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Messages - Jimmy K

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The Pub / Re: Oktoberfest Hombrew Party in Michigan
« on: September 23, 2013, 09:34:32 AM »
I thought that guy was wearing a strange dead animal hat. I thought - eh - Germans. I know some a German who'd own a hat like that.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast harvesting and simple sugar
« on: September 23, 2013, 09:25:41 AM »
I think the intention of the other comment was more like this. If you're brewing specifically to grow yeast for a big beer, and having a drinkable starter is a secondary goal, then removing simple sugars is a good idea. Ideally, a starter would be low OG so as to not stress the yeast. It should also be all malt because malt contains nutrients that yeast need to stay healthy. Simple sugar provides no nutrients and raises the OG. Both of these will stress the yeast and so it does not serve your primary goal.
So... I did not answer your question...
I think top-cropping is different in a few ways. Yeast is being removed at peak activity and put directly into fresh wort. The yeast have not yet had to attenuate those last bits of sugar in a high alcohol environment which is probably most stressful. Also, top cropped yeast at a brewery is likely to go into similar OG wort, not a higher OG wort, and the higher OG wort makes healthy yeast more important. Maybe the biggest difference may be goals though. A pro brewery wants beer first. Reusable yeast is a secondary goal and there may be some sacrifices being made to produce beer. Many US breweries reuse yeast after fermentation too, and I'm sure many of them use simple sugars.
So I guess the answer is that you can use simple sugars when repitching/harvesting/top cropping yeast. It's not the best choice, but it won't ruin your beer either. Seems like most decisions in brewing are not between great / ruined beer - just between better / not as good.
I probably made that more complicated than it needed to be.

Beer Recipes / Re: Summer/Session Ale
« on: September 20, 2013, 10:48:35 AM »
When my house was in the high 70's during the summer, two medium size ice packs would keep it in the mid 60's. I swapped them twice a day for fresh ones. As soon as fermentation slows I let it rise to room temp.

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Beer Recipes / Re: Summer/Session Ale
« on: September 19, 2013, 12:26:56 PM »
A bucket or carboy fits in one of these with the lid open and you can put ice packs around it. I got a beer down to 55F once doing this. (oops). I wrap some towels around the top to hold the cool in.

And it's blue!

Beer Recipes / Re: Summer/Session Ale
« on: September 19, 2013, 12:24:00 PM »
I got the same dissappointing taste from S-04 that fermented a little too warm. Terribly fruity, and not in a good, belgian sort of way. Probably some diacetyl too.

Beer Recipes / Re: Strong dark Belgian ideas from mixed grains
« on: September 19, 2013, 12:20:19 PM »
Yep, that's been known for years and I completely agree.  It may or may not cause problems for you, but it happens.
Huh, any info on how that happens?

proteins fold when they make foam, similar to denaturing but different, once folded they can't unfold into the form they were in originally and in order to make foam you have to start out in that initial form.

At least that's how I understand it.
I follow. There must be some reaction that occurs when they interlink.

Beer Recipes / Re: Strong dark Belgian ideas from mixed grains
« on: September 19, 2013, 11:06:39 AM »
Yep, that's been known for years and I completely agree.  It may or may not cause problems for you, but it happens.
Huh, any info on how that happens?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pros and Cons?
« on: September 19, 2013, 11:03:34 AM »
Assuming that you'll use the yeast within a few weeks of harvesting, you don't need much more than a few mason jars or other sanitizable containers. You also need some fridge space to store yeast.
Pros: FREE YEAST!! Healthier, fresher yeast if you do it right. You get to tell people you have a 'house yeast' and sound cool.
Cons: Some extra equipment and work - more than dry yeast anyway. If you're doing liquid yeast and starters, it's probably a similar amount of work to that. Contamination or yeast mutations if you do it wrong. Longer term storage might require more work.
Other considerations:  You might need to brew on a more regular schedule to take full advantage. You also need to brew beers that require the same strain.

Equipment and Software / Re: Ball lock connector inner gasket
« on: September 19, 2013, 08:31:29 AM »
Oh that's why that one disconnect was leaking

After I signed it, I started getting emails almost every day from  After I opted out they sent another email asking me if I was sure I wanted to opt out.  Yes I'm sure.
Gmail's been sending mine straight to spam. I didn't even have to tell it to.

Beer Recipes / Re: Strong dark Belgian ideas from mixed grains
« on: September 18, 2013, 07:50:07 AM »
I've never used more than .5 lbs of carapils in 5 gallons that I can recall.  I haven't used carapils in years, although I've been considering it as I'm not happy with my head retention these days.

Carapils, wheat, or other protein laden grains are not a panacea for poor foam.  To help yo diagnose your problem, see...

Really? Do you agree with this statement Denny? I've never heard about proteins getting 'used up'.
Lastly, homebrewers who keg their beer should be aware that foam positive molecules can get “used up” when foam is created. Thus, if you shake your keg to carbonate it, you may be dipping into your pool of foam makers for your beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: September 18, 2013, 06:00:55 AM »
J's Ale (Cream Ale)

This is my standard cream ale (originally made it for my brother). Took a ribbon at the World Cup of Beer a few years ago. 80% German Pils, 20% Home-Grown Corn. Bottled right after this picture, I love the yeast-scape...

I've never had a beer be that clear in the carboy. Nice.
Damn, at first I just assumed it was a glass.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lid on or off during boil?
« on: September 17, 2013, 12:07:11 PM »
Partially covered is fine.  Think of how many breweries have enclosed kettles.  But a study done many years ago concluded that you want at least 15% of your kettle surface uncovered.
Breweries have enclosed kettles, but they have stacks and probably exhaust fans too :) But still I'm sure partially covered is fine. The important point is letting steam escape before it condenses and returns to the wort.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Harvesting yeast
« on: September 17, 2013, 10:04:51 AM »
I don't think there is any minimum time it needs to sit. After washing it could be pitched immediately.

The Pub / Re: Bottle Cap Floor
« on: September 17, 2013, 06:20:23 AM »
@#%$#%^#!!! Please remove this from the internet before my wife sees it on Pintrest.

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