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Everything posted by zorak1066

  1. zorak1066

    Boiling Yeast?

    on rehydrating yeast... i vaguely recall one of our old guard stating that anything beyond a 10-15 degree difference in temp from the rehydrating solution and the current wort temp could cause thermal shock. an unrelated point: when im doing a really high gravity ferment like hobo wine , after rehydrating i'll temper the yeast to the gravity by adding about a teaspoon of the must, stirring... let it sit for a couple minutes.. .repeat then after a few times i'll pitch. dont know about mutants. how would one know? ive never had really off fermentations that i can think of so if ive ever got mutant yeast cells they seem to do the same job. for really old yeast? yep. a starter would be ideal... ive got some really old pasteur red that will get a starter on my next hobo wine. it's way past best by date and the must will be high gravity. sometimes though i just dont have the motivation to run a starter for a day or two. getting that darn stir bar to stay put sometimes drives me nutty. yeast today are pretty amazing and really hardy. you can really be careless with them and they will still make good beer.
  2. zorak1066

    Boiling Yeast?

    yes. yes. yes and no. old or unwanted yeast can be boiled to kill it. i start timing when it reaches a low boil and then let it cook for about 5 minutes or so. then i flame out, cover and cool. alternatively you can add it to your boil and cook like that. you want the old yeast killed especially if you are brewing using a yeast with a desired flavor profile. you dont want any of the crud yeast surviving and potentially out-eating the good yeast. wort has tons of nutrients all on its own. if the yeast are relatively fresh (and you pitch enough) and not subjected to stress like heat/cold/or very high gravity they will do just fine. adding nutrient in the form of dead cells is like serving dessert at the start of a meal. the yeast will love you for it.. but will tuck into the dead cells or other nutrient first before tucking into the wort. any time i add nutrient be it yeast , raisins, sugar, etc... i get a little lag time added then the yeast go nuts. so absolutely not necessary in most cases. when i use tired old yeast out of necessity, or i am making something with a very high o.g. i add nutrient. i will also add a little more toward the midpoint of a high grav fermentation. example: making a belgian dubbel or trippel. these typically call for beet sugar additions. i do step feedings to keep the yeast from pigging out on junk food before they start working on the wort. the staged feedings keep them active and happy, and relatively stress free.
  3. zorak1066

    Infection Leading to Sour Aftertaste?

    yeast rafts take on many forms. when i use us04 i get floaty tan/orange colored clumps of yeast at multiple levels within the wort. some topside. some below. it's normal. yeast sometimes link hands and sing kumbaya for reasons only yeast know. sour producing infections look like shrike's pics. when those snotty white clumps join up they form a 'pellicle'. it's like a semi-hard protective fingernail like scale to seal off the wort below and allow the bacteria to eat all your lovely alcohol. i had a lacto bacillus infection in a pumpkin weis that looked like pic 2. big snotty white/grey bubbles. there is a difference between 'sour' and 'tart' that many people get confused on. fermenting too hot produces a cidery green apple tartness that some perceive as 'sour'. true sour is more like eating unflavored, unsweetened yogurt. sour. puckering mouth, pinchy face sour. atomic warhead candy sour. sucking on lemons sour. tart like you get in wheat beers, is more like semi ripe cherry sharpness of flavor. or perhaps real cranberry in nature. acetobacter infections produce vinegar flavors. the more alcohol the bug converts to acetic acid, the more intense the off taste until it gets so strong you can actually damage your mouth. brett-c infections produce the sour similar to a lacto infection. people intentionally brew with brett c to make various sour beers that i am not a fan of myself. infections arent that common if you exercise even the slightest good hygiene when brewing. there's an ancient thread here somewhere about Mashani's cat butt ale. lol... it's a classic.
  4. zorak1066

    Star San

    'dont fear the foam' is the marketing line for starsan. as i am dumping the solution out of the bottles i try to swirl the bottle around to create a little vortex as it is draining. i still get some foam left behind. it's fine.
  5. zorak1066

    Paint Strainer Bag

    i'm with rick. i use a dual layer , large kitchen mesh strainer resting atop my fermenter bucket. i transfer the cool wort using the strainer and it does a good job of getting most of the sludge. a quick knock out into the trash and rinse... voila. clean. paint strainer 5 gallon and 1 gallon bags are great for dry hopping, biab, etc. wash / sanitize first. cheap...effective.
  6. zorak1066

    Hop Storage

    some old hops just smell like cheese. i would not think that it would impart off flavors to the beer.
  7. zorak1066

    How many types of beer mugs do you own?

    ive a Libby's craft beer glass set of glasses. very nice. . and a pint mug i got as a promotion. . . but i'm no snob. ill drink beer from plastic cups, boots, styrofoam... whatever.
  8. zorak1066

    Hop Storage

    ive only done fridge storage in the salad crisper. bought some before my lhbs went out of business.. kept for 3 years in a ziplock bag in the fridge with only minimal loss of potency. at least i couldnt tell. no cheese smell so they must still be good. if you have a vacuum sealer for food bags use it. then put the bags in a ziplock in the fridge. alternatively , push the air out of the open bags and tape the end closed tight. put in ziplock, shove in mason jar... stick in fridge. when they start smelling like cheese they are going to be unpleasant in beer. at least that is how my nose perceives expired hops... cheesey.
  9. zorak1066

    First taste

    they get better as you learn more. the goop was possibly bottle trub. even the tiny bit of sugar we add to carb produces some trub. on pouring do a slow pour and leave the trub in the bottle. if you drink it , no worries. it's actually high in vitamin b and if anything, the yeast will just give you a little stomach distress. some yeast dont taste great though. which kit was this? congrats on making beer!
  10. zorak1066

    Pumpkin beer attempt

    my one and only pumpkin beer was a mr beer pumpkin weis. it came out horrid... mostly due to operator error. partly due to badly sanitized pumpkin puree from libbys canning plant in mexico. i didnt roast the puree.. dumped a whole can into the fermenter. what a mess. long story short, the wort developed a lacto bacter infection. it had big snotty grey bubbles on the wort. it stunk. it tasted like beer mixed with unflavored sour yogurt. it was a pain to bottle.. i drank it anyway. the last bottle was actually tolerable after several months but still kind of yuck. never will i do a pumpkin beer again. they just arent my thing. tried one from the liquor store and it was disgusting too.
  11. zorak1066

    Bottling wand

    there is no such thing as a silly question.. except maybe the one you dont ask that later bites you on the buttock. anything your yeast will come into contact with should be sanitized.
  12. the 3/2/2 is just a guide.. not a rule. (3 week ferment, 2 week carb, 2 week condition). . . can you check your final gravity? if so anything close to 1.01 is usually done. (slightly higher if you used lactose in the beer as it is not fermentable sugar). the reason the 3 week suggested time came about is because many new brewers dont have a hydrometer. 3 weeks at the right temp is usually more than enough time for the yeast to get it done without the risk of bottle bombs.
  13. zorak1066

    Returning to Mr Beer

    the beauty of mr beer's system is its ease. one can always come back to it after storming off for whatever reason, losing interest, or when the smoke clears from familial turmoil and stuff. plus... the lbk makes a great fermenter for just about anything... except beets. there i said it. now i dont feel so bad about hijacking the thread. i tried the canned beet ferment experiment. nice sour after 3 days and wow did those buggers foam! i reused the entire brine without issue. the only complaint is that fresh beets have less muddy taste than canned. when i do fresh beet root it comes out like borscht. this time more like fizzy, sour, slightly muddy tasting soft beets... but i'll still eat it. :)
  14. zorak1066

    Returning to Mr Beer

    i perv my fermenters when i can. buckets can be challenging. ive a hard cider on the table at end of week 2.5 ive been watching. . . and. . . to prove it can be done, im lacto fermenting CANNED beets in the brine from my sweet potato experiment. i perv lacto bacteria too. they dont seem to mind. i fully expect though that the texture will be more mushy than whole raw beets.. no worries. wonder how many times you can reuse lacto brine before it starts making poopy of your fermentation?
  15. zorak1066

    New Brewer Today

    WELCOME remember yeast are living things and no two batches will likely do the same exact thing. sometimes yeast will start right away eating.. some times it takes a couple days. when i first started on my first batch i ran here in a panic.. OMG I KILLED MY YEAST! BEEN 2 hours and nothing is happening! lol. Then i got spoiled. i started getting foam (krausen) on every batch by 8-12 hours after pitching. On the batch 4 i ran here posting: OMG! I KILLED MY YEAST! every other batch started in 8 hrs. IT'S BEEN A WHOLE DAY AND NOTHING!!!! stupid yeast! If you did everything right and the temps are good.. and your yeast is alive and happy... you can start seeing something in a couple hours or a couple days.. or not at all. sometimes they go nuts while you arent looking and the krausen drops leaving you thinking nothing happened. that's when you look from the outside at the bottom of the lbk. if you see crud building up, you have fermentation. you will be your own worst enemy in brewing. be patient. learn all you can. take your time to develop your skills. when it starts turning into 'work' it's time to find another hobby. it should be fun and fascinating.
  16. zorak1066

    US-04 or US-05

    gotta agree. lifetime? us05. it's the wonder bread of yeast but you can use it in just about any ale. the ale will just lack any yeast esters. us04 is a monster yeast but if it gets warm it makes fruity apple-y flavors that i dont like.
  17. zorak1066

    Using yeast as nutrients

    5 mins in boiling should be more than enough to kill them i would think. i concur that they add no off flavors. i use them when making hobo wine or hard cider. while i can smell the boiled yeast at first on pitching, there's no harmful effect. i too love their screams as they boil. first though before i pitch them into the boiling stuff i dangle them over the pot so i can build up their fear. yeast fear adds subtle nuances to the beer and wine just like how lobsters always taste better if you scare them first. the dead yeast serve 2 purposes: food for the live yeast, and motivation to make good beer or wine lest they end up with the same fate.
  18. zorak1066

    Wort, Yeast & Temperature

    i am impatient and usually pitch hot and worry about cooling to fermentation temp later. as long as you arent pitching into scalding hot wort, and you work to bring down the temps it shouldnt hurt anything. i have pitched yeast into 80+ degree wort with no ill effect. of course it takes ice forever to drop temps to 64f but i cant tell any off flavors. the important thing is that you want to avoid thermal shock i think. if you rehydrate, your wort temp should be no more than 10-15 degrees f different than your hydrating water temp. ex rehydrating in 98f water... pitching into 62f might cause shock.
  19. zorak1066

    did my bottling for first batch

    leave the last little bit in the bottle rick?? nonsense! besides, yeast cramps and the runs can be fun and an exciting way to lose weight in time for the holidays! i remember fondly my first experience of drinking beer yeast and bottle trub. :P
  20. zorak1066

    Miller Lite

    havent bought mr beer kits in about 3 years.. yes, cheaper than buying craft beer by the bottle ready made, but cost per gallon at least for me was less practical than doing a 5 gallon batch. a 5 gallon all grain cream ale can be done for about 28 bux... 53 bottles of beer for 28 dollars. thats about $4 a 6 pack? i think. sales are always good.
  21. zorak1066

    Miller Lite

    hoppy, stop wasting perfectly good vodka in coffee. you put rock and rye in coffee.. or seagrams. incidentally- discovered McCormick Distillery's 360 Vodka. cheap.. smooth... no headache. good stuff. i would rate it better than luksasova. as for sticker shock with mr b kit prices.. when you do the math for cost per gallon, yeah. it's not cheap... but when you consider that they have done most of the work for you.... i used my mr b days to build up skills enough to do 5 gallon kits (which are still not very economical).. and this lead to all grain. AG brewing once you gather all the equipment is dirt cheap. lots and lots of work.. but the savings are good.
  22. zorak1066

    Miller Lite

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AB_InBev_brands easier to ask what dont they control... how is this not a monopoly????
  23. zorak1066

    Getting back into this!

    freeze concentration ("distillation") while really good at jacking up abv and smoothing stuff out... is really wasteful. you end up with about 1/4 the product volume. . . at most. good thing i went small anyway. curious to see how the hobo wine concentrated comes out. not overly worried about methanol concentrations but the fussels might be a little heavier than i care for. when i started the ferment, i pitched some redstar pasteur and some cuvee' yeast together just for kicks. my only complaint so far is that neither wanted to settle out and compact. the last couple inches in the bucket were full of loose yeast slurry... which i ran through a paper towel filter and now have chilling in the fridge to encourage settling.
  24. zorak1066

    Getting back into this!

    re expired malt being crap... yeah.. but if it didnt have any signs of bulging can or crap floating in it... i'd use fresh yeast and make it anyway. crap flavors can be masked. did i mention i was a cheap bstrd? i just racked a hobo wine off the yeast bed today. yes i even complicate hobo wine ... lol. wow. i think i may have hit about 15% abv (didnt take any grav but man... what a buzz) from my sample. tastes ok too so .. winning! i had about a half gallon left that wouldnt fit in my glass carboy so i am trying freeze 'distillation' / concentration to see what happens. i'm using the spent blueberries i tossed in to ferment with it in a topping for icecream. boil and reduce.. sweeten.. tada. next in line for brewing is an applejack... if this freeze thing works, i'll try it with the applejack too.
  25. zorak1066

    Cleaning 740 ML PET Bottles

    what i use when not doing glass: i buy 1 liter bottles of carbonated water. our tap water here is crap. since the bottles held pressure they can be used for beer. wash... rinse... put on a rack upside down to dry... put in a bag. when i go to use them.. fill with stansan solution, drain. repeat with caps. boom. the only issue: the bottles i use are all clear. since my bottles are like me and never see the light of day, not a problem. 1 liter is perfect for me. i can easily do 1 liter of any strength beer without a problem.