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Messages - nateo

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I'm not sure he's going to get another doubling by decanting and adding another 5L.  I think the inoculation rate on the second 5L is going to be pretty high.  But I don't have any of the reference material or calculators in front of me so I'm not sure.

IIRC, a 5L starter would make about 300b cells. You'll get the most growth from 25-50m/ml inoculation. I 300b in 5000ml would be 60m/ml. You should still get a decent amount of growth, though not quite as much as a lower inoculation rate would. I don't have a chart in front of me to figure out the growth factor.

Going Pro / Re: OK, we're doing it
« on: March 16, 2012, 03:06:24 PM »
Awesome! Good luck. If you're not doing much volume, the excise tax won't be a big deal. A lot of states have flat fees for licenses, though, so you could be paying the same as all the other breweries in the state. But this varies by state, so it's something you'll have to look into for your state.

Also, are you sure you can self distribute? In my state you need to also own a distributor license to sell directly. The total cost of licensing in my state for a small brewery ended up being a few thousand dollars, when I added up all the licenses and fees. So you might be surprised how expensive it can be.

Going Pro / Re: Another view about commercial Nano brewing.
« on: March 16, 2012, 02:54:02 PM »
I spent an afternoon crunching the numbers, and it became apparent that anything under 3bbl would most likely end up being a money pit, even with optimistic estimates.

Brewing is an industry. Economies of scale make a big difference very quickly.

The guy who posted that does mention that it can be useful as a "proof of concept" thing to get the brewery up and running, but any business plan involving nanobrewing should either have outside capital planned into it, or not plan on being able to pay yourself for you time.

Other Fermentables / Re: Acid in cider
« on: March 16, 2012, 02:29:43 PM »
I get my tannins from oak chips and black tea. I tried Earl Grey last time, and it turned out to be my favorite so far, at one bag per gallon. You can't taste the tea, but the bergamot gives the cider a slight floral/citrus note. Pretty subtle, but it's there if you look for it.

That's pretty interesting - how much did you use?

I think 1 bag of black tea per 1 gallon of juice is the minimum. I'm going to try double that on my next batch.

I'll get a tube of frozen apple juice concentrate, follow directions for the amount of water necessary (48oz, IIRC), boil the water, add tea bags, let it sit until it cools off (maybe 30-45min), then mix in the concentrate, and add the whole thing to the rest of the juice. You want the tea to get overextracted. I squeeze the bags when I take them out.

For oak, I usually do 2oz / 5 gallon. Usually French oak. IIRC, it has more extractable tannin and lower vanillin than American oak.

Other Fermentables / Re: Acid in cider
« on: March 15, 2012, 10:06:44 PM »
I've never actually used tannin powder. I get my tannins from oak chips and black tea. I tried Earl Grey last time, and it turned out to be my favorite so far, at one bag per gallon. You can't taste the tea, but the bergamot gives the cider a slight floral/citrus note. Pretty subtle, but it's there if you look for it.

Do winemakers use a formol assay or use a spectrophotometer typically?

I believe formol is common in small wineries. I've read spectro is prohibitively expensive on a small scale.

Fermaid K has something like 17ppm YAN as does Wyeast's BCN – not sure about servo.

I know GoFerm doesn't have any inorganic nitrogen, because Lallemand says in the website that no DAP should be used during rehydration. I think Servo is similar to GoFerm because of this, from the White Labs website: "Servo is yeast and is propagated in a micronutrient rich environment then, and is killed off prior to packaging."

Also, this: "Our nutrient (WLN1000) has amino acids, so if your wort is deficient in nitrogen, our nutrient helps a lot. When trying to grow more yeast as done in propagation, our nutrient can really help. But most of our customers use Servo. It has a lot of usable zinc and zinc is a great source of fermentation power. If that doesn't work, it may be a nitrogen problem, and they try our nutrient."

Other Fermentables / Re: Acid in cider
« on: March 15, 2012, 06:38:01 PM »
The other thing is that in most traditional ciders, about 4-6 months after fermentation is complete, there is a secondary malo-lactic fermentation, where malic acid is converted to lactic acid. lactic acid is said to be a smoother tartness, and not quite as harsh as malic acid.

Just my 2 cents.

Traditional ciders are also made with apple varieties that aren't readily available for most people. All of the grocery store and apple juice type of ciders are "dessert" apples, not cider apples. Even most orchards that make apple cider use dessert type apples. If you can't get the right mix and amount of acids and tannins from your apples, you need to add some yourself.

Granny Smith is the notable exception. It's a dessert apple, but it makes a decent single-variety cider.

Other Fermentables / Re: Acetic acid curiousity question
« on: March 15, 2012, 03:16:28 PM »
I know sulfites will kill the acetobacter with sulfur dioxide (SO2). The sulfur dioxide enters the cells of bacteria and wild yeast and disrupts enzymes. The kinds of yeast winemakers use are more tolerant of SO2 than wild yeasts, but I don't know why. How effective metabisulfite is depends on the pH. Lower pH will result in more molecular SO2 (the kind that can enter the cells).

Other Fermentables / Re: Acid in cider
« on: March 15, 2012, 02:38:27 PM »
Keep in mind pH and titratable acidity are different. Certain acids like malic are perceived as more "sour" than, say, lactic. Malic acid is associated with crisp freshness in fruit. Citric acid isn't too hard to find for canning, and you can probably get malic, tartaric and lactic individually at your LHBS.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Batch 500
« on: March 14, 2012, 08:29:00 PM »
Why the need for a glucan rest?  After all isn't one of the signature features of rye or wheat the silky mouthfeel and big body?  I only ask because I recently heard an experience judge say a rye beer needed a glucan rest.

The glucan rest doesn't get rid of all the glucans, just enough to turn it from glue into wort.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Batch 500
« on: March 14, 2012, 06:25:56 PM »
Lots of rice hulls! I typically use a pound of them in a wheat beer for a 5 gallon batch.

Stuck sparges aren't as big of a deal as getting a decent crush on my wheat malt. I usually take extra care to condition the barley malt portion, and crush a little coarser than usual to leave the husks as intact as possible. I then have to run the wheat malt through my mill 3 times to get a decent crush. I get about 10% lower efficiency when using a large amount of wheat. If I crush finer to get better efficiency, then I run into slow/stuck sparge issues.

The wheat malt I have is also pretty high in protein and glucans, and is undermodified, so I need to at least do step mashes, and sometimes decoction mashes to get the wort flowing well. It's not a big deal, but it adds a couple hours to the brew day, and leaves me wondering why I don't just buy some malt extract.

this is an interesting idea. However you are only looking at 1 nutrient. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to find a yeast nutrient with low or no N but I have noticed (in a very unscientific way) better results when using nutrients then when not, at least with big beers.

Servomyces and GoFerm (I think) have relatively low nitrogen levels, but I think they still have some. I can't find specifically what they contain, but the descriptions of how they're made sound very similar. I'm completely on-board for having proper yeast nutrition, don't get me wrong. My gut is telling me that yeast nutrients that also contain additional nitrogen and ammonium salts like Fermaid-K wouldn't really be appropriate for wort fermentations, and something like Servo or GoFerm would be better.

In the kind of beer fermentation you'd need additional nutrients (big beers), you probably wouldn't be able to detect vitamin/mineral faults anyway, as long as you didn't add way too much. Without a lot of lab testing, you're just guessing if your wort needs extra nutrients or not. I "just guess" on a lot of brewing-related issues, like yeast counts and AA% for my hops, so I don't know why this makes me uneasy.

As an aside, I've read that winemakers that don't like to deal with formol titration to determine nitrogen levels just use their nose, and add nutrients if the yeast starts throwing sulfur. 

The more I think about it, the less adding nitrogen to beer fermentation makes sense to me. I haven't found many hard numbers for yeast available nitrogen content in wort, but one study found a typical range to be 1-2g/L, or 1000mg/L - 2000mg/L.

Brewers' yeasts' nitrogen requirements aren't published, but wine yeasts' are. The "standard" winemaking yeast available nitrogen recommendation at 28 Brix (1.120) would be 375-425mg/L. Wine yeast nitrogen requirements vary pretty widely, with some needing nearly twice as much as others. I assume beer yeasts are similar in that regard. Even if the yeast needed twice the nitrogen, that'd only be 850mg/L, well below the minimum reported amount of yeast available nitrogen in wort.

In order to need nitrogen for a wort fermentation, you'd need to have a very nitrogen-deficient wort, and a yeast with exceptionally high nitrogen needs.

EDIT: Thanks MX, fixed it. Nitrogen =/= nutrients.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Batch 500
« on: March 14, 2012, 01:55:54 PM »
I really love wheat beers, but I hate brewing with wheat. Milling it is a PITA, and stuck sparges are a PITA. I'm thinking about going back to extract for my wheats just so I don't have to deal with it. Before I switched to AG, though, I made some great wheats with wheat LME.

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.

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