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Messages - davidgzach

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: I am new to lager
« on: December 14, 2011, 03:11:19 PM »
Put it on CO2, release the pressure and let the CO2 refill to about 10-12 psi.  It clears the headspace and refills with fresh CO2. If you have a lot of acetaldehyde, you can help to reduce it in this way as well as with aging.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: I am new to lager
« on: December 14, 2011, 02:54:54 PM »
Thanks for the tip on the barrel.  I'll definitely chase that one down.

Taste your hydrometer sample when you check next for FG or when you keg if you just leave it in primary.  If it tastes like green apples, that's acetaldehyde.  Try purging your keg once a week for a few weeks.  If it tastes like imitation butter, that's the diacetyl.  Let it warm up for a few days again.  If fruity/estery, let it sit and pray.......

Good luck!


All Grain Brewing / Re: Storing Bulk Grain
« on: December 14, 2011, 02:21:46 PM »
I use plain buckets with Gamma Seal lids.


How much grain does a 6.5 gallon bucket hold?  20-25 lbs?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: I am new to lager
« on: December 14, 2011, 02:18:38 PM »
Just reading through.  I recently pitched a gallon starter (decanted) in to a Winter Ale (1.072) which was bubbling in 4 hours and turned my blow off container brown with Krausen.  If you pitch the correct amount of yeast your lagers can very much look like an ale fermenting.  +1 on higher temps giving shorter lag time.

You would have to leave the yeast on the cake for a looong time for autolysis to start if you used a quality yeast, especially for a lager.  Keep it on the cake and let the yeasties do their thing.  If you produced a lot of esters, your only potential remedy is time.  If you produced acetaldehyde, you can try to blow it out with a couple of swirls or by purging a few times if kegged.  You have probably produced diacetyl.  What yeast did you use?  I would bring it up to 65F for 2-3 days at the end of fermentation.

I haven't used a secondary in several years.  Your best bet is to start kegging!  That's a great secondary.....

Jealous on the whiskey barrel.  Where did you guys buy them?


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Brewing a Maibock......
« on: December 14, 2011, 02:01:47 PM »
I am planning on brewing a Maibock on Monday.  My today too early to make my yeast starter?  My plan is to make the starter today, let it go on the stir plate until Sunday then chill until Monday.  I will decant the wort then pitch the yeast.  Thoughts, ideas or suggestions?

Sounds like a good plan.  +1 in making sure you have a big enough starter.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Storing Bulk Grain
« on: December 13, 2011, 04:17:04 PM »
I stored mine in a couple of lowes plastic 5 gallon buckets with lids. $5 each.

No problems with it being airtight?  I like economical.....

All Grain Brewing / Re: Storing Bulk Grain
« on: December 13, 2011, 02:29:57 PM »
If you'll wait until right after Christmas, major stores like Target will have great sales on storage bins. It's always when I buy stuff like this. Many times it's 1/2 off.

Good point, Bo.  I'll put a reminder in to check that out after the holidays so I can buy more in bulk! 

I ordered one from Amazon for $31.  It should be here next week and I really want to brew this week so had to buy one......

All Grain Brewing / Re: Storing Bulk Grain
« on: December 13, 2011, 01:56:04 PM »
I use Vittle Vaults

Sweet guys!  I have a Petco right around the corner.  Will pick one up today.  Gotta love the forum.....

What's your experience with using washed yeast?  Any problems?

My experience is that it produces great beer and saves me money.  However, I follow a fairly rigid aseptic technique.  I autoclave bottles and flasks at work, and if I need something on short notice I use boiling water to sanitize before using.  I work over a strong flame (torch flame) to create an area of uplifting air where bacteria cannot settle.  My washing water has been autoclaved or at least boiled for 15 minutes, then cooled to the same temperature as the yeast before I wash it.  The area where I work is clean and I have sprayed 70% ethanol over the area.  Caps, threads, bottles tops - everything gets hit with ethanol before I transfer. 

Sometimes I just leave the yeast cake in beer and don't worry about washing it.  It is a lot less work and there aren't as many opportunities to contaminate it.  I find that yeast stored in beer stays viable longer than yeast washed 3-4 times then stored away.  I believe this is due to introducing oxygen at multiple times and getting the yeast starting to wake up over and over.  If you transfer from the carboy into a jar and put it in the fridge, then the yeast stay dormant and happy.

Wow, that is definitely a process!  Mine is not as thorough but have not bought yeast this year, and have made good beer, so pretty happy with the results.  I think just like brewing, as long as you are careful and have a sanitized process, you should be fine.

On the worry about it being bad.  If it was bad, one smell would tell you.  If the starter smells healthy, IMHO you are good to go!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: I am new to lager
« on: December 13, 2011, 01:48:15 PM »
Denny is of course spot on.  The only thing I would add is to pitch the yeast, after you decant it, in to the wort that is a couple of degrees below your target and let it warm a little.  If you pitch warm and wait to see activity before lowering the temp, you are inviting ester, sulphur and acetaldehyde production.  You will have to lager much longer to clean up the beer.

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!


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: plastic fermenter
« on: December 13, 2011, 01:33:53 PM »
I would let it soak in OxiClean for a day, rinse with hot water and then soak it in a heavy bleach solution for a couple of days.  Rinse very well again with HOT water and you should be just fine. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Thermowell
« on: December 06, 2011, 08:25:38 PM »
Thanks for the great feedback all!  I'm trying to find a chest freezer on Craig's list for cheap so I can do what Euge is doing.  Until then, I like the mojo I have right now with the thermowell.  Seems to be performing well as it doesn't move from 51F whenever I check it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry hopping
« on: December 06, 2011, 03:30:03 PM »
If you plan to reuse the yeast, I would use the bag.  If not, then I would toss.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I just freaked out a little...
« on: December 06, 2011, 03:28:11 PM »
I have fermented some awesome beers in some pretty skanky chest freezers.

On the flip side, I've fermented some pretty skanky beers in some pretty awesome chest freezers. ;D
I've seen some pretty awesome chests on some pretty skanky babes.

But there is nothing worse than an awesome babe with a skanky chest....... :D

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