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Messages - Joe Sr.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: commerical schwarzbier examples
« on: January 23, 2015, 10:44:37 AM »
Does Xingu qualify?  Damn good black beer.

Haven't had Moenshof, but Koestritzer is very good.  Binny's used to carry this in the 5L mini-kegs.  Maybe they still do.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Safbrew Abbaye Ale
« on: January 23, 2015, 08:26:50 AM »
This isn't the most helpful description of it, but I just don't know what to say about it other than it's just odd. If you've tried that T-58 yeast, you'll get it. That's another weirdo yeast. Sour, pepper, weird. Abbaye isn't like T58 in any way, except both are weird.

I've only used T-58 once and that was for a quick saison.  I thought it turned out nicely.  I don't have any notes, but lightly sour and pepper sounds about right.  Nice for a saison, but I don't think so nice for a dubbel.  The right tool for the right job, and all that.

I think the bigger problem is that the yeast companies try to market these dry strains as appropriate for a wide style of beers when, in truth, they aren't.  No one would tell you to make a dubbel with 3724 or 3711, but they make great saisons.  No one would tell you to make saison with Chimay yeast.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: first use old yeast
« on: January 23, 2015, 08:01:19 AM »
Be patient, it will start.   I just sub-cultured two slants from a 13-month-old Scottish and Newcastle slant.

so its expected it will take longer-again, have not ever used yeast this old before.  thanks

Yes.  Expect that it will take longer, but the results should be just fine.

You can grow viable pitchable quantities from the dregs of one bottle of beer.  Growing a starter from an older vial of yeast should not be an issue.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Just say "no" to yeast rinsing
« on: January 22, 2015, 09:22:19 PM »
No doubt. I see no negatives to wiping with alcohol. I'd like to say I'll do it but since I haven't had any issues  I'm  just as likely to slack.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: how long on the yeast cake
« on: January 22, 2015, 03:39:23 PM »
Cool.  I'll look for that thread.  I don't care for brett, so I may have skipped the thread if it was referenced.

FWIW, I typically build up a starter from my slurries so that may help reduce any impacts from older stressed yeast from the previous ferment.  But that would only further complicate your ability to gauge percentages.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Leaking Regulator
« on: January 22, 2015, 03:18:16 PM »
Mine is the slightly less expensive version.  Or at least the seal looks the same.

Glad to know I'm not 100% goofy.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: how long on the yeast cake
« on: January 22, 2015, 03:13:40 PM »
Even though the 2nd and 3rd generations were ready for transfer much sooner, the damage was done. The 2nd gen beer is lovely but has the slightest hint of warmth from higher alcohols. The 3rd beer is a complete mess.

To what are you attributing that differential in results?  Stressed yeast from sitting in the fermenter?  I'm not sure I buy that theory.  I've stored yeast for long periods and not had off flavors from subsequent generations.

Just off the top of my head I would think that repeatability with subsequent generations of a mixed slurry is difficult since you can't control the proportion of the components of the slurry.  I'm not intending to crap all over your experiment, so apologies if this comes across that way.  Quite the opposite, I think those sorts of experiments are important for each of us to better understand our ingredients and processes.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Leaking Regulator
« on: January 22, 2015, 02:51:13 PM »
Make sure the regulator to the tank valve fitting is tight and the washer is good.

It is my understanding that some regulators don't require the washer to seal to the tank.

Maybe I'm all goofed up, but I'm pretty sure I read this somewhere.

I have one regulator where it leaks if you use a washer and does not if you don't.  There is a small rubber washer built into the regulator stem that screws to the tank.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Just say "no" to yeast rinsing
« on: January 22, 2015, 09:36:37 AM »
One habit that all brewers should get into is the habit of wiping all pouring surfaces with a cotton ball soaked with 95% ethanol (or 91% isopropyl alcohol if one is patient enough to allow it to flash off) before decanting any yeast culture (that includes starters and all steps in the starter process).  The pouring surface of a container holding a yeast culture should always be treated like it is contaminated.  Just as a nurse or doctor disinfects one's skin before injecting one with a syringe to ensure that the needle does not drag surface bacteria into the injection site, wiping the pouring surface of a container that contains a yeast culture  prevents the yeast culture from dragging any wild microflora that may be resting on the pouring surface into fresh media or wort.  It's a cheap insurance policy.

I work on the assumption that if the beer I'm cropping from isn't infected, then the sanitation is good and I don't need to bother wiping down the rim of my bucket before I pour.  Hasn't failed in hundreds of times.

Wow.  This thread just keeps going and going.

I do what Denny does, except I don't use buckets.  I use better bottles with the orange caps on them.  The bottle and cap are sanitized before the beer goes in and I assume they stay that way.  I haven't had any contamination issues from pouring directly into a sanitized container.  Been doing this for years.

I sometimes think we over-think things.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: rehydrating dry yeast
« on: January 22, 2015, 09:07:10 AM »
Rehydrating is so simple I just go ahead and do it.

I don't think it really has any significant impact, however.

Off all the things to obsess about, this is not the one.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: bottling from keg
« on: January 21, 2015, 02:01:52 PM »
If you have two tanks, or a splitter on your line, you can purge the bottles in a similar fashion to how you are filling them.

I use a pneumatic air gun (is that redundant?) with a hose on the end to get the CO2 to the bottom of the bottle.  Purge, fill, cap. 

It's helpful to have an assistant, if you can work that out.

EDIT:  I would also recommend turning up the CO2 pressure on the keg for a day or so.  Overcarbed when you are bottling is OK since you will lose some CO2 in the process.

I repitch repeatedly though typically I make a fresh starter each time from a stored slurry.

I've noticed performance changes over time with subsequent reputches but the biggest for me would be failure to drop clear. I've not really notified flavor changes attributable to the yeast.

I'm not sure what was lacking, but there is the theory that over pitching will produce more esters. IF that's what you were looking for perhaps batch 1 was the over pitch. It's much more likely with a full yeast came than with a starter.

Estimating yeast cell counts in this fashion is inexact, but probably close enough to get the job done.

Yes, you will likely be overpitching if you use the entire yeast cake.  Yes, you can just go ahead and put your fresh wort on top of the yeast cake.  You can make perfectly good beer this way and be happy with it.  You may also get off-flavors or unexpected flavors from the overpitch.  Some people say more esters.

An easy way to deal with this would be to pour the yeast cake out into one or more sanitzed jars/containers and use the amount you think is appropriate.  1/3 is probably what you need. 1/2 if you want to be conservative.

This also would give you the benefit of using a clean fermenter that doesn't have all the mess of the previous fermentation.

I've used whole yeast cakes in the fashion you plan to do with good results.  The process of pouring out and using only a portion is so simple and effective that I haven't done the whole yeast cake thing in years.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: C15L base malt?
« on: January 16, 2015, 01:22:44 PM »
I would assume domestic 2-row as a base malt and 5% -10% crystal and honey.  Maybe 10% if it's sweeter.  Split the crystal and honey malt 50/50 or 75/25.  I've never used honey malt, so I'm not sure what it adds.

If you're using malt extract, I'd use whichever light extract you prefer as your base malt.  Steep the crystal and honey malt.

Clean ale strain on a domestic beer likely means Chico.  US-05 or one of the liquid strains should do it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Here we go again with the foam question
« on: January 16, 2015, 10:42:57 AM »
I tried this beer in 2 kegerators with cooling towers and a walk in fridge. Still more foam than beer. The real problem is not serving a beer with a larger head, it's that the beer de-carbonates when there is a big head.

The carbonation releases to give you a flat beer with a huge head of foam.

What causes that?

This happens when you are pouring too fast/too much pressure.  You blow foam out of the tap and when it settles you have flat beer with a huge head.

Well I changed out the "line out" post and poppet and cleaned the dip tube with no change in foam.

Do you think the dip tube is to close to the bottom forcing the beer to squeeze through causing unnecessary turbulence  ?

On some of my kegs, the dip tube is bent to pick up beer from the middle of the keg.  When tightening the post, the dip tube will often rotate. If it winds up pinned against the side of the keg, the opening gets restricted and the pour becomes all foam.

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