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Messages - a10t2

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-04
« on: October 17, 2010, 01:53:04 PM »
Pitching rate has nothing to do with attenuation IME.

BTW, it's US-05 and S-04. I'm assuming you're using the latter.

Beer Recipes / Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« on: October 17, 2010, 01:24:30 PM »
I used a total of 9 g of (fresh) spices at flameout last year and felt like that was about right. You could probably go to maybe 15 g without being obnoxious.

That grain bill looks sort of barleywine-y but wouldn't be typical of any Belgian beer. Was there a base style you had in mind?

Wheat can easily convert 75% adjunct...but then crystal is already converted anyway.  ::)

The issue isn't converting the crystal malt, it's ensuring that the enzymes present are concentrated enough to convert the base malts in a reasonable amount of time. The wheat should be fine, but I've seen Munich analyses with DP as low as 50°L. In that case, the OP's wheat malt could be 115°L and still drop the overall mash below 40. Better safe than sorry, especially for his first mini-mash.

I'd just mash the Wheat and Munich along with the crystal malts.

That would be over 50% crystal malt though, so you'll probably need to include about half a pound of 2-row to ensure conversion. Then add 5 lb of extra light DME or 5.8 lb of extra light LME, which should get the OG back up to about 1.060. Like Malticulous said, do the extract addition late in the boil and you won't need to change anything else.

Mini-mash guide, if you need one:

If you don't want/need to top crop, here's a good visual guide to harvesting yeast:

As a general rule, if the beers are about the same gravity, the yeast cake from the first will be enough to pitch into 3-4 other beers. I wouldn't pitch on a full cake.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation timeline of BVIP (HPLC data)
« on: October 16, 2010, 09:18:22 AM »
As for the SG, if you could track Brix via refractometer that would still be cool.

I don't have Travis's access to toys, but I took refractometer readings for a couple of fermentations (two different pitching rates) recently. - it's about halfway down the page.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation timeline of BVIP (HPLC data)
« on: October 16, 2010, 09:01:55 AM »
I would think that HPLC is High Performance Liquid Chromatography?

Yup, and BVIP = Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter ("bvip beer" would have done the trick). One of Denny's more infamous recipes.

How old were the vials? Does your LHBS store them properly? Obviously, you had two that contained only a small amount of yeast relative to the others. I've heard that WL is pretty good about replacing bum cultures if you mail in the empty vials, but I've never dealt with them myself.

Anyway, there are two main reasons to make a starter. One is to generate additional yeast and increase the pitching rate, but a 650 mL starter (without a stir plate) won't really grow much. The other is as a viability check, so that you know you have healthy yeast before pitching. So you definitely don't want to pitch a starter that hasn't shown any signs of activity.

I realize that probably isn't a very satisfying answer, but hopefully it well at least let you keep making good beer until you figure out where in the supply chain the yeast is being mishandled.

As far as #6, take a gravity reading and if it hasn't dropped, pitch more yeast. An active starter would be ideal.

Yeah, I was just going for the cheap yeast infection joke. I know that isn't Saccharomyces.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation timeline of BVIP (HPLC data)
« on: October 15, 2010, 06:34:39 PM »

Good stuff man.

That's impressive, that's getting up into heat shock territory.  I'm really interested to hear how this one turns out, I've never heard of anyone fermenting anything that warm.

I definitely wouldn't do it on purpose, but I'm not at all surprised to learn yeast do very well at ~100°F. They do just fine at 98.6, after all. ;)

I'll check back in in a few days once I've tasted it.

Ingredients / Re: where do I buy bulk grain
« on: October 15, 2010, 03:47:24 PM »
By far your best option is to find a local brewpub that will let you add a few sacks to their orders.

You can buy sacks of grain online, but with shipping the LHBS will likely be cheaper.

Cool it and pitch some new yeast.  It might be ok . . .

It's down to about 78°F now. I don't think new yeast would do anything at this point - the original pitch of 3787 is still going like gangbusters. Fortunately, it was only that hot for 8 hours at most, and >48 hours after pitching, so I might be able to get away with it.

I had to resurrect this thread for my new personal "best". I forgot to switch my thermostat from cool to heat and plugged in a space heater to get a quadrupel up to temperature. Woke up this morning and the beer was at 101°F. :'(

Ingredients / Re: Rahr 2 Row Attenuation
« on: October 14, 2010, 10:34:31 AM »
I use Rahr 2-row as a base malt for most things (since it's what Great Fermentations carries), so I can't really compare it to another domestic pale malt. But compared to pils or Maris Otter, which are the other base malts I use frequently, I don't think there's a substantial difference. Even if it is slightly more attenuative, but I certainly haven't found that it can't be controlled with mash temps. The last few batches have ranged from 78% to 88% ADF, depending on mash temp (147-158°F). On a porter I'm brewing tomorrow, I'll mash at 162°F and get an attenuation of about 73%.

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