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Messages - paul

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Using Irish Moss
« on: November 10, 2012, 08:40:31 AM »
I've skipped using Irish moss once and ended up with a cloudy bitter.  That was also my first, and only, use of gelatin to try to drop some haze.  But I do often cut back on the amount of IM and it still seems to work.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« on: November 10, 2012, 08:37:17 AM »
I generally agree with the group that the homebrew shop went too far with this.  The two Stranges are in two different markets geographically and product-wise. 

But the HB shop does have a legitimate concern, however, if they were contemplating opening a brewery and wanted to use their homebrew shop name.  In that case, they would obviously want to make sure that two years down the road, once their brewery is established, the Colorado Strange doesn't send them a similar letter.  I'm not sure who has the greater claim to the name in this case.

But rather than sending a nastygram, it would seem to be better to meet to discuss solutions.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Repitching yeast?
« on: November 09, 2012, 07:28:34 AM »
So it all looks like pretty good yeast?  Does the darker layer just have a bit more trub and dead yeast?

Thanks for the tip on posting images.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Repitching yeast?
« on: November 08, 2012, 08:39:55 PM »
I guess I was hoping for a little more rigor in the method.  If the answer is, pitch all of it for 5 gallons of 1.10 barleywine, what about 10 gallons?  What if it was 5 gal at 1.08?  See what I'm getting at?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Repitching yeast?
« on: November 08, 2012, 07:31:25 PM »
How old is the yeast?

It was in the primary 1.5 weeks, and I pulled it from there 2 days ago.  It's been in the fridge since then.

Yeast and Fermentation / Repitching yeast?
« on: November 08, 2012, 06:32:25 PM »
I rarely harvest and repitch my yeast and I wanted to have a reality check on how much to pitch into a barleywine I'm planning.

In the photo below you can see the yeast I harvested from 5.5 gal 1.052 bitter.  I pulled this from the primary about 1.5 weeks after pitching.  I washed once and threw out the bottom 10 or 20% of sediment that looked dark and had hops in it.  I poured what was left into three 1-pint mason jars.

According to the Mr Malty calculator, I need 370 billion cells, which, depending on how I set the Yeast Concentration and Non-Yeast Percentage settings, means I need 87 to 436 mL of yeast slurry...or  181 mL if I just accept the default settings.  If that's right, I'll need to pitch most of the first two jars.  Does that seem right?  I'm just a little surprised that I need most of the yeast harvested from a full batch of beer.

Also, I am a little concerned about the quality of the yeast I have.  Some of the yeast washing videos I looked explained that the good yeast is the light colored layer that settles on top.  I seem to have very little of that.  How much of this is good yeast?

Finally, if I'm not brewing until Sunday, should I do a small yeast starter to refresh this?


Hmmm...the image isn't coming through.  Here's the link:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Another Whirlpooling Question
« on: November 06, 2012, 02:06:27 PM »
I'm confused about the concept of using an extended whirlpool time to get more hop aroma.  My experience is limited, but it's the exact opposite: letting the hops sit in hot wort for a longer period of time may actually drive off hop aroma.

I learned about this as I was working with one commercial brewer to scale up a pro am batch I made last year.  Since that brewer had never been a homebrewer, I talked to another commercial brewer who had recently made the switch from homebrewing to commercial.  I asked how aroma hops should be scaled from a homebrew recipe to commercial.  His advice was that the quantity of hops is proportionately the same, but the timing is different.  He noted that on the commercial scale, your flameout addition sits longer at a higher temperature while the wort is whirlpooled, then while the wort is slowly drained through the plate and frame heat exchangerinto the fermenter.  So, whereas a flameout addition may sit in hot wort for 10-20 minutes while the batch is cooled with an immersion chiller at the homebrew scale, it may sit for 45 minutes to an hour at high temperatures on a commercial scale.  So, to match the aroma of flameout addition, he suggested moving the flameout 10 or 20 minutes into the whirlpool.

This made sense to me, but we did not do it.  The brewer I was working with considered it, but was concerned that the remaining whirlpool time wouldn't be sufficient to allow the hops to settle into the center of the kettle.  This would risk sucking hops into the plate and frame.  So we did the addition at flameout.  Result: less hop aroma than my homebrew batch.

I know this is a sample of only one.  But the principle makes sense to me: heat drives off aroma.  Does anyone feel they get more hop aroma from an extended whirlpool?  Does it work better if you cool the wort first (i.e., with an immersion chiller, say to 100 F or so), then allow the hops to set for 45 minutes?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fusel alcohols revisited
« on: October 07, 2012, 08:31:53 AM »
Good question on the oxygen rate, since we can't measure it as home brewers.  My understanding is that just shaking the carboy maxes out at about 8 ppm oxygen.  I think this is generally regarded as barely adequate for all but lower gravity beers.  So to me, low oxygen consists of just shaking the carboy, and perhaps not as thoroughly as I would normally do.  If I want high oxygenation, I'll hit the wort with some pure O2.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 100% Brettanomyces (or similar) fermentation
« on: October 05, 2012, 10:42:06 PM »
When used in primary fermentation, brett needs to be treated as you would sacch. or it won't attenuate. Adequate pitching, aeration, temp. control.

I beg to differ with the "aeration" portion of that statement.  When I made my first all-brett beer, I had read that brett could produce sour notes in the presence of oxygen.  I wanted a little funk, but no sour, so I pitched at an ale rate and introduced no oxygen.  The brett (a dual pitch of White Labs' brett brux and lambicus) achieved 85% attenuation in about 3 weeks.  The beer turned out pretty good too.  What a weird yeast!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fusel alcohols revisited
« on: October 05, 2012, 10:25:58 PM »
I haven't used that particular saison yeast, and I'm not familiar with any correlation between mash temp and esters.  But the description for WLP566 suggests that it should result in significant esters.  I wonder if your high fermentation temp actually exceeded the ideal range enough to either suppress esters formation, or enough that fusels or phenols are overwhelming the esters?

Next time, I'd suggest starting fermentation near the low end of the temperature range, then ramp it up towards the top end over the next 2 or 3 days.

You also might want to play with pitch rate and oxygenation levels.  I've read conflicting information about this.  Some brewers coax esters from their yeast with low pitch rates and high oxygenation, while others do the opposite.  I recently tried a high pitch rate and lower oxygen for Belgian Blonde and got some decent esters from WLP500.  I haven't used this yeast before, so I'm not sure how much the pitch rate mattered.  I may try a low pitch next time.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Saison Dupont
« on: August 04, 2012, 11:21:01 AM »
I've seen a couple bars around here (Colorado) sell Dupont in a 12-oz bottle that's brown.  So maybe Dupont has finally figured out that their beer tastes better minus the skunk?  We can only hope they'll follow suit with their 750 mL bottles.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Famous Homebrewers
« on: June 23, 2012, 09:54:19 PM »
Kyle Hollingsworth of the String Cheese Incident.  I don't know their music, but I've heard he's a home brewer!

Equipment and Software / Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« on: June 22, 2012, 10:06:23 PM »
I just glanced at the article.  That seemed to compare just aeration, not oxygenation.  I've heard the same thing about aeration methods--that shaking as as good as an aquarium pump--at a presentation by a rep from Wyeast.  But he also stated, and I've heard elsewhere, that oxygenation will get more O2 into your wort.

Ah, here it is on their web site:

I usually shake, then hit the wort with a little O2.  More for a bigger beer, less for a smaller one.  I'm not too scientific about it since I have no way to measure flow rate anyway.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: where is my brett b?
« on: June 15, 2012, 12:25:50 PM »
FYI, somewhere I found some info on the White Labs' brett vials.  Apparently they have 50 million cells per mL and they're 35 mL, so they're 1.75 billion cells per vial.  This is less than 2% of a normal yeast vial.  Can someone else confirm this?

I pitched two into a 1 L starter and it took about 5-6 days to complete, so with only 1 vial, I'll bet it will take yours another day or two...and you still won't have enough yeast for a normal pitch rate.  If the Mr Malty and Wyeast calculators are right, then 1 vial in 1.2 L will only give about 29B cells when done, which would be a very low pitch rate for a normal beer.

I've done two all brett beers and both times I used WL.  I pitched two vials into a 0.6 to 1 L starter, then pitched that into another 1 L starter, in an effort to get to a normal ale pitch rate.  A lower pitch rate might be OK with brett, but I didn't want to wait forever for it to complete.  Both of these beers reached 85% attenuation and FG in about 1 month.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« on: May 31, 2012, 06:41:33 PM »
Did this brewer top off with water before the boil or brew the batch to a higher gravity?

For the commercial brewer, neither.  At least, I don't recall him adding water to the brew kettle and he definitely hit the target gravity.  I believe the recipe was simply formulated with a lower efficiency and more malt.  When I do this at home, I usually have to add water since I have a pretty high boil-off rate.

you could also make an argument for sparging and sparging and sparging, then boiling and boiling and boiling to increase overall efficiency.  boiling a lot and down may increase malt flavor at a higher overall efficiency.

True, but sparging x 3 could risk tannin extraction.

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