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Messages - kylekohlmorgen

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation Control
« on: July 09, 2014, 06:47:20 AM »
You're only controlling one ferment at a time, so a small fridge that fits a bucket/carboy is ideal. Check Craigslist - plenty out there.

I just built a STC-1000 controller, and its kind of a PITA. I'm an engineer, and I've built my fair share of control panels/components, so it was more of a challenge for me. If you go this route, I can help ya out.

I started with a pre-wired Ranco 2-stage controller, and I recommend it to all homebrewers. I still use it instead of the STC. I have trouble nailing temps without heating AND cooling, especially when ramping up temps. YMMV.

Ingredients / Re: Sulfur Dioxide and Brettanomyces
« on: July 08, 2014, 07:00:15 AM »
Adding the fruit to the beer will dilute the sulfites below the inhibition level for yeast (brett and your sacch strain).

I know breweries use sulfites to kill wild yeast on fruit/veggies before adding to clean beer (Flat Tail in Corvallis comes to mind).

As far as prep for the fruit:

The fruit will add fermentable sugar for consumption by either your primary sacch strain or brett. If you want brett to ferment these sugars, make sure you leave as much sacch behind as possible. Fine and cold crash in a keg if possible, then pitch a healthy slurry of brett. No kegs; no worries, just fine in primary before transfer.

If you want to turn this around fairly quickly (or if you started with a fairly hoppy saison), I would chop the fruit or puree with a bit of lemon juice and water.

If time is not an issue, or if you might add lactic acid bacteria for acidity, just chuck 'em in whole and rack on top.

Let us know how it turns out!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Roeselare
« on: July 08, 2014, 06:46:55 AM »
You really only need one pack per 5 gallons, as long as its fairly fresh.

If its an older pack, you could add a bit of dry yeast to round out the sacch cell count.

If you're pitching into more than 1 container, its a good opportunity to experiment with the mixed cultures.

Use two different mixed cultures (Roselare and a lambic blend, BugFarm, individual cultures, etc),
pitch one in primary and one in secondary (after sacch ferment),
lactic fermentation in one before pitching the mixed culture,
use the Roselare in one, bottle dregs in the other,
Aerate one but not the other (I would be REALLY interested in this since I haven't done it),
etc. etc. etc.

If you mix up the fermentation of the same wort, you'll also have more flavor options to work with on the back end, eventually blending for a more complex final beer.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Blending Belle Saison with Brett
« on: July 03, 2014, 11:36:09 AM »

Just keep the IBUs in check... I did an experiment with a Belle-fermented saison w/ brett in the bottle. Great flavors, but WAYYY to bitter at ~40 IBU.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Mini fridge question
« on: July 03, 2014, 07:35:06 AM »
What you will need to do is find a mini fridge with only the freezer compartment that takes up the entire width and forms a U shape with the top open. You will need to bend it down (instructions can be found online) and cut the shelving from the door...

+1 This is exactly what I did for my ferm fridge. Got mine used when a neighbor was moving out.

I also cut some 2x4 to reinforce the bottom shelf (a bucket doesn't fit on the bottom of the fridge).

I assume you're using 1 gal or 2.5 gal cornies?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Am. Farmhouse Blend in an IPA?
« on: July 03, 2014, 07:30:27 AM »
The first pitch of that blend takes a while for the brett to become noticeable. Somewhere around 9-12months...

I had the same experience, but I did not make a starter, so I'm not sure if that speeds the process along.

If you wanted to make a hoppy beer with this strain, you can omit the late boil hops, wait until the brett character is where you want it, then dry hop.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Can I predict finial beer PH?
« on: July 03, 2014, 07:23:17 AM »
If you're not getting enough hop character in your beer...

why not add more hops?

The Brewing Network did a "Can You Brew It" show for Hop Stoopid:

The recipe that Lagunitas posted should get you everything that you need. What is missing?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Am. Farmhouse Blend in an IPA?
« on: July 03, 2014, 07:09:26 AM »
The primary strain is a saison Saccharomyces strain, so keep that in mind. If you like the saison yeast / American hops flavor profile, go for it!

Another thing to keep in mind is that a little bitterness goes a LONG way in an extremely dry beer. Make sure to keep your IBU's way below that of an American IPA (25-30 is probably a good place to start).

Make sure you follow up if you try it out. We love to hear experiments/results!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Temperature Control After a Week
« on: July 02, 2014, 03:00:07 PM »
I would wrap 'er in a blanket and stash in a closet, or somewhere that doesn't see a lot of temperature fluctuation.

Just to make sure the yeast finishes post-ferment activities (taking up diacetyl, etc) and doesn't experience stress due to temp fluctuation.

Its best to plan for it ahead of time, doing all you can to finish fermentation in short order:
1. Lower OG beers
2. Healthy starter, O2, etc etc (yeast health)
3. Pitch ~64F and ramp up to your ambient temp.

Equipment and Software / Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« on: July 01, 2014, 12:25:50 PM »
In both my chest freezer and mini-fridge, I have trouble dialing in temps without heating in addition to cooling. This is especially true when I am ramping up at the end of fermentation - it wont happen without a little help from the heat belt.

I use a 2-stage Ranco with a mini-fridge and a heat belt (two belts for saison fermentation).

You can use the differential or the difference in set points to minimize cycling.

Currently it is resting on top the fridge, but mounting it is super easy (I'm just that lazy/forgetful).

The best $150 I ever spent by far (it came wired to a 2-outlet box from the LHBS).

Current temps are 80f in the basement and 90f upstairs so I suppose the move is to either chill it then let it warm up to 80f in the cellar or just empty out the kegerator and ferment it in there in the 70s.

You have a kegorator but no A/C? I hafta commend you for keeping your priorities straight!

I think you can get by without utilizing your kegorator, especially since you don't want your other kegs sitting around at 80F-90F.

I know there are differing opinions, but I wouldn't start fermentation above 70F. Saison yeast does and will give off hot alcohol/phenols if you start at high temps (plenty of examples in any homebrew comp or festival).

Chill to 65-66F, aerate like crazy and pitch your healthy starter. Make an effort to hold that temp for the first 24 hours, then let 'er rip. As fermentation subsides (airlock activity slows), bring it upstairs and wrap the fermentor in a blanket to hold the heat in so the yeast can finish out.

The 'control' for the initial fermentation doesn't have to be elaborate. Run a Google search for swamp cooler, wet t-shirt/towel with fan, etc. You can also use the kegorator for the first 24 hours of fermentation, wrapping the kegs in a blanket while they're not in the fridge.

As far as Lacto:

Lacto will work slowly (if at all) if pitched after fermentation. If you pitch lacto before sacch., you'll get acidity in days rather than months.

Let me know when you're planning on making this one and help you navigate the process.

Rallies / Re: Revolution Brewing AHA Rally
« on: June 26, 2014, 12:22:09 PM »
I was thinking about it. I was kind of planning on going to the one at schlafly. Weirdly, I have never been to St. Louis.

Kinda weird that they'd be on the same day... I would've REALLY enjoyed a trip to Chicago for the rally.

How long would you want to keep it cool?...

As long as you can...

Mildewy basement is no big deal - I would start fermentation down there. Hell, at 80F+, I would sleep down there.

Cool the wort down to 65F and pitch (preferably before taking the fermentor downstairs). When you start to get a lot of airlock activity, move it upstairs (probably high krausen, but no need to open up and peek).

If this method produces undesirable alcohol/phenol flavors, try a swamp cooler or wet t-shirt for cooling (Google search should give plenty of instructions).

I usually suggest investing in fermentation temp control (dorm room fridge & controller), but I would pick up a window AC unit first.

And ice. And beer. Lots of both.

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