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Messages - erockrph

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If you're trying to culture from a bottle, I'd encourage you to leave a bit of the beer behind as well. Any cells that are still in suspension are likely to be much more viable than the ones that have already dropped out.

You also want to use a lower-strength starter for your first step to put less stress on the yeast. I've strted using 2oz of normal-strength starter to 2oz of beer, which will dilute to a half-strength starter. The beer also acts as a bit of protection for the yeast, as the lower pH and alcohol content will inhibit some potential contaminants.

I pour the beer into the starter in a mason jar, then shake it until it's pretty much all foam to oxygenate it well. I usually let it go for 5-7 days before stepping it up to a normal-sized starter.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Using Percentages to create a grain bill
« on: June 09, 2015, 03:15:48 PM »
I use Brewers Friend for my software, and this is how I scale recipes from percentage:
  • I enter all the percents as pounds for each ingredient. So 90.6% of Pale Malt would get entered as 90.6 pounds (and so on).
  • Then I adjust the batch size (through trial and error) until the OG matches the listed OG for the recipe.
  • Then I use the "Scale" function to scale the recipe to my batch size.
This results in a recipe scaled to my system and batch size.

Beer Recipes / Re: session IPA tricks
« on: June 09, 2015, 02:55:05 AM »
To me, the best example of the style is Founders All-Day IPA. Most others seem too thin and watery to me. I've never cloned it, but I've heard that they have a rather complex malt bill. I'm guessing that there's a little bit of everything mentioned here - crystal, Munich, wheat, maybe some Rye.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Starter with water
« on: June 09, 2015, 12:41:42 AM »
Morticaixavier, thank you , but how about a vial?
You need DME to feed the yeast, otherwise there will be no cell growth. No DME=no starter

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: BRETT HELP
« on: June 08, 2015, 11:58:28 PM »
I think you will get some fairly clashing flavours with brett + fruit + oak given that the abbey ale yeast (safale Abbaye?) will likely give you some banana aroma \ flavour. I think you need to step back and consider what you are aiming for rather than add ingredients and yeast which might result in a confused flavour profile. What style had you intended to brew?

After a few months with brett the banana and other fruit flavors will transform into the expected brett character.
+1 - Most of the really good Brett beers I've had use a Belgian strain in primary (Orval, Ommegang Biere de Mars, everyone on the planet's Brett Saison, etc.)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: % ABV mathematics ???
« on: June 08, 2015, 08:06:49 PM »
Dave - that really was helpful, but how do you handle raw fruit additions after the primary?  Is there a schedule somewhere that can be used to approximate this based on weight added?
I think there is a chart in Denny & Drew's book that estimates pppg for many common (and less common) fruit additions.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: % ABV mathematics ???
« on: June 08, 2015, 03:40:38 AM »
The easiest way is to just calculate a "virtual" original gravity by adding the gravity of any additions you make to the original gravity, then using the measured final gravity to determine the ABV.

In other words, if your beer starts at 1.060 OG and gets down to 1.010, then you add enough fermentables to bring it back up to 1.015, you would simply use 1.065 as your OG for calculating ABV.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Knock-out, not flame-out
« on: June 08, 2015, 03:33:01 AM »
English m-therf$%^r DO YOU SPEAK IT!?

Other Fermentables / Re: Strawberry Rhubarb Mead
« on: June 07, 2015, 07:20:19 PM »
Thanks Eric. I have another 2lbs of strawberries in reserve in the freezer if I feel the need to add more strawberry character during back sweetening.

Do you think some pectic enzyme is necessary?
I don't think it's necessary unless you're heating the berries, but it can't hurt. I don't use it in my meads, but i do find that it clears my ciders a bit quicker.

Other Fermentables / Re: Strawberry Rhubarb Mead
« on: June 07, 2015, 04:22:23 PM »
That sounds like a solid plan. Depending on how much strawberry character you're looking for 6 lbs might not be enough. Even pushing 4lb/gallon I find that I can't get as much strawberry character as I'd like. The tartness of the rhubarb might help with the strawberry character, but I'd consider keeping some extra strawberry puree on hand to add when you backsweeten if needed.

It would be interesting to see if there is a difference between sucrose (table sugar, a disaccharide) and dextrose (i.e., d-glucose, a monosaccharide). I don't bother keeping dextrose on hand because sucrose works just as well for my brewing needs up to this point.

It's not like the yeast cells do not have transcribe the enzymes necessary to break apart the glycosidic bonds that hold maltose and maltotriose together.  It's just that they have a lot of glucose that they can utilize directly before they have to shift to reducing disaccharides and trisaccharides to glucose.  Additionally, the higher saccharides have been cut in half.  Most brewing yeast strains cannot reduce these sugars to glucose.  Adding Fermax boosts the free amino nitrogen level and provides vitamins and trace elements.

That makes me wonder if a dextrose-boosted starter may be a better medium for at least the first step of a starter for yeast that may be in poor health (bottle dregs, old slurry, outdated/mishandled smackpack, etc.). This way it gets an initial boost of easily used sugar to get it going early, but still has some maltose in solution to get it ready for further steps into an all-malt fermnentation. I think I'll give this a try in the near future.

All Grain Brewing / Re: mash pH vs beer color
« on: June 07, 2015, 02:41:54 PM »
I'll give you the targets I shoot for.

5.2 - saison
5.25-5.3 - pale lagers
5.4 - hop forward beers and beers that don't fit any of these other numbers
5.5-5.6  -  dark beers

If you enter your grist lovibond ratings and water volumes accurately, these numbers will make good beer for you. Good luck !
I use pretty much these exact numbers as well. And while these are sort of based on color, you should really be thinking of how it fits the style rather than just the color. For example, I'd still target 5.3 pH for a schwarzbier even though it's closer to a porter in color since I'm still looking for a crisp finish similar to most of my pale lager recipes.

Also, something I feel should be mentioned is that I target these mash pH's because they tend to drive the finished pH to where I want it. It doesn't have much to do with mash chemistry in particular. As long as your mash pH is in a good range for conversion, you could just as easily adjust in the kettle. I just prefer to make all my water adjustments up front for simplicity's sake.

Your results make biological sense to me. It's not so much that cells lose the ability to produce enzymes over time, it's just that there are biological feedback loops that upregulate or downregulate the production of proteins. This takes time - it's not a quick process.

My guess is that yeast cells upregulate the production of maltose permease (the enzyme that brings maltose into the cell) and/or maltase (the enzyme that cleaves maltose into its constituent sugars) in response to increased maltose concentrations. In other words, if the yeast is in the presence of malt sugar it will take steps to increase its ability to use it.

Yeast grown in the absence of maltose are less likely to have a large amount of these enzymes. The genes that encode for the production of these enzymes are always present, they're just not always turned on. Once they are signaled to ramp up production it takes time to start churning out these enzymes. That would seem to explain the increased lag times and slower drop in gravity for the dextrose-starter beer.

What I was most interested in reading was that there was little difference in flavor between the two. I guess you could use another sugar source in a pinch if you really needed to boost cell count, but wort still seems like the best option. I have run into a situation where I was lower than expected on DME. I might consider boosting the starter with sugar if I ever run into that situation in the future.

Beer Recipes / Re: Rauchbier Ale recipe
« on: June 06, 2015, 04:27:32 PM »
That actually sounds really appetizing. I have wanted to do a Scottish 80 and a wee heavy for awhile. So just off quick estimates here is what I am thinking
55% Rauchnalt
40% Irish pale Malt(just bought a sack of it)
5% Roasted barley
WLP028 I think is Edinburgh Ale Yeast
And I'm thinking some Nugget hops just for some plain bittering hops
Any thoughts?
Looks like a good start to me. Keep the IBU's in the low 20's and you should be good to go.

Beer Recipes / Re: Rauchbier Ale recipe
« on: June 06, 2015, 02:53:28 PM »
Full disclosure - I do not enjoy smoked beer beyond the first sip.

That said, you can go up to 100% smoked malt in a recipe if you want. You could maybe do something like a smoked Scottish 80/-. Use 100% smoked malt for your base, some Roast Barley to hit your color and a Scottish ale yeast.

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