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Messages - davidgzach

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« on: January 02, 2013, 10:19:51 AM »
Good to know about the stir bar.  I always added it right after I took the starter off the boil.  Got my finger steamed a couple of times doing this and if I do not add Fermcap, I can get a volcano.

I've been looking around the internet more on this and it seems that if you have a glass or ceramic electric stove it is not an issue.  It becomes a problem when you put the flask directly on the electric heating coils.  My glass top electric seems to distribute the heat quite well and as I have said, no problems thus far.

However, I don't want boiling wort all over the kitchen as my wife will kill me.  Thoughts on glass/ceramic stove tops versus directly on the element?


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Pellets
« on: January 02, 2013, 10:04:30 AM »
+1 to just tossing them in the boil or fermenter.  However, if you are dry hopping and going to reuse the yeast, I would use whole hops.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« on: January 02, 2013, 10:00:20 AM »
Great link and info Nate!  This has been a great thread.

I recently met through friends and became friends with a "German".  Big dude with an even bigger German accent.  We constantly talk about beer.  His common argument is how much different German Lagers taste in Germany versus here in the US.  They have that "German Lager Flavor" not found in the beer here.  This being the case, I was very proud when he tasted mine and told me it was as close to home as he's ever tasted here in the US.  Not sure why just yet, but it was one of my best which I have now been able to reproduce several times.

He just emailed me this morning as he was home for the holidays and brought back 6 different types of German beer for us to compare against their US counterparts.  I can't wait and will report back our findings.  I plan to print out some BJCP scoresheets and take copious notes.  I'm hoping to try and pick out where we may be falling short in comparison to the German originals. 


All Grain Brewing / Re: Hockhurz Step Mash: Check my Process
« on: January 02, 2013, 08:35:47 AM »

My Hochkurz is competely different, you are way off.  I go 146 to 158..... ;D

Looks good!  Good luck!


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« on: January 01, 2013, 08:53:29 AM »
I'm on electric with no problems.  But it of course has to be Pyrex....

Google "pyrex flask on electric stove" for hundreds (thousands?) of people who have broken Pyrex flasks by placing them directly on an electric stove.

I sure hope I'm not jinxing myself, OK already did so:

I've been boiling on my electric range with a Bomex 5L erlenmeyer for the past year and 30-40 starters later, no prob.....

I'm sure it will crack next time now.   :-\

All Grain Brewing / Re: first AG questions
« on: January 01, 2013, 08:48:08 AM »
Congrats on your first all grain!  If you got to 85% efficiency, well done!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Low fermenter temp correction
« on: December 31, 2012, 08:31:56 AM »
I think you will be fine. Warm it up and shake, swirl or reaerate to get yeast back in suspension.

+1.  I think a couple of good swirls as it warms will be fine.


it was an unsmacked smack pack, but the bag was inflated.  i let it warm up and cut the corner, flattened it and smacked it and decanted it into an 800 ml starter.  i smelled it first and it smelled fine, but i can't tell what if any action i'm getting on the stirstarter.
Give it a day or three and check the gravity.  Let it settle, decant, and do it again.  It should be fine.

+1.  You need to give it some time to build back up.

Equipment and Software / Re: Happened Again!
« on: December 30, 2012, 05:13:44 PM »
How are you measuring the gravity? You should degass before taking a hydrometer reading by pouring back and forth between two glasses repeatedly.

Hydrometer and agreed.  I normally degass but I measured the bucket batch first (no bubbles), then the BB.  I saw the bubbles but didn't degass as I was in a rush to get out.

Equipment and Software / Re: Happened Again!
« on: December 30, 2012, 05:10:10 PM »
How big was the difference?  How are you aerating them?

1.012 versus 1.008.  Using a mix-stir on my cordless drill on the full 10G for 2-3 minutes.  Lot's o foam when done.

You're on the right track.  Decant, add some pre-boiled and cooled water of the same temperature and swirl it up.  You should know right away.  If undecided, then make a starter.  If that smells bad then toss.

I've used yeast slurry up to about 6 months old.  After that I am usually too scared to ruin a batch and waste 5-6 hours of my time over a $7 purchase.  It's usually around generation 4-5 anyway....


Equipment and Software / Happened Again!
« on: December 29, 2012, 12:16:55 PM »
I posted a few weeks ago about an Ale that had a lower FG in a bucket than in a Better Bottle.  Same yeast, 10G split batch, all things equal.  It was chalked up to stratification during the transfer from kettle to fermenter since I filled the bucket first. 

Well, it just happened again, this time with a German Lager.  I don't remember which I filled first, but now I am wondering if there was more pressure in the headspace of the BB causing it to retain some CO2 and having that effect the hydrometer reading.  I did see some bubbles in the BB sample and none at all in the bucket sample.

Thoughts on this?


i have some denny's fav 50 yeast from 03/12 that i need to use.  i plan on making a small starter if this particular yeast will work with a beer like that.
What form is the yeast from 3/12?  Is it an un-smacked smack pack?  Or is this a leftover slurry?  I would plan on a multi-stage starter in either case.  The first stage to check for viability and grow some yeast, the second stage to grow more yeast.  Viability will be pretty low after that long, but there should be plenty if it was stored well.

+1.  And if it's slurry and does not smell particularly good, I would toss it and use something else.  You'll know when you take a whiff.....

Beer Recipes / Re: Eisbock / Dopplebock
« on: December 21, 2012, 07:26:18 AM »
That's guys.  I'm going to tilt in favor of the eisbock and go from there.

Good luck!  Let us know how it turns out.


Beer Recipes / Re: Eisbock / Dopplebock
« on: December 20, 2012, 01:24:30 PM »
IShould I just brew to the eisbock base style and accept that the dopple might not be quite as malty and rich as its supposed to be?

If the Eisbock is what you really want, then this.  Or brew the Dopplebock and take what you get with the Eis.  Or, make it a two brew day.  I don't think you can pull both off in one.

Of course you can do both.

Formulating the recipe, I'd lean towards the Eisbock because it takes more time and effort. That doesn't mean that a split batch won't produce an enjoyable Doppelbock.

It might not get you a gold at NHC, but it will be nice to have on tap and, after all, you'll be entering that Eisbock anyway!

I should have clarified I don't think you can do both to the style guidelines.  I thought that was where the OP was going with the thread.  I totally agree you can do both and still may have a great Dopplebock to enjoy in the end.  It just may not be exactly to the style.


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