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Messages - kylekohlmorgen

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Other Fermentables / Re: Tart Cherry Juice in a Mead?
« on: March 16, 2015, 08:01:05 PM »
I've used (presumably) the same juice for kriek.

From my notes, I used 2 bottles (64 oz) in 4.75 gallons and got a LOT of cherry flavor.

I think the aroma is too subtle in the Whole Foods juice, which is why I like a combo of juice and whole fruit or puree. But again, this is for sour beer.

Since the mead is kegged, try a few blends in the glass first.

Pimp My System / Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« on: March 10, 2015, 08:36:48 PM »
I use one of these. Works great. About $15 on ebay to my door. They last a long time. With my shop hitting 20º at night I can hold 68º no problem. When I do sours (lacto start) I add a second one that stays on all the time, and can hold 98º no problem

This is what I use for heating. The output adjustment (low-med-high) is great for slowly ramping temperature.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Delaying pitching
« on: March 10, 2015, 05:50:15 PM »
That said, on both homebrew and commercial set up I leave most of the hops and trub behind in BK, which I do personally advocate. I whirlpool and have a plate in front of my exit port to hold back most of the hops and trub.

I guess when I've done the settling and racking off, its been  in the heat of summer when I can't chill lower than 75-80F or so. When I cool from there to lager pitch temp (~55F) in the fermentor, I get a LOT of cold break.

Probably doesn't make a whole lot of difference in a stout or IPA, but it sure helped clear up a quick-fermented Pils.

Right now, chilling and settling in the whirlpool is no problemo.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Delaying pitching
« on: March 10, 2015, 12:42:39 PM »
In the summer, or when making lagers, I almost always delay pitching for 24 hours.

If you delay pitching, you might as well take advantage of the trub settling time. Before pitching, rack into another fermentor. This has helped my quick lagers clear up much faster!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling sour. will I need to ad yeast
« on: February 20, 2015, 05:11:48 PM »
What is the FG now? Unless the beer was really dry out of primary, you probably still have some gravity drop left.

You can still bottle, just keep it in mind. Use heavy glass bottles (if you can), but if not, just open one every so often to monitor carb levels.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 3724 Fermentation Temperatures
« on: February 16, 2015, 10:34:35 PM »
I should note though, after reading your first post, I would not want to ferment this yeast in swinging temperatures. 3724 is a fickle beast, and a temperature drop of 10 degrees is likely to put it to sleep. Constant 90F is what we are all doing here, not varying temps.

TL:DR - I would not ferment this yeast as you have stated in your first post, despite it being able to behave at 90F.


3724 can complete fermentation in the high 70s / low 80s, but it needs to be a steady rise and stay consistent. You have to be able to hold the temperature steady between set point changes and especially at the high end, during the last few points of attenuation and clean up.

By steady, I mean constant within 2 degrees F or so.

I don't ferment in the 90s because I can't hold the temperature steady when its that high. The fermentation may take longer than normal ale fermentations, but I like to think of it as slow-moving rather than stalled.

Beer Recipes / Re: Quincey! (Bretted quince Saison)
« on: February 16, 2015, 10:28:03 PM »
Complex! How's it taste so far? Does it need the membrillo paste?

1. Does the paste have seeds? If so, it might be best to add it in a reusable mesh bag. Add it in the keg if you can. If no kegs, rack on top of the paste in secondary.

2. Brett wont add much sourness, but over time it will dry out the beer, leaving a perception of acidity (or at least I gather from competition feedback I receive on un-soured brett saisons). I think Belle gives a similar perception when attenuation is high (i.e. both times I used it).

Oxygen won't conjure acidity from brett, but it will oxidize the beer and reduce aromatics from the yeast, fruit and spices.

I think you posted to the "adding sourness post-fermentation" thread a week or so ago. If not, check it out.

Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: February 13, 2015, 08:14:05 PM »
SO MANY brass fixtures were in our new house when we moved in.

They were the first to go. Fixtures and a new fence for the dogs.

Our new ones look great, but they are controlled by remote and are on the same frequency, so when I turn on the living room light, the bedroom light comes on too!  >:(

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Souring post-fermentation
« on: February 13, 2015, 08:10:33 PM »
We get lots of Cascade here...sadly they are normally 30-40 a bottle.

So that's like a $25 bottle and a $10 pack of yeast...

...or at least that's how I justify it to my wife.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why Am I Doing This?
« on: February 12, 2015, 11:04:56 PM »
If you're not concerned about storability, then you likely don't need to worry about it.

That being said, I purge nearly everything with CO2 and transfer without splashing. Why? Because I've put this much effort into it already. Why would I cut corners on the tail end of the process just to save a tiny smidgen of CO2?


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Souring post-fermentation
« on: February 12, 2015, 11:02:51 PM »
What about racking to a secondary and using dregs from a commercial sour?
You need to be sure the dregs have Brett and Pedio. Lacto won't have any food if the beer is already finished. Pedio can break down dextrins, so that's why it is able to work even once the primary is finished.

You also might want to wake up the dregs by stepping them up once or twice before pitching.

Stepping up is crucial for pitching dregs into finished beer. Limit aeration during the step up - pedio grows more rapidly in the absence of oxygen.

I have found some brewery dregs to be more aggressive than others in terms of acid production:
Side Project
Jolly Pumpkin

Not very helpful, since 2 of the 3 aren't readily available. Maybe Eric or others can chime in with their favorites.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Horrific Infection
« on: February 12, 2015, 10:56:08 PM »

DO NOT USE BLEACH. Its unnecessary and permeates plastic. Bad news. IMO bleach has no place in any brewery.
I occasionally use a bleach solution when I feel a need to go nuclear after an infection. Assuming the solution really is permeating the plastic, what is the ill effect? I have never tasted or smelled chlorine the next time I have used my equipment, it certainly isn't left in a large enough amount to inhibit fermentation, and I've never tasted it in my beer. Is something going on that I can't readily observe the effects of?

I stopped using bleach about a year into brewing when my tubing and buckets reeked of it, even after several hot rinses. I'm sure wasn't enough to cause an issue, but the chlorine odor (or lack thereof) is the best way to tell you've rinsed effectively.

Small gripe in the grand scheme of things, but bleach is bad news for several other reasons:

Bleach solution has no additional 'penetrating power' than that of a Star-San or iodophor solution, nor does it offer a higher level of disinfection. At recommended concentrations, bleach requires significantly longer contact time than Star San (20 min vs 30 sec). Higher concentrations don't necessarily mean shorter contact times or increased effectiveness, but it does mean more rinsing. More is not always better.

Because of the long contact time, soaking is the only effective use for bleach, whereas Star San can be sprayed onto surfaces almost immediately before use.

For these reasons, its so much easier to 'miss a spot' with bleach.

I have more gripes about bleach, but I think its enough to say that it is in no way superior to Star San. Lots of homebrewers use bleach and make great beer. I'm just saying that great beer would be easier to make (and make consistently) without it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: origins of commercially available bretts
« on: February 11, 2015, 08:37:08 PM »
I've two batches of beer sitting on Brett brux in secondary for half a year now, and neither of them has released any funk. A mild tanginess maybe, but no funk, barnyard or other Bretty-characteristics.

Which brett did you use? Any idea why and how can it be avoided?

IME temperature, cell count, and culture health are the major factors in flavor development from brettanomyces.

For most brett strains I've used, regardless of count/health, flavor development slows down significantly (or just stops altogether) somewhere around 60F. This is a pretty big generalization with some exceptions, but a good rule of thumb if you're unfamiliar with a strain. I like to condition around 65F-68F.

Cell count and culture health go hand-in-hand. Pitching a relatively fresh vial or pack normally gives enough viable cells to eventually establish a healthy culture within the beer. Propagating a healthy and active slurry before pitching can dramatically speed up flavor development. Bottle dregs especially benefit from a few prop steps before pitching, and even more so if pitching into fermented beer.

Acidity and flavor from bacteria is a whole different story.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Horrific Infection
« on: February 11, 2015, 08:15:41 PM »
If you had active fermentation that yielded an ABV higher than 2% or so, its safe to drink.

I wouldn't toss the other yeast pack. The infection source is MUCH more likely to happen on the homebrewer side than the yeast lab side, no matter how sophisticated your setup.

You can't determine the type of yeast/bacteria from the pellicle. As stated by others, lacto/pedio and most other bacteria are less likely because of the APA hop load and short time frame. Wild yeast (brett, etc.) is the most probable source.

Acetobacter is another possibility if you have too much oxygen pickup after fermentation starts. Excessive headspace in the fermentor or frequent sampling can introduce acetobacter and oxygen. I'd consider it a distant second, though.

Given the above, taste it. If the beer is sour, its most likely bacteria. If its not sour, it is most likely Brett/wild yeast.

In either case, its a risk to future batches to keep the old plastic parts around. However if you're on a budget, you can still keep them and minimize risk.

Give your bucket, lid, airlock, and any other cold side soft parts a good soak in PBW, then rinse well and soak with Star San. No need for high concentrations of either. DO NOT USE BLEACH. Its unnecessary and permeates plastic. Bad news. IMO bleach has no place in any brewery.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Souring post-fermentation
« on: February 11, 2015, 07:48:25 PM »
I like Eric's options, here!

Have you made the batch already? If so, a combo of pedio and brett cultures will give you sourness and funk in several months (8-12).

Sour fruit is a great option. Tart cherries or rhubarb are good options. With cherries, you can use puree (or puree frozen, thawed berries) and pitch lactobacillus before combining with the beer.

For clean acidity, I'm a fan of blending in acidic beer. Brew a small batch of wort with similar grain bill, but don't add hops. Use a sour mash/sour wort method or ferment with a healthy culture of lactobacillus. I like Wyeast 5332 (Lactobacillus Brevis).

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