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Messages - narvin

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I pull out my stopper with thermowell and let a drop or two fall on my refractometer... instant reading.

I also found the standard corrections to be off... over time I've settled on a rough linear correction of just adding 0.4 brix and using that reading in the ProMash calculator.  This adds anywhere from 0.002 to 0.004 points to the FG, which always read low for me using the refractometer estimate.  a10t2's graph looks like he's getting the same results in a more scientific way :-)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: ProMash -> BeerSmith 2
« on: July 15, 2011, 01:39:22 PM »
Am I the only one that still uses Promash these days?

Nope.  I'm willing to give Beersmith 2.0 a try but haven't done it yet.  In the past, I found it to be cluttered with features I didn't need or with dubious value (FG predictions).  ProMash and Kai's water spreadsheet do everything I need to do with a better interface for me.  Right now I'm not lacking anything.

I met Brad at NHC and he was a really nice guy, though.

Also, in response to jeffy, you can run ProMash easily on a Mac using wine, even using your PC installation if you have that hard drive mounted.  I hear Beersmith 2.0 fails though, but there is a Mac version.

The Pub / Re: Showering with Gordon
« on: July 14, 2011, 06:20:00 PM »
I have this bad habit of reading on the john

So, just to be clear, showering isn't the only thing you were doing with Gordon...

The Pub / Re: Like the cut of your jib
« on: July 14, 2011, 08:25:47 AM »
I love sailing.  I'm no expert but I belong to the downtown sailing center here... J22s, Sonars, and cruisers that you can take out once you're certified as a skipper.  My friend has a 30' Catalina... we go out sailing on the chesapeake, I bring the beer.  Seems like a fair trade :-)

We went on a vacation last winter and cruised around the British Virgin Islands for a week on a 40' that we rented... it was awesome.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: beer leak
« on: July 14, 2011, 07:44:18 AM »
I've never had this problem, and I crank it nice and tight with a wrench.

You could try one of these:

Also, are you sure it's the nut?  Maybe the worm gear clamp needs tightening on the tubing around the barb.


Then there's these . . .

Square fermenters!  My inner monk just had a fantasy about fermenting 4 bbl of Saison in one of those.

Classifieds / Re: Asst. Brewer Opening in CO
« on: July 13, 2011, 09:00:19 PM »
Pretty funny, until you see me t-bag the mash.  :D

I hope that's during a protein rest or something. I wouldn't t-bag anything in the saccharification range.
But wouldn't you expect him to t-bag the sacch rest? ;) ;D


While the mash is going I decant the cold erlenmeyer flask and transfer the yeast with the stir bar into a one liter beaker.
I put the beaker on the stir plate letting it warm up and re-suspend the yeast.
Once I establish the wort final gravity I then pull 10ml out of the spinning slurry to a 1:100 dilution for a yeast count.
Calculate the pitch rate at this point and toss it in the fermenter.
Works quite well for an accurate yeast count for me!

I was thinking about trying to count again after decanting and before pitching... this sounds like an easy way to do it.  I'll try it with my next batch.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Unfermentable, da-dee-dee-da
« on: July 13, 2011, 02:12:28 PM »
Many do not do a mashout, but the principle still applies IMO, that if you steep malted grains after the enzymes have been denatured your OG will rise correspondingly, but so will your FG.  Even if batch sparging, if you drain, then add hot sparge water, let it sit awhile, add grain, let it steep, a similar result happens.

Steeping grains like crystal malts don't need to be mashed since the enzymatic action that converts starch to sugar happened during the malting process.  A portion of the sugars contributed by crystal malts are unfermentable, but you should get the same result whether you steep or mash them.

More on steeping grains:

Equipment and Software / Re: Mill motor
« on: July 12, 2011, 06:20:48 AM »

I wish I had a garage or something... lugging my mill on a board up from the basement (more of a crawlspace) every time I need to brew is a workout in itself  :)

The Pub / Re: Once n a while something comes along that ....
« on: July 12, 2011, 06:18:52 AM »
I just find it very funny.

So it would be funny if you your family got hurt or killed because of that kinda driving? Real funny man...

I'm not for a second condoning what the driver does. I'm laughing at the pointless reaction. Are you saying that  because I don't swear at bad drivers I'm putting my family at risk.

No one is saying that, unless you are twisting words.  You are, however, laughing at Phil after making an equally pointless jab at his parenting.

Can you not be a d!#$ for once?

The Pub / Re: Once n a while something comes along that ....
« on: July 12, 2011, 05:41:41 AM »
Wow. When you encounter a driver like that, I sure hope you don't use that same language with your 1 year old in the back seat.

Idiot drivers may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

I'm only counting 5 of the 25 "group" squares -- the four corners and the center one.  These are the squares that have 16 smaller squares inside.  I get about 200 cells total.  

200 cells / (0.2 mm^2 * 0.1 mm * (1/10) )     = 100,000 cells / uL = 100 billion cells per L

This is from 4.5 L of liquid, so that would be 450 billion cells.

This is the yeast cake in the fridge after 2 days:

You may be right... even though it was on the stir plate and I tried to pull from the middle of the flask, there may have been more yeast at the bottom and the sample wasn't representative.

You're right, and I misspoke... it was more like 20 or maybe 30.  60 is for a carboy of beer, and I specifically dialed it back for the starter.

One more thing to note is that I stained with methylene blue when counting and the viability was around 90-95%.  Is this low for a fresh starter?  5-10% non-viable in the final starter could have been more like 40-50% if they all came from the White Labs vial.

Still, the biggest thing that's throwing me off is the discrepancy between the large volume of yeast cake I have and the cell count.  But perhaps yeast volume is just not an accurate measurement.

Anyone do cell counts on their starters?  I've started out of curiosity, but the results are different than what I'd expect.

I've been growing up yeast for a 10 gallon batch of Pilsner this week.  The cell counts I'm getting are lower than what I expect based on both the starter size and the volume of yeast I ended up with.  I know these are both guesstimates, and I was wondering if anyone else had similar experience or if my counts just aren't accurate.

Starter specifics:

- Began with 1 vial of WLP830
- Starters contain 1 g/10ml DME.
- 2 stages: 1.6L for 48 hours, then chilled, decanted, and pitched into 4.4L
- Aerated with pure O2 for 60 seconds, fermented on stir plates at ~ 75dF, breathable foam stopper

I chilled the final starter and the compressed cake at the bottom looks to be 200-250 ml based on rough eyeballing.  According to Jamil's calculator using the "repitching from slurry" tab, this should be about 700 - 900 billion yeast cells even if it has a high amount of non-yeast material (break).  This is the amount that his and the wyeast calculator predicted for me as well.

Problem is, every time I do a count I'm consistently estimating that there are 400 - 500 billion cells in the starter. The starter was still on the stir plate and I didn't see a lot of flocculation.  I took a decent sample from near the middle of the flask using a thief, diluted 10x, and counted.  I can post the specifics of my calculation for a Neubauer-improved hemacytomer when I get home if that would help.

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