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Messages - majorvices

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« on: February 25, 2012, 04:30:59 PM »
Water is probably my biggest issue.  If I started with RO water what would I need to add to make it good?

Soft water and bump your calcium up above 50 ppm and you should be good. I cut my tap water with RO water 50/50.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP001 fermented cold
« on: February 25, 2012, 08:07:07 AM »
A new vial pitched at 58F may be very sluggish, which overall is bad for the beer.  However, if you use an active starter it should work fine.  Jamil claims that Sierra Nevada brews with this strain at the temperatures you describe with great success.  It may have a slight sulfur note to it though.

I have never gotten sulphur off chico. I definitely have gotten sulphur of WY1007. Totally agree that if you are not making a starter you are better orr starting any strain off on teh warm end, but I'm pretty sure gmac is smarter than to pull a stunt like that.  ;D

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Crazy fermentation and first starter
« on: February 25, 2012, 08:04:33 AM »
Your starter OG was  alittle high but I wouldn't worry about it. 1.020-1.040 is the range, and I shoot for the lower end. But you didn't do any damage.

The head space is probably the problem plus hefeweizens just throw up a lot of top cropping yeast. If you are capturing the blow off in a sanitized vessle use that yeast over the bottom. Hefeweizen strains are top cropping strains and you will be better off top cropping than collecting the yeast on the bottom. Top cropping hereweizen yeast tends to preserve all the great flavor characteristics of hefeweizen while bottom cropping tends to select the more flocculant yeast. That said, I have bottom selected hefe strains often with fine results.

IMO you don;t need to wash any yeast. It's a waste of time and a potential contamination hazard.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« on: February 25, 2012, 07:13:27 AM »
well, although dusseldorf and kohln are neighbors those two styles are vastly different. Regardless, 45 degrees is not technically lagering. You need to get down to 38 degrees at least, and preferably closer to freezing to lager. The problem is most german ale and lager strains are not very flocculant and you really need those cold temps to get the yeasts to crash in any reasonable amount of time. If you can knock the temp down closer to 38 or colder you will probably see better results as far as clarity goes.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« on: February 25, 2012, 06:11:34 AM »
I think it is even more important for new brewers to use starters.  I don't believe starters are just for advanced brewer trying to dial in the perfect yeast ester profile in their beer.  One of the biggest concerns with a new brewer is definitely going to be their sanitization practices.  If you pitch a new, inactive vial of yeast, the lag time will be longer than if you pitch an actively growing or fermenting starter.  This allows the yeast to get cranking in your beer MUCH faster, which will serve to protect you from minor errors in sanitization as the yeast will have a better chance of outcompeting other microbes.

I agree. I also like to suggest to new brewers to stick with dry yeast or pitch multiple vials/packs of liquid yeast until they are up to the 15 minute extra task of whipping up a starter. You don't need a starter with dry yeast and if you are using liquid yeast it is best to pitch a little extra since if you are not making a starter you are almost certainly underpitching and it is usually better to over pitch a little than under pitch.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« on: February 24, 2012, 08:31:10 AM »
I used to brew a lot of kolsch, especially for my wife. She loves it. Get your water and pH right, use the right yeast (you need to use a kolsch specific yeast) and you can nail the style pretty easily. The two yeasts that are the easiest to find are WLP029 and WY2565. The WY2565 ferments a little better at cooler temps but is a b**** to get to clear. The WLP029 can be a bit more temperamental  during fermentation as it tends to stall under 62 degrees near the end, but it is much easier to get to clear. Both make excellent kolsches.

Here's one of my recipes


12 Gallons
OG 1.050-1.052
IBU 23

20.5 lbs German Pils
2lbs German Munich

.75oz Magnum (14.9) 60 min
1oz Mittlefruh (3) 30 min
.5oz Mittlefruh (3) 10 min

WLP029 or WY2565 Starter or slurry (I make a 2.5 liter stirred starter or slurry from a previous batch. be sure to pitch enough yeast)

Boil 90 minutes to alleviate concerns about DMS

Aerate and pitch at 56 degrees. Ferment 58-60 for 3 days and then let rise to 62-64 until finished.

Equipment and Software / Re: I hope this pump is strong enough...
« on: February 24, 2012, 05:35:28 AM »
Not really an answer to your question but I live in Alabama and for years and years on homebrew batches I have just put my wort in my fermentation chamber over night until it reached pitching temps. Sometimes as long as twelve hours. Before I got my glycol system at my brewery I did this on a professional level as well, repitching yeast up to 5-6 generations and never had a problem. I actually decided that I liked the "break" in the action, to aerate and pitch the next day.

The Pub / Re: name that bar . . .
« on: February 24, 2012, 05:24:13 AM »
Looks almost exactly like the Flying Saucer in Nashville. Actually, it looks exactly like it assuming the taps would be in the same order.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP001 fermented cold
« on: February 24, 2012, 05:19:00 AM »
I have seen it work at 54 degrees. A lot of people say that the WY1007 German Ale is the cleanest strain they have ever tasted. I'm not sure I agree with that totally. chico is super clean when fermented cold. And I have found the WY1007 can be a bit temperamental if it is not handled right.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP001 fermented cold
« on: February 23, 2012, 07:29:30 PM »
Yeah, I wouldn't recommend 160 degrees fermentation temp for any beer.  ;)

You can ferment wlp001 at close to lager temps. I regularly ferment it at 58 and raise the next near the end. Just be sure to pitch a little extra yeast.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pediococcus...Diacetyl...Causes?
« on: February 23, 2012, 02:33:50 PM »
I agree absolutely that having a medium in the keg (or whatever) assures that you purge out all the o2. But I disagree that if you let the co2 run long enough that you don't purge out most if not all of the co2. If you have a glass of milk and you pour water into it the water and milk will mix. But if you pour long enough you will end up with all water.

The Pub / Re: Retirement?
« on: February 23, 2012, 08:13:46 AM »
All I can tell ya phill is - you better hire a gardener.   ;)

The Pub / Re: Retirement?
« on: February 23, 2012, 07:28:58 AM »

Perhaps spending 4 hours a day in the garden plus 6 12 hours+ every other day brewing is not 'retirement' but it sounds pretty durn good to me :-)

fixed that for ya! I left the house before 8 yesterday AM and didn't get home until close to 10.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: cold fermentation
« on: February 23, 2012, 06:09:46 AM »
First off, 70 degrees ambient is way too warm for fermenting most ale strains. You would want the ambient tempt to be in the high 50s, low 60s. The temp of the fermenting beer is what is important. You can expect to see 4-6+ degree over ambient during high krausen. Lagers experience a little less exothermic activity but it is still there. The key is to be able to monitor and maintain a steady temp in the fermenting beer and not to rely solely on ambient.

If you have conicals you need to also invest a little in some temp control. I use conical fermenters in a cold room with heat wraps wrapped with water heater insulation and a johnson controller with a thermowell and I can keep my fermenting lagers or ales anywhere between 44 and 78 degrees (I can actually go warmer or colder if needed.) Don't skimp on temp control, it's one of the most important elements in brewing and you need to have complete control. For instance; I start many of my ales around 64-66 (temp of beer, not ambient) for a  few days and then ramp the temp up to 68-70 to finish off faster, then crash the temp back down to 34 to drop the yeast. The latter part may not be 100% necessary (though it certainly is nice) but you want to at least have more control than letting the fermenter sit around at ambient.

The Pub / Re: Retirement?
« on: February 23, 2012, 06:00:47 AM »
While it was not permanent retirement, I took off for year (actually, a little over a year) before opening the brewery. It was great to take some time off to focus on things around the house, catch up on some reading .... catch up on some naps.  ;) Have to agree with puna though, it's more fun to have something you really want to do that doesn't feel like work and that doesn't become routine, or becomes pleasant routine. Maybe you could take some time off with the goal of starting a new business. I have greatly enjoyed having the challenge of a young business to grow in the middle years of my life. It gives me energy I might not otherwise have.

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