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Messages - kylekohlmorgen

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Equipment and Software / Re: Cleaning SS Immersion Chiller
« on: January 29, 2015, 01:01:16 PM »
I get a similar discoloration/buildup in my kettle, around the welded fittings and on the bottom, where the kettle rests on the burner.

Basically - I get stuck-on deposits (and perhaps a bit of rust) where the stainless is not completely smooth (like the weld line on your IC tubes).

I wash with PBW after every brew to remove trub, hop matter, etc. Every once in awhile, I'll also run a wash of Barkeeper's Friend (primarily Oxalic Acid) to keep the surface shiny and free of deposits/discoloration.

A quick soak in Barkeeper's Friend, coupled with a little elbow grease, should take care of it.

NOTE: make sure to use the Bleach-Free Barkeeper's Friend

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: how long on the yeast cake
« on: January 22, 2015, 03:30:40 PM »
Even though the 2nd and 3rd generations were ready for transfer much sooner, the damage was done. The 2nd gen beer is lovely but has the slightest hint of warmth from higher alcohols. The 3rd beer is a complete mess.

To what are you attributing that differential in results?  Stressed yeast from sitting in the fermenter?  I'm not sure I buy that theory.  I've stored yeast for long periods and not had off flavors from subsequent generations.

Just off the top of my head I would think that repeatability with subsequent generations of a mixed slurry is difficult since you can't control the proportion of the components of the slurry.  I'm not intending to crap all over your experiment, so apologies if this comes across that way.  Quite the opposite, I think those sorts of experiments are important for each of us to better understand our ingredients and processes.

Definitely valid concerns, and I definitely jumped to this conclusion (which I just got done complaining about in another thread  ;D)

I intend on repeating the experiment with a conical to eliminate this variable. The decline in yeast health could have been caused by something else I'm not accounting for. It was my initial conclusion because, in general, my yeast handling practices are pretty good.

If anything, the extended period in primary didn't help. In general, slurry viability will be higher when stored cold vs at fermentation temps. I just can't think of anything else that would have affected the viability so dramatically.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: how long on the yeast cake
« on: January 22, 2015, 12:06:22 PM »
Off-flavors from settled yeast aren't a factor of time as much as they are yeast health. You can definitely buy a good amount of time if you pitched the right amount of healthy yeast to start, provided ample nutrients (O2, FAN, Ca, Zn, etc.), properly controlled the temperature of fermentation, and maintained controlled temp after fermentation is complete.

After a longer-than-normal primary (>2 weeks or so), I'm more concerned with the yeast slurry than the beer sitting on top.

I recently wrapped up an experiment that was supposed to gauge the repeat-ability of brewing the same beer with multiple generations of a sacch/brett mixed slurry.

Because the majority of the mix was Wyeast 3724, the first generation stalled and required about a month in primary at 75F.

Even though the 2nd and 3rd generations were ready for transfer much sooner, the damage was done. The 2nd gen beer is lovely but has the slightest hint of warmth from higher alcohols. The 3rd beer is a complete mess.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fermentation Experiment
« on: January 20, 2015, 12:35:40 PM »
Marshall's experiments are always well thought out and performed.  In this case, I think we have a single data point rather than an overall conclusion.


I've seen many'a poor habit start from jumping to conclusions based on one data point. A few posts have already shown that folks would like to do the same base on this experiment.

Please don't do that.

Great beer is made with great fermentation control. Fermentation temperature, oxygen availability, and a proper amount of healthy cells. This is not a homebrewing myth.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First attempt at sour please advise
« on: January 20, 2015, 12:20:26 PM »
Thar's what I was hoping for.

As a side note, I have some extra wort I will put into a 1G jug and I want to pitch the dregs of the Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere I just opened.  Do you think I should add some Saccharomyces to that?

Nah - JP dregs are pretty hearty, and its only 1G

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First attempt at sour please advise
« on: January 19, 2015, 03:59:49 PM »
Nah - that's enough propagation for primary. Just the starter should be fine

Wood/Casks / Re: Killing off past microbes
« on: January 19, 2015, 02:05:59 PM »
Start with the hot water fill/rinse, then fill the barrel with a solution of cold water, potassium metabisulfite, and citric acid. When you're ready to fill the barrel with beer, empty and rinse thoroughly.

Per Jay Goodwin of The Rare Barrel (and Brewing Network's The Sour Hour), they use a solution of 1 lb potassium metabisulfite and 1/2 lb citric acid per 58 gal.

If you've made three clean turns of that barrel (and the beers are still clean), then you were probably doing things right for the most part. Acetobacter is tough to get rid of, especially in a barrel, but you can limit its activity by limiting oxygen and high temperatures.

Acetobacter needs alcohol and oxygen to make acetic acid (vinegar). Limit oxygen pickup by flushing the barrel with CO2 before racking beer. Fill the barrel to the top until it overflows, then bung and clean the outside surface of the barrel. Limit sampling and popping the bung in general. You might also consider waxing a portion of the barrel to limit oxygen permeability:

Store the barrel in a cool place, preferably between 60F and 70F. Acetobacter activity really picks up above 70F, and brettanomyces/lactic acid bacteria activity drops off below 60F.

Good luck! Please post updates!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Clay fermentation vessels
« on: January 19, 2015, 01:40:12 PM »
So could I use this?

Cover it with:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First attempt at sour please advise
« on: January 19, 2015, 01:36:06 PM »
Both. Aerate and pitch the US-05 as normal. Pitch the bugs at the same time as the US-05.

Unless you've done a few starter steps, the starter and dregs won't be enough for a healthy, relatively fast-starting primary fermentation.

Also FYI: Petrus Aged Pale does not have viable brett/bacteria, per The Mad Fermentationist (I believe both the Aged Pale and Oud Bruin are pasteurized):

You might hedge your bets a bit by either adding the dregs of a few more sours or a commercial blend (Roselare, lambic blend, etc). You'll definitely get bretta from the Oud Kriek, but often the bacteria in dregs can be weak and take a long time to develop acidity. Working the dregs up in an aerobic environment (starter) usually KO's the pedio, and lacto is often fleeting/absent in lambic because of aged hops, low pH, and time.

Ingredients / Re: My water's been sitting
« on: January 19, 2015, 01:24:08 PM »
RO permeate is a fancy term for the RO water that we use. It has permeated through the membrane and left most of those ions we don't want, behind.

There is also the RO reject water. That is the water that couldn't make it through the membrane that has all those excess (now concentrated) ions.

Steve - sorry for not clarifying. Don't confuse the fancy words with vast knowledge/experience on RO; my limited experience comes from work, and its mostly with industrial units.

Martin - am I off base with the corrosive comment? Is storing RO permeate in a stainless vessel (like a keg) okay for extended periods?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: lacto starter; my first yeast infection?
« on: January 19, 2015, 11:05:44 AM »
How did this turn out? How do they taste so far?

I wouldn't assume you had an infected starter just yet - lactobacillus does produce CO2 and can be very active, especially at ~100F. Also, if you were growing yeast in one of your ~95F starters, the pH drop would have been less than the other. You would also have more sediment.

Maybe one pack of lacto was newer than the other, or stored less ideally? Maybe it saw more temperature fluctuation during shipping. I think the Wyeast/WL lacto cultures are quite fussy compared to yeast.

Please update the post with your results, good or bad. It's definitely an interesting side-by side!

Ingredients / Re: My water's been sitting
« on: January 19, 2015, 10:35:36 AM »
A volume of water left 'open' will come to equilibrium with the environment its left open to.

In your case, you'll probably get some oxygen and CO2 pickup, but nothing to be worried about.

RO permeate can be quite corrosive, so I wouldn't use it if it was stored in a metal container.

If not, then you might taste it to make sure you didn't pick up any off flavors from the garage

The Pub / Re: Now White Labs - take that!
« on: January 09, 2015, 01:06:08 PM »
now White Labs...hoping to see an NHC in Asheville in the near future!


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: pH question - dead lacto?
« on: January 09, 2015, 01:03:35 PM »
So 48 hours after pitching another lacto pack and applying 95F and I haven't checked the pH but the top of the wort just looks sour to me, if that makes any sense. I have a bung on the carboy. I should have seen way more activity in the flask with that little bit of weak wort but i had a piece of foil loosely on top and spun it for a week. I think that's where I went wrong. IMO Lacto doesn't need a starter.

This was also my first all grain batch - I did a "no sparge" single infusion with 7.5 gallons of water, ended up with 1.034 OG but after the first boil of 90 minutes i ended up with only about 2.5-3 gallons in my carboy.

I think I should sour this to death - wait until its on the other side of 3, then combine with 2.5 gallons of fresh wort in a boil, then pitch beer yeast. that would come out to a 5 gallons of 4ish pH (plenty sour IMO).

Thoughts on that combined old beer/new beer process? OR thoughts on where I went wrong only losing 5 gallons in my brewing process?

RE: Brewing Process
2.5-3 gal sounds about right if you started with 7.5 gallons and didn't sparge. If you're not using it already, download BeerSmith and start tracking your recipes and process. Measure volumes and gravities throughout so you can input your brewery's specs (efficiency, volume losses, boiloff, etc).

RE: Souring/Blending
This is a great idea and a process I often execute for split batches. Since you're exploring sour brewing, all-grain, AND split batch blending at once, it will be tough to duplicate or diagnose. But I'm not one to tell a homebrewer to slow down or stop doing weird s***. Rock on.

Definitely taste it before adding it back to fresh wort - if there are off-flavors, just dump it and start over with your second batch.

RE: Beer pH
Beer pH is only one of a few factors in gauging a beer's acidity. Tasting is more important. Also - lacto will only take the pH down to 3.2 - 3.6, depending on strain, health, and conditions.

Equipment and Software / Re: Immersion Chiller Solder
« on: January 09, 2015, 12:41:23 PM »
Did you buy it new? From whom?

Its not okay from a consumer standpoint. You paid for a cleanly-made IC and received a hack job. I'm assuming the website didn't show an IC with solder everywhere, and if that's the case, ask for a replacement.

From an operational stand point, lots of solder is tough to clean. I made my own hack job lautering manifold for my first mash cooler. Lots of solder - lots of scrubbing.

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