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Everything posted by BigFloyd

  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.
  16. 20*C is a good finish temp to use once the fermentation has settled down. Better to start it at 18*C and keep it there for the first 5 days to get a cleaner ferment.
  17. I'm assuming that the MB Patriot "Lager" actually uses their do-all ale yeast. If so, chill the wort down to about 62-63*F for pitching. Ferment at 64-65*F.
  18. "chadf1001" post=386547 said:as the instructions said I waited a week after bottling in the 8 plastic bottles, then I put all of the bottles in the fridge as indicated in the instructions. is it too late to take them back out of the fridge? When you take them out and return them to room temp, the conditioning process will resume. Give it another few weeks and then put a few in the fridge for at least 3 days before tasting.
  19. "Btech117" post=386522 said: I know this is off topic (maybe i should make another thread but when they say "Room Temp" my house is a bit warmer (hits the reason for the fridge) will it be ok to sit at a 75 degree + or - 5 degree house to "condition" Ferment temps and conditioning temps are two very different animals. Most of my ales begin anywhere from 55-64*F (depending on the particular yeast being used) and finish in the 66-68*F range (except for Belgians on WLP530 finishing at 74*). I bottle condition at room temp which is 70-75*F depending on the time of year.
  20. "bpbpthomas" post=386565 said: Now, what about off-flavors? Am I screwed, flavor-wise? There's no way to know what kind of off-flavors you'll get or just how bad they'll be without having some idea of the wort temp when you pitched and how long it stayed hot/warm. At what temp do you have it now? A thermometer is an essential part of your brewing equipment for this very reason. Pitch and ferment temps have a huge impact on the quality of your brew.
  21. It's the low external temps. No way the fridge kicked on unless you plugged it into the "heat" outlet. If it's warmed up now, open the fridge and let the outside air warm it up. I use the DIY light bulb in a paint can fermenter heater inside mine if it gets too cold where my fermenter fridge sits (which is rare). The good news is that, while cooler temps will slow the process down and eventually put your yeast to sleep, they perk back up and begin eating again once it warms up into the middle 60's.
  22. Unless the place where you have the fridge located drops down below the middle 50's at night, you should be fine without the heat source.
  23. "billp" post=386367 said:Is there really enough oxygen in that little bit of air in the headspace that shaking the bottle will cause a problem? It can, over time, cause a small degree of oxidation, allowing the beer to taste stale. The effect would probably be slight due to the small amount of O2 involved, but why needlessly risk it by shaking?
  24. "Btech117" post=386377 said:Ok well its been 30 minutes now - I pluged the fridge to box box to extention cord etc... Controller box shows 18.00 C - I set it to 20 and my "HEAT" Light is on though im pluged in the COOL outlet. The probe is just wrapped arround the rack in the middle of the fridge for now - How many deg C can beer fluctuate? It wont kick the compressor on F1 = 20.0 C F2 = .5 C F3 = 0.9 (didnt know how 10 is due to the fact it looks more like 1 and a little 0 F4 = 0.0 Relax. 18*C (64.5*F) won't hurt your beer at all. Many folks who can control temps ferment ales at 18*C or even a bit less. Leave it alone with F1 set at 20*C (if that's where you choose to ferment). Let the beer rise on its own to that temp. When the sensor reads that the temp has hit 20.5*C, it will power the fridge via the cool outlet and keep it on until the temp falls back down to 20*C. The fridge can only cool. It cannot heat. The fact that the "heat" light is on is meaningless unless you have some sort of heat source plugged into the heat plug of the outlet. I rarely have my heat source plugged in.
  25. Crashing dropped the yeast to the bottom and put them to sleep. :freeze: It didn't kill them. I cold crash every batch to 35-36*F for 5-7 days and (after racking off the beer) harvest that yeast for future batches. Simply let it naturally come back up to the upper 60's then gently rock it a little to get some yeast back into suspension so they can finish eating any fermentable sugars that remain. When they're done, crash it again. :chug:
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