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Messages - kylekohlmorgen

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Blending and re-bottling
« on: February 11, 2015, 12:16:20 PM »
It is MUCH easier to rebrew the base beer and add the wine to secondary, keg, or bottling bucket.

Going from bottle to bulk (carboy, bucket, etc) back to bottle would be a HUGE PITA and most likely result in excessive oxygen pick up.

Re-brewing also allows you to fine-tune your recipe for the wine addition.

Another option is just to blend in the glass. If anything, it will allow you to test out blend volumes and taste before you commit to an entire batch.

Let us know how it turns out! Adding wine (as opposed to wine grapes) is something that is on my to-do list and will (hopefully) be part of my NHC talk this year.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: origins of commercially available bretts
« on: February 10, 2015, 01:46:58 PM »
So we'll skip the Trois. This leaves us with the Brett. Bruxellensis and Lambicus as pure brett strains? And maybe pluck some yeasties out of the sky?

Both of the Brett B./Brett L. strains offered by Wyeast are also in their Roselare blend.

If you like the Brett character of Supplication, why not use Supplication bottle dregs?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Partigyling with One Boil Kettle.....?
« on: February 10, 2015, 01:38:07 PM »
How are you heating sparge water? Can you batch sparge?

If so, collect enough from the mash for your old ale, then add enough 170F sparge water for your mild's gravity/volume. Seal up your mash tun and wrap it in a blanket until you've finished up the first boil, then collect the second runnings.

Your mash tun will hold temperature much more consistently than another kettle or bucket.

If you're heating sparge water in your kettle and no-sparging, just wait until after you've finished your first boil to sparge. The sealed/wrapped mash tun should keep the grainbed temp fairly consistent, and the low amount of water in the bed will minimize enzymatic action during the wait time.

Hope this helps. I did this a few times when I had smaller equipment. It makes for a long day, but its no big deal, especially if you start early!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter from table sugar?
« on: February 03, 2015, 03:01:35 PM »
Interesting.  I like easy and time saving.  As long as it boils prior to use, what could be the issue?

You don't even have to boil it a second time. I just pour the near-boiling wort into a milk jug, cap it to pasteurize, then thaw it and pour directly into the starter vessel when I need it.

Freezing sounds like another good time saver - I just don't want to wait for it to thaw out!

All Grain Brewing / Re: predicting efficincy after continual improvements
« on: February 03, 2015, 12:54:34 PM »
...If my mash and brewhouse efficiencies were equal then it would be easier to make adjustments after my preboil reading.

If the brewhouse ('total') and mash efficiencies are different, it means that BeerSmith (or any other program) is trying to account for volume losses after all the wort is in the kettle (other than evaporation).

I have better consistency (and understanding) throughout the brew if I concentrate on efficiency in the mash and assume some constants in the kettle.

In BeerSmith, total/mash efficiencies are different if you enter volumes for losses under "Boil and Fermentation" in the "Volumes" tab. Delete trub loss and kettle top up, and just assume those as constant when you set your batch volume.

In your equipment profile setup, set a constant mash efficiency. Also set your lauter deadspace: amount of water it takes to fill your mash tun to the top of the manifold.

If this doesn't make sense, let me know. Lots of coffee today  :o

Equipment and Software / Re: Oxygenation System
« on: February 03, 2015, 12:15:42 PM »
Thank you all for your help on this. After some thinking, I'm thinking about going with this system:

Looks like I will just need to pick up a tank somewhere. What do you think? Also, I'm assuming that I should be cleaning and sanitizing both the barb and the vinyl hose that connects to the wand?

Thanks again!

With the stainless dip tube, you shouldn't need to sanitize the vinyl hose. The dip tube is the only thing that touches the beer.

You still should be able to use this system with a disposable O2 tank. This one has lasted a year or more for me:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter from table sugar?
« on: February 03, 2015, 10:32:10 AM »
If you want to make starters cheaper/easier, get a pressure canner and can a bunch of wort in advance.

You can take the final runnings on brewday, or just make an extract batch. It doesn't take long to fill and heat, and it saves HOURS of boiling tiny extract batches on your stove top.

All Grain Brewing / Re: High gravity efficiency troubles
« on: February 02, 2015, 12:35:25 PM »
Normally my efficiency suffers on high gravity brews as well. Some of the issues you can't change (a higher grain bed height, for example), but you can minimize loss in a few ways:

1. Keep your mash and sparge water volumes as close to equal as you can. You obviously need to have enough water for proper conversion, but you can probably trim it down from 1.35 qts/lb to around 1 qts/lb. If you use rice hulls, it helps to stir them in immediately before run-off instead of during mash in.

2. Slow down your runoff. A slower runoff will minimize channeling in that great big grain bed. Some batch sparging folks don't see a difference in efficiency w/ runoff speed, but I sure did!

3. Be prepared to adjust with DME. In high gravity beers, a few pounds of extract won't affect the flavor profile. It may affect the color, if you're brewing something lightly colored, like a tripel or a DIPA. In this case, it may be beneficial to overshoot your gravity and add water.

4. Be prepared beforehand and adjust your recipe efficiency. As you brew more high gravity beers, the efficiency drop is easier to predict.

Equipment and Software / Re: glycol chiller size
« on: January 30, 2015, 01:32:45 PM »
You could also use a keg of water with a sump pump in a recirc loop.

Just stash the keg in your kegorator, run hoses, and use the temp controller to turn sump pump on/off. Limited DIY, pragmatic (all things considered), and inexpensive.

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

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