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Topics - davidgzach

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Yeast and Fermentation / Frozen 2112 Slurry
« on: April 20, 2012, 12:47:20 PM »
The strangest thing happened yesterday.  I took out my 2112 slurry to decant and wash on Wednesday.  Poured the water out from the top, filled with sterile water at the same temp of 36F and replaced in the fridge to let it settle out.  After this rinse I was going to pour the yeast off the trub and save for my next Steam Beer.

When I went to check to see if it had fallen out and was ready for transfer, I found it frozen!  The other containers in my fridge were fine, but this one had ice crystals throughout.  Any thoughts on what happened and how I can prevent this in the future?  And do you think I can defrost it and still reuse the yeast?  I swirled it up pretty good but there is still some ice in there.


Yeast and Fermentation / Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« on: April 17, 2012, 08:56:13 PM »
So, I bought an upright freezer on Craigslist for $100 and now have access to our chest freezer as my lager fermentation vessel.  Yes, it's lager brewing season as I can fit 4 carboys at once!

I have two lagers in there now in carboys, and want to make a third this weekend, but only have plastic buckets left for primary.  I know plastic was previously frowned upon for lagers.  But today, with pitching big starters and racking to keg for lagering after 3 weeks, do I really need to worry or should I just brew away and RDWHAHB?


Yeast and Fermentation / Starter for my Helles
« on: April 17, 2012, 01:27:49 PM »
I plan to repitch some 2206 that I saved from a Becks clone on 3/27 in to my Helles this weekend.  Mr. Malty says the viability is 60% so I'm wondering how big of a starter I should make.  I don't need my usual 1G monster but what is the recommendation of the forum?  I was thinking maybe a 2L at 1.038-1.040?


Equipment and Software / Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« on: March 29, 2012, 09:09:10 PM »
I've been searching Craig's List for a chest freezer to use for making lagers.  I want to make more than one lager every 3 weeks as I currently use our wine fridge.  I'm sure I can use a fridge as well though.  Which is better?  Chest Freezer vs Fridge.....


Beer Recipes / Kolsch Mash Schedule
« on: March 28, 2012, 11:35:44 PM »
I've been researching Kolsch schedules as it's on my to-do list next weekend.  I've seen single infusion in the 149-152 range as well as a traditional Hochkurz mash at 146 to 158.

I really like Hochkurz mashes but Ray Daniels says single infusion in "Desiging Great Beers".  What say the forum?


Yeast and Fermentation / Table Sugar Starter
« on: March 26, 2012, 07:15:03 PM »
I plan to buy another chest freezer and use it as my primary lager making fridge so I can brew more than 1 lager over a 3-4 week period.  I currently use our wine cooler in the basement which my wife loves......

However, that means buying a lot of DME to make starters.  As I purchased a 3lb bag for $13.75 at my LHBS, I got to thinking about ways to reduce this cost. 

Since we are only making yeast and not beer, why not use just plain table sugar?  I'm sure there is a scientific reason as to cell walls and mutations due to the sucrose versus maltose, but please enlighten me!


Ingredients / Chinook
« on: February 26, 2012, 01:31:58 PM »
OK, time for the Chinook APA today. 

Question:  how is it for aroma?  At 12.5% bittering and flavor should be OK, but not sure about the final addition and dry hop.  I hope someone is recovering from last night's homebrews and can lead me in the right direction in the next couple of hours!


Kegging and Bottling / Keg Carbonating
« on: February 22, 2012, 10:50:00 PM »
I'm about to keg my Pale Ale v.7 and it dawned on me that I have 3 lbs. of corn sugar sitting around as I haven't bottled in years.  I typically have to wait 3-4 days for my beers to force carb unless I really ramp it up and shake the keg for an hour. 

BUT, why not put say 1/3 cup of corn sugar in the keg before transferring?  It should at least get it going, cut my carb time down by a couple of days or to zero and use up the corn sugar that's been sitting around with nothing to do.

What am I missing?  Should I just put in 2/3 of a cup for 5 gallons and call it quits?


Yeast and Fermentation / Fermenting in a 7.9 Gallon Primary
« on: February 22, 2012, 03:55:47 PM »
Fellow Brewers,

I've decided to try my hand at brewing 7.5 gallon batches and kegging in the new slim quarter kegs.  However I obviously cannot fill a 7.9 gallon primary with 7.5 gallons of wort and not expect something to blow up or at the very least have half my yeast go through the blow-off tube.

How much headspace would you recommend in the 7.9 gallon fermenter?  I was thinking about brewing 6 gallons to a higher OG and adding a gallon of water when I keg.  Thoughts?


Yeast and Fermentation / Ale Conditioning
« on: January 07, 2012, 11:10:17 PM »
Fellow Brewers,

I typically condition my ales in my boiler room at 66F and my lagers in the outside fridge at 34F.  I like to crash cool my ales before kegging in the outside fridge and then let them come up to 66F to condition. 

I'm wondering what you think the result would be if I just put the keg straight back in to the fridge?  2-3 weeks in primary, crash cool, then keg and condiditon at 34F.  Thoughts?  Thanks in advance.


Yeast and Fermentation / 2206 Attenuation
« on: December 22, 2011, 01:40:34 PM »
I made a Czech Pils and a Winter Lager with 2206 Bavarian Lager.  Both only attenuated 68% at 51F over 3 weeks.  I'm just chalking it up to the yeast doing their own thing unless you guys think it could be something with my process.  A 1 gallon starter was made for the first and the entire (washed) slurry was pitched in to the second as it was 1.072 versus 1.050.  The Czech Pils is very tasty albeit a little sweet as it ended at 1.016.  The Winter lager ended at 1.024.  Thoughts?


General Homebrew Discussion / BB Sanitized. Time Limit?
« on: December 15, 2011, 02:40:44 PM »
Fellow Brewers,

I sanitized a BB last weekend in the hopes of brewing, but could not.  It's been sitting in my laundry room with an airlock for about a week.  All of the StarSan foam is now in a little puddle on the bottom.

Question is:  Do you think it's still sanitized and I can use this weekend or would you hit it again with the StarSan?  I have no problem with the extra work, but why bother if not necessary? 

Thanks in advace for your thoughts.


All Grain Brewing / Storing Bulk Grain
« on: December 13, 2011, 01:39:59 PM »
Just bought my first 50# sack of 2-Row which is unfortunately still in my boiler room untouched.  I plan to open it this week to make a Steam Beer.  Can you guys recommend a good sealing vessel?  What size is optimal?  I looked at Big Lots and all of their containers were not air tight.  Thanks!


Yeast and Fermentation / Thermowell
« on: December 01, 2011, 02:13:08 PM »
I've seen many a debate on the forums about ambient versus internal temps during fermentation so I decided to buy a thermowell for my lagers.  When I lagered without it, I kept the ambient temp at 52.  This produced some fine lagers but conventional wisdom for those on the interior temperature side of the argument would say that the temp in the middle of the wort was higher than the 52 on the outside.
Well, I have my Johnson Controller set at 51F +-1degree and the probe in the thermowell.  It's either on 51 or 52 everytime I check.  BUT, the ambient temp is 54F.  I'm using the same thermometers that I used previously when I lagered without the thermowell, and they all were calibrated at 52F, including the Johnson controller.
I pitched a very healthy starter that had krausen coming out of the blow off tube in 2 days.  It took off and is bubbling about as much as I've seen a lager bubble. 
So, what am I missing in this little puzzle here?  Shouldn't the internal temp be higher than the ambient temp if the rule that fermentation raises wort temp is true??????
Or maybe I'm just clueless.  Can someone set me straight or tell me what I am missing?

Yeast and Fermentation / When is a starter done?
« on: November 19, 2011, 02:37:29 PM »
I made a 1G starter for a Chimay Clone at about 5:00PM last night.  It's been on the stir plate and still has bubbles coming from the bottom so I guess it's not done fermenting.  Should I:
Cool now so I can decant when the brew is done?  I'm sure I've made a bunch of yeast.  Water heating as I write.
Let it go until (when would you say you know it's done?)
Just pitch the whole starter and give the Chimay a nice kicker?

Thanks for the advice in advance!


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