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Brewsus Yeast

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About Brewsus Yeast

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  1. I used to drop about a half of a tablet of Whirlfloc in a 2.5gal batch, and in my second batch in my FF3G, I scaled that back to maybe a third or less of a tablet. Even so, it drops a lot of gunk. So much so that after emptying the jar after about a day, the neck (or is it the colon) of the fermenter is clogged to the point where not even tapping the sides will get the clog to clear. I had to crack open the top of the fermenter and use a sterilized bottling wand to break the clog. In my next batch, I probably won't use any Whirlfloc and see if that helps. Just being vigilant about emptying the jar for the first few days may be enough.
  2. Finally got around to bottling today. Because of the holidays and a generally busy schedule, it sat in the fermenter for about 4 weeks. All told, I emptied the yeast jar twice. The first time it was mostly Whirlfloc, and the second time was full-on yeast. In the end, the jar had less than a quarter inch of yeast, and I used most of the beer in the jar for my FG measurement. I ended up with 23 bottles, and not a single sacrificial "trub" bottle. The beer was clear from top to bottom. Very nice. As I anticipated, a slightly longer hose would have been helpful, but I managed just fine with an attached bottling wand. It was pretty easy to clean out, plus I could easily drain it into the sink by putting the whole contraption in the sink and opening the union valve. It flushes out pretty fast. So four weeks later... not a single leak...never opened the top...dumping the yeast jar is simple and non-messy. Thumbs up, so far. Now, that old HME...that might be another matter... I'll check back in a few weeks.
  3. Oh, I used new yeast, and supplemented the HME with some new hops, and some new DME, so it's not completely old. The HME can didn't even have the yeast. Chances are, I used the old fromunda yeast to do the Sam Adams' co-founder Jim Koch's trick where if you want to drink beer without getting too blitzed, you down a packet of yeast just before you drink a beer. The enzymes coating the yeast break down some of the alcohol in your stomach before it all gets absorbed. But I digress.... So far I haven't had to retighten the lid. It's bubbling away, and no leaks so far. One thing I might not do next time is to use Whirlfloc. I used half a Whirlfloc tablet near the end of the boil, and the Mason jar yeast collector is full of the Whirfloc. I can see the yeast starting to collect at the bottom of the fermenter. I might remove and dump the jar tomorrow to make more room for yeast cells. Hopefully, I'll remember to close the valve before removing the jar.
  4. Hey there... Gosh, it's been a while since I've been here. The new FastFerment 3G fermenter grabbed my attention a few weeks ago, so I picked one up. I haven't completed a batch yet, but I thought I'd throw out a few tidbits for y'all in the meantime. First of all, the 3G is bigger than the LBK, for sure. One of the nice things about the LBK is that I could put it in my mini fridge when doing a lager. The 3G takes up much more vertical space, so using my mini fridge isn't going to happen. It looks like a hot air balloon. Maybe that should be it's nick name. The original keg is the Little Brown Keg=LBK, and the FF3G is the Hot Air Balloon=HAB. ("Gretchen! Stop trying to make 'HAB' happen. It's not going to happen!"). Sorry for the Mean Girls reference. Second -- Go to the FastFerment website and watch their assembly videos. The videos generally are for the larger versions, but the concepts are the same. The big takeaway from the videos is that you need to break in the threads, being careful to not cross-thread anything. Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth -- DO A LEAK TEST!!!! Do not be impatient at this step. It took me about three tries and more teflon tape to seal than I thought it would, but I finally got the fermenter/union valve connection to stop dripping. Let it sit overnight with a paper towel underneath so any leaks will be more obvious. In hindsight, I probably should have combined initial cleaning with PBK or One-Step with the leak test. No biggie. Seventh - After you fill the fermenter with your wort and yeast on brew day, securely tighten the fermenter lid to get a good seal. I noticed that my wort was foaming within a few hours, but I didn't see any activity at the bubbler. I sniffed the top of the bubbler and didn't smell anything, but when I sniffed around the lid, I could smell the yeast farts. After I tightened the lid -- bingo -- the bubbler went into action right away. A few minutes later, the activity stopped again. I cranked down on the lid some more and the bubbler went back to work. The lid gasket must be fighting back. I'll have to keep my eye on this. Eight - I can tell already that the little 1 foot hose included in the kit isn't anywhere near enough. Scooting the 3G to the edge of my counter, I still just barely had enough hose to get over the edge of the counter. Spend a couple bucks at your local home brew store for a few feet of hose. I suspect that two feet of hose, combined with my bottling wand, should be good. Pick up some DME, hops, and yeast while you're there, too. Disconnecting the wort-filled yeast collection jar from the bottom is surprisingly mess-free. Be sure to close the union valve before removing the jar, of course! I used the wort in the jar to do my initial gravity test. It was just enough to float my hydrometer. Excellent. That's it for now. If I have any more thoughts, I'll add 'em. My initial batch is a variation on the POTUS Honey Porter using a *really* old can of Black Tower Porter (Best by May 2014!). I still have at least a half-dozen cans of expired HME. I figure by adding some fresh DME/Grains and fresh hops, I should be good. Merry Christmas
  5. I kinda checked out of the whole brewing thing for a while because I simply had way too much beer to drink. It's a tough problem to have, huh? Anyway, I acquired a gently used mini fridge recently, so I thought I'd try a real lager for once. The LHBS had a bunch of expired yeast for something like 80% off, so I picked up a slant of White Labs WLP940 (Mexican Lager) for about a $1.50 and kept it in the fridge until I was ready. The expire date was back in March. When the time came, I made a yeast starter using John Palmer's How To Brew instructions, and after a few days of letting the critters grow, I grabbed some DME and a can of the Aztec Cerveza and whipped up a batch. My little yeasties are making a nice krausen layer after only about a day of hanging out in a 52-55F fridge, so it looks like the starter was a success. Whew. How long should I let a lager ferment? I'm guessing 3-4 weeks? My understanding is that I'll need to raise the temps a little, late in the ferment process for a "diacetyl rest". I should have split the yeast starter in two and brewed an Octoberfest Lager (I still have some OVL!) at the same time, but I guess once this batch is done, I can always try my hand at yeast washing... Of course, if the LHBS still has some cheap expired lager yeast, I could just use that, too. Thanks!
  6. +10000! Oh my goodness, yes, Get a bottling wand. It's probably the most useful thing you could buy.
  7. I bottled my White IPA today after almost 4 weeks in the fermenter. FG 1.016, but that was with the batch priming sugar, so it may have been a little less. It had a real nice aroma and flavor, but "IPA" wouldn't be my first thought. Since it's now Cinco de Mayo, I guess I can break out the Aztec Cerveza and the Ole Mole Stout while the White IPA carbs! :banana:
  8. That's good news for y'all on the backorder thing. I brewed up mine last night and the krausen got to 1 inch or so -- not as big as I was expecting -- but it's a bubblin' like crazy now. Smells good! If I knew that the krausen wasn't going to be that big, I would have used an LBK instead of my 3 gallon carboy. I forgot how much extra work was involved with the carboy.
  9. Wow, if that's all they have, that took less than a week to sell out, right? Yikes.
  10. Popped this one in the carboy this evening. I got 1.062 (probably sampled the HME too much ). Like others, the spice bag ripped a little, but that's okay, I dumped it all in. I just added 1/2 a Whirlfloc, but otherwise, it was by the book. Edit: Well not completely by the book. I always start my yeast in some sugar water that I've boiled and cooled to around 80 degrees. It seems to make the yeast happy.
  11. Review of Ole Mole Stout: It has been in the bottle for almost 7 weeks. It has a very nice chocolate smell, but not as much chocolate flavor as the aroma might suggest. You can taste the red pepper, but it is thankfully muted. I love hot, spicy food, but not so much in beer. I remember thinking 'WTF?' when I had a Cave Creek Chili Beer a number of years ago, but this isn't anywhere near that. The flavor of the Ole Mole Stout was pretty good, though I found myself wanting some more mouthfeel or more malt. I think a 1/2 lb of Dark DME or some Robust LME might have been a worthy addition. It still has a bit of a tang in it, so I'll let it condition for another month and see how it turns out. My batch clocked in at 4.6% ABV
  12. Hmmm.... With the talk of a few of you having blow outs, I might put this one in my carboy and have a blow off tube ready to go if needed. I think I'll brew it tomorrow.
  13. If I'm drinking a hefeweizen, I'll usually pour most of it in a glass, but swirl the last few ounces in the bottle to suspend the trub, then pour that in the glass. But yeah, I don't drink out of the bottle.
  14. I think I still have something like 10 or so mixes in my closet, but I went ahead and sprung for the seasonal, too. I didn't want to miss out on this one.
  15. I did the Ole Mole recipe a little while ago. It's been in the bottle for around 3 weeks. I think it still needs more time, but I could surely taste the chocolate in it. I'm not sure I like spicy pepper in my beer, though.
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