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Messages - hopfenundmalz

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My money is on high pH if you're not doing anything to adjust your water. All the beers you have listed are pretty pale in color, so you run the risk of hitting a pH that is high enough to cause issues.

If you don't have an analysis of your tap water handy, then brew one batch with RO water, using BrunWater or Kai's online mash chemistry calculator ( make sure your mash pH is in the 5.3 -5.5 range. If that solves your problem then you know it's your water.

The malt extract will have some minerals from the mash it was made from. How much is the question?

You can add a little CaCl2 if you want. Yeast benefit from some calcium. A little energizer is not a bad idea either, as it will have trace minerals.

Hmmm, what is the pH optimum for yeast growth? Something around 5.2-5.5 is good for the mash, as you need to get it working in a range for the enzymes. You are not mashing here, just trying to grow yeast. A quick search says 4-4.5 is good for growth. Dr. Tom, any wisdom?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My water profile
« on: February 13, 2013, 06:20:19 AM »
I buy RO water from a machine at the grocery store, and adjust for the beer being brewed. It tested at 12 ppm dissolved solids, all of the brewing ions were <1ppm. YMMV.

If you care to say as to the region, where are you at? Looks like the water goes through a layer of baking soda. Always wonder what the local geology is like.

Edit - there are many water profiles that members have poster here.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Unusual Lager Start of Fermentation
« on: February 12, 2013, 03:09:40 PM »
“I pitch cold to minimize the VDK production.”

Jeff, I am fully cognizant of the rationale for pitching cold (what I referred to as the ‘traditional’ method in my prior post).

I also recognize that for a starter size of 6 L there is indeed a motivation for not pitching the contents of 6 L of starter beer. An alternative that you might want to consider is performing a crash cool and decant of your 6 Liters but then add just a bit of wort prior to pitching to awaken the yeast just prior to the pitch.

I know that you like to brew in in the ‘traditional’ manner but my method results in fast starts to fermentation with no noticeable flavors from VDK production. The resulting beers also have non-detectable esters or higher alcohols.

As the old saying goes: there is more than one way to skin a rabbit.

I hope that your Helles turns out great!


Often I decant and pump wort into the flask(s) while pumping to the conical. This time I forgot.

I do remember some talking about the yeast getting caught up with the cold break and trub, and rousing was required. That may have been the HBD a long time ago.

Blew the yeast off the bottom Saturday afternoon. Today I checked the gravity, a little less than 1.020, so time for the D-rest after 3 days. The usual lager that does not take 2 weeks to ferment out. Yeast was ready, just held back.


Does the AHA have a media roll out planned for when (someday) homebrewing is legalized in all 50 states? That would get the word out, and would be a satisfying "victory lap" for all involved.

Absolutely!  We will be distributing a press release far and wide.  Given the coverage, both local and nation-wide, that we are already getting without much media outreach, I think we will see substantial coverage when we can finally say that homebrewing is legal in all 50 states.

Would be cool to see your interview on TV.  ;)


Does the AHA have a media roll out planned for when (someday) homebrewing is legalized in all 50 states? That would get the word out, and would be a satisfying "victory lap" for all involved.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Unusual Lager Start of Fermentation
« on: February 11, 2013, 01:13:45 PM »
Dave, That, and the yeast can get caught up with the trub. Have read that the Germans will let the trub settle out in a settling tank for 24, rack of the trub to the primary fermenter, and then pitch.

Jack. I do the starters in the basement, about 60-62F. If you think about 6L for 10 gallons, that is a lot of liquid that is not the same as the beer you are making going in. I pitch cold to minimize the VDK production. The yeast fired off immediately after they were blown off the bottom with CO2, with a bubble going through the airlock every second, and are still going along nicely at ~49F.

Yeah, my lagers usually get going fairly quick. This has happened twice. I think next time I will wait 24 hours, dump the trub, and then add theO2 and pitch the yeast.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Conference pointers
« on: February 11, 2013, 10:22:34 AM »
Giving some of the guys here some shout outs, and they shout back!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: morebeer reconditioned corny kegs
« on: February 11, 2013, 09:41:51 AM »
get some water near boiling, soak that puppy upside down in it - I bet you'll be able to knock it loose after a 30 min soak.

On kegs that still have/had the soda syrup in them a little PBW helps too. Helps dissolve that sugar build up.

That PBW should not help here if the keg was reconditioned. If it still has syrup, I think gymrat will really be ticked.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Conference pointers
« on: February 11, 2013, 09:38:40 AM »
Take good notes in the tech, sessions. You will always go - "I remember Ray/Stan/Greg/Vinnie/Matt/Denny/Drew saying something important, what the heck was it?". Notes written in the back of the program help.

Yeast and Fermentation / Unusual Lager Start of Fermentation
« on: February 10, 2013, 06:39:48 AM »
This has happened twice, once on a CAP with WLP833, and now with a Munich Helles with the WLP835 X strain. The wort has been chilled to 45F, pumped into the conical, O2 added and the yeast pitched. On the Helles I waited for about 5 hours for the trub to settle, dumped a pint, and then shot the O2 and pitched the yeast from 6L of starter. The lag time was getting to be long, no signs of activity.

So after about 40 hours I put 2 PSI of CO2 on the bottom port, and cracked the valve to blow the Yeast off the bottom. Fermentation was evident, and it has kept going at an active rate for a lager.

I assume that the yeast were all on the bottom. They had been going through the lag phase, but were not dispersed in the wort. What does everyone think?

The CAP last year turned out fine. I think the Helles will be OK to.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Looking for a good AG recipe book
« on: February 09, 2013, 05:40:05 PM »
I borrowed 80 Classic Brews and discovered most, if not all recipes are written for extract. Some negative reviews said the same things, the AG conversion recipe was not accurate and neither were the hops and yeast selection for the style. I don't know. It makes me wonder if several people say the same thing. On the other hand the overall rating is positive and two guys from a brew club I just joined  recommended it so bought it. Also bought the Scotch Ale, Barley Wine and IPA books from the Classic Beer Style series. Didn't buy the Stout book as it got bad reviews, too technical and chemistry formula driven. I have read "How To Brew" by Palmer and "Designing Great Beers" by Daniels so figure with all these resources, and this web site, a bad beer can only be attributed to operator error.
I liked the Stout book. What do you expect from a prof at UC Davis?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Looking for a good AG recipe book
« on: February 08, 2013, 09:04:53 AM »
I see a lot of "I haven't brewed this yet, but it is going to be good"

Yeah that is the internet for you.

Fred's site at least has beers that have won awards.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Mad Fermentationist's Top 10 Myths
« on: February 08, 2013, 08:24:10 AM »
But I feel like if you aren't counting your time you aren't really being honest to yourself. Saturday and Sunday mornings are hard to put a monetary value on.

I woudn't factor my time into the cost of homebrewing. Sure I may be able to make money during the time I am homebrewing, but I LIKE to homebrew. I certainly wouldn't pay someone to come over to my house and set up the brew system, brew a batch and the get it in the fermenters for me. Come check on it daily and keg it when it is ready. Those are things I enjoy doing on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

But, it's the time you put into it that makes it so special! (OK, we are back here again. I quit. Y'all know and any major economist worth his salt would agree with me. ;)

Years ago a deer hunter I worked with said if you added it all up, the venison was about $50 a pound at the cheapest. Yeah, I agree that my homebrew is not cheap.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Mad Fermentationist's Top 10 Myths
« on: February 07, 2013, 12:35:45 PM »
As far as my time investment, anything times 0 is zero. I do like retirement.

Not saying that I am worthless.

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