Author Topic: New starter procedure trial  (Read 57557 times)

Online narvin

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #105 on: October 05, 2015, 01:44:31 am »

However, when you're going for 88% attenuation on a Trappist clone or want 10 gallons of a dry pilsner, a few points of attenuation or some unwanted esters is a big deal.  These are the kind of beers that higher pitching rates have improved for many homebrewers.

Stan H.  notes in his first BeerSmith podcast that the Trappists pitch "scary low" amounts of yeast.  It seems that a healthy yeast is capable of transcending pitch rate, starter size, starter style, etc. This should be scalable at our level.


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They're also repitching yeast from a previous fermentation.  Like Mark said, yeast is not going to perform optimally the first time in an actual fermentation.  This is especially true of the Rochefort yeast in my experience.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #106 on: October 05, 2015, 02:00:02 am »
My guess is a repuposed half pint jelly jar.

Close, it was 500ml Erlenmeyer flask.  The recommended starter size was 300ml. Guess what?  The approach worked very well.

By the way, then as now, the best selling home brewing yeast culture was BRY 96 (a.k.a. Ballantine "Beer," "Chico,"  Wyeast 1056, White Labs WLP001, Fermentis US-05, and BrewTek CL-10).  Amateur brewing was not all English-style ale, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus bombs were pretty darn common back in the nineties.   Recipes including English pale malt were nowhere near as common as recipes based on American 2-row combined with C60.  Quality English hops were also much more difficult to acquire than the American cultivars, which is why the seeds for the beers that we are drinking today were laid in the nineties (some would say in 1975 with the introduction of Anchor Liberty Ale).
I chuckle every time I read comments about brewing way back in the 90s. I remember a guy I worked with brought me a bomber of what he said was "Its a chocolate raspberry stout. Thats a German beer. Drink it warm" I chilled it. It was about as sweet as a milkshake, but grittier. I thought it was awesome.  First real German beer I had ever tried. Edit: not counting Heineken
« Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 02:12:09 am by klickitat jim »

Online narvin

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #107 on: October 05, 2015, 02:12:59 am »
If you ever want a laugh, find the book "Home Brewing Without Failures" by H.E. Bravery.  It was published in the 50s in England but made its way over here in the 60s.  Read about 100% crystal malt recipes, 8 hour mashes, nettle wines, and more, with the bonus of a very opinionated British narrator.

S. cerevisiae

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #108 on: October 05, 2015, 03:57:44 am »
I chuckle every time I read comments about brewing way back in the 90s. I remember a guy I worked with brought me a bomber of what he said was "Its a chocolate raspberry stout. Thats a German beer. Drink it warm" I chilled it. It was about as sweet as a milkshake, but grittier. I thought it was awesome.  First real German beer I had ever tried. Edit: not counting Heineken

Yes, I drank more than a few "interesting" beers back in the nineties (interesting is the only polite way to describe these beers), but I have to say that I have tasted way more infected beer in the last few years than I did in the nineties, and that includes professionally brewed beer.  I am also encountering more of what Denny refers to as "WTF was the brewer thinking" beers.  I judged a beer that was entered as a special bitter that tasted just like wintergreen flavored toothpaste.
 
People coming into the hobby today have no idea of how good they have it.  I became a yeast geek out of necessity.  Dry yeast was unusable for the most part, White Labs did not exist, and the Wyeast culture collection contained less than a dozen strains that might as well have been unobtainium on East Coast. I started plating and slanting yeast because that was the only way that I could obtain a reliable source of clean yeast for the first year or two.

All-grain brewing was another hurdle.  Home brewing supply shops tended to be small because they were in retail areas or someone's basement.  For example, I started purchasing supplies from Maryland Homebrew (MDHB) when it was still being operated out of the basement of the owner's previous residence.  The only grain being sold by the shop at that time was specialty grain.  The owner sold mostly kit beers that came in cans and canned extract (does anyone remember Bruce's Dogbolter?).  Things got a little better on the all-grain side when the owner quit his day gig and moved MDHB into commercial space.  However, purchasing grain in bulk grain usually meant being part of a club purchase (my first big grain purchase was 220lbs as part of a BURP buy).   It wasn't until MDHB moved to the industrial park where it currently resides (they used to be a couple of doors down) that the grain situation really improved for me.  Anyone visiting the shop today has no idea of how humble things were in the early days. 
« Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 01:37:44 pm by S. cerevisiae »

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #109 on: October 05, 2015, 11:53:26 am »
Along the lines of laughable 90s recipes I'd add most (or all) of the old Cat's Meow recipe database. Tons of crystal malt, Cascade hops and 'ale yeast' in pretty much everything. Not coincidentally, every beer I brewed from there (not very many) tasted really similar.   ;)
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Offline beersk

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #110 on: October 05, 2015, 01:01:34 pm »
Neat stories there, guys. I've got it pretty dang good. I started brewing in 2008 and feel very lucky to have had Midwest brewing supplies and Northern Brewer to choose from fairly locally. Even helping a friend brewing in 2005, it seemed somewhat mysterious to me. The Midwest tutorial video, going back and thinking about it, I'd say is quite outdated, even today. Weird how fast things change.
Jesse

S. cerevisiae

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #111 on: October 05, 2015, 02:29:05 pm »
Along the lines of laughable 90s recipes I'd add most (or all) of the old Cat's Meow recipe database. Tons of crystal malt, Cascade hops and 'ale yeast' in pretty much everything. Not coincidentally, every beer I brewed from there (not very many) tasted really similar.   ;)

I never used that recipe database.  Truth be told, I did not spend much time brewing other people's recipes.  I wanted to thoroughly understand the process.  That type of knowledge can only come from not playing it safe. 

With that said, I see the same kind of dynamic with hops today.  Hops are being used to hide a host of poor brewing practices and sins.  To the untrained palate, hops are like spices in that they can cover taint.  With modern home brewing, the taint is mostly caused by low-level infection, which I believe can be traced back to the almost universal use of Star San coupled with "drive by" (a.k.a. "spray and go") sanitization and poor yeast handling practices.


Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #112 on: October 05, 2015, 02:46:25 pm »
Taint covered in hops...

You all make it sound like the 90s was a loooong time ago and brewing was a wasteland.

I made some truly enjoyable beers back in the 90s.  I'm still brewing one of the recipes I came up with back then.

Sure, there wasn't the diversity of ingredients that we have today but you can make good beer with basic ingredients.  You don't need six different kinds of hops and 14 different grains.

I will acknowledge, though, that there were many beers and recipes (brewed by myself and others, including some pro breweries) that all tasted just about the same.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #113 on: October 05, 2015, 02:50:35 pm »
With that said, I see the same kind of dynamic with hops today.  Hops are being used to hide a host of poor brewing practices and sins.  To the untrained palate, hops are like spices in that they can cover taint.  With modern home brewing, the taint is mostly caused by low-level infection, which I believe can be traced back to the almost universal use of Star San coupled with "drive by" (a.k.a. "spray and go") sanitization and poor yeast handling practices.




I disagree Mark. While hoppy beers are no doubt extremely popular today (arguably overly so), I doubt very seriously that large numbers of brewers are adding extra hops to beers they wouldn't have otherwise, just to cover up infections. Hoppy beers are everywhere because that is the current consumer preference, like it or not.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #114 on: October 05, 2015, 02:57:32 pm »
Taint covered in hops...


oh man choked on coffee...funny stuff  ;D
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evil_morty

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #115 on: October 05, 2015, 03:00:07 pm »
I've tasted flaws in very hoppy beers but yes, the hops do help to hide some things.  but taint?  aint nothing hiding that  :o

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #116 on: October 05, 2015, 03:07:56 pm »
Taint covered in hops...

You all make it sound like the 90s was a loooong time ago and brewing was a wasteland.

I made some truly enjoyable beers back in the 90s.  I'm still brewing one of the recipes I came up with back then.

Sure, there wasn't the diversity of ingredients that we have today but you can make good beer with basic ingredients.  You don't need six different kinds of hops and 14 different grains.

I agree. I made some nice beers back then too. Just not from that source.
Jon H.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #117 on: October 05, 2015, 03:48:54 pm »
I disagree Mark. While hoppy beers are no doubt extremely popular today (arguably overly so), I doubt very seriously that large numbers of brewers are adding extra hops to beers they wouldn't have otherwise, just to cover up infections. Hoppy beers are everywhere because that is the current consumer preference, like it or not.

I agree that customer preference drives the popularity of hoppy beers but not because the alternative is poorly brewed non-hoppy beer. I also agree with what I think underlies his point that if you stripped down the hops you would find a lot of beers both at home and on the commercial market that are loaded with brewing flaws. All one has to do is look at the number of breweries--often newer breweries--where people complain that all the beers are mediocre or worse except the IPA/IIPAs.
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S. cerevisiae

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #118 on: October 05, 2015, 03:58:55 pm »
Taint covered in hops...

Yes, I see many modern home brewers covering up low-level infection produced off-flavors with high late hopping rates.  This technique was not as prevalent in the nineties because late hopping rates were lower.  The brewers with poor sanitation and yeast management practices stuck with stout and porter in the nineties. :)

Quote
You all make it sound like the 90s was a loooong time ago and brewing was a wasteland.

That was not my intention.  It was just merely a time when things that brewers who have entered the hobby in the last ten or so years take for granted were difficult to acquire or not available.

Quote
I made some truly enjoyable beers back in the 90s.  I'm still brewing one of the recipes I came up with back then.

Me too! 

Quote
Sure, there wasn't the diversity of ingredients that we have today but you can make good beer with basic ingredients.  You don't need six different kinds of hops and 14 different grains.

I will acknowledge, though, that there were many beers and recipes (brewed by myself and others, including some pro breweries) that all tasted just about the same.

Many of the  beers made during that period tasted the same because we were making due with what we had available.  The overuse of C60 was the result of being able to get any base malt that one wanted as long as it was American 2-row. :)  The early nineties where worse than the late nineties in this regard.


Online f00b4r

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Re: New starter procedure trial
« Reply #119 on: October 05, 2015, 03:59:07 pm »

Foam only when shaking, not during the "regular" fermentation, which I assume is what you mean by "incubation".  And it's not nearly as much foam as what I see in your picture.

Turning the medium into mostly foam is the key to this method. If you are not producing at least as much foam as can be seen in the photo above, then you are not shaking vigorously and/or long enough.  I literally screw the cap down tight, and shake the vessel vertically as vigorously as I can for one minute.  A lot of people attempt the method with a solid rubber stopper, but a screw on cap is really not an option with the method.  One literally has to shake the starter like one is attempting to collect money from it for the mafia.  One of the British brewers that I know from another forum wins the prize for shaking.  He managed to turn media almost completely into foam.  That feat requires a massive amount of shaking.

I have a feeling it is our use of readily available 5L water bottles with their ridges and handle, as it took me very little effort to get the following when trying out your technique (it also gets rid of worrying about glass slipping out of the hands):