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Messages - mpietropaoli

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151
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 100% Brettanomyces (or similar) fermentation
« on: September 19, 2012, 03:43:00 PM »
There is an article in one of the last 3 issues of Zymurgy about doing all brett beers, and there are 3 recipes.  If you are posting on here, do you have a subscription?  You can get the e-issues if  so. 

Interested in this thread as I'd like to do an all-brett farmhouse. 

My copy of that issue is at work, so I can check it tomorrow, but I believe as one poster said, if it is ALL brett (no pedio/other bug), you will have more dryness/acidity, less barnyard.

152
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Phenolic Contamination??? Not sure
« on: September 18, 2012, 06:00:29 PM »
I'll weigh in here.  I just had this happen for the first time in 40 or so brews (Jamils American Wheat with Rye), and tried to doctor it every which way.  Most were unsuccessful, including dry-hopping, zesting, cold-crashing, and finings. 

However, I did a second fermentation as a last resort (opposed to dumping it) with 3 lbs dried apricots, pitching new yeast, and its pretty well not noticeable and turned out to be a decent beer. 

The weird thing is, I've never had it before, so its not likely a water problem.  I can't see how it would've been infected.  Good luck!

153
Yeast and Fermentation / Very quick high krausen with S-04
« on: September 18, 2012, 02:28:04 PM »
Wow, did a double brewday with 2 american IPAs (both around 1.062).  Pitched about 1 cup of pure slurry into each, harvested from a 2L starter of new S-04.

Pitched on Sunday morning at 64 degrees, had visible airlock activity within 4 hours (temp maintained), went to go top crop some this afternoon, and boom, the krausen had already dropped....on both fermenters!

Has anyone had a krausen drop within 48 hours?  I know I borderline overpitched, but that is damned quick!

154
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Band Aid Beer
« on: August 29, 2012, 08:49:22 PM »
Cause 3: Too Warm The flip side of the coin could be that the temperature was warm, e.g. 75¡F, and the yeast got the job done ahead of schedule. This often happens when a lot of yeast is pitched, the primary fermentation can be complete within 48 hours. This is not necessarily a good thing, as ferments above 70¡F tend to produce a lot of esters and phenolics that just don't taste right. The beer will still be good, just not as good as it could have been. It will depend on your tastes and the out of how to brew.  the time i had this problem, i both lost control of temp (pure negligence) and forgot the campden (blaming my age)

Ummm, this.  This is likely what happened, plus the fact that I used old-arse yeast.  I pitched a ton of yeast (2000ml heavily active starter) for this gravity ALE (1.055ish).  I only moved it out of temp control into the mid-70's because I had to make room for a super-late O-fest in my ferm fridge.  I figured better to control the temp on the wheat early, then ramp up and have it finish quickly, since I needed to have it ready* for Labor Day.  When I moved it out of the ferm fridge, set to a temp of 65, the beer was down to 1.12ish and already had a slight band-aid flavor (krausen still present).  I figured moving to 75 or so ambient temp (while also clearing the ferm fridge) would get the yeast kicked up and plow through the rest of the sugars, and make a good clean, dry wheat that everyone could quaff all weekend. 

The only thing that leads me to believe the fermentation didn't happen so quickly (as per the quote) was taht the krausen hadn't subsided (US-05) until I cool-crashed it (at 50 where the O-fest was, back in the ferm fridge). 

In any event, the beer is okay, but not up to my standards, and I figured it was either dump it or mess with it.  Therefore, I boiled 3lbs of chopped dried apricots, racked the beer from keg back to a fermenter, cooled the apricots, dumped them in the wheat, aerated, then pitched about a cup of bavarian lager yeast, and set in the ferm fridge, still set @ 50 degrees. 

I figure, why admit defeat when, as a true Clark Griwold disciple, I can futz with something, likely compound the problem, and make a huge @$$ out of myself and throw good money after bad?

*By "ready", I mean "rushed", as in, the beer is good but not great and I'm not serving it to my guests, friends and family.  Kegged up (after removing the wheat, as its my first and only keg) a California Common that is F$#!ING fantastic in its place.  Lesson for the kids:  NEVER brew on a short timetable and ALWAYS have a back up plan. 

155
Yeast and Fermentation / Band Aid Beer
« on: August 29, 2012, 10:00:07 AM »
65 is warm, or the75?

156
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Band Aid Beer
« on: August 28, 2012, 05:36:24 PM »
So, the band-aid flavor is from polyphenols, right? Like 4-ethylphenols? Can we do anything to the beer at this point to reduce the solubility of polyphenols, so they'll drop out? Or can we add anything that would bind with polyphenols to drop them out of suspension?

don't tannins bind polyphenols? makes for chill haze though. Have you tried gelatine? or boiled irish moss?

boil the irish moss, add directly to the keg?  should i strain it out so it doesn't clog the dip tube? 

I'm going to the store right now to get 2 oranges and a lemon to zest, boil, strain, then add.  Did this last night, and it seemed to reduce the presence of it (though my wife thinks differently). 

Yet another lesson why NOT TO RUSH A BEER!

157
Yeast and Fermentation / Band Aid Beer
« on: August 28, 2012, 09:31:05 AM »
I have not re-used yeast that old, that I can recall.  But I have noticed that my starters can smell sour.


If it's your first time kegging, perhaps the keg is the culprit?

Yeah starters smell sour because they don't have any hops, which is why decanting is a good move...

I had the band aid smell before I kegged, it was likely something during brewing or fermentation.

158
Yeast and Fermentation / Band Aid Beer
« on: August 28, 2012, 06:10:24 AM »
Quote
4.)  Don't think I underpitched.  Used a 2000ml starter of US-05 (last used about 6 months ago).  Starter smelled a little sour, so decanted. 

Trying to understand this. You made a slurry from a starter of US-05 from 6 months ago? If that is the case then there is a strong possibility that the slurry was just infected with wild yeast, or possibly mutated. I would never use a slurry much older than a few weeks, let alone try to revive one that was 6 months old. If you had slants or froze the yeast in glycerin that would be a different story but you are running a risk with old yeast, starter or no.

Correct.  Harvested the yeast 6 months ago, washed and put in the fridge in a sanitized vial.  Made a starter, chilled, then pitched the contents of the vial and placed on stir plate.  Had a vigorous starter fermentation, but as I said, didn't smell great.  Harvested and washed again after I racked the wheat beer to the keg.  It has a SLIGHT sour/phenolic smell, but otherwise smells like fresh yeast.  I had read on other forums that ppl reuse harvested yeast (with a starter, decanted) up to a year old (?)

159
Yeast and Fermentation / Band Aid Beer
« on: August 27, 2012, 08:27:50 PM »
I have never had this phenolic before, and, as a dues-paying member, I'm going on a rant that's full of rhetorical questions...

Trying to find where in my process this could have happened...have made a few changes recently:

1.)  went to a BIAB set up.  Forgot to rinse the bag that I ordered from BIABrewer since i can't sew for crap.  Could there have been some chlorine used to wash the bag?  The manufacturer said no way.

2.)  maybe my under sink charcoal filter is due for a change?  HOWEVER, made a steam beer 7 days before that turned out great. 

3.)  I could have rushed this beer off the yeast.  Primary at 65 for 4 days, raised up to 75 for another 6 days, cool to 50 before racking to keg.  Was trying to get it ready for Labor Day weekend

4.)  Don't think I underpitched.  Used a 2000ml starter of US-05 (last used about 6 months ago).  Starter smelled a little sour, so decanted. 

5.)  Went to a partial chill set up where i use the IC to get it down to ~120 or so, then throw it in the ferm chest and let it get down to pitching temp, then transfer/aerate into a new fermenter

6.)  Its Jamils American Wheat, and wheat supposedly contains more ferrulic acid than other malts...(used white wheat malt)...I don't make a lot of wheat beers, is there a mashing procedure thats different?  (I would think not with BIAB/no sparge, as I don't even need rice hulls).  Also has 3lb rye malt.  Maybe I simply overdid the rye?  This is what he suggested!
 
7.)  Did a 75-minute mash, per the BIAB mavens.

8.)  This one's weird:  I had some 3 year-old pH strips, and in the steam beer I made, they read that the pH was in the 3's AFTER using 5.2 stabilizer (which I've since stopped using per Denny Conn).  However, the steam is great (so far), and an actual pH of 3 would have been vile...I know pH being off can cause this phenol

I guess if there are this many potential culprits, I need to nail down my processes a little bit.  HOWEVER, I am not typically getting off flavors, and my palette is getting better (BJCP in February!), and my wife's is excellent!

Here's my real question:
IF you were a complete maniac and wanted to try to salvage this beer, how would you feel about boiling a few ounces of orange/lemon peel, straining, and dumping the 1-2oz or so of then-cooled water with the zest flavor into the keg?  Cuz I did that.  Might do it again tomorrow if the beer doesn't get right. 

Oh did I also mention that I tried to weigh down a hop bag that was already in the keg by removing it, tying an outer layer cheesecloth around it, only to have the outer layer fall apart once the thing got back into the keg and the weight (a small glass votif holder) hit the bottom of the keg with a mocking 'klink'?

Oh did I also mention that this is my first time kegging after 3  years and 40+ brews?

If this beer doesn't turn into methlamine I will be lucky.

160
I have to say though that the most recent upgrade that has had the biggest effect on my brewing is converting my chest freezer in to a lager fermentation vessel.  I can now ferment 4 lagers at a time which is awesome.....

Dave

How do you ensure that each lager is at the right fermentation temp?  I have a chest freezer and johnson controller, but if I insulate the probe and tape to the outside of one fermenter, the compressor kicks on if the yeast starts getting too aggressive until the FERMENTER temp gets down...thus while I have room for two, my Johnson (heh) is only able to monitor the temp of one. 

161
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Some Basic Kegging/Force Carbing Questions
« on: August 22, 2012, 07:14:52 PM »


Great idea bringing a keg along to the lake. You'll be a popular guy...

so long as the beer doesn't suck due to me rushing the fermentation (!)  I have a backup fermenter of steam that came out great that I will throw in the keg if the session wheat doesn't taste good. 

Also, re: chilling it.  I will figure something out.  If I have to, I will chill the hell out of it in an icebath per Pinski's recommendation. 

162
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Some Basic Kegging/Force Carbing Questions
« on: August 22, 2012, 07:11:26 PM »
The thought being that the agitation in the car will help dissolve/distribute the CO2 throughout the beer in the keg?

Is a carbonation stone a worthwhile investment?  $13.00 at my LHBS.

163
Kegging and Bottling / Some Basic Kegging/Force Carbing Questions
« on: August 22, 2012, 05:51:27 PM »
TLDR: whats the quickest way to carb a beer (carbonation stone?) and how should I travel with it (carbed or uncarbed, or doesn't it matter)?

So I decided to try to get a beer ready for Labor Day weekend. Spending the weekend by a lake, all I could think of was some solid suds to enjoy with friends. So, I brewed a session American Wheat on 8/15, thinking it would be fully fermented by 8/25, and I'm leaving for the lake on 8/30.

As it happened, my LHBS had a special on cornies, so I picked one up with hosing, new o-rings, quick connect in/out, and some other stuff. A guy in my club traded me a 5 gallon CO2 tank, and loaned me a regulator. What better time to get into kegging!? Like when a thousand other things can go wrong (though I do have a backup steam that is fermented and ready to drink, minus carbonation).

My two most-pressing questions:

1.) What is the quickest way to carb it and does it work? I don't have means for refrigeration or getting it to serving temp. I have read about the methods where you attached, set your regulator to 30 or so PSI, set it sideways on your knee, and roll back and forth every hour or so for 24 hours. (please correct me if any of this is inaccurate...complete kegging n00b). I may be able to fit the keg, once filled, in my fermentation chest, but it would probably only get down into the 40's, as I have an Octoberfest in there with the temp controller set to 50 degrees (on the fermenter).

2.) I have about a 5 hour drive ahead of me to get to this lake. My plan is get the keg there, pack it in a container with some ice, and let it sit for 24 hours or so to settle out and get down to temperature. I will have to rotate the ice all weekend to keep it cool, which isn't a huge deal...hopefully it will be good enough to kick pretty quickly! If I am doing the 'quick carb' method, should I just wait until I get there, or do it at my house?

Many thanks in advance, and my apologies if there is already a thread out there, couldn't find much on here...

164
1.012.  Clear.  And delicious.  May be time to bottle already.

165
Cali common is down to 1.022....going to remove it and let it hopefully drop a bit more. 

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