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Messages - majorvices

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General Homebrew Discussion / Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« on: May 20, 2017, 05:10:32 AM »
Thought it was a bout time we started one of these again to share some stuff we may have picked up but haven't thought about sharing.

One of the coolest things I found recently is a hair straightener - it is kind of like the opposite of a curling iron but looks almost identical. Costs about $15. They work great for sealing mylar hop bags. I purge with Co2 first, then use the hair straightener to seal the bag. Works almost instantaneously. It also works when you accidentally break a Wyeast smack pack. Seals it right up!

By purging and sealing I have kept opened hops still usable for over a year in mylar bags!

This is a case of homebrewers "over doing" it. I use 3 bright tanks and they all share different beers and the carb stones only get "thoroughly" cleaned about once a quarter. The tanks themselves are simply cleaned under pressure, not completely broken apart, except for once a quarter. This allows me to keep the DO at a minimum in the BBTs because the tanks are simply acid looped, then sani looped under the pressure of Co2. I'm much more concerned about the effects of O2 as opposed to the very minor risk of cross contamination at this point in the process.

So, as long as you aren't using it on sour beers it will be fine. If a few cells of Belgian yeast cross contaminate your already finished German helles they really aren't going to have much work to do and will remain dormant.

I would use the stone, sanitize it afterward, then store it dry (maybe in a zip lock bag). Perhaps boil it after every 10-20 uses.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step mashing timing
« on: May 18, 2017, 05:31:51 PM »
Let's not forget.  Each and every one of us is a moron to somebody.   8)

Only to my wife

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oak Aging
« on: May 18, 2017, 08:13:45 AM »
Dang. I was hoping it would be simpler than that.

I may be wrong. I read the book a year or two ago I'll see if I can double check that info tonight.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oak Aging
« on: May 18, 2017, 04:13:56 AM »
I believe it is a lot more complex than just seasoned toasted oak. The wood needs to be cured. It can take months to years. If you ever visit a bbl yard they stack these staves several stories high in the sun and spray them down with water off and on for months. There is a book called "Wood and Beer" that I think covers some of the basics on seasoning the wood for barrels. you might look there first.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I can make some delicious wort
« on: May 17, 2017, 03:55:12 AM »
Do you ferment in a plastic bucket?

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I ferment in a plastic big mouth bubbler.

Does it have a valve on it?

Ingredients / Re: Synergy Pils Malt (Briess)
« on: May 16, 2017, 03:34:55 AM »
Anyone have experience with Briess synergy Pils malt? I'm thinking about ordering a sack, along with some Vienna.

From Briess:
Synergy Select Pilsen Malt
Lovibond 1.8
Balance malty flavor with
subtle honey, bready and
cracker notes
DP 100. True European-style Pilsen Malt rich in flavor, high in extract and low in protein with moderate enzymes and FAN. Made from hand picked Synergy Barley grown in the flood-irrigated, semi-arid plains of the Bighorn Basin in Northern Wyoming.

I have not but I'll throw a sack on my next order and give it a try. Sounds interesting.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I can make some delicious wort
« on: May 14, 2017, 06:24:50 AM »
Agree with Sean, sounds like a possible contamination issue. Though it could still also be an oxygen issue. Both would get progressively worse with time. Are you purging your kegs before racking?

Bring a small sealable container by the brewery and I'll give you some peracedic. Just don't get any full strength concentration on you.

Equipment and Software / Re: Input on corking a Belgian
« on: May 13, 2017, 08:16:32 AM »
I have the Italian Floor corker like this one

I've had it for about 15 years. Works like a champ. Works well with the Belgian style magnum "mushroom" corks.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Overpitching - Does it matter?
« on: May 13, 2017, 04:51:05 AM »
I have to admit I brew homebrew sized batches (for fun and for experiments and for a special "club" we host once a month at the brewery) about 4 times a week, if not more. I almost never make a starter unless the yeast is not fresh. I pull fresh yeast directly from 60 bbl conical fermentor into plastic measuring cups and "guestimate" how much feels right. I'll swirl around the slurry in the bottom of a carboy and pour a bit of yeast directly into another carboy using intuition on my "pitching rate". I haven't had a bad batch in a long time.

OTOH I have brewed for over 20 years and I have brewed well over 1,500 batches just in the last 6 years so I have a pretty good "feel" on what works and what doesn't. For new brewers, the pitching rate guidelines are not a bad idea to use. I don't think you will ruin a batch, necessarily, by pitching directly on a yeast cake or over or under pitching. But I still think it is  a much better idea to get as close as you can to pitching the right amount of yeast. But, as I can attest, seat of the pants intuition works. Especially if you have the experience under your belt to guide you.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I can make some delicious wort
« on: May 13, 2017, 04:23:06 AM »
Weird that 029 is throwing diacetyl for you. Are you picking the diacetyl up straight from the fermentor or after racking? Oxidizing after racking or packaging is a huge factor in diacetyl in finished beers.

Swing by the brewery and I'll give you a pint of peracedic acid. In exchange for some diacetyl free homerew. ;)

The Pub / Re: HELL YEAH!!!
« on: May 12, 2017, 10:40:30 AM »
You're celebrating that? Expect a torn rotator cuff in the third week.

Exactly. Guess Brady is done! ;)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Overpitching - Does it matter?
« on: May 11, 2017, 03:41:19 PM »

In the absence of any persuasive evidence indicating otherwise, I'm inclined to believe that pitching rate doesn't matter.

I agree it is less important if you are not super concerned about consistency and repeatable processes. Once you start running a brewery and brewing every day you suddenly realize very, very quickly how absolutely important pitching rates are.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Overpitching - Does it matter?
« on: May 11, 2017, 05:06:50 AM »
I have a suspicion that pitching rate makes no difference to the flavour of beer. Brulosophy did a pitch rate experiment with lager and found nothing. I think the theory that yeast produce different levels of esters at different cell counts is possibly wrong.

This is completely false.Just because of one Brulosophy experiment does not make it an absolute. Underpitching, for instance, can cause ecessive cell growth and can cause head retetntion problems due to excess fusel alcohols. Over-pitching can certainly cause autolysis which can easily be determined by a higher pH in the finished beer (or a raise in pH in the finished beer.) Pitching rate also will affect the pH in the finished beer.

While I agree with Denny about acetyl co-A, I still find that if I over pitch my Belgians or a Koelsch in particular it affects (lowers) the ester production, especially in the case of esters I like and look for in those beers.

I have found the MrMalty calculator to be very good at calculating fresh slurries of yeast. It pairs up well with my own cell counts and viability tests. So there is no reason not to use it.

If you have a slurry older than a couple weeks old and don't have access to a microscope/hemocetometer I recommend either making a starter from that slurry or just starting fresh. One of the worse things you can do is over pitch a beer on purpose because you fear the viability is low then bring in a bunch of dead cells.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Overpitching - Does it matter?
« on: May 11, 2017, 04:56:57 AM »

I've had the opposite result from overpitching.  Because both cell growth and ester production use acetyl co-A, if you pitch too much yeast there is no need for cell growth and the co=A goes to ester production.  I get more estery beers by overpitching and less estery ones by pitching the proper amount.

Interesting.  Have you experienced across a wide variety of yeasts or certain strains in particular?  When I have over pitched WLP001 and especially S-04 I have a few times now gotten a really mealy gaminess (no idea how else to describe it) in the finished beer.

That sounds like possible autolysis from bringing over too many dead cells.

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