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Messages - kylekohlmorgen

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...I guess I'll just stick to sour beers for a while...

Good thinkin'.

You've got a bunch of 'questionable' buckets - might as well use them to build up a backlog of the sour/funky stuff.

When do you rack to the secondary? Do you let the primary yeast finish completely first or leave a little extra for the Brett to chew on? One idea I had was to rack to secondary when it gets to the 1.020's to possibly slow down the saison yeast a bit while the Brett gets going.

Allow your primary yeast to complete a healthy fermentation, take up by-products, and floc out.

Brett doesn't need fermentable sugars (or even unfermentable ones) to live and produce flavor compounds. Brett will metabolize just about anything and turn it into flavor: proteins/carbohydrates, hop acids, even alcohol and existing flavor compounds from the primary yeast. Brett will have a flavor impact despite the FG, especially with that specific strain.

You'll need a few gravity points for brett to ferment and produce CO2 (I assume you're bottling?). I always assume that brett in the bottle will take me down to 1.002 eventually, take that into account when you're thinking about priming sugar. You can also bottle some without priming sugar for long aging. Prime the rest like normal, opening a bottle every month or so to check for over carbonation.

You don't need to make a starter unless you want to keep some brett slurry around for later on. I use brett in a lot of beers, so I keep a starter going and pull off slurry as I need it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing Attire
« on: April 08, 2013, 10:20:35 AM »
gotta be the utilikilt. very utilitarian and kilty.

I've always imagined Denny brewing (and most often existing) in a utilikilt.

For plastic (and buckets especially), once infected, always infected IMO. You can try to get by with a long sanitizer soak, but don't plan on those beers staying clean.

Speaking of - if a prior batch was infected, and you took samples or transferred it with your "clean" gear, that may be where the infection is coming from. When did you notice the infection?

My guess is that, unless you're doing a lot of open fermentation, its not airborne and you're using an infected piece of equipment on the cold side.

Easily mixed-up soft parts: Bucket lids (and gaskets), airlocks/blowoff tubes, thief, plastic covers for racking cane, kettle valve/pump, plastic stir spoon, oxygen stone (plastic connection tubing and/or worm clamps that may harbor bugs).

Beer Travel / Re: Montreal
« on: April 04, 2013, 06:17:26 AM »
Don't miss Dieu du Ciel!!

YES. I might not have time to go to the pub (headed out of the city for a meeting), but hopefully I can pick up some bottles.

Beer Travel / Montreal
« on: April 03, 2013, 04:16:52 PM »
Heading that way next week for work and may have a bit of downtime.

Any suggestions?

Equipment and Software / Re: Brewing Calculators / Software
« on: April 03, 2013, 11:07:55 AM »
being a former engineer by trade.  i use ibrewmaster for my iphone and ipad.  i do idiot checks on the numbers.  it is not so much so that i can use it to create a recipe as it is that it stores it and the batch information right on my phone when i want to show it to somebody.

I CANT WAIT to be a "former engineer"...

Going Pro / Re: Credit Policies...
« on: April 03, 2013, 11:01:14 AM »
So can you use the "Square" program to accept a retailer's credit/debit card, or is this even more risky?

2.75% per swipe sucks. You'll be fighting thin margins to begin with, don't throw away almost 3% of your margin.

You could just offer a "2.75% discount" when paid in cash.

(i.e. just mark up 2.75% otherwise)

Going Pro / Re: Credit Policies...
« on: April 03, 2013, 05:29:16 AM »
In Washington, COD is mandated by law.  The LCB guy we spoke with even "suggested" not taking a check.  (Although I do)

The reason he suggested that, is that if a check is returned NSF, we have 24 hours to notify the LCB.  And they then give the retailer 24 hours to make it right, or lose their license.

So can you use the "Square" program to accept a retailer's credit/debit card, or is this even more risky?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What's your home yeast lab look like?
« on: April 03, 2013, 05:26:50 AM »
My "yeast bank" consists of a bunch of growlers with airlocks.

I intend on slowly replacing the growlers with large Erlenmeyer flasks because the growlers are very difficult to clean thoroughly (I've had repeat infections in one growler already).

That, and I'm out of growlers to fill at the brewpub or to take homebrew to parties.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What's your home yeast lab look like?
« on: April 03, 2013, 05:21:55 AM »
...I once had 5 batches of beer fermenting in my 285 sqft studio apartment...

"My Apartment aka My Fermentation Closet"

Ingredients / Re: whole leaf vs pellets
« on: April 02, 2013, 04:14:28 PM »
I'm thinking the main thing is a good wirlpool.

Yep - strainers are pretty much useless for any reasonable amount of pellets (the exception being a hopback).

Whenever I use a strainer (either in the kettle or on the lip of the bucket/funnel), I always have to clean off the strainer several times. I've since opted for a good whirlpool and racking off any trub in a timely manner.

IMO that's one of two downfalls - the other is that dry hopping with pellets in primary requires washing the yeast cake before re-pitching. But the reduction in required contact time vs. cones is a net positive.

I LOVE pellets and never use whole cones anymore (except homegrown).

...It might take some time (maybe even months) before the remaining sugar and starches are fully fermented so depending on your expected timeframe for drinking the beer you may not want to fully discount the priming sugar for the remaining two points. Personally I like to keep some of those brett beers around to see how they evolve but I bottle them in sturdier glass than the typical 12oz bottle.

Its all about the timeframe you'll drink the beer in.

If you're going for a little wisp of musty/cherry pie brett flavor, you'll probably drink it long before the small pitch of brett converts those last 2 gravity points.

If you want to keep a few bottles around (more than 6 months), get just a few sturdy Belgian bottles instead of a whole batch-worth.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Can you over pitch a lager?
« on: April 01, 2013, 11:24:01 AM »
I think the issue I found is that the viability calculations for harvested yeast are inaccurate, which I previously treated as gospel.  I try to reuse my yeast within a month (hopefully less than 2 weeks) and just do 20-30% more than what a freshly harvested pitch is recommended according to

I've heard JZ recommend using harvested slurry within 2 weeks, if stored properly. I'd assume the viability calcs are for slurry that's less than 2 weeks old.

Equipment and Software / Re: Best chiller for summer brewing
« on: April 01, 2013, 11:18:15 AM »
You'll need a ice water recirc loop either way - but a plate chiller will save you a lot of time/water getting down to that 100F before switching to the ice water loop.

Just go with a submersible pond pump from Lowes/Home Depot - runs about $60-$70. I would look online at the reviews to make sure the one you buy will last.

EDIT: That pump from Northern Equipment looks like a much better option than the crummy pond pump.

If you don't upgrade to a plate chiller - how big is your Immersion Chiller? I started with a 5/8" diameter, but I built a 1/2" diameter that decreased chill time considerably. I also recirculate with my March Pump, which has probably been the best improvement for my chilling.

I live in Indiana - and sometimes in the heat of summer I still have to knock out a little warm and cool it down in my fermentation fridge overnight. Not best practice, but if you're sanitation is good, it should be no big deal.

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