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Messages - flars

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Building up a starter
« on: September 20, 2016, 02:15:34 PM »
Hi all,

I typically make starters every time I brew, but I've never actually had to step one up.

I am planning to brew a Czech Pilsner, and the yeast I was able to get is a bit old (March 2016, only 19.63% viable according to BeerSmith).

Also according to BeerSmith, I need 467.7 billion cells, so I have a long way to go.

As I'm playing with the starter calculator in the program, it LOOKS like I can make a 1L starter on a stir plate to get the cell count up to 117 billion, so a bit more than a new package of yeast.

My question is, then, do I simply go ahead and pitch the new, happy yeast into another starter as though I'm pitching a fresh package of yeast (another 2.69L on a stir plate gets me pretty close to the recommended pitch rate of 467.7 billion according to the software)?

It seems simple enough, but I just want to make sure I'm not missing something important.

You would decant the spent starter wort off the propagated yeast before adding new wort for the step up to reduce the total volume in your flask.  I find this calculator very easy to use.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sanitation
« on: August 27, 2016, 01:17:56 PM »
Star San solution can be stored for reuse if it is not visibly dirty with crud.  As long as the pH remains below 3.2 it is still effective.  The solution may be cloudy if you use well water.  That does not mean it is no longer effective.  The cloudiness comes from the acids reaction with minerals in the water.  I store the sanitizer in one gallon jugs to make it easier to move around and pour from.  The spray bottle is very handy for sanitizing the beer/wine thief and the top of the fermentor before taking a SG sample.

edit:  As long as the pH remains below 3.2 it is still effective
                        Should be as long as the pH remains 3.0 or below.

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report, Medford, Wisconsin
« on: August 20, 2016, 11:45:32 AM »
Eight miles ENE of Medford, Wisconsin

pH 7.4
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 221
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.37
Cations / Anions, me/L 4.0 / 4.0
Sodium,                      Na 8
Potassium,                  K < 1
Calcium,                     Ca 45
Magnesium,                Mg 17
Total Hardness,           CaCO3 183
Nitrate,                      NO3-N 2.9 (SAFE)
Sulfate,                      SO4-S 4
Chloride,                    Cl 34
Carbonate,                 CO3 < 1.0
Bicarbonate,               HCO3 156
Total Alkalinity,           CaCO3 128
Total Phosphorus,        P 0.05
Total Iron,                  Fe < 0.01
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

All Grain Brewing / Re: Beer recipe that ferments at room temp
« on: August 17, 2016, 07:21:41 AM »
Take a look at WY 3711 for a saison.  Has a temperature range of 65° to 77°F.  Has been used at higher temperatures with good results fermenting saisons.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stuck Fermentation
« on: August 13, 2016, 01:01:39 PM »

Are you using a refractometer or hydrometer for specific gravity?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pitching rate calculator discrepencies
« on: August 07, 2016, 02:21:18 PM »
These two calculators will give you more confidence whether you use a stir plate or not.
Mrmalty is a bit off on calculating viability.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: No fermentation after 24 hours.
« on: July 24, 2016, 04:44:07 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. I realized afterwards that I should have rehydrated higher and then added some chilled wort little by little to lower the temp closer to my fermenting temp.

In the case of repitching should I just raise the temp of the fermenter and sprinkle in the dry yeast or rehydrate again? I'm just not sure how much of an issue diluting my wort would be...granted with a cup of distilled, sterilized water and yeast.

Thanks again.

Dry yeast can be a little slower to start, but never rehydrate yeast in distilled or RO water.  The yeast needs minerals to protect the cell walls from rupturing during rehydration.  Hold your wort at 66°F to 68°F.  The fermentation will start.

You won't need to worry about the dry hop debris.  I regularly use yeast from a IPA for an amber ale.  Centennial in the IPA and Cascade in the amber ale.  There is some aroma left but most of the goodness of the dry hop will be in the previous beer.

Are you fermenting in a carboy?  Swirl up the beer and trub in the fermentor and lay it on its side.  Use rolled up towels to prevent it from rolling.  In about 15 minutes you will see a clearer line of beer at the top.  Have a couple of sanitized pint jars ready to pour in.  Some of the hop debris will be left in the fermentor with the remaining yeast.  After a day in the refrigerator the beer will separate from the remaining yeast and hop debris.  You will see very little hop debris in the jars if you had filtered out the boil hops during the pour into the fermentor.

The hop debris can help protect the yeast in storage.

The 173 grams of dextrose for priming seems right.  You won't have to worry about bombs with this amount.  Bombs usually come from infection or a fermentation that finishes in the bottle.  Bombs can also come from too much priming sugar, but this amount is definitely not too much.

One week in the secondary will be sufficient for clearing as long as you are sure the fermentation was complete in the primary.  I would check the SG after one week in the secondary to see if it has changed.  Try at least two weeks in the primary for your next beer to make sure the fermentation finishes while on the yeast cake. 

Keep your bottles at about 21°C for two weeks before sampling the first one.  Chill the bottle for a couple of days before opening.  Warm beers can gush if the bottle sediment is disturbed.

Equipment and Software / Re: Food Grade Bucket Fermenter?
« on: June 04, 2016, 05:50:20 AM »
I have several frosting buckets.  The chocolate and strawberry aromas did disappear after some use for rinsing and soaking small parts in Star San solution.  Didn't seem like it took to many uses before the aromas were no longer noticeable.  Air drying with no lid will most likely speed the process.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: starter from 90ml harvested yeast?
« on: April 23, 2016, 07:37:11 AM »
The calculator is for estimating the viability of the yeast in the slurry.  You can use Mrmalty to estimate the percentage of the slurry which is yeast.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: starter from 90ml harvested yeast?
« on: April 23, 2016, 06:10:32 AM »
The viability loss estimations in the Mrmalty calculator are not the best.  Check the viability estimates in this calculator.  Seems to be much more reliable.

Wood/Casks / Re: New at this
« on: April 06, 2016, 12:56:34 PM »
I have not barrel aged nor read very much about it.  Shoot at will for this comment. 

If you would like to have some CO2 produced in the barrel to fill any headspace add 5 ounces of priming sugar before sealing or airlock.  The priming sugar wouldn't change the character of the beer.

Yes. ;D

Buckets are more likely to blow their lid across the room and a blow-off tube won't prevent that 100%. Same for the airlock. If it comes down to a burping lid it's really no big deal. Seriously. It doesn't need to be hermetically sealed.

All personal preference of course.
Only if the fermentation bucket or carboy is to small for the volume of the wort.

The airlock really isn't necessary during your primary fermentation. As long as the bucket is in a secure place- no kids or pets messing with it- laying the lid on the bucket without snapping it down is sufficient.

There'll be more than enough positive co2 pressure to keep any thing out and once the bulk of fermentation is done (3-4 days) the lock can be installed and the lid snapped down.

Congrats on the first batch! Will taste great!
Is this the best advice for a new brewer?  Perhaps recommend a blow off assembly during the initial fermentation, then changing to an airlock.

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