercial a few years down the road.

What do you do if your beer isn't done when you need the empty tank? Is this just yeast selection, where you only pick strains with quick and acceptable performance?

I haven't been monitoring fermentation progress every day. The beers are usually ready to rack within a week. Two batches ago I used Danstar Windsor for the first time, since I ran out of S-04, and after a week I was only at 33% apparent attenuation. I was boiling a wit at the time, and I needed the bucket, so I racked anyway.

If this were a commercial beer I was trying to make on a schedule with limited fermenting space, this could've been a real disaster. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Wheat in Belgian
« on: April 08, 2012, 06:37:42 AM »

True, it's not necessary, but I don't see why any style shouldn't have wheat in it, if you like wheat in your beers. What I find most interesting about Belgian beers is that the brewers brew to taste, not to style. Rigidly defined styles for these beers is antithetical to their heritage.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Metal rod for measuring volume
« on: April 08, 2012, 06:32:19 AM »
A plastic rod would probably be better. Maybe hit up your Goodwill and find a cheap cooking utensil to use?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Wheat in Belgian
« on: April 07, 2012, 05:13:58 PM »
You can use all malted wheat, but at higher percentages. IIRC from "Brewing with Wheat" that's what some breweries do. IMO a short (30min)/no boil (just hot enough to sterilize) on all or part of the beer will give it a really 'fresh' wheat flavor and hazy appearance.

That'd be good for a Gose, but not much else.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Aerate Starter?
« on: April 07, 2012, 07:40:46 AM »
Maybe Sean will chime in later. On his site (don't have a link with me) he did some comparisons of nothing vs stir plate vs O2 for starter growth. IIRC the O2 starter grew a lot more than the stir-plate starter.

FWIW I read something by a guy who graduated Weihenstephan recently, where he argued you should only aerate your starter, and pitch enough yeast so that you wouldn't have to aerate your wort at all. I thought it was interesting, but maybe only applicable to German styles with no phenolic/estery character?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Problems with Single Decoction mash
« on: April 06, 2012, 05:54:35 PM »
I don't want to go quite that far.  Let's say "Don't be surprised if you don't get the effects you expect from a decoction".

This discussion has got me really interested in decoction mashing. I went back and listened to Kai's interview on Basic Brewing. Kai said that decoction mashing can draw out tannins. In something like a Marzen the tannins might give the beer some nice structure. In a light lager like a pilsner, you wouldn't want excess tannin extraction.

It seems to me that instead of triple decoction, pilsner-type beers would actually be better suited to no-sparge single infusion. Is that crazy? Does anyone brew their light beers like that?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Dry Lagers
« on: April 06, 2012, 02:04:42 PM »
I had a run of astringent beers I traced back to a couple things. When crushing my malt, I was getting a lot of shredded husk bits, then when lautering I was getting a lot of those husk in the boil. A longer vorlauf and more careful malt conditioning took care of it.

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