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Messages - denny

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Equipment and Software / Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« on: March 21, 2017, 07:54:39 AM »
So, are the oxidation concerns with Zymatic put to rest? Sounds like that NHC gold is a good answer to my question.

Keith, how have the beers been?

I have been wanting a Zymatic and I am about to get a year older...

If it didn't make great beer, I wouldn't be using it.  The only reason to worry about oxidation concerns with it is if you don't have anything else to worry about!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewversary 39
« on: March 21, 2017, 07:51:21 AM »
Way to go!  You've got 20 years on me.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: It begins...
« on: March 20, 2017, 02:58:11 PM »
Yea, lets just say I won't be doing that, but.. Cool.

I have never refused to share any recipe or process detail with anyone.  My brewing is an open book.  The brewery I work for encourages homebrewers to take pictures of the recipes hanging from the fermenters when there's a tour.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast washing
« on: March 20, 2017, 02:08:28 PM »

A while back I thought I had read that the process needs to remain in a cold environment and that the yeast would need to be used very quickly (like within an hour or two) after washing the yeast using this method because the process was so "hard" on them, and they would quickly lose vitality (and life) if too much time passed between washing and use.  Additionally, how well would the chlorine dioxide need to be rinsed from the washed yeast to ensure no carryover that could result in chlorophenol production.  I may be thinking of a different washing chemical, but I really think it was chlorine dioxide.

As for the commercial vs homebrewer, I can understand it to a point as well.  Commercial practices are generally in place to ensure the upmost quality and stability of the finished product, so I ask myself "why wouldn't I want the same for myself?"  The flip side is that I don't want to lose an eye; ruin my lungs; invest a ton of money; take up a portion of my house with a lab; or product subpar beer simply because a commercial brewer is doing it.  At the same rate, if the process is something as simple as "swishing the yeast in a benign solution a few minutes before using" and there's no risk of bodily/beer harm then I'd try it, and if the results were improvement in the beer then I may continue doing it.  Edit: The little bit of reading I did on chlorine dioxide sure makes it sound like it carries a risk level I wouldn't want to take.

But yeah, just because commercial breweries do things and produce good beer doesn't mean that we have to to produce good beer.

I don't mean to imply that there's never any crossover between home and commercial brewing.  But a commercial breweries goals are different than ours...sure, we both want to make great beer, but they have customers, shipping, shelf stability and a host of other concerns that we don't have.  And the simple fact is that skipping a lot of commercial procedures doesn't translate to subpar beer at home.  And at the homebrew level, it's as easy to ruin yeast by washing it as it is to improve it.  Everybody gets to make their own decision, though.  Having tried saving yeast with rinsing and without, I can't find a justification for me to rinse it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast washing
« on: March 20, 2017, 02:03:54 PM »
One warning if you save yeast without washing. Be sure to use a starter to get the yeast going. I used to save yeast and just dump it into the next batch, but I got some very slow starts that way, allowing an infection to take hold.
Google Hafnia protea.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

My experience is that if I reuse it within say a month I don't need to restart.  Longer than that and I do.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch sparge efficiency
« on: March 20, 2017, 12:06:15 PM »
Again I agree.  For maximum efficiency, it is indeed critical to drain every drop of wort out of the first runnings before sparging.  This includes tilting the mash tun to get everything out.  Takes a few more minutes but it's worth it.  Those who only drain off like 80% of the first wort before adding sparge water are losing efficiency.  That's a fact.  I'm a good to the last drop guy myself.

Absolutely!  But my point was that getting more from the mash than the sparge is actually a good thing.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast washing
« on: March 20, 2017, 12:04:44 PM »
I notice that some Pro's are washing their yeast with chlorine dioxide with pretty good success. It looks pretty simple when using that active ingredient. Anyone have any experience with it?

No because I'm a homebrewer.  And what's "pretty good success"....what are they trying to accomplish?  What benefits would it have for a homebrewer?  Martin, sorry if it sounds like I'm getting on your case...that's not my intent.  I'm just sick of homebrewers assuming that everything a commercial brewer does is what they should be doing.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast washing
« on: March 20, 2017, 10:41:13 AM »
Well tell me how you really feel!!!  ;D
 I'm only doing because, well, because. I figure why let all that yeast go to waste. Plus, I just like having beer related things to do in the evening.  But you do have a valid point, Denny. One more thing for me to screw up.
 As for what I''m washing it in, I guess I need to study up on yeast washing. I didn't think there was actual "washing" with any type of chemical involved. I just thought it was the process of letting the yeast settle on top of the trub, move to a new container, and repeat until you are left with basically all yeast.
 Looks like I have some reading to do tonight.

You don't have to wash it to reuse it.  I just pour the slurry into a sanitized container and keep it under beer in the fridge til I reuse it.  And you're right, what you're doing is rinsing it, not washing it.  But both are unnecessary.  The brewery I work for simply xfers slurry from one tank to another and they make award winning beers.  Stop taking unnecessary effort and put your time and effort into something that matters.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Are some batches of yeast just duds?
« on: March 20, 2017, 10:38:03 AM »
Maybe, but I've hardly ever seen it happen.  Maybe something in your process of making a starter?  Dunno, just a WAG.  Also, I've read that letting the yeast warm up before p[itching means that it starts consuming it's nutrients before it gets into the wort, which is not a good situation.  For the last 15 years and several hundred batches I simply take it out of the fridge and pitch immediately.  Works great.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch sparge efficiency
« on: March 20, 2017, 09:51:29 AM »
I have fmd that doing more than one sparge really has so little effect for me that I don't bother woth more than one.

I agree with your points including this one.  HOWEVER, I do think double sparging might help for some brewers, especially those who don't crush as finely as you and I do.

I too mash usually at a ratio of around 1.5-1.75 qt/lb.  But if my efficiency sucked then I might at least try going lower and sparge a lot more to see if it helps at all.

As Kai used to say "the first wort is the best wort".  I'd rather get more out of the first runoff than the sparge.  And I definitely saw a 3-5% increase in efficiency with a thinner mash.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast washing
« on: March 20, 2017, 09:49:39 AM »
Just stop that s***, Barry!  There's no advantage to it and it's just one more place you have a chance to screw up!

Ingredients / Re: Belgian Candy Sugar - Adding Late to The Boil?
« on: March 20, 2017, 08:05:02 AM »
And it won't effect hop utilization much at all.

To be pedantic (hey, it's what I do) you can't caramelize in the kettle.  You can't get it hot enough to do that.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch sparge efficiency
« on: March 20, 2017, 08:02:07 AM »
When I batch sparge I completely drain the mash tun, measure the collected volume, subtract that from my desired boil volume, divide that by two, and do two batches with that volume of water.

I actually get better efficiency that way than fly sparging.

To answer the question, in addition to the things mentioned above, try not being too gentle with the stirring. The idea is that the liquor drained from each batch is uniform in concentration, so things like lautering slowly and other concerns of fly sparging are irrelevant. Just stir thoroughly, vorlauf, and drain.

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I have fmd that doing more than one sparge really has so little effect for me that I don't bother woth more than one.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch sparge efficiency
« on: March 20, 2017, 08:00:28 AM »
To contradict Dave's advice, my efficicienynwent up with a thinner mash.  I now mash between 1.63-1.75 qt./lb. and thwn batch sparge with whatever amnt I need to hit my boil volume.  My last beer was 1.074 OG and I got 83% efficiency.  pH makes a very small difference unless you're way off.  Like Dave mentioned, crush is always the first place to look.  I crush very fine and I have no problem with astringency or stuck runoffs.

Ingredients / Re: Sacchra 50 in a Red IPA
« on: March 17, 2017, 03:44:15 PM »
Denny, would you use the same amount of Sacchra 50 as you would Crystal, or could you realistically use 12-15% without producing a cloying caramel bomb? How have you used it?

Consaidering I normally use anywhere from 10-20% crysatl, I'd say yes.  I really don,t get much if an caramel/sweetness from it.  AAMOF! I've been thinking I should try using it in addition to crystal rather than as a replacement.

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