zorak1066

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zorak1066 last won the day on December 28 2017

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    good job Mr Beer! thanks for making this place feel like 'home' again.
  1. yeast are living things. living things act weird from time to time. no 2 fermentations will be identical for this reason. i double pitched us04 that was expired, thinking i needed to boost cell count. big mistake. it was still very very viable and the fermentation was a gushing volcano for over a day plus. i've seen us04 behave like saison yeast.. slow, dainty eater with a very small krausen head. same yeast. ive had rafts of yeast on some batches at bottling, that were absent on others. you can predict the flavor outcome based on temperatures and expected ester development. you cant predict how vigorously the yeast will feed. that's one of the things i find fascinating about yeast.
  2. a good cooler with 1/2 to 1 liter bottle of ice should keep things cool for about 12-14 hours. before you start using this method with wort, get a wireless digital thermometer or a cheap aquarium probe type thermometer. put the sensor in the cooler. add a bottle of ice, close lid and monitor temps. keep a log and check it every hour. this will give you a good understanding of how much ice will impact the ambient temp inside and for how long. I use a cheap submersible aquarium thermometer. I put the probe inside and close the lid on the wire leading to the display. I set the display on top of the cooler so I can easily see it. a swing of maybe 2 0r 3 degrees isn't that drastic if your temps are good to begin with. so if you are late changing the bottle out it shouldn't make that much of a difference.
  3. mineral content , ph etc is only really important for all grain brewing. in general, if the water tastes good then it's great for brewing extracts. any minerals and nutrients the yeast need are usually found in the wort. in all grain, mineral content effects ph balance. if your ph is out of whack, you mash wont be as efficient as it could be. if you get into all grain theres a couple spreadsheets that will help... one is ezwater. another i think is brunwater. brewers friend has a water calculator. you plug in your starting water profile, your grain bill, and then play with chemical additions until you find the balance you want.
  4. the grape nuts cereal goes in a hop sack btw... grape nuts is essentially malt and vitamins. dead yeast provide an assortment of vitamin b and other nutrients. i dont know what it is about raisins but yeast imo love them. when i go to bottle my hobo wine, the raisins are fat and full of gas from the yeast. i rinse these and then boil the raisins with some other fruit to make preserves. no waste. the spent grape nuts is about the only thing that gets tossed. when i do all grain, my spent grains get dried in the oven and turned into coarse flour. i use it to supplement white flour for breads. again.. no waste. i pamper my yeasts. they make booze for me so it's the least i can do for them.
  5. rehydrating modern dry yeast, if you are pitching enough , isnt necessary in most cases. the reason you rehydrate: dry yeast is encapsulated with 'food' and put into kind of a state of hibernation. when they hit water, the cells puke out their stomach contents and begin pumping in whatever liquid they find themselves in. when first brought back to 'life' the cell walls tend to be fragile. if they start sucking in high gravity wort the cell walls can rupture (osmotic shock), killing a percentage of your yeast cells... maybe up to 50%. if you pitch enough yeast for a 5 gallon batch in a 2 gallon wort batch, even if you have 50% cell die off you still end up with plenty cells to do the job. the dead cells feed the living and life goes on. when you rehydrate in water at the correct temperature, (the gravity of water is low ie 1.0.) it is gentle on the cell walls. they suck in the water and then begin the cycle of reproduction / budding if needed... otherwise they immediately start tearing into the available food. (less lag time). so pitch enough yeast. pitch fresh yeast. if you do this you really dont need to rehydrate most of yeasts.
  6. acidulated malt is in fact a way to lower ph. the problem with water chemistry on lighter beers it seems, is that it takes lots of additions to bring the ph into balance and the chloride/sulfate ratio to balance. adding chemicals adds sometimes unwanted flavors. unless you luck into living in a place with the ultimate natural well water you have to become a chemist. i try to do the 'less is more' approach. the spreadsheet helps but trying to find that balance is like pulling teeth sometimes. an adjustment here impacts something there. add a little there to balance the here, and something else gets wonky. by mixing spring water and ro water i can get the numbers closer to where they need to be on lighter beers... without tons of chemicals.. but it's still a pain. up to 2% of your grain bill with acid malt and youre fine.
  7. 2.75 gal batch (blondish) 4.5# 2 row .5# flaked oats .5# flaked barley 1.5 oz acidulated malt .25 oz palisade pellet hop 60min .5 oz palisade pellet hop 15 min mash 152f 1.75 gallons, 3.5 gallon sparge strike 165f water profile 1 - Ca 57 ppm, Mg 6.3 ppm, Na 5 ppm, Cl 9ppm, SO4 21 ppm Alk 140 (caco3 ppm) PH 7.8 water 2 - Purified water, approx ph 6-7? sparge water will be 50% purified water / 50% spring water i used ez water spreadsheet making additions to both mash and sparge... mash: gypsum .5 g, CaCl 1g , Epsom salt .5 g sparge: gypsum .5 g CaCl 1g epsom .5 g i get a RA of -128 mash ph estimate at room temp of 5.58 chloride to sulfate ration of .88 - balanced. for the purposes of the grain bill i considered the oat and barley as base malt. does this sound about right? i have a devil of a time with light ales when i do all grain... i havent done that many over the last year so i'm still trying to get my head around things. my last light ale all grain batch had an slightly sharp taste that i attributed to too much calcium chloride. think pickley.. your thoughts? if i use 50/50 spring and purified water for the mash too i can lower my acidulated malt and not that much changes except the ratio goes up to about 95 - still balanced.
  8. yep.. i put it in about a quart of water and boil it on a low boil for about 10 minutes. when doing mead... i will flame out and add a handful of raisins and a couple table spoons of grape nuts* cereal if i have it. cover... let it cool completely. i sometimes also add a tiny quarter piece of a centrum vitamin before covering. by the time the temperature of the water has gone from 200 to room temp, nothing is left alive in it. if i am making hobo wine which is just welches juice and sugar, there isnt a lot of nutrient in that so i will add frozen fruit to the must ,and the above. when i dont, the yeast complain by making horrible sulfur smells. * dont boil grape nuts cereal. it produces clove like flavors when boiled in my experience that have no place in many beers or wines.
  9. just remember your first kits are more to learn than to make great beer. mr beer starter kits make things as simple as possible. once you get a few kits in, and develop good brewing habits you'll start getting into more complicated kits and additions... and making awesome beer.
  10. heres what you get when you ferment with brown sugar: black licorice flavored crap. brown sugar is simply cane sugar with mollasses mixed in it. the yeast eat the sucrose and leave behind the sulfury mollasses. heres what happens when you dump tons of sugar in your beer or root beer... you jack up the alcohol by volume. . . hence the beer like quality instead of root beer. ya made rocket fuel son! follow the recipe as is a few times. see how it comes out before making mods. ive seen brewers dump all kinds of silly things in their beers trying to chase abv instead of flavor... and some chasing really odd flavors like cabbage and cheerios ( yes... i did that... once.)
  11. when i first started mr beer kits my fermentation room was an enclosed shower full of tile. we keep the ac in the house around 66f ... so while i was brewing (in florida 'winter') my ambient temp was about 64-66f. during that time i had many wild fermentations , and i cant recall ever getting that green apple cider taste. even the fromunda yeast from under the lid, can go a little warm in the lbk and you will still be fine. even older fromunda yeast never gave me much trouble. the one yeast i have used that was quick to make apple cider was us04. it naturally produces fruity esters as it gets hot so ferment at the lower end of the optimal temps. . . unless you like apple cider. it also eats like a monster. i would guess that about 90% of the time that i have used us04, i have had ballistic fermentations that generated a lot of heat. since that first ciderfest in a stout i strive for my chiller box to be about 58f when using it , at least for the first week.
  12. cidery = fermented too hot bready = youre probably getting trub kicked up in your beer.. slow steady pours too much head space that produces oxidation = cardboard or how some describe wet dog fur smells (at least that's how I perceive it) best thing new brewers can learn besides patience and following instructions, is temperature control.
  13. i make a pretty good smoked chipotle porter. i use some smoked malt in the grain bill (cherry wood smoked) and 10 days before bottling i steep 2 chipotle peppers in enough rock and rye liquor to cover... seeds and all. .. in a hop sack. i steep it until about the last 4 days of fermentation in a 3 week ferment. then i dump the whole thing into the fermenter. rock and rye.. pepper sack. the R&R adds a nice flavor and the peppers add heat and smoked intensity.
  14. oxidized(?) krausen has a green/tan to brown color sometimes.. partly oxides and partly hop oils and hop dust. krausen looks all pretty and white when brand new , but as it ages it can look ugly. that's why it falls out. all the yeast point and stare as the krausen ages , and they make rude comments so the krausen collapses in a fit of shame and humiliation.
  15. when you get into all grain and realize that you can make 5 gallons of a cream ale that tastes BETTER than store bought crap.... and it only costs you about 18 bucks in ingredients and maybe 10 hours total of work? i call that winning. 10 twelve oz bottles for about $3.60 beats $7 for 12 any day. as for missing a step.. said it before... beer used to be made in the most unsanitary conditions by fat, sweaty men who thought stirring the wort with the ancestral magic stick made beer. they didnt know about germs, bacteria, or yeast. i treat each batch like it was a child i produced. just because it may not come out stellar doesnt mean i love it any less. open a micro brewery??? and have to SHARE my beer even for profit???? NEVER! it's MINE MINE MINE! ALL MINE YOU HEAR ME? MINE!