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Messages - dcb

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Yeast and Fermentation / Brett puzzlement
« on: November 18, 2014, 02:30:43 PM »
I'm re-posting a question from the recipes section in the hopes it will attract some comments.  I'm just bottling my first brett beer and very puzzled about something.

It was brewed in June with an OG of 1.073 and fermented down to 1.012 in just over two weeks.  I racked to secondary and pitched Brett. b, where it sat for some 5 months at about 65F.   This weekend I sampled again, and while the flavor is quite different and largely as expected, the SG is still at 1.012. 

My (admittedly simplistic) picture of it was that brett is able to metabolize sugars that are not fermentable by Saccharomyces, and I expected the SG to drop by at least a few points. Clearly something has been going on, but it doesn't match my model of how this works.  What's wrong with my understanding?

(My original thread:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: carb volume for 22oz bottles
« on: November 15, 2014, 08:17:20 PM »
after 6 days I popped one and my best guess is carb level similar to 2-2.5 beer. letting it go another week and see the difference, then likely will put them to the fridge.

Edit: Had to drink one!

I'm the same way.  I always shoot for 2 weeks after bottling before declaring it done, but I always pop a bottle after one week and I don't think I've every had it not be ready.  It's fun to see the taste evolve, though.

Beer Recipes / Re: 185 Days Until Christmas
« on: November 15, 2014, 07:42:04 PM »
This one is actually looking good for Christmas, though there are a few things about which I'm confused.

To recap, I brewed this on 29 June, OG of 1.073. I kept it at 66F.   On 13 July, it was at 1.012 when bottled 1 gal and racked the rest to secondary and pitched Brett b.  I've kept my hands out of it since then and just today drew the first sample.

First puzzle is that today the SG is... 1.012.  I expected the brett to take it way down.  What's wrong with my thinking.

The cool thing, though, is the difference in taste.  The un-bretted version has distinct banana notes, which are almost too much.   The brett version, though, is delicious.  It's just the faintest bit sour and has a lovely underlying funk (for a Belgian, is that f'Unque?). 

My other question is about the banana in the un-bretted version.  Is that just the yeast, or was it the temp, or???

I'm going to go ahead and bottle this, putting some away for next year.   I'm pretty satisfied with this but will enjoy seeing how it ages.

Equipment and Software / Re: Fermentation Chamber suggestions
« on: November 04, 2014, 08:10:05 PM »
For most of the year  where I live, only heat is required.  I have a space in my garage where the bucket sits in box to keep out light/dust.   My heat is a home made ferm-wrap thing made out of flexwatt heat tape and an STC-1000 controller.    I was able to scrounge enough stuff to keep the cost to about $30.

I'm just now testing an Arduino controlled controller that will supervise my next batch.  If you're technically inclined, that can be fun.    But you can pretty much dial in your own sweet spot on the cheap/easy to expensive/complicated continuum and make good beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Another reason to enjoy home brew
« on: November 04, 2014, 07:50:09 PM »
The taste alone is all the justification I need. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Too little priming sugar
« on: November 02, 2014, 02:16:11 PM »
Thanks for the feedback and info... I've chickened out and am going to let em ride as is...

Good choice.  I always feel like any time you get the opportunity to keep your hands out of the beer and eff with it less, you should take it.  Lots more batches in your future.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: film on bottles
« on: November 02, 2014, 01:59:27 PM »
How do you clean them?  I would think that the film comes from the cleaning process more than the starsan.  A couple of days before bottling, I like to soak my bottles in OxyClean or PBW, making sure they're visibly clean before soaking.   A good rinse on bottling day and there should be no film.  SS is the last product to touch the bottles before the beer.

If your water ph were high enough to extract tannins sufficient to color the beer to that level, I'd expect to be able to taste that, but you report that the beer tastes good.   So, maybe my assumption about being able to taste that level of tannins is incorrect?  The only time I tasted tannins in a homebrew, the beer had been served in one of those red plastic traveller cups, so I couldn't see the color.   

Equipment and Software / Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« on: October 29, 2014, 02:04:49 PM »
I'm the kind of guy who rarely sees a piece of gear I don't covet, and I'd love to have that kind of dedicated space and gear to explore our favorite little microbes and learn how they work and live.

I would be the last guy to discourage any homebrewer from engaging in some over-the-top fun with equipment and process, but unless by "yeast prep and propagation" you mean something more involved than I think, you don't need a laminar flow hood.  There are guys out there doing yeast ranching with little more than a good pressure cooker and a few plates and test tubes.  Like most aspects of this hobby, it takes a lot more knowledge than it does stuff, and most of the knowledge is free for the taking around here.

That said, if you plunk down for the hood, please do post some pics and let us know what you're up to.   I'll raise a glass to your efforts and be glad to share vicariously in the fun.

In addition to the leaks and rust issue I would also be concerned about the content of the metal. I wouldn't trust that it is really stainless steel given the other problems people have experienced.

Not that it's anything but the coarsest of tests, but has any put a magnet on one of these?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That's a first
« on: October 26, 2014, 02:39:36 PM »
Yeah, pyrex is far more up to the rapid thermal changes than glass.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Crazy amount of head.
« on: October 25, 2014, 11:51:04 PM »
At the risk of getting back on topic, were you certain that it was fully fermented when you primed and bottled?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pumpkin technique help
« on: October 25, 2014, 11:44:56 PM »
If you boil the pumpkin, you'll end up with a mess in the kettle, and haze that might never go away.

I can't speak to the mess in the kettle, but haze in a stout wouldn't worry me much.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pumpkin technique help
« on: October 25, 2014, 11:42:41 PM »
And don't forget this on our very own site:

Elysian's Dark O' the Moon was the first pumpkin beer I really enjoyed. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fermenter Sans Bubbling
« on: October 14, 2014, 03:44:10 AM »
I look forward to the day I'm so confident as you guys.  I'm still too new and feel comfort watching the airlock bubble away.

A nice spritz of star-stan around the rim of the bucket might let you see where the leak is.  It really doesn't matter, as others have pointed out, but understanding what's going on should ease your mind and let you learn to relax.

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