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Messages - anje

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Determining yeast numbers?
« on: March 09, 2012, 01:37:05 PM »
She wasn't extremely clear on the final dimensions she expected it to have. But it was to be field-size, using a bunch of fluidics and flow cell design that's way beyond me.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Determining yeast numbers?
« on: March 08, 2012, 02:56:48 PM »
Flow cytometer is a bit out of my budget right now, unfortunately. (After all, I'm still starting out here. Haven't even gotten my own Pipettemen yet.) Though I do have a friend who was trying to develop a field-size or possibly pocket-size one for her degree....

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: SNPA in a can
« on: March 06, 2012, 01:52:38 PM »
Sounds great for hanging out by the river (no glass), but right now I need the bottles!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Determining yeast numbers?
« on: March 03, 2012, 08:39:09 PM »
I would trust microscope with hemocytometer rather than specs or plates.
Plate counts would be the most accurate, since they'd give a viable count. However, you have to have decent technique (change pipettes/tips at each point or your numbers end up completely screwed up, and good ways to accurately measure volumes) and plenty of plates. Easy enough for me to manage in my lab with lots of micropipettes and access to an autoclave, but I'd hate to attempt it in the tiny kitchen in my apartment.  In an ideal world you do growth curves correlating the optical density (probably at 600nm) with the plate counts in a growing sample -- again, this requires lots and lots of plates and seems like a hassle for someone like me who lacks dedicated space and equipment to do work with food organisms.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Determining yeast numbers?
« on: March 01, 2012, 01:53:53 PM »
True, there are direct counts, though acquiring a respectable microscope seems easily as costly as a (basically indestructible) Spectronic 20. Slightly less bulky, though.

The Pub / Re: Right vs. Pragmatic
« on: March 01, 2012, 01:36:36 PM »
Is anyone else bothered by the inefficiency of the path one has to take to navigate that bathroom?

Perhaps more people would wash their hands if they didn't have to dodge other people and zigzag back and forth through the room a couple times to do it?

Yeast and Fermentation / Determining yeast numbers?
« on: March 01, 2012, 01:22:19 PM »
I've only made a few batches of beer so far (first was quite good, second's still conditioning but seems promising, third's still fermenting), all with dry yeast. From reading here, it seems like one of the modifications I'm going to want to make soonest is to make yeast starters and start pitching them in larger quantities.

So I keep reading that it's important to pitch the correct amount of yeast for a good flavor profile, and I see calculators.  But how do you determine how much yeast you have? I don't have a spectrophotometer in my kitchen, and by the time I'd done plate counts the numbers would change significantly, even if I had the patience and equipment.  Surely numbers vary substantially based with the gravity of the starter wort and any limiting yeast nutrients, so we can't go by volume of a stationary phase culture when the yeast have flocculated, can we?

Acetobacter is aerobic - it often isn't much of a problem if you're kegging/bottle conditioning because there is no oxygen. But if you're cask conditioning and using ambient air to fill the headspace in the cask, then there will be plenty of oxygen in there (and you're probably innoculating with acetobacter too).
Lactobacilli might be a problem, though, if they get in. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: balance
« on: February 20, 2012, 11:28:44 AM »
The key is to get the cake-ice cream mush to the right consistency, so that all the surfaces are wetted by ice cream but not to the point where the melting ice cream simply gives you soup. It should be roughly reminiscent of cement.

The Pub / Re: proper use of bottle rockets
« on: February 16, 2012, 05:32:18 PM »
Gotta love that it's not the kid who had a bottle rocket go off in his butt that's suing.  ::)

What you're supposed to do is just tape them with the fuses together, aiming opposite directions, and let them fight it out. My normally safety-obsessed father suggested that one somewhere after I showed up one Fourth with a couple gross of the things.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: High Fermentation Temp Question
« on: January 31, 2012, 03:11:11 PM »
Fermentation definitely warms things up, and I wouldn't be surprised if the box provided additional insulation. Putting the fermenter in a dark room (basement, closet, unneeded bathroom) would be preferable.

What I've done to help keep the fermentation temperatures down is to put my fermenter (a 6.5 gallon plastic bucket) in a rubbermaid bin, then filled the bin with cool water to a bit lower than the level of the beer. That lowers the temperature in the fermenter to a couple degrees below room temperature simply due to evaporation. In the summer, I may throw frozen water bottles into the water bath to keep the temperature below 70F, but for now I'm able to keep my fermenter at about 65F in a 68F apartment.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Your favorite glass
« on: January 31, 2012, 11:20:34 AM »
Aesthetically, I like those tulip-shaped pints (not the stemmed tulip in the Beer Advocate link), but I haven't compared the same beer in different glasses to see what I really like best.   I know I dislike glasses like champagne flutes and those where the rim comes in too much because they bonk my nose when I'm trying to drink out of them!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottles aren't carbonating.
« on: January 30, 2012, 01:34:47 PM »
I think part of my problem is that I keep reading about people getting carbonation in 3-5 days
Are you sure those people aren't talking about force carbonating?  I don't naturally carbonate anymore, but I never got anything carbed that fast.  It was always 2-3 weeks.
Pretty sure. Example thread. But there are probably differences in temperature vs the do-it-all-in-a-one-temp-apartment method I'm stuck with.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottles aren't carbonating.
« on: January 30, 2012, 11:05:41 AM »
In this case, the dextrose was from an extract kit -- I don't know whether they did it by weight or volume, but it did specify the mass provided.  (Would have to look to tell you what that was, don't have it with me.)

A small scale sounds like a good investment anyway. Though all these things with a 2g precisions make me aware of how spoiled I am with lab equipment.  ::)

I think part of my problem is that I keep reading about people getting carbonation in 3-5 days, and part is probably that it's my first batch and I'm eager for the brew to be ready to drink. Presumably, everyone here has gone through that phase. Once I've built up more of a stockpile of homebrew, I'll be more content to let it sit in bottles for a month or so before opening.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottles aren't carbonating.
« on: January 30, 2012, 07:46:11 AM »
I don't want to crank up my apartment's temperature right now. I just got an oatmeal stout cooked and it's bubbling away happily at 64ish (evaporation in the waterbath I've got the fermenter in knocks the temperature according to the stick-on thermometer down about 4F from room temperature). But I'll try flipping the bottles, and maybe crank the heat in a few days.

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