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Messages - davidgzach

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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.....


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Near-perfect Brew Day
« on: April 16, 2012, 09:30:33 AM »
Like most, I typically brew alone.  However I started a tradition last year called "Man Day".  Several people expressed interest in making a brew so I figured I would have them all at once.  So on the 23rd of December I invited everyone to take a half day and come over to brew.  We made a Steam Beer, smoked cigars, drank some beer and a whiskey tasting even broke out.  There is something about a dozen guys standing around a brew kettle in 30F weather talking smack, drinking and smoking cigars.  They made me promise to do it again this year as everyone had a blast and everyone took turns performing a task like with Tony.  I really enjoyed it as well even though I typically like the solitude.  It was a cool change of pace and it makes you realize just how much you know about homebrewing as you answer the mulitiudes of questions everyone has.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Boiling in an erlenmeyer flask
« on: April 16, 2012, 08:53:11 AM »
Boiling in the flask works great for me and then no need to sanitize the flask or transfer to it after cooling.  Less steps.  Then again I use fermcap in every starter.

+1 here.  You do have to pay a little extra attention but if you reduce the heat just before it starts a rapid boil you should be fine.  No mess and less steps.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Boiling in an erlenmeyer flask
« on: April 14, 2012, 05:56:05 AM »
Spend the extra $ and buy Pyrex or Bomex.  You can take them straight from the burner to the ice bath without a worry.  If you plan to make lagers, I would purchase a 4L or 5L too.

Not too fast, but probably too warm.  If it was 65 ambient and you pitched a good starter, the beer could have been as high as 72-73F during high fermentation although that is not overly high for that yeast.  You probably had a leak in your airlock, the seal or the seal on the fermenter if there was no activity at all.

Let it sit at 65F for a week or two to let the yeast clean up and then rack to secondary for a few weeks.  If you keg, that can be your secondary.  It should be fine.  RDWHAHB.... 

If there is a lot of sulphur and you keg, purge it with CO2 every couple of days as that will help clear out the sulphur.  If not, a gentle swirl of the primary will help as well.  Even if it's fermented out, the trapped CO2 will release and push the sulphur out.


After emailing with Wyeast a few years ago the only time I decant is if I am doing a delicate style or a volume that is approaching the limits of my fermenter.  For 20 gallon batches I generally make a two step, two gallon starter, beginning 48 hours before brew day, on a stir plate with constant O2 feed.

The Wyeast pitch calculator is a great tool:

I have to agree that this has to effect the final beer.  Do you account for this in your recipe?  A two gallon starter has to be about 1.75# of DME? 

I definitely pitch some of the beer but decant as much as I can.


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