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Messages - nateo

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Such a thing as over-pitching?
« on: July 02, 2011, 04:53:43 AM »
From my experience, pitching on a yeast cake = more yeast = faster ferment = more heat. If you have good fermentation temp control, I think it's less of a problem to pitch on a yeast cake. I've gotten some fusel/hot alcohol flavor from the times I've pitched onto a whole yeast cake, but I think that's more to do with my cooling and less to do with the pitching rate, per se.

I've never heard of fruit flies getting past the rubber seal on bucket lids. Is there something about that rubber that is different than the rubber used to stop up a glass carboy?

The O2 permeability claim got me researching a bit, and I came up with this:

So, a glass carboy with a rubber stopper isn't really sealed. The glass carboy will admit 17cc of O2 in a year. An HDPE bucket will admit 220cc of O2 in a year. Obviously 220cc is a lot more than 17cc, but how many people are leaving their beer in their bucket for a whole year? 220/12 = 18.33cc. So in one month in a plastic bucket, your beer will oxidize about as much as one year in a glass carboy. Now, whether or not this is "too much" oxidation is a question each brewer has to ask himself. I'll continue using my buckets because they're easier to clean, and I'm not concerned with such a small level of oxidation.

Equipment and Software / Re: what mill would you recommend?
« on: June 29, 2011, 05:06:26 PM »
I have the MM 2 with the 1.5" rollers. It works well and the hopper and base they make for it work fine. I have a Dewalt drill with just a hand-tightened chuck, not the kind of chuck with a key, and sometimes I'll get some slipping on the driveshaft. That's just an FYI, it's in no way a knock on the mill itself. I seriously considered the MM2-2.0 but I couldn't justify the price to myself at the time, though that's the one I'd probably buy if I were to buy another one.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tell me about Kolsch please
« on: June 28, 2011, 12:28:40 PM »
I've heard some people add a very small late addition or flameout addition, like 10-20g / 5gal. Any opinions on late hop addition, or just go with a bittering addition? I was also planning on a mix of Rahr pils and Colorado pale malt, but should I just go all pils?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tell me about Kolsch please
« on: June 28, 2011, 05:10:46 AM »
Al Haunold ran the OSU hop development program (or something like that) in the 80s and 90s. He released all four of the Hallertau Mf mimics: Ultra, Liberty, Crystal, and Mt. Hood. He liked Mt. Hood the best, fwiw. Ultra seems harder to find than the others, but Crystal and Mt. Hood shouldn't be too hard to find.

Vanguard is another good noble-ish hop, as hopfen pointed out.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: UNDERPITCHING, Could it be desirable
« on: June 25, 2011, 06:34:30 AM »
Underpitching may or may not be a way of developing flavors.  There are conflicting opinions and no hard evidence that I'm aware of.
One of the talks I went to at NHC said that basically there is strain dependency in this, so one strain may develop more yeast character when underpitched, and another when overpitched.  Sounds like testing and personal experience are the way to go.

"Standard" pitching rates seem like such a WAG to me that there's no way they're the "best" pitching rate for every yeast and every style. Wyeast says <1.060 and you need 6m cells/ml, while over 1.061 you need 12m/ml. If you go by the (0.75m)x(degrees plato)x(ml), then a 1.061 beer would need 11.25m/ml. I doubt Wyeast would publish that pitching rate for their products if it didn't give acceptable results most of the time for most brewers.

A lot of people talk about "overpitching" and "underpitching" and some people claim success and others failure with either. I suspect there are a dozen reasons for the differing outcomes, like the brewer's fermentation controls, yeast health, oxygenation levels, brew process, etc. I'd say any amount of yeast you pitch to get the flavors you want is the "correct" amount to pitch, and any rule-of-thumb on pitching rates is just that, a rule-of-thumb.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 2565 Kolsch
« on: June 18, 2011, 04:39:06 PM »
IIRC it took like 6 weeks for the kraeusen to fall the last time I used 2565. I didn't cold crash it, but it did linger around for a long time.

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: June 16, 2011, 06:20:11 PM »
This is from a well. I live in the Ozarks next door to Bennett Spring State Park in MO.

Sodium, Na 2
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 74
Magnesium, Mg 47
Total Hardness, CaCO3 381
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.5 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 2 (6ppm)
Chloride, Cl 4
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 440
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 360

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sugar to lighten body
« on: June 06, 2011, 06:56:45 AM »
The OP is concerned that mashing higher than intended means he'll have more a "thicker" body. On one of those brewstrong interviews with Charlie Bamforth, they talk about how it really takes a ton of dextrin, all other things being equal, to increase the "body" of the beer. So mashing a bit hotter than you wanted, by itself, will have a small-to-negligible effect on the "thickness" of your beer.

From that, and my experience, I'd say the difference between actual attenuation and potential attenuation has a bigger effect on the perceived body than any of the absolute numbers. I've had a Belgian pale ferment down to 1.010 and a Saison ferment to 1.004, with almost the same OG. The pale seemed drier and thinner than the saison.

Doing a forced ferment test gives you a number to "shoot" for. You can still mess it up, like when I overshot my pale, and undershot my saison, but at least you're not flying blind.

So back to the OP's concerns, here's what I'd do. Pull off some wort and do a forced ferment test. See how your wort ferments out as-is. If you're off your mark, rouse and warm the yeast until you get the FG where you want it to be.

Ingredients / Re: Unusual Wood Alternatives to Oak
« on: June 05, 2011, 05:53:39 AM »

The dude didn't post a follow-up, but the taste test was interesting. I probably would've used a more neutral spirit like vodka.

Ingredients / Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
« on: June 01, 2011, 08:03:27 PM »

Is there any chance the estimated pH on the mash acidification sheet could include hundredths too?  The reason I ask is because when adding salts in g/gal on the water adjustment sheet, there can be quite a significant rate range between a pH of, say, 5.3 and 5.4 on the mash acidification sheet (forgive me if I'm not articulating this well).  E.g., for one of my recipes, adding Ca(OH)2 at a rate of .15 g/gal will yield an estimated pH of 5.3.  But to hit an estimated pH of 5.4, Bru'n Water tells me to more than double that addition rate.  It would be helpful to be able to see just how various rate points in between affect the estimated pH.

I think the issue is the significant digits (maybe I'm wrong). If the calculation formula is based on one decimal place, you can't accurately estimate to two decimals. The formula, as is, is making a guess. It's a pretty good guess, from my experience, but still just a guess. The spreadsheet is like a map, you still have to use your experience to drive to your destination. It won't drive the car for you.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Harvesting wild yeast (but NOT brett!)
« on: May 27, 2011, 05:41:43 AM »
Here's what I've done: Carefully and as sanitary as possible, skin a peach and quarter the skin. I guess this could work with individual grapes, too, if you don't have peaches. I made a starter solution of about 1.020 gravity. Put each piece of skin into 3/4 of a quart of starter (that's about 700ml).

After a few days, some of the starters will turn green/gray and smell awful. Some of them will stay wort colored and smell like beer. Step up the beer-scented starters to 1l and 1.040. If it's still good after that starter is done fermenting, you can pitch into your beer.

The yeast flocc'ed in big pea-sized chunks. It was a strong fermenter, faster than average for the commercial strains I've used. It flocc'ed out better than average too. I made a wit with it, but was disappointed in the flavor. I was expecting the phenols/esters to be over the top, but it was actually pretty neutral. Mildly fruity but not nearly as phenolic as most Belgian strains. A bit of higher alcohols, but I fermented pretty warm, around 75*. Overall a good flavor, but nothing special.

I did have a few bottles I kept for a long time, and after about 6-7 months in the bottle, I noticed a very low-level acetobacter infection in some of the bottles. It could just have been my sanitation, but it may also have been on the peach skins in the first place.

Trust your nose and gut at every step. It won't behave exactly like commercial yeast, but if at any step it looks or smells "bad" toss it out and start over.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How versatile are German wheat yeasts?
« on: May 26, 2011, 06:05:40 PM »
I seldom get as many esters on the second pitch of a weizen yeast. Maybe I pitch too much? I have a hefe wiess ready to bottle with WLP300 now. I'm thinking of a roggen next.

I've heard a lot of people say that. I've seldom save and repitch yeast because I like trying out new ones, but I've also had easy access to a couple different LHBSs so getting yeast wasn't an issue.

I've been reading up on the ProBrewer forums, and a lot of guys over there are pitching about 60% the amount of yeast they normally would when repitching, in order to keep the esters high.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Selling.....maybe?
« on: May 24, 2011, 09:12:13 PM »
When starting a business a lot of people will give you a lot of reasons why it won't work.  When it does work it can be very satisfying.  There's nothing like it.  Just do a lot of research and planning before you decide to commit yourself to the business.  

Two words:  Due diligence.

This is great advice. There are a million reasons not to start your own business, and you should really be aware of those reasons.

My mom's "retirement" plan was to buy a campground. Pretty much all of her friends told her she was crazy to sell her house, move to another state, and own a business. It's been a lot of work for her, but in a little over two years she's making about 10x as much money each year as she did at her last job. It took her about 5 years to find one that grossed enough and was cheap enough for her to afford, and in those 5 years she did a lot of research.

Another thing to think of is alternative revenue streams. I know a guy who wanted to start a coffee shop. He found an investor to help with the down payment, and they bought an old warehouse for about $1m. They gutted it and turned it into 5 different retail storefronts, and artist studios. His coffee shop is one of those retail stores, and they rent the rest of the building. Even at half capacity, the renters more than pay the mortgage. At full capacity they make a lot more than the coffee shop ever could.

If you need to lease/buy a brewery, why not buy a big building and earn some rent, if you can get the capital together for the down-payment?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How versatile are German wheat yeasts?
« on: May 24, 2011, 08:35:47 PM »
Major - what are your preferences for alt and kolsch strains?

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