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Messages - brewsumore

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What's the benefit of pitching the entire starter?

My last brew I cold crashed the starter and poured 90% of the liquid off the top of the yeast cake then let the cake come up to wort temp and pitched. Then you don't have to worry about any (very very little) drop in OG right?

The best answer in a short reply is "that's why you should read the book 'Yeast' by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff."  But I need to and will look again at my copy.  edit:  without having looked at the book, let me give a brief reply based on my understanding (which is somewhat limited, but well-practiced):

Because yeast is an organism you need to "ranch" it to have the best possible outcomes.  In sufficient quantity and recent cell reproduction, and due to the ability to create a large population thru the "full ferment and decant" approach to yeast starters, you will be successful.  But also, when yeast are at the height of their reproductive activity (FK starter) and again in sufficient numbers they will immediately go to chewing on the sugars of the wort, resulting in a fast initial reproduction/growth cycle that will shorten lag time and thereby ensure a good start to the large task of working through a high gravity wort without leading to poor health, population or mutations at critical phases of the ferment.  I see it as insurance through a short lag time.  Both approaches work.  For me, doing a next-day impulse brew using old yeast (all available the day before brew day) in limited supply, a larger than normal full krauesen starter was the best option.  And it worked, with minimal negative side.  It's chugging very well in the ferment chamber I am happy to report.  8)

I guess I've normally thought in those terms but how do you get around the fact that when yeast eat sugar that they in turn release the "waste" products of ethanol and co2?

Certainly the smell of a full krauesen starter is yeasty, with no alcohol aroma.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: February 15, 2016, 07:47:27 PM »
good luck with the Skotrat recipe, been wanting to try that one myself for a while now, dont know when I will get to it. This weekend, I will finally be getting around to my Hazelnut Double Brown @ 1.100 that I have been asking questions about for around 4 months now. Third attempt at this beast, so hopefully I have learned a few things through the first 2 times

Thanks!  Your Hazelnut Beast sounds like what you'd drink with a Hero Sandwich!!

I think I'll be ok.  I had +1" of krauesen today, by 12 hrs into the ferment.  The tradeoff is that I had to pitch twice as much full krausen starter into the wort as listed in the recipe, so that will impact the beer a bit.  If you do make it, I'd pay close attention to the order of how to proceed on brewday per the recipe.  Also, I recommend that you look for the AHA 2011 recipe provided on the AHA Forum by Skotrat that includes the ferment temps and schedule, not some of the earlier versions on the Net.  You can google "Skotrat Scotch Ale".   edit: the thread is at -

Per the recipe you should runoff and then hard boil for 30 minutes the 2 gal of first runnings, towards making the syrup, and only after that, start the 2 hr full volume boil.  I started the wort reduction and then immediately went ahead and started my full volume boil of 14.5 gal.  So, I ended up having to stop/interrupt the full volume boil, to focus on reducing the syrup, which took way longer than I thought it would.  You want to time it so that the syrup is added to the kettle before the first hop addition (45 min), and I also recommend to NOT boil down more than 2 gal of first runnings.  The very best pot to make the syrup would be both wide and tall - since once it starts reducing it foams a lot and doesn't continue to evaporate/reduce quickly.  I started in a 2.5 or 3 gal pot and when mostly reduced switched to a SS large sautee pan, but ended up with at least 4 cups of syrup vs the recipe's recommended pint.  Also, although I was closely monitoring both kettles simultaneously I nearly had boilovers a few times on one or the other.  Mine was a marathon brewday, 10 1/2 hrs not including the time before that to make the starters - mostly due to hunkered over a too low boil in a too small pot or pan of reducing syrup!  Still - somehow I hit my OG exactly.  I'm looking forward to this beer.

I imagine you starter wort wasn't at 1.035 by the time you pitched it though? Probably more like 1.010 to 1.012?
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Of course you're right, but the point is to be able to calculate the FG correctly.  Since what is lacking in gravity points of a full krauesen starter is put into balance by addition of ABV, I figure the number I'm looking for is the starter OG.

Equipment and Software / Re: Fermentation Heaters...
« on: February 15, 2016, 05:33:38 PM »
Fermenwrap duct taped to the rear wall of my fridge ferment chamber.

Equipment and Software / Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« on: February 15, 2016, 05:24:31 PM »
I ferment two buckets at a time.  I equalize the amount of wort in each, and use a thermowell in a tight fitting hole in one of the bucket lids + a Ranco temp controller.  5.5 gal wort in a 6.5 gal bucket, with anti-foam drops and a blowoff tube.  Works fine.


(Volume of wort * gravity of wort + volume of starter * gravity of starter) / total volume.

20.8qt * 85 = 1768
2.1qt * 35 = 73.5
70 + 1768 = 1841.5
1841.5 / 22.9 = 80.4

Must use the same unit of measure for it to work.

Awesome.  Thanks Steve!

I just realized that I can convert to plato and do an average.... maybe - let me work on that.

edit: Yeah right.  ::)  Yep, I haven't renewed my advanced mathematics license in wayyy too long.   

I had 5.2 gal of 1.085 wort to which I added 2 liters (one half gallon) of 1.035 starter wort.  I'm wondering if anyone knows of a calculator, or has the formula for determining the OG following the starter addition.

I realize it should be simple algebra but it's been a long time since I studied that.

I know, that's an awfully large starter to pitch whole for an ale... my excuse is old liquid yeast and a high OG.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: February 15, 2016, 12:26:07 AM »
I brewed 10 gal of Skotrat's Traquair House Ale (wee heavy) recipe.  Only attempted this once before, in 2008, and today I still had trouble getting 2.25 gal of first runnings down to a super-concentrated dark thick syrup (for re-add to the kettle to get the desired caramelized flavor just right).  Still, I did get it down to about a quart of nice dark syrup.  The recipe calls for boiling 2 gal of first runnings down to a pint of syrup.

What happens next is questionable.  I planned this brew at the last minute, as in yesterday afternoon, and the only LHBS in the area that had the yeast I wanted was a 25 mile drive.  They said they had 4 packets of edit: WY 1728, so I drove there but found they were dated Oct 12, 2015 (4 months old), which when I got home found out per Mr. Malty predicts only 11% viability.

So I started two 2 liter stirplate starters this morning, each with a packet of liquid yeast, and have two more unopened packets on the kitchen table.  I hit my OG of 1.085 (33 lbs of malt), and am hoping one starter plus one additional packet per 5.5 gal bucket (including whole full krauesen starter) will do the trick but it's a crapshoot.  I have some US-05 on hand in case I need to feed the ferment.  At least I have o2 and nutrient and temp control to help boost the yeasties.

The starters have been going 13 hours and actually have some nice activity going, but the other packets have hardly swelled at all in the past two hours.  I'm going to pitch an hour from now.  I know - ramble, ramble, blah, blah, blah.  ::)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast for English styles
« on: February 13, 2016, 07:15:08 PM »
I've heard that the other MGJ dry English yeast is not as good.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast for English styles
« on: February 13, 2016, 07:11:41 PM »
Bumping an old thread  but a great one. I am primarily a dry yeast user. Its cheap, easy and works for me with the basic brews I brew. I never know exactly when I will be brewing and for the beers I brew I havent noticed any better rrsults for the same strains in liquid form. I do use liquid for certain styles but I mosy brew everyday beers. There are a lot of new yeasts out there. Does anyone have any experience with the Mangrove Jack yeasts? I used the M07 British Ale once but dont really remember it. I have used S-04 and that is a go to yeast for me like US-05 is as well. Has anyone used the Mangrove Burton Union? It is said to be great for English Bitters which is the batch im brewing next. Then there is the Muntons Gold...I have never considered Muntons yeast but after reading through this thread it looks like the Muntons Gold can be something to try. Especially if its anything similar to the Fullers strain.
I also tried Windsor once in a Mild but I cant remember much about that one either. Another new dry yeast I am curious about is the Mangrove Newcastle yeast said to be great for dark beers...I considered it for a Bitter but it might be too much for that style unless someone can say otherwise.

So anyone have anything else to add about any of these yeasts?

I've found them to be pretty long laggers. Aside from that, they results have been mixed based on strain.

British Ale: did not like, too neutral, vodka-like esters (fusels?), better yeasts are available for this profile
Burton Union: excellent and unique british yeast, nutty quality, moderately fruity, great yeast
Newcastle Dark: yeast character is mild but pleasing, VERY LOW attenuator (mash in the 140s for sure)
US West Coast: excellent alternative to chico, more character than chico but subtle, more tart/tangy, very good
Belgian Ale: expect saison character, similar to belle saison but a little more subtle, good

That's my experience so far. I have Workhorse in my fridge but have read poor reports on it so I'm saving it for a special day :D

Thanks for sharring. Im intersted in trying the Burton Union for an English Bitter. I asko didnt care for the M07...too nuetral and finished very dry. Didnt leave much there.

I recently brewed and am now drinking an English Brown Ale fermented with MGJ Burton Union.  It's the 2nd time I've used that yeast and I love it and have read other positive comments in past research.  I start in the low-mid 60's and ramp over a couple days to 68F and leave it there until done.

Very clean.  None of the twangy bready thang of US-04 (I quit using that yeast).  Fairly low - mid ester and fruitiness, very easy drinking but English character.  I have read on sites including Rebel Brewer that its the Thames Valley yeast.

And you can sprinkle it on, which I did with 1.5 packets (15 g) per 5.5 gal of wort at 1.056 and that worked great.  It is a bit of a slow starter, but my ferment completed in 6 - 7 days, and it floculated well, although a few mini-floaties left down by the yeast cake when racking.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: On tap for the Super Bowl
« on: February 08, 2016, 11:34:02 PM »
A bit of a marathon last night - just 5 of us = two couples and me but ended up doing some keg pours and then bottle shares, including 14 different New Glarus beers (12oz), some other craft beers, and from my cellared homebrews a sour worted Oud Bruin (M. Tonsmeire recipe), BVIP (Denny's recipe), and Pannepot Belgian Dark Strong.

Although I had high expectations I wasn't very thrilled with most of the New Glarus beers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: On tap for the Super Bowl
« on: February 08, 2016, 10:14:42 AM »
I was able to enjoy the last few minutes.... 8)

What is with Manning and Budweiser?  I thought it was odd in the post game
when he said he "was going to go drink a lot of Budweiser".

Then, I was outside, and heard him again - this time on the radio with another reporter - and he says
"I am going to drink a lot of beer, Budweiser"

comma Budweiser?  Clearly seemed like he was getting paid to say that after the game. :-X

A friend told me that he has a couple (spelling edit day after SB:) Anheuser distributorships.  If that's the case, it's still lousy to see a parting shot commentary stooping to self-promotion.  Or maybe he's been waiting for the game to drink his favorite beer.  At least he didn't say I can't wait to drink a bunch of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill.   ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: On tap for the Super Bowl
« on: February 07, 2016, 10:08:23 AM »

Edit: now I have to drink this photo... tough job, but somebody's gotta do it!

Gotta make sacrifices every once in awhile for the sake of the team.  Very attractive beers!

It's great to see/hear what folks have in their play book for teammate hydration. 

Also, I heard that chicken wing consumption will be +1 billion, or equal to 4 wings per each man, woman and child in the U.S.

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