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Messages - kylekohlmorgen

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526
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: When is a Wit not a Wit?
« on: May 21, 2013, 10:26:43 AM »
You get lots of character from Belgian yeasts, so you might be missing a bit of what you'd expect in a wit, but IMO if you keep the % of wheat appropriate and add coriander and orange peel you'll be getting pretty much what you're hoping for.

I've not used 575, but I make a lot of beers with WY3522 (same strain as 550).  IME, it's great for the paler Belgians but it has almost a tartness that may not be what you're looking for in wit.

+1

This is what Ommegang does for Witte (they use their house yeast), and its listed as a commercial example in the BJCP guidelines.

527
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Berliner Weisse Fermentation Woes
« on: May 16, 2013, 07:58:34 AM »
Nate - how long does it take the bacteria to reach full attenuation? When I try this, I always seem to get a LOT of acidity but little drop in gravity.

Lactic acid is barely lighter than sugar. That's your problem. The SG isn't a good guide for when it's done. If you taste it, and it tastes super sour, then its done. If you taste it, and it tastes sweet, it's not done yet.

That makes sense - you're just producing acid with the bacteria, not alcohol.

528
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: lacto starter
« on: May 15, 2013, 01:30:01 PM »
It has a parmesan cheese smell.  I added some lactic acid to the starter to suppress unwanted bugs and let the starter continue overnight.  I refrigerated the starter, decanted off the liquid and pitched.  So far my no-boil BW tastes clean.  I suspect the starter size, 3 L, may have been too big for a package of Wyeast 5335.

Nice descriptor!

Not sure what causes that, but if after pitching the starter you're BW is gaining acidity and not smelling funky, you're well on your way!

529
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Berliner Weisse Fermentation Woes
« on: May 15, 2013, 01:26:42 PM »
My $0.02: Brew 1/2 of the BW with ONLY bacteria, keeping the wort hot (100* or so) until its done fermenting, brew the other half with only yeast, then blend to taste. I've found the gravity to be very stable post-blending, but you can use heavier bottles if you're concerned about that. I've never used the premade "blends" because I've read a lot of people have trouble with them. I just get the lacto from base grain. It's super easy, super cheap, and super fast.

Nate - how long does it take the bacteria to reach full attenuation? When I try this, I always seem to get a LOT of acidity but little drop in gravity.

530
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« on: May 15, 2013, 01:24:31 PM »
...To the OP I say brew what you like and if the others don't like it they can bring their own...

Its always nice to cater to your guests if you're the host, though.

I also think it's one hell of a feat for your beer to be someone's "Gateway Beer".

Its great to dial in a beer for my palate or to nail the style guideline, but its much more satisfying to receive a compliment like "I would pay money for this beer" from a BMC-loyal guest (esp. an in-law) than a BJCP judge. IMO.

531
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Berliner Weisse Fermentation Woes
« on: May 15, 2013, 11:01:18 AM »
You should have plenty of yeast in the vial for that low of a starting gravity.

Could your bucket lid/carboy stopper be leaking?

If not, you could probably wait another day and take a gravity reading if you don't see any activity. If you really weren't fermenting, you can try rousing the yeast or adding some dry yeast.

532
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« on: May 15, 2013, 10:56:33 AM »
My neighbor used to be a hardcore Bud lite drinker, but he loves my Berliner Weisse. Sometimes, people surprise you.

Fruited sours are how I'm reeling in my wife. First Lindeman's, then a locally brewed Peach Berliner, now she digs my cherry Flanders.

At our wedding, I received a LOT of compliments from her family on my beer (a rich, chewy, coffee, chocolately, brown ale). I think the combination of familiar non-beer aromas/flavors, low bitterness, and moderate gravity was such a departure from what they know as beer that it allowed them to put their guard down and just enjoy the drink.

The celebration probably didn't hurt. Sometimes its all about reaching the right person at the right time.

533
Equipment and Software / Re: Re: pH Meter
« on: May 13, 2013, 10:15:18 AM »
Last time I read those reviews, the negative ones seemed to be mostly complaining about maintaining regimens or life of the electrode. From what I understand, this is normal in all pH meters.

Yep - keeping them wet and calibrated is a PITA. That's why I still use pH strips.

534
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: lacto starter
« on: May 13, 2013, 10:08:33 AM »
I don't like trying to crash-cool lacto because I think it stunts their growth. You'll get slurry at the bottom eventually. The starter usually tastes pretty bland, so I think its good to decant if you have more than 250mL or so.

A lacto starter shouldn't have much of any funk to it.

What's it smell/taste like?

535
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bretta B. and Those crazy Danish guys
« on: May 13, 2013, 10:04:02 AM »
Thanks - excited to talk sour and experience NHC! I've also got a small experiment cooked up to put together a mixed culture on Club Night. Just have to figure out how to get it back home...
I signed up to introduce you - so anyone who has any good stories or can point me to the dumbest thing he's said on the forum, let me know :)

ha - if you're going with dumb things I've said on the forum, you're going to need your own set of slides...

536
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA
« on: May 13, 2013, 09:51:36 AM »
Union Jack is my hands-down favorite American IPA.

That said - it is a pretty big disappointment when its not fresh. I can get it when I'm in St. Louis, and I've found a few stores who keep it cold and go through it fast. If its warm and >2 months old, I pass it by.

537
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bretta B. and Those crazy Danish guys
« on: May 10, 2013, 12:52:34 PM »
jonathan you are so fortunate to have good selections

I know, this bottle shop opened up in my town about two years ago and they have a great selection of unusual Belgian and trappist stuff.

Kyle,

I'm looking forward to your presentation at NHC by the way. Between your discussion of house cultures and that bottle of sour red from 1Vert you can explain a lot of my interest in this project.

So I, of course got a little off schedule in the process and only added the honey last night. I also won't have time to wrack to secondary until tomorrow.

The starter I made with the dregs had a nice fermentation finishing up Thursday afternoon. Should I pitch the whole thing? swirl it up and pitch half? Decant and...?

Thanks - excited to talk sour and experience NHC! I've also got a small experiment cooked up to put together a mixed culture on Club Night. Just have to figure out how to get it back home...

ANYWAY - 600mL of starter wort shouldn't matter too much in the long run. Swirl 'er up good and dump it in!

538
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bugs in the bottle
« on: May 10, 2013, 10:59:24 AM »
well I guess aging is out of the question.

It will continue to condition in the fridge; the low temperature will just slow down the flavor (and gas) contribution from Brettanomyces.

539
The Pub / Re: A bomber is rarely a good deal
« on: May 09, 2013, 09:32:20 AM »
I buy the beer I want in the container it comes in. Either way, I know the breweries I support aren't out to stiff me.

You can whine about the price of a beer. Or you can just buy one that fits your budget. Or you can just make it yourself.

Free Market. Free Country.

540
Going Pro / Re: Cleaning chemicals
« on: May 09, 2013, 09:10:55 AM »
Ecolab support has been extremely helpful in dialing in our CIP process.

I think their chemicals are too expensive, even on the bulk scale we buy them. They are effective, though. I've been told its because their approved for our organic/kosher/allergen-free/gluten-free products, but I don't buy it. I'm also not the one paying the bills.

They also attack every CIP issue with chemicals (especially new, fancy, pricey ones). Sometimes its the right answer, sometimes an expensive band-aid.

Anyway, here is how we CIP our kettles/process lines/fillers:

1. Hot rinse with water from recovered post-caustic rinse
2. AC-103 (NaOH) diluted to 2% at 180F, recirc for 30 min. (I think its more effective and easier on the pumps at 4% caustic and a lower temp, but its more expensive)
3. Fresh water hot/cold rinse (recovered)
4. Quorum Red (Phosphoric/Citric Acid) wash, diluted to 1%, recirc for 20 min
5. Fresh water rinse
6. Sanitizer recirc (Oxonia Active = PAA, with some H2O2 and Acetic acid) for 2 min (or until negative swab-test)

Note: I work in a small plant that pasteurizes and packages fruit purees and yogurt, but the process side looks/functions very much like a brewery.

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