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About BigFloyd

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    Brewmaster in Training
  1. As an O2 bubbler myself, I'm certainly not saying that aeration isn't important when pitching liquid yeast, especially liquid lager yeast. It obviously is, but lots of outstanding brews are made by folks who haven't dropped the significant coin needed for a bottled oxygen infusion setup. There are other, cheaper methods available for good aeration of ale wort. They are a bit marginal for lagers. And there's also the option of using dry yeast (which needs no wort aeration). If someone has a limited brewing equipment budget and wants to make the biggest possible impact on the quality of their homebrew, good ferment temp control is the first area (beyond the basic brew gear) in which to make the investment.
  2. In order of priority, good and consistent control of pitch/fermentation temps (like in the low to mid-60's during the first week for most ales, then slowly raised to finish) ranks much higher than bubbling pure O2 through the wort. If you have the room for it, a used fridge/freezer and an STC-1000 controller is probably the best brewing equipment investment you can make.
  3. Q&A from Danstar: I always aerate my wort when using liquid yeast. Do I need to aerate the wort before pitching dry yeast? No, there is no need to aerate the wort but it does not harm the yeast either. During its aerobic production, dry yeast accumulates sufficient amounts of unsaturated fatty acids and sterols to produce enough biomass in the first stage of fermentation. The only reason to aerate the wort when using wet yeast is to provide the yeast with oxygen so that it can produce sterols and unsaturated fatty acids which are important parts of the cell membrane and therefore essential for biomass production. If the slurry from dry yeast fermentation is re-pitched from one batch of beer to another, the wort has to be aerated as with any liquid yeast.
  4. "jivex5k" post=390084 said:I've found Danstar yeast to be an extremely fast finisher as well, usually right around 1 week total primary fermentation if not less. I used to be a liquid yeast only guy, but I've come to enjoy dry yeast much more. +1. I've got a collection of various harvested liquid yeasts, but will happily use a rehydrated dry packet like US-05, S-04 or Notty if it's style-consistent. I'll even skip using the O2 tank/stone if using dry and it takes right off. Most often, my ale ferments run 9-14 days (confirmed finished via hydrometer, of course) followed by a 5-7 day cold crash prior to keg/bottle. It depends on the yeast strain, cell count and the gravity.
  5. If you have room, take the LBK and stick it in the fridge for while you're gone. "Cold-crashing" it like that 5-7 days will clear the beer, firm up the trub layer on the bottom, and result in much less yeast trub in the bottom of each bottle once you are done carbing/conditioning.
  6. I use THIS flow regulator attached to a small industrial O2 tank a friend gave to me along with an acetylene tank. A 0.5 micron stone from Austin Homebrew makes the tiny bubbles. I usually don't oxygenate when using dry yeast. With liquid yeast in ales, I hit it for 50-60 seconds on 1.5L. Double that time for lagers.
  7. I'm in Tyler. We're now blessed (as of a few months ago) with our own homebrew supply store here owned/operated by a very dedicated brewer who knows his stuff. Here's the WEBSITE. Right now, you can get 12% off your first order there using the code "1stTHBS" Our brew club, Tyler Pints & Suds (TAPS), has a homebrew tasting and cookout at the shop every third Thursday. A nice variety of excellent homebrew gets brought there each month.
  8. 4 weeks room temp conditioning followed by 3+days in the fridge will give you a true idea as to whether it actually over-carbonated. Why waste the beer you worked so hard to brew by opening it too early or under the wrong conditions?
  9. Sure. Try that and see what you think.
  10. I set and run the monster mill at our LHBS to .033 for recirculating E-BIAB. I get about 75%. Some folks who do non-recirculating will mill a bit finer, but not via just one crush. One crush at a really narrow gap can be tough on an electric drill (or on you if you hand-crank )
  11. I made/used a 22' 1/2" ID immersion with my 9-gallon brew pot and really liked it, especially the garden hose connections. The larger tubing flowed water like mad and it was pretty fast. After building the E-BIAB rig with its 15.5 gallon keggle, I knew that the IC wasn't going to fit down inside of it very well, so I switched to chilling by recirculating through a Duda Diesel 30-plate chiller mounted on my brew cart. It's about the same speed as the IC, just more compact and better suited for my particular setup. For a typical brew pot situation, the IC is just fine.
  12. That first batch is tough to wait for. But, if you want good brew, that's what it takes. Once you get the pipeline established, all of the stress melts away. If you see yourself enjoying this and drinking/sharing beer faster than you can make it, you may want to eventually expand to 5 gallon batches.
  13. Beers like porters and stouts as well as some higher ABV beers may take significantly longer than the typical 3-4 weeks to bottle carb. They take even longer (think months) to peak in their maturity. In all likelihood, that beer will not really be ready for a comp in 2 weeks even if it carbs.
  14. A lot depends on your space limitations. If you have the room for it, see if you can find a full-size fridge or freezer on Craigslist. I personally like the STC-1000 which is $18-20 on Amazon. I use three of them and helped a brew buddy put a controller outlet box with one earlier this week. You have to be able (or have a friend who can) do some basic household wiring, but there's some very good online help available. It's a dual temperature controller. You wire it into a standard 2-plug outlet that you mount in some kind of project box (either homemade or bought at Radio Shack). One (cool) outlet is for the freezer/fridge. Into the other (warm) outlet, you plug some kind of small heater and then put that heater inside the freezer. Set the target temp (in Celsius) on the STC-1000. Set the tolerance (default is +/-0.5*C). When the temp (as read by the sensor) climbs 0.5*C above the target, it powers up the cool outlet and keeps it energized until the temp drops to the target and then turns it off. Likewise with the warm outlet if it gets 0.5*C too cool. You tape the sensor on the side of the fermenter and place some kind of insulation like bubble wrap over top of it so that it reads the bucket temp and not the air. Instructions with pics More instructions w/ pics
  15. Sure, it's at a greater risk for contamination, but it may turn out just fine. You'll just have to wait and see. When doing 5-gallon batches w/o an immersion or plate chiller, a partial boil, ice bath and top off like you described is best. Chilling 5 gallons quickly from boiling to below 70*F is a real challenge without a chiller. If possible, move the top off water from the fridge to the freezer before you start brewing. Check it every so often to see if it's starting to freeze up. If you can get 2.5 gallons of wort down around 85*F and then top it off with the same amount of near-freezing water, you should hit the low 60's which is a perfect ale pitch temp.
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