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Messages - davidgzach

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« on: April 18, 2012, 08:26:19 AM »
I've had very good success with mine.  I'd buy another over glass.  From their website:

Don't think of BetterBottle carboys as plastic – think of them as better than glass, because they are made from a special, scientifically tested, polyethylene terephthalate copolymer (PET), which does not have the disadvantages of other plastics.

BetterBottle® fermentation carboys are: are: 1) Designed to be strong, scuff resistant, easy to handle, and essentially unbreakable, 2) Pure – Taste- and odor-free, BPA-free, DEHP-free, and plasticizer-free, 3) Virtually impermeable to oxygen, 4) Clear and colorless, 5) Incredibly light weight, and 6) Extraordinarily easy to wash and sanitize (no brushes necessary). BetterBottle carboys are not at all like other plastic carboys. The special PET, used to make BetterBottle carboys, is non-absorbing, non-porous, and non-wetting (hydrophobic), so it will not carry over flavors from one batch of wine or beer to the next and it is easier to clean and sanitize than glass or other plastics.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« on: April 18, 2012, 05:22:47 AM »
Thanks all.  RDWHAHB and the plastic primary it is for my Munich Helles this weekend.

I plan to buy another Better Bottle or two soon, but need to space out my equipment purchases since my wife was kind enough to let me add another appliance to our garage.  I now have the chest freezer for my lager fermentation vessel, the upright freezer for storing food and an extra fridge where I store my lagers on the bottom and about 8# of leaf hops in the top freezer...... ;D

Brew on!


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Secondary Topic Revisited
« on: April 18, 2012, 05:17:41 AM »
+1.  I think you are just inviting problems with secondary.....

Yeast and Fermentation / Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« on: April 17, 2012, 01:56:13 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 / Re: Flask size...pilseners
« on: April 17, 2012, 01:02:18 PM »
On electric.  My LHBS owner promised me he has used his Bomex flask for years on electric with no problems.  I've made a dozen+ starters so far with no problems.  I have to admit, I was pretty tentative for the first one though......


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Starter for my Helles
« on: April 17, 2012, 11:56:47 AM »
Thanks man!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Single-Malt beers
« on: April 17, 2012, 10:52:09 AM »
I think it depends upon what you are looking for as a final result.  I agree that it can come off one-dimensional, unless you are brewing a BoPils with the appropriate malt like Jason which is also in line with the style guidelines. 

Experimentation is part of why we do this hobby, no?


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Starter for my Helles
« on: April 17, 2012, 10:32:27 AM »
This might be a dumb question, but can you overpitch lagers? It seems like most people have issues underpitching lagers, but I haven't heard of problems from overpitching.

I've yet to hear of such a thing! 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Starter for my Helles
« on: April 17, 2012, 10:31:37 AM »

You need to calculate the total number of cells needed which corresponds to a volume of slurry at a given thickness and viability.  There is a bit of estimation involved but will help guide you on this.

OK, so here is what I have.  I saved all the slurry from the Becks in a container.  From there I washed it several times until there was a clear separation of water, yeast and trub.  Now I just decanted the water, yeast and a little trub in a separate container.  The plan was to see how much yeast I have and make a starter from there.  If I saved all of it from my last batch and it's at 60% viability, I figure I'm either right where I need to be or should make a small starter.

Should I now just estimate how much yeast I have, figuring the yeast concentration is on the high side and the non-yeast percentage is on the low side?  Seems right but please chime in if I'm missing something.   I want to learn how to calculate this properly.  Thanks.

Ron, hook me up.  I voted for you!   ;)


Yeast and Fermentation / Starter for my Helles
« on: April 17, 2012, 06:27:49 AM »
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?


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Flask size...pilseners
« on: April 17, 2012, 04:34:22 AM »
Yea, I just prefer one big starter that I can decant and toss right in.  With the Bomex 5L flask, it goes from range to ice bath to stir plate to fridge to wort.  No transfers, mess or extra steps.  Simply a matter of preference.  Nothing wrong with a 1L step up IMO.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Oh no!
« on: April 16, 2012, 12:10:04 PM »
+1.  If you have a 'warm syrup' setting on your microwave, I would do that before pouring in.  Otherwise 10-20 seconds should warm it up enough to get a good pour.  If you have a StarSan spray handy, sanitize a spoon and scoop the rest out.  You should get most all of it that way and not water down the beer by boiling.  Good luck!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Recipe Help!
« on: April 16, 2012, 12:02:24 PM »
I use beertools as well.  But I've found that while brewing I use a handy little app on my iPhone called Sparge Pal.  Cost me $.99 and saves me a ton of time.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Oh no!
« on: April 16, 2012, 11:36:30 AM »
One question though.  The recipe calls for 75% efficiency and 1.069.  By my calcs, adding the syrup you will bring it up to 1.054.  Did you hit your numbers?


All Grain Brewing / Re: Oh no!
« on: April 16, 2012, 11:14:30 AM »
I would not worry too much about it.  Boil, cool to fermenting temp and add.  If it is just starting to ferment, any Oxygen that sneaks in there will not hurt you.  RDWHAHB.....


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