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Messages - kylekohlmorgen

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Can you over pitch a lager?
« on: April 01, 2013, 06:24:01 PM »
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, 06:18:15 PM »
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.

Equipment and Software / Re: Brewing Calculators / Software
« on: April 01, 2013, 05:56:24 PM »
Being an engineer by trade, I do nearly all of my own calcs...

Being an engineer by trade, I know the most effective and efficient method of calculating recipe specs is with brewing software  ;)

Equipment and Software / Re: Brewing Calculators / Software
« on: April 01, 2013, 01:47:42 PM »
I've used ProMash and BeerSmith, and I much prefer the latter.

BeerSmith is intuitive enough to be accessible to brewers of all levels, but the functionality helped me really dial in my process as I progressed as a homebrewer. I wasn't able to consistently hit my targets until I started using it.

Just one man's opinion. This is an unpaid advertisement.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Can you over pitch a lager?
« on: April 01, 2013, 01:42:22 PM »
Not that this technique can't be done successfully- but see it as a source of problems for the average homebrewer.

I see fermentation issues stemming from low cell counts or low viability as the main source of problems for homebrewers at every level.

Making a starter for EVERY batch is difficult to accomplish, even if you're really dedicated. With good sanitation and storing practices, harvesting and repitching yeast can significantly increase the quality of your beer.

The keys are sanitation, storage, and repitching the correct amounts. Dumping fresh wort on an entire yeast cake creates almost (just?) as many problems as under-pitching.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: I tried the shaking method
« on: April 01, 2013, 12:25:04 PM »
Today after the last time I shook it I decided to vent it and see how far it had come. Don't ever do that right after you shake it.

^ Word to the wise.

I ran up against a deadline for a brew once (my wedding, actually) and kegged a day before I had to set off, so I employed the Drew Beechum method: put the keg in the back of your car, hook it up to CO2, drive a few hours to destination.

Also works like a charm.

Equipment and Software / Re: Blichmann Kettle with False Bottom
« on: March 29, 2013, 12:56:06 PM »
I've tried stainless 'scrubbies', bazooka screens, tea balls, etc. All have clogged or come loose during the boil.

The best thing that works for me is a street 90 elbow pointed down and a good whirlpool. I get a bit of hop material at the very beginning of the transfer, but I'm very clear after that as long as I don't tilt/shake the kettle.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Can you over pitch a lager?
« on: March 29, 2013, 12:52:43 PM »
After racking off the cake, just swirl it to mix and measure out your needed volume. You can adjust the Yeast Concentration to the low end (try 2) on the calculator.

You'll find you have much more yeast than you need. I've heard JZ mention several times that over-pitching is detrimental to beer flavor.

Also - if you plan on continue using the yeast in future pitches, over-pitching greatly increases the average cell age of the slurry. More yeast = less growth = fewer new cells in subsequent pitches.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Your Top 4 Hefeweizens?
« on: March 29, 2013, 12:47:32 PM »
I had a Hefe from Urban Chestnut in St. Louis that was fantastic. Their distribution is super small, but if anyone passes through St. Louis, check them out.

+1000. This brewery is small but amazing. I love going to the brewery (they have a lot of German influence, even a beer garden), but recently their 4-packs and mix packs of pint bottles have been showing up in the Indianapolis market. I would make EVERY beer in that mixer a go-to (including the hef).

Ingredients / Re: simcoe, citra and amarillo
« on: March 29, 2013, 12:42:23 PM »
On the dry hopping go light on the Citra because it really overpowers other hops. I would say 1oz Citra, 2oz Amarillo and 2oz Simcoe.

Second this. The 2012 Citra is quite loud in combination with other hops - I did a even addition of Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, Mosaic and Citra and all I could taste was CITRA!!! Not a bad thing, but something to be aware of.

OR just go heavy on the Amarillo instead  ;)

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Dry Hop in Primary?
« on: March 28, 2013, 08:45:07 PM »
I always dry hop in primary.

IMO you're doing it right - wait until fermentation is almost done, throw them in, then bottle/keg from primary.

I like to use more hops (3-4 oz for IPA) with less contact time (2-3 days). I've noticed some 'old grass clipping' flavors when I leave them on for 4 days or more.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Berliner Weiss
« on: March 28, 2013, 07:31:32 PM »
I am reviewing the 2012 NHC seminar called "A Perspective on Brewing Weisse-style Beer" again and I just noticed that slide 30 recommends making a lacto buchneri starter at 70-80F for 5-7 days.  Also the fermenter temps during the souring and before pitching the yeast starts at 93 drops slowly to 79 F on day 7 (slide 36).  Frankly these temps seem rather low for lacto.   Any idea why they are so low?  Did I miss where the presenters gave a reason?

If they didn't give a reason for the commercial brew, I'll bet they cooled to ~100F and then lost about 10 degrees when they transferred to the fermentor (the glycol in the jacket was probably around ambient and absorbed heat).

As for the starter temp - I'm at work and can't review the audio, but I'm pretty sure the presenter stated a reason for the temp range. If anything else, its easier to hold a starter at 70-80F than at 100F.

IME - these temps work just fine for both the starter and the pitch temp.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Aging in keg
« on: March 27, 2013, 05:13:10 PM »
The keg is my favorite aging vessel.

Just like with cellaring bottles, I like to keep them cooler than "room temp" - my basement is around 62-64F. But if the closet is the coolest place you've got, go for it!

Put some pressure on it to seal, then check it 24 hours later then again every month or so to make sure its holding pressure. The last thing you want is for your precious aged beverage to be exposed to air for months on end!

Ingredients / Re: how long for dry hop pellets to settle out?
« on: March 27, 2013, 05:00:59 PM »
If you chill it, the pellets will fall out pretty quickly.

+1 on this if you're kegging or can chill your carboy (sit it outside overnight?). I normally just dryhop in primary and let everything settle out in the keg.

Make sure you have that black plastic cover on the end of your racking cane before you start transferring, and try to transfer as little sediment from the bottom as possible.

The mesh bag can have issues - I've done it once, the mash bag clogged several times and I had to keep pulling it out, cleaning, and restarting the siphon (introducing air and increasing chance of contamination).

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: March 27, 2013, 04:51:18 PM »

+1 to yso191 for yeasts and temps.

I just brewed with belle saison (nice to not mess  with a starter)
1.052-1002 in two weeks (1.008 week 1). 
Light grapefruit, citrus, dry, tart with med mouthfeel.
temps mid 66F - 74F

That looks very similar to Wyeast 3711 with the high attenuation at lower temperatures and med mouthfeel.

Definitely behaves like 3711 from an attenuation / fermentation point of view.

The flavor profile is fairly different. I get a lot more black pepper from 3711. The citrus and fruit notes are similar, but 3711 seem to be more pronounced (lemon zest, orange, strawberry). Again, my experience may be due to fermentation temps.

I didn't think the mouthfeel was all that out of the ordinary, but I did use a lot of wheat.

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