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Messages - a10t2

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Serving suggestions for Keg
« on: May 12, 2010, 02:52:20 PM »
How does the height of tap from center of keg play a role?

Hydrostatic (beerostatic?) pressure will drop about 0.4 psi for every foot the beer has to rise. It's per foot above the level of the beer, so using the center of the keg gives you an average.

Re the summary – I’m not being snarky but I understand what you mean so let me explain further. You may have known what you were trying to do but in your summary and presentation it focuses on the difference between pitch rate and nothing to do with using a starter.

I see, your concern is that I'm making a statement about starters when what was actually tested was the pitching rate associated with using a starter or not. You're absolutely right about that, and it's something I actually addressed briefly on the episode of Basic Brewing that will air tomorrow.

And by the way, I meant that I was being snarky (when I wrote that), not you.

One never really every ‘proves’ anything when doing experiments only basically disproves things.

I certainly wouldn't claim that this experiment proves or disproves anything - the data can only support or fail to support a hypothesis. There's no such thing as absolute proof. That fundamental fact doesn't validate or invalidate the data though.

One of the most important things that I haven’t touched on are the number of repeats you did with this experiments. Meaning how many of each did you do in duplicate, triplicate, etc. The reason we do this is b/c single experiments are inherently flawed. Even if you kept everything the same it would have been better to do 2 sets of 3 one gallon fermenters.

I do understand the importance of repeatability, but the one gallon fermenter idea seems a little impractical. If different tasters received beers from different fermenters, it would add an uncontrolled variable. And if each taster received beers from all three fermenters, it would demonstrate repeatability, but cut the sample size by a third.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Over carbonation issue
« on: May 11, 2010, 10:44:09 AM »
Have you changed the DME brand or color? Or how you're adding/mixing it into the beer?

It "can" make a difference but how fussy are you is the question.  Outside versus inside means the difference of how long it takes to carb your beer.

That doesn't sound right to me. The temperature of the beer will affect how fast it comes to equilibrium, but the regulator is going to supply whatever amount of gas the beer is "pulling" from it, regardless of the tank temperature.

Equipment and Software / Re: UV lamp for sterilizing
« on: May 11, 2010, 09:35:51 AM »
They work very well, IF the light can get to the entire surface that needs to be sterilized. In brewing, you frequently need to sanitize the inside of an opaque vessel or length of tubing, for example. Plus there is a small amount of danger associated with any source intense enough to be effective, and the cost issue.

The yeast amount could have been assed by its volume or the sediment weight.

In hindsight, that is something I wish I'd done, but my previous slurry volumes have matched up so well with the MrMalty predictions that I simply didn't feel the need. Shortsighted, I know...

The Pub / Re: Well, Stephen Hawking, if they do visit....
« on: May 10, 2010, 07:57:42 PM »
Expecting to cross paths with the Ravenous Bug Blatter Beast of Traal?

The Pub / Re: Leaving Portland, Graduating from Law School
« on: May 10, 2010, 07:56:35 PM »
I'm equally worried about paying off my $125 worth of student loans

I'll chip in 20 bucks. ;D

So you're leaving Portland, eh? Can I move into your apartment?

Its a big pet peeve of mine for people to blindly do experiments without doing any basic research to see if anything like this has been done.

Thanks for taking the time to respond in so much depth, Kristen. I did search for previous research in this area (I have access to a couple of the academic databases) and found some good papers, but they all dealt specifically with lagers, and none of them involved a large blind tasting. I'm sure those papers exist too and I simply don't have access to them, but I think it's important to keep in mind that most home brewers don't have access to any of the literature at all.

I'd like to respond to a few specific points. For the rest I'll defer to your superior knowledge and experience, and simply plead that I was working within the limitations of some very basic equipment.

- Experimental controls - Three beers are needed. An underpitch, an over pitch and a 'correct' pitch. Two beers doesn't give enough variables.

I'm not sure why that would be the case. Is an experiment that has one control and one experimental group inherently invalid? I do have *some* training in conducting a controlled experiment and I've never come across a statement like that.

- OG - Its just too high. What would be a yeast pitch rate experiment to one has change, instantly, to a yeast pitch rate of high gravity beers...unless you wanted to do a high gravity experiment but I didn't read that.

The OG was targeted to be at the high end of what White Labs and Wyeast say is "pitchable" for their standard (home brewer) products. Both manufacturers say a starter is only needed for OGs above 1.060.

- Open fermentation and headspace - It wasn't clear to me if this experiment was done fermenting 'open' in buckets or in buckets with a lid. If they were closed the head space was absolutely massive which could skew the experiment. Books have been written on 'fermenter-head space' specifics.

The fermenters were sealed and you're right, the head space is massive. Perhaps not ideal, but at least consistent between the two fermentations.

- Summary of the summary - Using a starter makes better beer. This had absolutely nothing to do with the actual experiment.

That's snarky and unscientific and maybe even inappropriate, but it actually does speak directly to what the experiment is designed to assess - do home brewers prefer beers pitched at a standard rate, or at the pitching rate associated with using a smack pack directly?

Point short, there is nothing I can ascertain from the data presented. There are too many holes for even the smallest assumption to be made.

I am disappointed to hear that you think that, since I respect and value your opinion. I guess all I can say is that I feel I learned some things as a result, and that those with a higher standard for proof will have to conduct their own experiments, or rely on the peer-reviewed literature.

What was the OG of the Amber?  Also, what type of aeration was used?

The OG was 1.059, and they were aerated for 10 minutes using an aquarium pump and plastic air stone. The recipe and notes from the actual brew session are in the first post.

Denny, did you see a difference in head retention between the two when you did your tasting?

He noted better retention in the control.

(Sorry to answer for you, Denny!)

Beer Travel / Re: New Orleans.
« on: May 10, 2010, 10:53:06 AM »
I was down there in March and really just did not enjoy Crescent City. Decent food, but the beer seemed mediocre, and one was just plain contaminated.

Abita is good and available anywhere, especially the Amber. Any bar with a decent selection will also have NOLA on tap - they have an IPA called Hopitoulas that's great. If you can get to the brewpub they have a couple more unusual things on tap there.

I (and some very generous volunteers from the NB forum) recently conducted an experiment to determine what, if any, impact under-pitching would have on a beer. The results more or less conform to the conventional wisdom - slower fermentation, increased off-flavors, etc. I know a lot of people, especially new brewers, question the need for starters, and I think the tasters' results make a pretty persuasive case for using them.

Yeast Pitching Rate Results

With all due respect to Malamallotary5 and Rofikss69, this question isn't about atmospheric CO2. 
The environmental debate belongs somewhere else.

Relax, man. They're just spambots.

A hardware store probably won't, but any reasonably well-equipped homebrew shop should have them. for example.

Unless you have a refrigerator or freezer that's cheap or free, it may not be worth it. I've found the swamp cooler to work very well.

Thanks for the translation.  I didn't see where 0.5% CO2 equals 2.5 volumes.

I don't think Kai converted, but 0.5 wt% is ~5 g/L, and CO2 density is ~2 g/L.

So, if I bottled a 1.015 SG beer (with no additional sugar) and FG w/in the bottle ended up being 1.010, then my bottled beer should be carbonated to 3 volumes of CO2.

Plus whatever's in the beer to start with. 0.9 vol at room temperature, give or take.

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